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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2013, 6:04 PM
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That philly example reminds me of another round anti-urban building:


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But I have to admit it's awesome:


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Or how about this one?


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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2013, 8:54 PM
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Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
Brutalism is crap for the most part. There are a few cool examples of it. But it ruined most of our college campuses during the later part of the 20th century and for the most part, brutalism is horribly to the urban fabric. Look at the Boston City Hall, its a monstrosity that destroyed an incredibly historic neighborhood.
I think it's cool. Not the best one, but...

I prefer brutalism in a rural setting, surrounded by trees and greenery, like the Bank of Georgia Headquarters in Tbilisi or the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. It doesn't look so well in a city center.

This one is cool as well


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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2013, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Insoluble View Post
A bit off topic, but something like this did actually happen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_Demolition_Night
That's a little bit more parallel to the anti-modernist movement we're seeing from the likes of Photolith and Private Dick.
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 1:01 AM
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The thing with those buildings is that they were built with VERY high quality materials compared to what was used in postwar American and obviously what we use today. They are NOT rotting.

Buildings like those, while they may be showing signs of their old age, were built to last... forever. Even though they were built as simple, functional commercial structures for a relatively inexpensive cost, they used higher quality brick, stone, wood, and plasterwork than we use in our most expensive buildings today. They require a minimum of renovation when compared to postwar buildings simply because of that fact... and can be renovated with only largely cosmetic updates to last another hundred-plus years.
They might have been built with better materials, but the understanding of soils and concrete didn't happen until the 20's. AKA these buildings often have really bad foundations.
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 2:12 AM
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That's a little bit more parallel to the anti-modernist movement we're seeing from the likes of Photolith and Private Dick.
Whoa, I'm not anti-modernist AT ALL. I started the thread because there is a lot of it I really like... and a lot is total crap too.

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They might have been built with better materials, but the understanding of soils and concrete didn't happen until the 20's. AKA these buildings often have really bad foundations.
Yeah, generally buildings like this in commercial strips needed to have had some type of foundation work done since original construction, if they are still standing today. The ones that weren't reinforced/anchored/rebuilt in some way are often in bad shape because of the settling/soil expansion/contraction and the subsequent shifting and cracking of the walls, floors, etc.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 5:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Private Dick View Post
photoLith - You want to be dominated by giant, brutal concrete buildings. Admit it!

Now that you're a Pittsburgher, head over to Oakland and succumb to the ultimate power of the FORBES QUAD!! Now known as Wesley Posvar Hall -- he is your overlord.

I spent two years inside that concrete sarcophagus.
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 5:25 AM
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Modernism was propelled out of the cultural fringes by the cynicism brought on by two World Wars and a Depression. War is unnatural, so it is rather fitting that it would create something equally unnatural and soulless).
Ideally, all urban buildings of postwar styles would be documented (So we don't make the same mistakes again), then demolished.
Buildings are evocative of places, not of times. The International style is an attack on culture in the name of cheapness.
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 7:50 AM
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^ That's ridiculous. Architectural ideas are transmitted like fashion, so if you have communication between two areas, then architecture will get transmitted, even if the two areas have wildly different cultures and physical settings.

The history of New Orleans architecture (or any city, really) is all about how each ethnic group came into the city and contributed their own ideas to the paradigm. At first the ideas were turned into buildings without any local influence, but then they gradually started to meld with earlier styles that had already assimilated.

The "International Style" was just another style that came from somewhere else (in this case, Germany) and got blended with local traditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCDC View Post
That philly example reminds me of another round anti-urban building
Woah, the Hirshhorn is not anti-urban. It is an object building that stands alone, but the site around it is carefully designed as usable outdoor space. The walls produce a tranquil effect inside, like a courtyard, and ensure that the beautiful landscaping isn't despoiled at night. The walled garden is fundamentally urban; without the wall, the Hirshhorn would be just like a suburban building that pulls back on all sides.

There are lots of urban traditions that place courtyard space on the interior of blocks and turn blank walls to the street, including ancient Rome. If you wanna stick with "traditional" European examples, look at a cloister or monastery in any Italian city. Long, blank walls abound.

This is the problem with New Urbanism - they turn everything into dogma. We need more mixed-use in American cities, but a successful city will not have mixed use on every parcel or even every block. We need active frontage on commercial streets, but in residential, civic, industrial areas these are perfectly acceptable. It's all about how you allow different types of uses to overlap and co-exist.
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Last edited by ardecila; Mar 7, 2013 at 8:01 AM.
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 3:37 PM
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War is unnatural...
Yeah... tell that to the history of humankind.
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 4:00 PM
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The International style is an attack on culture in the name of cheapness.
BS. Like any style, it can be made cheap but that doesn't make the style inherently cheap. Good modern buildings are built with extraordinary skill and rich finishes. Just because there isn't some Greco-Roman fluff carved in doesn't make it "cheap". Often it's the other way around...

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Woah, the Hirshhorn is not anti-urban.
You're right about the walled garden archetype, maybe "anti-new urbanism".
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2013, 4:28 PM
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This isn't anything new.

This 30-storey office building in Winston-Salem was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 19, 2001 (NRHP#01000376). It was only 36 years old at the time (built in 1965). The tax credits allowed the new owner to completely restore the building. And yes, it was restored to it's original 1965 appearance, with a several upgrades as well.
Nice. Another example of historic modernism is the PSFS Building in Philly. Built in 1932, NRHP and HNL in 1976 (so 44 years old at the time).


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  #52  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2013, 1:29 AM
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Winston-Salem has a large amount of interesting architecture. It's where the state's industry and wealth was years ago. While Winston Tower was a victory, among the sad losses was this huge Reynolda Park Neighborhood house, designed in 1939.


Winston-Salem Library

It would be interesting to see what the 1920s would be like if the Tribune selected this design in 1922.


Source

All architectural styles have good and bad examples. Like I say, fight to preserve the best examples.

After WWII, many people had such bad memories of The Great Depression, they didn't want anything from that period, including the Art Deco we all love. I've heard many times, from interviews of people from that time, it wasn't the war. It was the Depression. I wasn't around then, so I can only pass along what I've heard from others or read about.
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  #53  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2013, 4:44 AM
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These Mies Van Der Rohe towers still look good for their age. They will soon be considered historic, if not already.
860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments, Chicago, USA


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  #54  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2013, 5:08 AM
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And speaking of Chicago, Lake Point Tower comes to mind. The curves seem ahead of their time. It really broke away from the box. You have to remember, this was designed in the mid-1960s and completed around 1968.


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  #55  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2013, 7:39 PM
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Landmark Battle Turns Green
Best fate for many energy-inefficient glass towers may be the wrecking ball.

Developers and other backers of a massive plan to rezone east midtown have a new and surprising arrow in their quiver: a green one.

A report by an environmental consulting group has concluded that the city's dozens of midcentury glass-sheathed skyscrapers, with a total of tens of millions of square feet of office space, are so wildly energy-inefficient that it would be better for the environment to bulldoze them and start over.

...According to the report, a building that is torn down can be rebuilt with 44% more square footage and still use 5% less energy. The bottom line is that the energy needed to tear down and rebuild a tower could be offset by energy savings from the new structure in 15 to 28 years.

"The tragedy of these [midcentury modern] buildings is that they can't be adapted," said Bill Browning, a co-founder of Terrapin Bright Green, the consulting firm that conducted the report, whose sponsors ranged from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, to architecture firm CookFox and the Real Estate Board of New York, the powerful landlords' group.

First off, the single-glazed curtain walls that represented the height of modernity in the 1950s were often cheaply produced and typically leak heat like a sieve. What's more, the structures are often too frail to support state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, double- or triple-glazed glass. While Lever House, the landmark glass-box office building at 390 Park Ave., was successfully retrofitted recently, it represents a rare exception. Built as a corporate headquarters in 1952, it was constructed to a far higher standard than many of the scores of nameless knockoffs that came later.

Outdated HVACs

Those cheaper glass towers frequently have outdated heating, cooling and ventilation systems, by which a constant volume of air is cooled and pumped into the building. If some offices need to be warmed up, the air-conditioned air is reheated. The report calls this system "analogous to driving a car with the accelerator pushed to the floor and controlling one's speed with the brakes."

...A prime example of the sort of energy-oozing building the report is addressing is the 47-year-old, 32-story glass box at 675 Third Ave., the first tower constructed by developer Douglas Durst after the Third Avenue El was torn down in the 1950s. The building is well-cared-for Class-A office space, has no mortgage and is about 80% full. It also has little in the way of exterior insulation.

"We'd consider tearing that building down if it made economic sense," said a Durst Co. spokesman.

The report concludes that it does indeed make sense. A developer could end up with a building that houses almost twice as many people by using space more efficiently—and demands about half the energy per capita.

Preservationists argue, however, that midcentury glass towers are the very definition of midtown.

"These buildings were incredibly interesting developments, built for the expectations of 1950s corporate America," said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council. "They should be seriously considered for preservation."

Some of them are already protected, such as the Lever House and the 1958 Seagram Building, across the street on Park Avenue. Leaders of REBNY and other real estate industry groups have argued that it makes sense to preserve such masterpieces but not scores of unremarkable copycats.
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  #56  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2013, 4:19 PM
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Ok, good, so, any building that is not energy efficient or doesn't optimize the square footage is safe for demolition unless it's one of a handful of especially significant buildings like Lever House or the Seagram Building.

Now that the criteria for demolition is established, we can now proceed to demolish 90% of all the building on manhattan.



Anyway, if you weren't convinced that history is repeating itself this is a great article that demonstrates it.

oh look, a report comes out that says that the buildings nobody likes (except for those pesty preservationalists) are functionally obsolete and should be replaced. :p
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  #57  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2013, 3:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
These Mies Van Der Rohe towers still look good for their age. They will soon be considered historic, if not already.
860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments, Chicago, USA
Gorgeous buildings and already landmarked along with a handful of other modernist buildings in Chicago. I don't understand how anybody thinks MCM buildings are any different than the styles that came before them. There a shitty worker's cottages from 1890 that are not worth saving just as there are shitty modernist piles of crap from 1965 that are not worth saving. Then there are stunning victorian or Chicago-school buildings from 1900 that must be saved at all costs just as there are stunning modernist or brutalist buildings that must be saved at all costs.

Chicago was already landmarking modernist gems starting in the 1990's such as the Inland Steel Building:


Planckstudios.com


Columbia.edu


Unfortunately we haven't done such a great job with these structures lately with Prentice on Death Row and Cuneo headed that way as well...
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  #58  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2013, 4:13 AM
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That one reminds me of Chase Manhattan plaza due to its columns sticking out and its silvery cladding. (I believe it's also landmarked)



Like the TD Center in Toronto (another masterpiece by Mies Van Der Rohe) it was really stunning when I viewed it from the base. I didn't even really like modernism before I stood at the base of these towers and began to really look into them. How I wish I could have seen the former World Trade Center as well.
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