A short architectural rant…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s cheetah is fat one that lolls on the sofa all day watching TV, drinking beer, and eating salty snacks. (Cheetah)

So, architects… What’s the matter with them?… Have they no visual sense at all?… I don’t suppose aesthetics is on the curriculum of Architecture courses any more…
What about all those big glass rectangular prism office blocks? Yes, I know, it’s all about money, it’s the cheapest way to do it, detail and curves are very expensive you know…
Well, I suppose by now we are getting used to living with these big slabs of expensive nothingness in our cities and we sort of blot them out and instead look at the nice old Victorian buildings cowering in their shadows and reflected in their bright windows.
Traditionally when humans have erected buildings to live, work, or worship in, they have tended to decorate, or make a visual feature of the outside of their building, so that it looks interesting and attractive for anyone who happens to see it. Also, isn’t it odd that when old buildings, which have external detail on them, arches, window sills, voussoirs, string courses, columns, corbels etc. get dirty, they still look pretty good; the muck gets into the decorative features, defining their shape and making them more visible, but when plain flat glass, concrete, and steel buildings get weathered and dirty after a year or two they really do look awful…
While I’m at it, what about this trend for the windows in these places to be floor to ceiling? I suppose it gives the poor inmates more of a view of the outside world, and admits more daylight into the place and cuts down the lighting bill, but what about the view of the building from the outside? I don’t think architects are really interested in what buildings looks like from the outside, architecture seems to be all about the economics of packing people into workspaces on the inside. Though these building are blank and flat, eye-catching detail is inadvertently provided by the these floor to ceiling windows. Yes, the passer-by in the street has an excellent view of several floor’s worth of all the junk, cardboard boxes, waste paper bins, piles of files, plastic bags, computer cables, and items of clothing that people have placed out of sight under their desks – doesn’t it look squalid, and so cheap, dear reader?

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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