Old or Modern?

Watch out – going to geek out a little on architecture for a minute. This is my day job and I don’t often have the two cross over as there aren’t many folks I know that enjoy talking about the specifics of the built environment the way I do.

Someone I know professionally bemoaned the lack of diversity in architecture these days calling most of what is built “little beige boxes”. While I do not think he was wrong, I also don’t think he was right when he placed the blame on technology.

Is it true that a lot of the art of the drawing has been lost since construction documents moved to more technology based tools? Maybe. I’d say it’s a matter of opinion – and my opinion is that the art doesn’t go away if you’ve got a skilled operator. If you saw a really ugly cabinet, would you blame the hammer or the cabinet maker?

The old / cool architecture that was pointed out as the art we have lost was the Apennine Colossus in Italy. Setting aside all questions of accessibility and other code related issues that are a constant with modern day projects – I would love to work on a building like that. Make a fireplace where the smoke is channeled out the giant’s nose? Awesome.

While it might not be my taste, it’s not that interesting and amazing structures aren’t being built these days. Take Kunsthaus Graz for example. It’s a giant alien blob and has a host of cool modern things going for it. Built in the early 2000s it looks like an alien just dropped in to say hello and decided to stay. I can only imagine the technical difficulties associated with trying to create the working drawings for that building.

The question is – what sort of amazing building would you like to see?

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