Re: Re: libeskind / Manuel Aires Mateus on the docks
‘the emperor has no clothes’.
The square is overdesigned. What are the squinty poles about?
There is a real crisis in architecture and design and townscape-making is a lost art.
I love this quote function.
‘The emperior has no clothes,’ that’s the phrase I was looking for. The black and white squares was a sixties thing, wasn’t it? They’ve probably knocked down all the office blocks and council flats that used this patterning, but I know I’ve seen pictures somewhere.
I don’t know what the slanty red poles cost, but I bet is was more than half a dozen decent trees would have cost!
Is there a crisis in architecture and design? is townscape making a lost art? It’s certainly starting to feel like it, to me. I was more encouraged a few years ago than I am now. There was an awakening in Dublin with the emergence of Group 91 and the rescue of Temple Bar, and it did seem like we had turned the corner and we had learned that good urbanism often involves, not going all out for the big impact, but in making small scale interventions and assembling the bits to make a greater whole. Now it just seems that we’re back in a sixties mentality, and we’ve forgotten all the lessons that we were just beginning to learn and suddenly no idea is too brash again, everything has to be attention grabbing, not just the arts centre, or the opera house, but every apartment scheme, every hotel and every office block.
I took a load of pictures a few weeks ago, of what they’ve done with Paternoster Square in London, beside St Paul’s Cathedral, to reverse out of the sixties. I was aware that PC had had an impact on the Paternoster debate and I knew that some awful stage-set schemes had been proposed, but they’ve just completed the redevelopment now and it’s worth looking at.
There might still be some pretty dodgy stuff here, if we take the wrong lessons from it, but there’s some thought provoking stuff as well. I’ll see if I can find a general ‘Quality of contemporary urban space’ thread to stick them on over the weekend. One of the themes, in Paternoster, could be characterised as Michael Graves meets Mussollini, so you better get out the drool bucket johnglas!