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: