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Thread: Talk about a horrible building

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Talk about a horrible building

    Jaws, yer in Montreal, right?

    How do you like this P.O.S.?

    http://www.arcspace.com/architects/s...ll/mcgill.html
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  2. #2
    maudit anglais
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    I kinda like it, but that's just me.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I like it as well, good use of a tight space. Creative and fun to look at.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    Looks just like Brisbane's new City Hall office space development, Brisbane Square.

    Cept we get all the added advantages of a jaunty multicolour stripe around the bottom.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I am with you, I think it is an aweful looking building, especially next to a beautiful old building. Black and White.

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    Jaws, yer in Montreal, right?

    How do you like this P.O.S.?

    http://www.arcspace.com/architects/s...ll/mcgill.html
    From the information on the link, it appears that the building design and function seem to be successfully executed. It appears to have sufficient transparency on the ground floor adjacent to the public walk (which allows for interaction and interest for the pedestrians). The exterior detailing and cladding are simply complex and may be trying to hard to represent something other than itself (I'm always wary of designs that are described as 'suggesting such and such"), but it's not as evident in the design as some 1990s PoMo.

    Finally, without physical experience with the building, I like the design and execution. I can appreciate this kind of sleek-ish contemporary design.

    Btw, what is your specific reason(s) for disliking this design so much?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Functionality does not make a building design concept aestheticly pleasing. It does not meld with the adjacent building in the least. Architecture is not only about building a building that works functionally, but it is also building a structure that works with the sorrounding area visually. Urban form. This building sticks out like a sore thumb. This is why architects should be required to take planning classes.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    reminds me of the new CalTrans headquarters in Los Angeles

  9. #9
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planner22
    Functionality does not make a building design concept aestheticly pleasing. It does not meld with the adjacent building in the least. Architecture is not only about building a building that works functionally, but it is also building a structure that works with the sorrounding area visually. Urban form. This building sticks out like a sore thumb. This is why architects should be required to take planning classes.
    No, functionality is as important as urban form. Yes, the sytle is significantly different than the older building, but the new building is approxiamtely the same scale and massing of the older building. The new building addresses the public pedestrian environment well, the entrance is very prominent, there are not long blank walls next to the sidewalks, there is no unnecessary "plazas". I think the designer(s) executed the design's relation to the existing urban form well.

    In a city such as Montreal, buildings should not have to copy or even sympathize with the style of the adjacent buildings. The most important is that the new buildings address the existing functioning urban form, in terms of pedestrian transparency, no unecessary building setbacks, no surface parking lots, reasonable sympathy to the scale/massing of adjacent buildings, etc.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2mcgill.jpg  
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    The design is brutal, antihuman. What in Chr###'s name are those side wodges? Those grates? Transparency at the ground floor is useful, though I would not fetishize it to the extend Mendelman does; if your building has a readable entrance, it does not need acres of glass at the ground floor level.

    In a building I look for symmetry (50/50, here), orientation/readability (ok), gracefulness of detailing and massing (minus infinity), scale and treatment relative to its environment (ok), surface material quality (please, stop, make it stop!) plus the practical aspects (which you really have to be thee to judge).

    My final test is: if I had a Kilometer-long street of buildings in this style (not identical, but similar in style), would it be good, ok, so-so, terrible, awful. Can you imagine 1 KM of these buildings? Now compare with 1 KM of the old buildings = Paris. See my point?
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  11. #11
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    please...I fetishize transparency as much as you fetishize brick and stone.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    That's pretty bad, but I can show you worse.

    Austin City Hall: http://www.mcconnellphoto.net/austin_city_hall.html#
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    It certainly doesn't seem to fit with the neighborhood...

  14. #14
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    I too think this building is pretty ok.

    I like the fact its not the same as the buildings next to it- i think it makes them "stand out" or juxtaposes them even more! and i reckon thats the point they are trying to make.

    The building has interesting form, lines and materials and from the couple of pics that have been shown, is intriguing to look at.

    Actually this sort of juxtaposition has been done at RMIT in Melbourne... either you like it or you loathe it
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  15. #15
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    My final test is: if I had a Kilometer-long street of buildings in this style (not identical, but similar in style), would it be good, ok, so-so, terrible, awful. Can you imagine 1 KM of these buildings? Now compare with 1 KM of the old buildings = Paris. See my point?
    I think we are all forgeting the most important question that can be answered about any development. Is it "of its time"?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Huh?

    You mean the one on the left right? Looks like the kinda place the Adams family would live, or that the KGB would use for torture....kinda spooky looking....dark and frightful place.....maybe vampires live there.....? The place on the right looks German/Dutch.....and kinda square It should be the psych ward for the entire country, people will need shock therapy if they stay in there too long....
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Mendelman: "please...I fetishize transparency as much as you fetishize brick and stone."

    No, no, if I prefer something it's a preference; whereas I label yours with an indefensible name and thus score rhetorical points..

    "Iamme: "I think we are all forgeting the most important question that can be answered about any development. Is it "of its time"?"

    Man! you kniow how to hit the sore spot
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  18. #18

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    Doesn't bother me very much. Then, I like glass and those grids you dislike so much.

    What would be afar worse would be an ersatz Stern-esque (LOL ) attempt to do classical or Victorian "gothette" architecture on the cheap with no craftsmanship, proportions, and fake materials. Or, a building that looks pretty from the outside but has tiny, pokey rooms that don't work very well (Richmond Riverside).

  19. #19
    It's confused and disharmonious but hardly the worst this city has to offer. We had a big boom in construction in the 1960's. I'll leave you to imagine how that worked out.

    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    In a city such as Montreal, buildings should not have to copy or even sympathize with the style of the adjacent buildings. The most important is that the new buildings address the existing functioning urban form, in terms of pedestrian transparency, no unecessary building setbacks, no surface parking lots, reasonable sympathy to the scale/massing of adjacent buildings, etc.
    In any city, no excuse for a crappy city like Montreal, buildings have to provide a positive presence to the street. Luca's test of extending a building to a full length of street provides a good insight of the value of the building to the street. If a long stretch of such buildings is repulsive, a short stretch is still repulsive.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    What would be afar worse would be an ersatz Stern-esque (LOL ) attempt to do classical or Victorian "gothette" architecture on the cheap with no craftsmanship, proportions, and fake materials.
    Like this thing?
    Quote Originally posted by abrowne

    Assimilation! They built right around it and integrated the old building into the new. Brilliant. Note: the same building as above, viewed down the block.
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=21801 for the rest of the pictures
    Last edited by jaws; 21 Feb 2006 at 11:13 PM.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    ...Or, a building that looks pretty from the outside but has tiny, pokey rooms that don't work very well (Richmond Riverside).
    Them's fightin' words, BKM. Richmond riverside is urbanistically something clsoe to perfection. Haven't been in the rooms, but bear in mind that almost all interior spaces (unless yer a millionaire) in London are poky. What they consider a 'master bedroom' here would be a large walk-in clodt in the US. Richmond is very expensive. The degree of ciritcim that was heaped on that development was a sign of terror by the avant-garde fascists because it did extremely well, is well liked by its neighbors and it is unashamedly, unironically, un-post-anything classical.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have mixed feelings. As a building, the exterior does not appear to be too bad, but I do not think it fits in very well with the surroundings (at least those that I see). In a different setting there might be no objection. There are few pictures of the interior. From those I saw, I thought it was a bit brutal, with too much concrete for my liking.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    Them's fightin' words, BKM. Richmond riverside is urbanistically something clsoe to perfection. Haven't been in the rooms, but bear in mind that almost all interior spaces (unless yer a millionaire) in London are poky. What they consider a 'master bedroom' here would be a large walk-in clodt in the US. Richmond is very expensive. The degree of ciritcim that was heaped on that development was a sign of terror by the avant-garde fascists because it did extremely well, is well liked by its neighbors and it is unashamedly, unironically, un-post-anything classical.
    Gotcha!

    I actually do admire the photographs I've seen of Richmond Riverside, I have a monograph of his work in my library, and Richmond Riverside is quite impressive.

    But then, Terry insists on the critical things: load bearing walls of real brick, careful consideration of The Orders and the rules of proportion, and actual craftsmanship in construction and detailing. Something Stern certainly didn't do (wasn't able to do, actually) for Gap Headquarters'"phoned-in design".

    All things of importance that an overemphasis on "style" alone misses. For example, I still find Cesar Pelli's new carefully detailed Mission Street office building for Chase Manhattan in San Francisco beautiful (I know you don't) even though it a rigorously Miesian building.

    I'm guessing (I can't remember) a Deep Pockets investor who is somewhat quirky/eccentric? Not an American Real Estate Investment Trust with a rational, beady eye focused on the quarterly report?

    You need to come to SF, Luca. We'll do a "tour of the city" kinda thing!!

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Gotcha!

    You need to come to SF, Luca. We'll do a "tour of the city" kinda thing!!
    Have to, some time. Great town, the only time I was there.

    You know, maybe I'm just a 'delayed reaction' type / total reactionary. I find the currnet crop of architectural ahistoricism so aesthetically repellent that i'm beginnignn to a new respect for 50s modernism. This weekend I made a positive comment about this building

    http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=339231

    My wife was rendered speechless (after all those anti-modernist rants...)
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    That's pretty bad, but I can show you worse.

    Austin City Hall: http://www.mcconnellphoto.net/austin_city_hall.html#
    And I can show some even worse than that:
    the new deYoung Museum in San Francisco, the new federal building also in San Francisco or the proposed Alaska State Capitol (or any of the work by Morphosis)

  25. #25
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Reminds me of:
    http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/abo...ies/future.php

    It doesn't really fit with the area but I DO like the building. It doesn't really commit outright offences but it doesnt work overtime to be neighbourly. Certainly not a disaster. Very nice interiors, but the exterior is open for improvement. I'll take it over any number of anonymous UglyBlocks that sprout all over Montreal. Believe it or not, Montreal's CBD is even uglier than Toronto's.

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