Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G
Maybe Helmut paved the way with 600 N Fairbanks? You've talked about it before but I think it's a point worth repeating: There's not much of a middle ground in this city. Buildings are either razed or preserved totally in tact, no contemporary addition or progressive rereading.
To be fair, other American cities haven't done a great job, either. I mean, you have an architect as high profile and acclaimed as Norman Foster make a total mess of the old Hearst building. Cesar Pelli's proposed addition to South Station is similarly awkward.
Has anyone seen this one by Garofalo Architects?
I wish projects like that happened more often. Maybe one day we'd even get something like this:
...although, given the treatment of the interior, I guess that's the definition of facadectomy?
This is an amusing post for me... I see where you're going, but as far as your examples, I feel exactly the opposite. I think the Hearst Tower leaves something to be desired, particularly on the inside, but I think the exterior is an absolute success.
Meanwhile, I sorely dislike the two positive examples you bring up. The Garafolo thing, which I see almost daily, is in my opinion a disrespectful wreck, a kind of architectural graffiti that has no understanding for its underlying canvas.
H+dM lost a lot of credibility for me with that project (in Spain, right?). The people clearly asked for preservation of that structure, but the architects were too high-and-mighty to defer to the old. I have a lot more respect for someone like Weese or Vinci or Crombie Taylor, who can (could) execute great buildings whenever they wanted, but were confident enough to do real restorations when they were warranted.
I'm not opposed to creative reinterpretations, but they'd better be well done, respectful, and highly informed. Which is to say, there is a right time and a right place for this, but that's not too common. Otherwise, forget it. But the main thing that interests me far more is the addition of the real parameters associated with respecting the existing urban fabric and the implications this can have upon the new product - not what impact the new can have upon the old. I don't see many people operating in that fashion...