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View Poll Results: Has architectural modernism failed?
Yes 190 45.13%
No 231 54.87%
Voters: 421. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 9th, 2011, 08:32 AM   #81
Taller, Better
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I think in some cases people are confusing a whole lot of concepts as to what "modernism" refers to, in the architectural context.

I honestly doubt if Jane Jacobs would have wanted to turn back the hands of time and have us constructing buildings in the same fashion as they did in 1800; I think
she was too much of a realist to want us to back to carving gargoyles out of stone. If she did, then we should not take every single thing she said literally, and as the gospel truth. It was her concepts that were important, but they have to be adapted to the reality of life in 2011.


I'm also curious as to what draws people who disdain modern architecture and highrises to join a website devoted to "Skyscrapers". Surely there must be many thousands of other
sites out there more suitable to their tastes.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:16 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
I'm also curious as to what draws people who disdain modern architecture and highrises to join a website devoted to "Skyscrapers". Surely there must be many thousands of other
sites out there more suitable to their tastes.
Perhaps, because not all skyscrapers were built after World War II. Also, perhaps, because this website is dedicated to "News, photos and discussions on skyscrapers, skylines, cities, architecture and urbanity."

I also consider there to be several examples where modern architecture has succeeded; however, I think the vast majority of mid to late twentieth century architecture and urban planning has failed for a variety of reasons.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:52 AM   #83
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No need to get snide; you are beginning to discredit yourself. You are still missing the point. There is a vast difference in terms of what is considered to be pre-war (traditional) and post-war (modern) architecture. Any Manhattan realtor will tell you that.
Furthermore, I hate to tell you, but there are quite a few people out there who are ardent advocates for historical preservation. I'm afraid historical districts, landmark preservation and restoration will persist for quite some time... as long as there are people who appreciate history, there were will still be "classic" buildings for years to come.
"Cities are not static". True, but then again large sections of cities have been preserved. Are you demanding that their historical protection laws be removed?
In many aspects "modernism" as failed in terms of what it replaced. There are a variety of examples where this is the case... Government Plaza/West End in Boston, Independence Mall in Philadelphia and mid-twentieth century suburban sprawl in Los Angeles to name a few.
Finally, I am curious as to why the majority of your arguments consist of Ad hominem and pedantry. Are you so passionate about futuristic architecture that you ridicule those who appreciate the traditional aesthetic? Or are you so intrigued by everything that is shiny and new that you consequently disregard everything that has come before?

"Rome today is NOT neoclassical -- it is a city of the BAROQUE. Paris in NOT neoclaasical -- it is largely a product of the late 19th century historical styles. "

Exactly! There are designated historical districts within those cities, which are meant to protect and preserve the buildings and structures that they encompass. I'm not really sure what your argument is anymore. Do you have a distaste for traditional architecture? Are you against historical preservation? Or are you simply not interested in history?

Traditional architecture (Baroque, Second Empire, Georgian etc) rely on neoclassicism to some degree in terms of their utilization of sculpture, columns, domes, pediments, building materials etc. However, the same cannot necessarily be said of "modernism." Therefore, considering this thread pertains to the comparison of the traditional and modern styles, I certainly think it is apropos to categorize the majority of architecture in Rome, Paris and London as neoclassical.

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Originally Posted by tpe View Post
If you have cared at all to read the line of discussion, you would have realized that the point I was making is that CITIES ARE NOT STATIC.

Do you think what these buildings that you call "classic" have always been there? You would be an unmitigated fool to think so.

In fact, there is a thread in this very part of the forum that glorifies Medieval/Gothic Paris, and REGRET that many of the so-called "classic" buildings that you admire have replaced them.

If you think this is foolish and stupid, then what do you think of yourselves who don't like to see modernist styles replacing what you call the "classic" style of Paris?

If you think that these medievalists are stupid, then you have judged yourselves,

And while we are at it, I must say that it irritates me to no end when people say that Rome is largely neoclassical, or that Paris is largely neoclassical, etc.

The cities that you see now are built on the destruction or earlier styles and earlier edifices. Read the contemporary accounts of how the Romans HATED the destruction of the medieval portions of Rome in order to make way for what you call the "neoclassical" Via della Conciliazione during the first part of the 20th century.

Let me repeat it one more time: the Rome and Paris that you see today and that you admire so irrationally are not neoclassical.

Rome today is NOT neoclassical -- it is a city of the BAROQUE. Paris in NOT neoclaasical -- it is largely a product of the late 19th century historical styles. Please educate yourselves on the true meaning of the "neoclassical" style of architecture, which spans the late 18th century to the early part of the 19th century.

It is embarassing that people can't even distinguish between the different architectural styles of these cities in an ARCHITECTURE forum.

The baroque buildings of Rome are built on the destruction of so many earlier buildings in earlier architectural styles. Look at St.Peter's and the Lateran. Why did they not simply rebuild the Imperial basilicas of the Emperor Constatine instead of building these ridiculously "modern" churches that you see today?

The answer: They rebuilt St. Peter's and the Lateran in the (what was then) MODERN styles because ART and ARCHITECTURE continuously EVOLVE.

These cities will over time introduce more and more modern styles into their centers. Why? Because THAT is the NATURE OF THINGS. That is how it has always been -- in Rome, in Paris, etc

If you can't accept that simple fact of life, then I suggest that you hide under a rock and cry.

Last edited by ajs0503; August 9th, 2011 at 11:20 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 10:46 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
I think in some cases people are confusing a whole lot of concepts as to what "modernism" refers to, in the architectural context.
Perhaps I am, because I mean modernism in the sense of a wholistic city, not just skyscrapers. I mean street level and the way we fit into modernist designed cities. They can be dehumanizing and inpersonal, which is what Jacobs argues.

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Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
I honestly doubt if Jane Jacobs would have wanted to turn back the hands of time and have us constructing buildings in the same fashion as they did in 1800; I think
she was too much of a realist to want us to back to carving gargoyles out of stone. If she did, then we should not take every single thing she said literally, and as the gospel truth. It was her concepts that were important, but they have to be adapted to the reality of life in 2011.
Jacobs was for a mixed use, pedestrian friendly city which doesn't necessarily mean free from highrises, quite the contrary. I support her principles as opposed to Robert Moses who planned the city for motor vehicles with monumental highways, not for people.


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Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
I'm also curious as to what draws people who disdain modern architecture and highrises to join a website devoted to "Skyscrapers". Surely there must be many thousands of other
sites out there more suitable to their tastes.
Like I said, i'm not against skyscrapers per se, and looks likes I confused the 'modernist style' of architecture, which I actually like more or less (or is that less is more as one well-known modernist put it ), with modernist urban planning which I don't like for the most part. In any case, this website is certainly more than just about skyscapers, as this section attests, but nonetheless please excuse my misunderstanding.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:10 PM   #85
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I'm also against modernist planning (i.e. commieblock-style planning) but I can't figure out how an architectural style by itself can be dehumanizing. What are the objective arguments here?
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Old August 9th, 2011, 02:18 PM   #86
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Historical preservation is fine. But buildings don't last forever, and they are in the multitude of cases replaced by more modern structiures in the actual style of the times/period.

Rather than saying such things as "modernism" has failed, it is more sensible to focus on discerning whether the VERY BEST of modernism has a place beside the great structures of the past. AND IT DOES.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs0503 View Post
No need to get snide; you are beginning to discredit yourself. You are still missing the point. There is a vast difference in terms of what is considered to be pre-war (traditional) and post-war (modern) architecture. Any Manhattan realtor will tell you that.
Furthermore, I hate to tell you, but there are quite a few people out there who are ardent advocates for historical preservation. I'm afraid historical districts, landmark preservation and restoration will persist for quite some time... as long as there are people who appreciate history, there were will still be "classic" buildings for years to come.
"Cities are not static". True, but then again large sections of cities have been preserved. Are you demanding that their historical protection laws be removed?
In many aspects "modernism" as failed in terms of what it replaced. There are a variety of examples where this is the case... Government Plaza/West End in Boston, Independence Mall in Philadelphia and mid-twentieth century suburban sprawl in Los Angeles to name a few.
Finally, I am curious as to why the majority of your arguments consist of Ad hominem and pedantry. Are you so passionate about futuristic architecture that you ridicule those who appreciate the traditional aesthetic? Or are you so intrigued by everything that is shiny and new that you consequently disregard everything that has come before?

"Rome today is NOT neoclassical -- it is a city of the BAROQUE. Paris in NOT neoclaasical -- it is largely a product of the late 19th century historical styles. "

Exactly! There are designated historical districts within those cities, which are meant to protect and preserve the buildings and structures that they encompass. I'm not really sure what your argument is anymore. Do you have a distaste for traditional architecture? Are you against historical preservation? Or are you simply not interested in history?

Traditional architecture (Baroque, Second Empire, Georgian etc) rely on neoclassicism to some degree in terms of their utilization of sculpture, columns, domes, pediments, building materials etc. However, the same cannot necessarily be said of "modernism." Therefore, considering this thread pertains to the comparison of the traditional and modern styles, I certainly think it is apropos to categorize the majority of architecture in Rome, Paris and London as neoclassical.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #87
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I'm also against modernist planning (i.e. commieblock-style planning) but I can't figure out how an architectural style by itself can be dehumanizing. What are the objective arguments here?
Commieblock-style planning does NOT define modernist planning. You are confusing one for a singular type of 20th century planning, and not a very mainstream one at that.

This is exactly what I mean by people muddling up definitions.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #88
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So if free-planning (?) i.e. buildings not facing the street but rather scattered around an area isn't modernist (city) planning then what is?

I would like to make it clear that I like modernist architecture as such.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:17 PM   #89
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Traditional architecture (Baroque, Second Empire, Georgian etc) rely on neoclassicism to some degree in terms of their utilization of sculpture, columns, domes, pediments, building materials etc. However, the same cannot necessarily be said of "modernism." Therefore, considering this thread pertains to the comparison of the traditional and modern styles, I certainly think it is apropos to categorize the majority of architecture in Rome, Paris and London as neoclassical.
And let me get back to this now as an aside, although this is peripheral to the main discussion.

Baroque, does not rely on Neoclassicism. In fact, Neoclassicism was a REACTION to the florid ornamentation and ROMAN "corruptions" of the Baroque, and Neoclassicism strove to get back to what it considered pure GREEK architecture.

Empire style is influenced by Neoclassicism, although it is considered more of an offshoot because it deviates from the purity that Neoclassicism considered as its defining hallmark. For example, the EGYPTIAN style in EMPIRE cannot be considered Neoclassical.

SECOND EMPIRE -- the style of Napoleon III -- is essentailly French VICTORIAN, characterized by a confusing mix of historic styles. It relies on Neoclassical style just as much as it relies on the styles of the earlier periods: High Gothic, Romanesque, Byzantine, the architecture of the Valois, Palladian, the Baroque, etc. It CANNOT be considered Neoclassical in as much as POSTMODERN buildings -- with their use of classicizing elements -- CANNOT be considered Neoclassical.

Which Georgian are you referring to? The style of the reigns of George III and his predecessors, the REGENCY, or subsequent reign of GEORGE IV? They are all different you know. And although Regency style owes many elements to Neoclassicism (e.g., Thomas Hope), it is FAR TOO ECLECTIC to be considered Neoclassical. For example, the Royal Pavilion at Brighton can NEVER be considered Neoclassical, although it is quintessentially Georgian of the Regency period.

But it is clear that by "neoclassical", you actually refer to the surface or incidental use of orders and architectural elements known from the writings of Vitruvius.

Would you consider postmodern buildings to be neoclassical?

That is a VERY irresponsible way of using the term, I must say. It is common among those not especially very well versed in the language and distinctions of Art and Architecture.

By and large, it is not a mortal sin. But it is the source of so much confusion and misrepresentations in a forum such as this.

Last edited by tpe; August 9th, 2011 at 07:14 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #90
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Quote:
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yes i knew exactly what you ment, but you dont mention your argument in a correct way

alot of paris/ rome etc is from 100 years ago not since the middle ages yes
but the changes made today are so drastical, that it is good to keep large parts of the traditional architecture (tradition meaning whatever has been handed down to us)

you are missing my point, i never said neoclassical, i never said rome has been like this since ceasar's time
Even so, the logic of the process remains: unless cities become living museums, it is natural, and I'd say, even desirable, to have certain old buildings replaced my more modern ones. In that sense, for instance, I think London's "line of sight" regulations are one of the most stupid ever, as they avoid that new landmarks emerge in the city.

This over-glorification of a "golden age now past us", which in terms of European architecture usually means anything before WW-1, is a reflex of an art whose majority of practitioners (the architects) have lost faith in their ability to be great within the limits of time and other resources they have. It is a "bury-my-head-in-the-sand" approach, full of fear to "disturb" neighborhoods or streets that, in first place, where not planned as a whole but a mere messy, multi-century collection of chaotic construction back in the day. This is why I, myself, as a matter of personal taste, dislike these architects so concerned about "fitting" their works within the urban surroundings already there that they creativity have no outlet whatsoever, as they are most "interpreters" of past works.

But this is not something restricted to architecture, it is a broad phenomenon, and not new at all, in which certain cultural elites or high circles cry a river for a "better time" with "better values" and "great aesthetics" already lost in the past. Just look at music and how many middle-aged "classic" rock'n roll fans who will bash, hammer and trash whatever new rock band that doesn't pay homage (in music, clothing and attitude style) to the "dinosaurs" of rock. Architecture suffers, to an extent, the same fate.

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Yes absolutely, for the most part, modernism has failed. The dehumanising, out-of-scale, megalomaniac monumentalism of modernism has been a disaster. Give me Jane Jacobs vision over Robert Moses' any day.

Time to embrace new urbanism for the sake of humanity and sustainability on the planet.
New urbanism is overrated with its radical proposal to "humanize" the scale of everything. Since ancient ages (Stonehenge, Giza, Tenochtitlan, ancient Athens) humans have been building grandiose buildings and other structures of sheer size. Churches and mosques with gigantic, totally "out of human scale" domes and minarets have been around for centuries.

Monumentalism is part of the same innate realization and accomplishment push that is common to so many different cultures and, among other feats, have taken man to the space, and before that, to think 43840 ways to tame nature, drain swamps, build aqueducts and so on. The proposal of new urbanism is a mediocre one, on in which there is no pride, accomplishment or structures build to make an impression. Not surprisingly, it is loved by those who propose similar approach to other aspects of life, such as "we need to stop thinking of travelling so much and taking holidays close to home", or "younger generations need to be taught to have less expectations of toys and games and rediscover the joy of running in a sandbox", "people should stop eating exotic food so often and reconnect with their surroundings' produce" and similar b.s., all an evil, anti-progress and anti-technocratic approach of which "human scale only" buildings are only one symptom of that evil project of 'retreat and die'.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #91
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So if free-planning (?) i.e. buildings not facing the street but rather scattered around an area isn't modernist (city) planning then what is?

I would like to make it clear that I like modernist architecture as such.
May I suggest that you do some readiing. I especially recommend a standard text in Modern American City planning from the 2nd part of the 20th century.

This book grew out of studies and surveys made for the New York City Planning Commission:

http://www.amazon.com/American-City-.../dp/0071373675
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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:53 PM   #92
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Maybe I wasn't clear enough but I wasn't talking about what has been built in the 20th century, I was talking about the principles of modernist planning which can be concluded with what I said before.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #93
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What people don't seem to understand is that modern architecture does not equal tall glassy skyscrapers. It comes in many forms and functions. While I agree that extremely simplified concrete buildings with little or no attention to the facade can be quite boring or even brutal, I wouldn't form my opinion on modernsim based on these buildings.

Tallinn has seen a large construction boom since the early 90s, especially in the 00s. Historicism almost doesn't exist here. Even though a lot of new apartment buildings in the suburbs are made of pre fabricated concrete blocks and have little to no architectural value, there are also some really good examples.
Those examples are very good examples.

I think they highlight that the important point isn't about modern v old design, it's about detail.

All of those buildings have aesthetic feathures that designers in the 50s and 60s might have dismissed as superfluous. It is certainly possible to make very good looking modern buildings. The thing is, you do need to try and make them good looking, and that applied just as much 300 years ago as it does now.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #94
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It takes great thought and attention to detail to make a contemporary building look "timeless", because we live in a bit of a disposable society that values trendiness above substance in many cases. I worry that many contemporary highrise buildings going up strive too hard to look novel, and novelty wears thin once the fashion has passed. Any building that makes people say:
"Oh look.. that looks like a (insert household object here)" risks derision a generation from now, when novelty architecture has fallen out of favour. I watch some prominent highrise projects finally being built in 2011 that were designed a decade over even more ago but somehow delayed, and already they look breathtakingly passé. Mies himself described architecture coming onstream at the end of a trend as: "a cliché already dated". Does the world really need more versions of faux-twisty towers, for example?
To me a fine structure designed by Mies van der Rohe in the International Style still looks classic and timeless to this very day. Here is his 1967 Toronto-Dominion Centre here in Toronto, and it looks as fresh as a daisy to this very day.



a local architect has designed some contemporary condominiums with a nod to these grand old banking towers:







Here is a nice piece of "Modernism" that won a design contest here in 1958, for the "New" Toronto City Hall. The winning proposal was designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell (with Seppo Valjus, Bengt Lundsten, and Heikki Castrén) and Richard Strong as the landscape architect. It was so much ahead of its time, and so visionary, that many people who first see it today would have no idea that its design is almost a half century old:



How it ties in with the previous City Hall:







His attention to detail was amazing. Look at the visual surface texture created with the painstakingly cut strips of limestone contrasted with the more modern concrete:







Now, I know a lot of people are now going to say: "I prefer the Old City Hall to the New City Hall". But that is simply a personal preference of styles and should not be used
to dismiss the importance of modernism to our society. If we tried to build a replica of Old City Hall today it would cost a fortune, and would not look as refined as the original (no offence or reference to anyone here who has posted photos of modern structures built in a historical manner). They could cobble together something that would at best vaguely look like Old City Hall (from a distance but not necessarily close up), and at worst look garish and tacky. Definitely the attention to detailing of carved Gargoyles and stone work would simply not be as wonderfully done as it was in the 1890's.

We have contemporary structures here in Toronto built to resemble historical styles, and they vary in success. Some look amazing, some look tacky and confused. For the most part, they are a welcome part of the mix of current architecture, but I do not believe that style of "pseudo-historical" architecture should replace good modernism; just exist in conjunction with it.

Personally, I try not to be black and white, and try to appreciate both "modernism" and "classical" styles. I am a huge conservationist, and will fight for our historical architecture to be preserved, and I have a special interest in Colonial Architecture. In many cases I MUCH prefer older styles, like The Chrysler Building over a lot of newer office towers, or the Cathedral of Chartres over most contemporary churches... but I am realistic enough to know that we can't turn the clock back and must serve a modern society that is hugely different than the one our ancestors lived in. It would be great fun to drive around in an old Model T Ford from 1912.......... but realistically they are not going to replace contemporary automobiles any more than the telegraph or smoke-signals could replace modern cellphones.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:48 PM   #95
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but I am realistic enough to know that we can't turn the clock back and must serve a modern society that is hugely different than the one our ancestors lived in. It would be great fun to drive around in an old Model T Ford from 1912.......... but realistically they are not going to replace contemporary automobiles any more than the telegraph or smoke-signals could replace modern cellphones.
I don't think anyone is insisting that we should completely reverse the clock and emulate the past in all aspects of our current society. I consider there to be many examples of where modernism has succeeded; however I think the vast majority of architecture that has been built within the last seventy years or so lacks the creativity, dynamism and detail, which had previously defined pre-war architecture. That being said, I think we are currently witnessing the evolution of the modern skyscraper. No longer is the hackneyed glass box dominating the widely held notion of what a building should be. Rather, buildings such as 8 Spruce St., Tower Verre, and the Spire (may it rest in peace) are redefining aesthetic and form as it pertains to the modern high rise.

While we may differ on matters of personal taste and preference, I think we can agree that both traditionalism and modernism deserve to be valued in today's world.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:54 PM   #96
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I mean street level and the way we fit into modernist designed cities. They can be dehumanizing and inpersonal, which is what Jacobs argues. .
Jane Jacobs, luckily for us, moved to Toronto in 1968 as a protest against the war in Vietnam, and lived here as an urban planning activist until her death in 2006. Sadly our gain was New York's loss..... she was a great thinker and still widely revered today as being very close to a different kind of sainthood here in Toronto. She successfully fought against a truly disastrous proposal for a "Spadina Expressway" that would have meant bulldozing much loved neighbourhoods to make room for a new highway. She was also instrumental in her influencing the redevelopment and regeneration of our now highly successful St Lawrence Market district. Her ideas for building good communities were invaluable, and that is how I like to remember her. Like all thinkers, her mind covered many subjects, and although I don't agree with every single word or concept that she espoused, indubitably she was a HUGE positive influence on our urban development. I have to say that there are some concepts that made sense back in 1970 than would be much less appropriate or workable in 2012.... I know that some people would have been happy if they could have trapped Toronto in a sort of time-warp to keep it a sleepy little provincial backwater, but that simply was not in the cards for us. Times change, and good concepts can usually be altered slightly and adapted to modern needs without always being taken completely literal or "gospel". I consider our luck at gaining Jane to be along the same lines as Chicago's luck in gaining the Bauhaus school during World War Two, as the members (van der Rhoe, Walter Gropius, le Corbusier, etc.... ) fled from Germany.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #97
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The whole notion of "community" is a bit overrated in Anglophone countries, particularly the notion of using architecture to 'help build communities' by means of building/neighborhood design.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by ajs0503 View Post

While we may differ on matters of personal taste and preference, I think we can agree that both traditionalism and modernism deserve to be valued in today's world.
Agreed 100%. The more a person studies architecture, the more appreciation they have for a variety of styles... and not just limited to one or two that strike our fancy, or even worse only liking the current style that happens to be going up right at the moment, and then dropping that like a hot potato one decade from now. A person who is an Oenophile, and truly loves and understands wine would never under any circumstance say they "only drink Pinot Noir"(an irritating fallout from that film a number of years back which inadvertently turned a lot of wine noobies into bizarre wannabe wine snobs) , or they "refuse to drink any wine except from Country X". A true connoisseur has a broad love of wine and appreciates many, many different styles and examples, as limiting oneself to one narrow type displays a lack of objectivity, or perhaps even learning.

International Style did become hackneyed, but generally that was simply the fault of poorly designed knockoffs. The exact same thing happens today with all the faux twisties, the towers that look like bedroom sex-toys, etc.... they strive so hard to be "different" without realizing they are merely copying someone else's concepts in an inferior way. As a corollary, I like Lady Gaga and her bizarre styles as much as the next person, but I am aware that 30 years from now Catherine Deneuve's timeless brand of style and beauty will probably be held in higher esteem. Ditto for many towers going up today. Novelty and shock value are fun, but after a number of years, the "shock" turns to stifled yawns and sneering giggles. One truly has to see beautifully constructed International Style architecture up close to appreciate it; otherwise people mistakenly lump it all into one derisive category of "boxes", or even worse "Commie Boxes". A thoughtful tour through Chicago and New York will open many a closed mind. When International Style was done right, it created a pretty awesome effect with its repetition of forms. Here is our business district here in Toronto. Not all the towers are stellar, but many of them were very well done:

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Originally Posted by neltron3030 View Post

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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The whole notion of "community" is a bit overrated in Anglophone countries, particularly the notion of using architecture to 'help build communities' by means of building/neighborhood design.

I wouldn't say it is over-rated.. but it does get rather tiresomely and slavishly followed to the nth degree by students of that school of thought who refuse to envision anything other than what their professor drilled into their head. EVERY neighbourhood EVERYWHERE does not have to be identically designed. Some can break all, or some of the rules and still be wildly successful. In fact sometimes it is downright refreshing to see neighbourhoods that look different and weren't built to a prescribed formula predetermined to be the only successful template, and it becomes depressing and predictable to hear everything slightly different from the norm automatically labelled a "Failure".
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Old August 9th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #99
ajs0503
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Originally Posted by tpe View Post

That is a VERY irresponsible way of using the term, I must say. It is common among those not especially very well versed in the language and distinctions of Art and Architecture.

By and large, it is not a mortal sin. But it is the source of so much confusion and misrepresentations in a forum such as this.
Last time I checked, this is not the an acclaimed international architecture conference nor will this discussion thread be submitted to the architectural history faculty at Cornell for critique and review.

This topic is rather immaterial to the thread. You certainly have a comprehensive and astute knowledge of historical architecture, which I find a bit surprising considering that you don't necessarily admire the historical aesthetic.

In some respects, yes, I would consider postmoderism to have derived from neoclassicism. "In its purest form it is a style principally derived from the architecture of Classical Greece and the architecture of Italian Andrea Palladio." Now, If you accept the validity of this definition would you also consider the Sears (Willis) Tower to be more reflective of neoclassical standards than say the Basilica di Santa Maria del Florence (The Duomo)?

"Rather than saying such things as "modernism" has failed, it is more sensible to focus on discerning whether the VERY BEST of modernism has a place beside the great structures of the past. AND IT DOES."

I couldn't agree with you more! I'll say this again, there are many instances where modernism has succeeded; however, there are also many examples where "modernism" has failed. Novelty and change hasn't always proven to be a good thing... nor should it. I think it is unreasonable to assume the notion that every historical building that is of value should be torn down, just as I think that it is irresponsible to completely and blindly censure the modern aesthetic.

The reason why I chose such a broad and controversial topic as "Has modernism failed?" is because I wanted to explore the issues pertaining to the supposed triumph of modern novelty over historical qualitative value. Furthermore, I think a moderate and reasonable approach to these issues is most appropriate; however, this balanced perspective is too often lost on both the preservationist and real estate developer.

Last edited by ajs0503; August 10th, 2011 at 12:45 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #100
tpe
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Originally Posted by ajs0503 View Post
Last time I checked, this is not the an acclaimed international architecture conference nor will this discussion thread be submitted to the architectural history faculty at Cornell for critique and review.

This topic is rather immaterial to this thread. You certainly have a comprehensive and astute knowledge of historical architecture, which I find a bit surprising considering that you don't necessarily admire the historical aesthetic.
I admire many forms and styles of architecture -- modern and ancient -- as any educated person should. And this is at the heart of the argument: I would like to think that I can/will love GOOD architecture, and it is immaterial whether it is modernist or not.


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In some respects, yes, I would consider postmoderism to have derived from neoclassicism. "In its purest form it is a style principally derived from the architecture of Classical Greece and the architecture of Italian Andrea Palladio." Now, If you accept the validity of this definition would you the consider the Sears (Willis) Tower to be more reflective of neoclassical standards than say the Basilica di Santa Maria del Florence (The Duomo)?
Well, Palladio is certainly more Roman than Greek. But he certainly aspires to the Greek ideal.

On the one hand, the Duomo would be considered more "neoclassical", although the use of pointed Gothic arches and many other details are alien to Greek and classicizing norms. On the other hand, one can look at the very Miesian distribution of verticals and horizontals in the Sears/Willis Tower and mark it down as very "neoclassical", even though it is stripped of the usual classicizing orders and ornaments.

One can argue for or against either one. But both examples show the unmistakable influence of Greece.
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