Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More cool architecture

I've been seeing some pretty cool buildings lately, in a sort of 21st century modernism based on glass, steel, aluminum and totally unconventional vertical aesthetics. It's funny how much our impression of buildings is rooted in our deep reliance on the functionality of buildings, as solid structures whose stability protects us from the element. It seems that we therefore prize solid, secure aesthetics, namely the importance of 90 degree angles. Even the Bilbao Guggenheim ascribes to this innate need for secure stability. Despite its titanium sides and smoothly fluid lines, it is fundamentally squatly anchored in the ground.

Newer 21st century architecturs even seem to challenges this, I have been noticing. This new architecture seems to revel in illusions of instability through leaning, slumping, and surging at angles neither paralell, nor perpindicular to the horizon. Three examples:

Stata Center, MIT

The new crystal addition to the Royal Ontario Museum:

And my personal favorite, the new Central Chinese Television Tower (CCTV), being built, in Beijing:


Smaranda said...

NIICE! You added my favorite building in the world, the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. The best thing about it is how the Titanium outer layer interacts with the water and the sky. At any time of the day the building will take on a different color reflecting and converting the daylight. While the building seems out of place among the rest of the older architecture in the city, it interacts with the environment in a way that no other building can do. LOVE IT!
The last picture from the bottom reminds me of the Defense district in Paris. At the center of a large modern piazza is this square hollow apartament building. It blew my mind the first time I saw it when I was 12. Found this pic in a rush http://parisbanlieue.blog.lemonde.fr/files/ladfense.jpg

Smaranda said...

PS: did you know that Frank Ghery got the idea for the Bilbao Museum while at a cafe and drew a scribble on a napkin? It is so weird how that first inspiration is translated perfectly into the dynamic of the building (yes I am a Frank Ghery nerd ... but I remember this because I saw a Frank Ghery Exhibition at the Guggenheim in NYC a few years ago... they had the napkin there! hahahah)