It's the California DOT Los Angeles region headquarters. It is widely hailed in the architecture community as a masterpiece, and is generally considered to be the building that won Thom Mayne the 2005 Pritzker Prize.
That monstrosity is quite literally the best that the architectural establishment is willing to provide, and they're patting themselves on the back while the rest of us are puking.
Just imagine seeing it take up a whole block instead of a 4 inch computer image.
Anyway, as I see it, this is the key:
Originally Posted by DecoJim
Older architectural styles generally have human sized details (such as individual windows) where as some modern architecture has almost featureless expanses of glass or metal from top to bottom.
Monotony is by definition both ugly and anti-urban. Good urban buildings should have human scaled details to look at. I don't care whether they're historic or contemporary in style or material, I just want some freaking details on my buildings. I want ornament
, and I have no patience for any architect too stupid or lazy to figure out a way to incorporate ornament "of its time" in his or her building. "Contemporary" does not not not mean "bare". If you're too dogmatic in your modernism to figure out how to make a contemporary building interesting, then you're a bad architect, and you invalidate any nonsense claims you might make about creativity. Want to be a creative architect? Concerned about designing something of its time? Then for God's sake, find a new way to provide the ornament that is programmatically necessary for large urban buildings; don't follow 60 years of dogma and pretend it doesn't exist in order to build the same glass box that 10,000 others have built before you. And if you do follow 60 years of dogma, don't pretend doing so was any great creative or intellectual leap, or anything other than tribal laziness.
I think one of the great sins of the current design process is that everybody looks at building plans / renderings on little 8.5x11 pieces of paper, or on an equally small computer screen. The sort of details that look good at that scale aren't enough to adequately decorate a 200 foot long building. Likewise, the sort of details that *are* enough for a big building make a tiny rendering look cluttered.