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Remember discussing this one?

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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A week ago tonight I was at a reception here:

11moca.jpg

If you remember, we discussed it a while back in this thread:

http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7442&highlight=cincinnati

Now that I have been there, I would have to say it is completely awful. Let's begin on the outside. If it stood alone, it would still be a bland, lifeless, ugly chunk of concrete. As it is, it is surrounded by attractive if not outstanding 19th or early 20th century buildings. These have some charm and warmth. The museum has none. There is even a nice contemporary building across the street.

It only gets worse inside. It is nothing but a concrete box with six or seven floors connected by stairways. Let's discuss these. Going to the basement level, the treads are at an angle to the wall (maybe 30-40 degrees) creating an illusion that the stairs slope. The architect probably thought they were being clever. An insurance inspector somewhere is having a fit. Is discomforting visitors the architect's goal?

Fortunately, the stairs connecting the other levels are not angled, but they are still a problem. The rise is about four inches per step, forcing users into an awkward gait. The word 'discomfort' comes to mind again. There is a second issue as a result of this design. The staircases take more than twice the room that they should. This is not a large building. I doubt that the footprint is more than about 8000 square feet. About a quarter of the interior is consumed by stairs.

There is one good aspect of the design. As hideous as the building looks from the inside, it may discourage people from entering. The large amount of wasted space means that those unfortunate souls who do enter will not be assaulted by as much 'art' as might fit in a well-designed building. If it is possible, the collection inside this building is worse than the building itself.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
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3,212
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29
Was the architect John Portman and Associates, the designers of another atrocious building, the Detroit Renaissance Center?

 

garethace

Cyburbian
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137
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6
That was my first thread here at Cyburbia, if I am not mistaken. Siggggghhhhh!

But not to restrict the debate too much, lets discuss it from this aspect: Are Architects just too in a rush to build stuff for their clients? And are the cost/construction/evaluation aspects of building projects brushed over? Are these questions asked so late in the building design process, that Architects simply refuse to address the issue of value for money in these projects?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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garethace said:
That was my first thread here at Cyburbia, if I am not mistaken. Siggggghhhhh!

But not to restrict the debate too much, lets discuss it from this aspect: Are Architects just too in a rush to build stuff for their clients? And are the cost/construction/evaluation aspects of building projects brushed over? Are these questions asked so late in the building design process, that Architects simply refuse to address the issue of value for money in these projects?
I think this is a question of ego instead, on the part of both the architect and the client.

Architect - The building is obviously a "look at me!" statement by the architect. Rather than adopt an outward appearance that may have been more traditional and contributed to the street, Hadid wanted something that would stand out. It does, but by being profoundly ugly. The exterior wall is the point of interface between inside and outside. Here, they are both rejected. There is no attempt to link the two. Hadid carries the assault on inside the building by intentionally making it uncomfortable, so that you are "aware" of the building, in the same way that you would be aware of a stone in your shoe. Neither are welcome. The final insult is the waste of space. Beginning with a small pad, Hadid uses up a grossly inordinate area for utilitarian components such as the godawful stairs.

Client - The client was obviously as interested in a "statement" instead of a real building. They accepted the inappropriate exterior appearance. They likely fell for some "artsy" and "awed" explanation of the ridiculous interior. They wanted a Guggenheim and got this instead.
 

garethace

Cyburbian
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137
Points
6
Yeah, I think you have indeed nailed it.

But unfortunately, many critics of Architecture forget to analyse the relationship of the Architect and the client as you have done. If you wish to read more about this, perhaps you should investigate some books, like about the building of the Salk Institute in California, by Jonas Salk and Louis Kahn.

I believe Kahn was a great Architect, because he could take the client as technical and scientific as Salk was, and still manage to produce a wonderful piece of Architecture. It would be worth seeing his design for an Art Gallery in Texas too, called the Kimbell.

Kahn spoke a lot about his reaction to modern interpretations of the clients needs, and what Architects generally did to provide space of availabilities, and places of well-being. He loved building in old historic places like the Middle East and India. But he has built a lot in America too.

Brian O' Hanlon.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
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