I love this piece on a rather odd thing: The Spite House, an Architectural Phenomenon Built on Rage and Revenge.
Spite houses can be houses or buildings or any structure built not so much to be lived it as they are the express a very negative emotion. Once you know about them, you will be surprised you know more of them than you thought.
I don’t think I’ve ever been that spiteful that I would go through the trouble of spending all the time and money to get back at someone. But that’s not true of everyone, if you read that article.
New York City has had skyscrapers for a long time. A new twist on the skyscraper is the super skinny ones popping up all over Manhattan. There’s plenty of reasons for that, and the Guardian well documents that, here: Super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive: the ‘pencil towers’ of New York’s super-rich | Cities | The Guardian.
I don’t particularly like them, but like all buildings, I am sure they will grow on me over time. They seem too featureless. Their main feature seems to be the thinness. That hardly puts them in the same class as the Chrysler Building or the Empire State Building.
Regardless of your thoughts on them, the article in the Guardian is good.
You can find a description of hostile architecture here, but the best way to describe it is to show it, as Vice does here: Photos of the Most Egregious ‘Anti-Homeless’ Architecture – VICE. Once you see these photos, you will find you see examples of it everywhere in the places you frequent.
Most hostile architecture is aimed at homeless people. Sometimes it is obvious, like spikes installed on flat surfaces. Other times, it’s more subtle, like arm rests in the middle of benches. (Prevents homeless people from lying down on them.)
One of the problems with hostile architecture is that it allows us to pretend homeless doesn’t exist. If we don’t see homeless people, it’s easier to image they aren’t there. A lesser problem is that cities become more unliveable for all, because hostile architecture for anyone is hostile architecture for everyone.
We need more livable cities. And we need more support for homeless people. Hostile architecture is not the solution.
P.S. Not all hostile architecture is aimed at people. Some of it, like spikes on top of outdoor ledges, is aimed at pigeons. I’ll leave that for another post.
Like many, I am well aware of Pei’s work at the Louvre. I was not aware he designed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. I liked this piece, Six of I.M. Pei’s Most Important Buildings – The New York Times, because it showed the diversity of Pei’s work and touched a little on how he approached new projects.
A good way to remember a great architect.
Quite a few things, according to this: www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/what-should-america-do-its-empty-church-buildings/576592/
if you have a church in your neighbourhood, there is a good chance one of the things mentioned in the article will happen in the next 10 years.
I love College Park in Toronto. I wish it were more of a destination spot for visitors. Perhaps if it had been built out like this photo, it would have. Instead, it was built out to the area outlined in white. Still a lovely building, but it could have been a phenomenon.
What could have been.
Via The half-built relics of nixed Toronto skyscrapers – Spacing Toronto
If you are a fan of Brutalism, you will want to visit this: Attack the blocks: brutalist treasures under threat – in pictures | Cities | The Guardian
You might want to even visit them, because for some of them, their days are numbered.
I imagine that in the next 50 years, the number of Brutalist buildings currently existing will be significantly reduced. That would be a shame. Brutalism gets knocked hard, and I can see why. But worse than Brutalist building are boring buildings from all different architectural styles. I’d like to see those go first. The world could use good Brutalism in their cities. Here’s hoping it doesn’t undergo severe decline.