March 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm #170339
SANAA architects have won the Pritzker..check out their landscapes – perhaps some unemployed talent here could teach them a thing or two..
ok! learning to link!!!March 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm #170355Ryan A. WaggonerParticipant
wow, not even attempting the “lettuce” approach…March 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm #170354
here’s a better link
http://www.arcspace.com/architects/sejima nishizawa/ century museum/century museum.htmlMarch 29, 2010 at 5:08 pm #170353
Methinks an unemployed architect could teach them something more relevant first. They won the Pritzker for that stuff? It’a awful! And not much of a portfolio, either. When are museums going to learn that this “signature” building stuff only leads to failure and massive expense? Roof leaks, poor lighting for the works (um, sunlight degrades color, folks), and the complete anthesis for, design psychology wise, what is proper for a museum. Let alone the waste of space.March 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm #170352Chad CrutcherParticipant
One must remember that both the architects and the museums are often seeking to create a building that is an iconic work of art in its own right. Problem is, designing to create an icon is far different than designing a successful building that becomes an icon. This is not a specific critique of these architects or their buildings. I have my opinions, but my subjective view remains essentially meaningless when considering the bigger issue as framed by the first sentence.
Do well doing good.March 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm #170351
I can thing of plenty of musuems, art or otherwise, that fit the role of the iconic building, that still function as museums. Many of the “famous” (really, infamous) modern museums try to be that art, while the collection or the works suffer. Pei’s East Gallery of the National Gallery is falling apart, and taxpayer dollars are required to reclad the entire exterior as the stone panels are about to fall off. It has little gallery space, instead, a huge atrium, library, and awkward angled steps take up valuable space. The gallerys are convuluted, and exhibtions often span floors, making it difficult for those with children or disabilities. Additionally, very little of the permannent collection can be displayed due to limited hanging space, in fact, most what is on display is in the basement. Libeskind’s new Denver gallery has horrendous roof leaks, as do many Gehry buildings. Where to even start with Wright’s Guggeheim in NYC.
Done well? Calatrava’s Milwaukee Art Museum, although gallery space is limited there, too, due to programming the client wanted in the space. Eero Saarinen’s War Memorial Building, which is attached, provides the bulk of space for exhibitions. Richard Meier’s Getty complex in LA is fantastic. The only gallery I have visited where the modern architecture blends smoothly with the classical works within. That was the result of years of compromise on the part of the architect, yeilding to the board. Gehry’s Bilbao is also an amazing work. These all share one common element as they are all removed from their context by distance or terrain.
In context work, such as the American Folk Art Museum (down the block from MoMA) is modern, yet restrained, and fits well with it’s surroundings. MoMA itself fits well wtihin it’s block, though the interior could be much better. The expansions to The MET in NYC are also done very well, fitting with the historic architecture without overwhelming it.
I guess my longwinded point is that the museum committes should focus on the function, space, and flow of the museum first, instead of focusing on the image of the building. Any architect worth their salt can design around the program to created some kind of icon, hopefully in context with its surroundings. This problem also goes for modern libraries, which suffer from the same design problems, such as roof leaks and too much sunlight, which degrades the books. Universities with “collections” of architecture are learning these lessons as well.March 29, 2010 at 9:12 pm #170350
I agree, Jason..I just don’t understand how architects can continously ignore the ground plane, the world around their building as being opportunities for amazing landscape designs that live up to their buildings..The construction aspects of these super-stylistic buildings, like IM Pei in Wash DC that you mentioned, is absolutely correct..
But these SANAA buildings – god, I almost flipped when I saw the three big staked trees and little else around the one museum..
We need star landscape architects, to balance the architects..I wouldn’t mind a little lack of functionality, if the design was exciting and thought-provoking..
I love the getty in LA also..the garden is really fun…and the designer of that garden is NOT an LA, I think..
We are too modest, perhaps, we need some arrogant personalities in our midst..March 29, 2010 at 10:21 pm #170349
The SANAA buildings, I laughed at that same photo with the three twigs sticking out of lawn. If you look more at their work, the buildings all look about 1/3 done. I know its minimalist, but that is ridiculous.
You’re right with the Getty…an artist designed the main garden at Getty with a horticulturist, and Olin did the rest of the grounds. Meier was FURIOUS about the central garden, because the artist was not under his control (sound familiar?). Most architects like to have the building stand alone, out in the open, for all to marvel at. Very few architects think of the site in the design, and leave it to a third-party LA to deal with it after the building designed. Under their thumb, of course.
I totally agree the architects NEED LA’s to pull off the total package. Most architects can’t design a sidewalk correctly (I have visual and experiential proof), let alone landscapes/hardscapes. I have always practiced in architecture and development offices to try to do just that. It’s been a long uphill battle, with limited amounts of success.
Times they-are-a-changin’, thankfully. See Walter Hood’s design at the DeYoung Museum in San Fran, or Gustafson Guthrie Nichol’s design at the National Portrait Gallery under Norman Foster’s curvy-sky-light. GGN has also been tapped to design the grounds for the American Museum of African American History. As well, Jones & Jones with the late EDAW did a great job with the American Indian museum. The mandatory inclusion of LA’s from project inception on major government projects should help with some of these issues as well. But these commissions are few and far between, and seem to go to the same firms all the time.
LA’s, by nature, are not remotely egotistical as architects. I’ve met many Starchitects over the years, by and large, their pomposity and arrogance knows no bounds (Gehry was very nice, however). LA starchitects are much more approachable and courteous, often not leaving the room until they talked with everyone who wanted to chat. As far as ego, I’ll volunteer to take up that mantle. Who’s with me?March 29, 2010 at 11:11 pm #170348
Ha! you’re nominated, Jason, if you want to be an arrogant starlarchitect..! hee hee! and yes, the deYoung is pretty wonderful, as is the American Indian in D.C…good points..!
so how does one go about boosting one’s arrogance credentials?
🙂March 29, 2010 at 11:29 pm #170347ncaParticipant
We need more big egos in LA, but more importantly we need more big doers in my opinion. Several ‘High End’ firms we see in LA Mag weekely are doing the object thing, but I think they’re going in the wrong direction–thats why arch like sanaa just go ahead and skip the landscape.
I think the profession is quickly evolving. There was a time or a generation in which landscape architects eagerly submitted to the will of the ‘master architect,’ engineer, etc, but I think times sure are changing. I heard Gehry speak about the return of the ‘master architect’ on one of his older TED talks from the mid 90’s (?). I think there probably has been a resurgence of the master architect, but the projects have also become more complex, requiring better collaboration. I think it’s a matter of taking control of our craft and taking ownership of our medium. Kind of sounds like I’ve been listening to NPR all day..ugh..and I have.
If anyone here hasnt already, keep an eye on the Archinect project of the week, or whatever they call it that appears on their homepage each week–So many of the projects are simply object buildings in a stark and barren landscape–Evidently this is the work the architecture community is hailing as great. I think the arch practice is heading away from human scale objectives and more toward tack-together gadgetry and objectification.March 30, 2010 at 1:04 am #170346
You know, this discussion gives me an idea for an article in Contour. I’m thinking I might answer your question there with a whole “Landscape Architects Guide to Egomaniacalism” tongue-in-cheek checklist. ( I need material, and I don’t want to go to DC now as the tourists are back, the MLK memorial is a mud-hole, and it’s cherry blossom season)
Thanks!March 30, 2010 at 2:35 am #170345Tanya OlsonParticipant
Can you STAND the bare dirt under the stools in the lawns? DId they think no one would ever site on the stools? Hey, everyone knows you can’t be a minimalist with any plant other than turf. aaagh!March 30, 2010 at 10:45 am #170344
I am trying to think how this should be done, specifically the museum space..I finally remembered A.E. Bye – I think he is about the best ‘modernist’ LA I know.. Turf is good for minimalism, true, Tanya, but I like Ed Bye’s ability to make it still feel like mother earth, like a growing, live landscape, yet be incredibly simple..March 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm #170343Tanya OlsonParticipant
You know that was said facetiously right? Yes – A.E. Bye – minimalist but wonderfully sensual. Those poor plants in the square pots….They might as well have put in astroturf and plastic plants. At least it would have been more honest to their aesthetic!March 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm #170342
sorry, I am always the slowest person in the room to get the irony! turf can be good for minimalism..But yes, the less turf the better..generally.
glad you like AE Bye! No-one of the 14 LA’s I work with, is familiar with his work! thank you.
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