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Old January 2nd, 2013, 12:53 PM   #81
menganito
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@Menganito
How many new buildings of this scale actually represent "an evolution for human knowledge and science"? I'd say hardly any, and certainly nothing modernist or concrete. The only exception I can think of is some kind of high-tech eco home.

It also sounds like you admire engineering and science more than architecture. If that's your bag, then why not ogle your smartphone or computer? Why not get excited by the Hadron Collider in Switzerland, or the latest record-breaking tunnel or bridge? Though they sometimes overlap, you should not confuse engineering with architecture.

The truth is that hardly any buildings of this size truly push the limits of our engineering. However they may still delight us with their architecture, and the temple certainly does that. And I love cnapan's comment that your non-appreciation of sculpture and form is analogous to not enjoying music.

You say you have no problem with this building, so why waste your time and vitriol on this thread? The truth is you do have an issue with this building, as you have with anything that isn't concrete or modern. And it's no good pretending your interest is science or engineering, because if that were truly the case, your hostile opinions wouldn't be here at all.

It seems that people like you and DarJoLe want to borg the world to a kind of concrete modernist conformism. It's aggressive, philistine, narrow-minded, and totally at odds with a genuine appreciation of architecture, or indeed of London. Most architecture lovers enjoy different styles and varied cities.





What an ackward comment!

So you have decided that I have a problem with this building despite my claims on the contrary. Brilliant. Now I have to defend my genuine appreciation of architecture (and indeed London!) despite this imaginary problem that I do not have.

Yes I do admire science and engineering. That is not incompatible with admiring architecture. In my opinion this building does not contribute to the former nor the later. Furthermore I feel that my definition of art, sculpture, music is much broader than cnapan's or yours. So do not worry about me on that respect.

Anyway. Do not let this be a problem to you. There are people, like me, that have opinions different to yours regarding what is tacky and of poor taste. If you were to dislike modernity it would not be a problem for me. You have to live in the time you are born: do it as you please.



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Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:35 PM   #82
Langur
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Well if you don't have a problem with this building, why spend so much time and energy criticising it?

I never said that science and engineering were incompatible with an appreciation of architecture. In the Millau Viaduct, for instance, they very much overlap. I merely questioned whether a concrete modernist temple of comparable scale would in any way represent "an evolution for human knowledge and science" (as you seemed to claim). It clearly wouldn't be anything of the sort.

And as I said to your fellow philistine, DarJoLe, this is very much building of our times. There's an impressive wave of temple building now, both in India itself, and by Indian commmunities around the world. See this thread or the temples in Toronto, Atlanta, Houston, Antwerp, etc. As India and its diaspora become increasingly wealthy, there'll be many more, so these are very much buildings of our time.

And given that you know very little about me and probably Cnapan, I don't see on what basis you presume to have broader tastes in art or music. We can only look at your taste in architecture, which is clearly narrow and philistine.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 03:55 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Langur View Post
It seems that people like you and DarJoLe want to borg the world to a kind of concrete modernist conformism. It's aggressive, philistine, narrow-minded, and totally at odds with a genuine appreciation of architecture, or indeed of London. Most architecture lovers enjoy different styles and varied cities.
Yes, me, the person who is constantly banging on about London being an amazing city precisely because of its variations in scale and architecture and the want to keep this diverse mix-up of styles from every era is the obviously the concrete modernist conformist.

Your attacks on me Langur are tiresome and if I'm honest all the hounding I get from various quarters makes me wonder why I'm even here after ten years for simply having the view that London needs to progress with the times it lives in and not retreat to a fairytale past city. A view shared by most of the architects, designers, planners, and people who actually deal with the built environment agree with. If you really believe the opposite, then why don't you get off your armchair and do better?

If you really don't like me Langur then say it to my face instead of banding my name about in anti-modern architecture posts every few weeks. Everyone's bored of it.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 03:58 PM   #84
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Amen.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 05:27 PM   #85
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Haha, you need not take things so personally Darjole! Langur often writes hyperbolically. All it amounts to is a difference of opinion and a bit of joshing around.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 07:24 PM   #86
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@DarJoLe
If you expect us to believe that you genuinelly appreciate London's architectural diversity, then it would help your credibility to occasionally express appreciation of buildings over a hundred years old, or of traditional styles. Instead you constantly disparage them, whilst praising to the skies vastly inferior buildings that just so happen to be modernist or later. Your intervention in this thread, where you disparaged these amazing hindu temples relative to concrete modernist buildings, was entirely predictable.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:02 PM   #87
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@Langur
If you expect us to believe that you genuinelly appreciate London's architectural diversity, then it would help your credibility to occasionally express appreciation of buildings under a hundred years old, or of modernist styles. Instead you constantly disparage them, whilst praising to the skies vastly inferior buildings that just so happen to be classical or earlier. Your intervention in this thread, where you disparaged these amazing concrete modernist temples relative to old-style hindu temples, was entirely predictable.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:24 PM   #88
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I'm just looking at the location on Street view (Mr Bricks would be proud). Okay, so fair enough, it stands out on a rather unremarkable road of large semi-detached housing and a small row of rundown shops, but what else is there to say about it? Yeah, it's a temple in original style (albeit smaller) built in a traditional method imported from India. Well done them!

I find the Baptist church opposite a far more interesting piece of architecture if I'm honest.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:25 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Langur View Post
Well if you don't have a problem with this building, why spend so much time and energy criticising it?

I never said that science and engineering were incompatible with an appreciation of architecture. In the Millau Viaduct, for instance, they very much overlap. I merely questioned whether a concrete modernist temple of comparable scale would in any way represent "an evolution for human knowledge and science" (as you seemed to claim). It clearly wouldn't be anything of the sort.

And as I said to your fellow philistine, DarJoLe, this is very much building of our times. There's an impressive wave of temple building now, both in India itself, and by Indian commmunities around the world. See this thread or the temples in Toronto, Atlanta, Houston, Antwerp, etc. As India and its diaspora become increasingly wealthy, there'll be many more, so these are very much buildings of our time.

And given that you know very little about me and probably Cnapan, I don't see on what basis you presume to have broader tastes in art or music. We can only look at your taste in architecture, which is clearly narrow and philistine.


Engineering does not necessarily need large scale projects to deserve appreciation. Using todays materials and techniques is a celebration of todays knowledge in materials and techniques, whatever the scale.

It is not enough to be built now to (intellectually) belong to our time. There is this concept called "reproduction" or "repetition" or "copy" or in the worst cases "pastiche". This temple fits in one of those descriptions. It claims loudly and proudly to belong to other time. I don't see why would you be ashamed of that. This is not a building of our time.


The word philistine denotes anti-intellectualism, in this age it usually refers to someone who dislikes modernity (it being an intellectual product) or someone who has common/vulgar/easy-to-the-eye tastes. Something similar to defending the superior value of "public opinion" over "expert opinion". As hard as I try to find a paradoxical use of the term when you throw it to others in your discourse I cannot.


I don't know enough about you (or cnapan) but you know a lot about me (and apparently other fellow forummers). I only asked you not to worry about my enjoyment of music, sculpture or form. But if you want to worry about that, go ahead.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:36 PM   #90
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[Double post.]

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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:44 PM   #91
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[Double post.]

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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:47 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe View Post
Okay, so fair enough, it stands out on a rather unremarkable road of large semi-detached housing and a small row of rundown shops, but what else is there to say about it? Yeah, it's a temple in original style (albeit smaller) built in a traditional method imported from India. Well done them!
Well, look, you're free obviously to think what you want about it, but let me just draw your attention to a point:

I think it's a worthwhile thing to respect traditions and crafts that are handed down through 100s of generations, and refined with each step. The results have a maturity to them (like vintage wine), and transcend time. They can't be 'of another time' because people continue to enjoy them, they still have a lot of currency.

I'm a great appreciator of modern as much as old. But, as I've argued before, innovation is not a categorically positive thing for me. It's actually pretty easy to innovate. Much easier to come up with new stuff than it is to nourish something old and refine it. That's why I think technology- and innovation-worship can be very shallow and shortsighted.

Part of the reason I think strictly Modernist/Minimalist (i.e., van-der-Rohe-style) designs are the most successful of the latter-day architecture movements is that they've had time to mature; the wheat has been sifted through the chaff. On the other hand, there's a lot of innovative chaff out there at the moment.

That's all it comes down for me. Sorry if you've taken any of my hostility to heart in the past.

Last edited by Loathing; January 2nd, 2013 at 09:22 PM.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:48 PM   #93
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It is gloriously intricate and beautifully so - a feast for the eyes.
What intricate detailing and statues would we place on our buildings today if we built in such a style? X Factor contestants?
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:03 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by menganito View Post
There is this concept called "reproduction" or "repetition" or "copy" or in the worst cases "pastiche". This temple fits in one of those descriptions. It claims loudly and proudly to belong to other time.
I don't think this is fair. I'm sure the people behind the project see it as an authentic hindu temple, rather than a pastiche of one, and I do too. What isn't authentic about it?
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:08 PM   #95
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What intricate detailing and statues would we place on our buildings today if we built in such a style? X Factor contestants?
Darjole, I'm sure you're being facetious, but I think you're on to something. There's a long history of decorating churches - inside and out - with all manner of ghoulish subjects, so though I've not seen the show, well who knows!

One of my favourites: The Sheela na gig at Kilpeck church:



Yes, that is indeed a vagina. It might be a hard sell to the hindus, but who knows, what with the karma sutra etc..
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:28 PM   #96
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Or Westlegate Tower, Norwich:



http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics...ouse_1_1324017
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:01 PM   #97
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...and just to show that ornamentation can be utterly contemporary...



http://www.behance.net/gallery/POLAR...-tiles/5019509

Ornamentation is definitely not the past, and it definitely does have a purpose.

I'm not ageist. I love beautiful things whether traditional or modern.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:11 PM   #98
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@DarJoLe
But you cannot simply reverse my argument, because I do appreciate modern architecture. My tastes and broad. Yours are narrow and philistine.


@Menganito
I call you a philistine because you have a thuggish and aggressive lack of appreciation for beauty.

The temple is of our time because Hinduism is a hugely potent force in what will soon be the world's most populous country, and one of its rising powers.


@Cnapan
Check out the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho. It's the karma sutra in exquisitely carved stone. It's the shame Islamic influence curbed India's free love with kill-joy Abrahamic prudishness.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:17 PM   #99
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As a practising architect I have been reading this thread with great interest.
I find the debate on the pros and cons of ornamentation thought provoking. I like to think that I can appreciate all architectural styles and I can certainly see the beauty in well executed minimalist modernism. The problem is that it is a rare thing. Good minimalism is very difficult to come by and almost certainly can't be found in your average street.

Most of the new buildings being built in the UK are of no architectural merit at all built from cheap materials with horrible detailing and more often than not in a style that could be described as 'modernist'. In reality this is bargain basement modernism that was thrown together on a design and build contract. While this method of financing and constructing buildings may be the only way in which to make many buildings viable it almost always results in poor architecture. The architecture does not matter and that is a sad state of affairs. It's a literal interpretation of a building being a machine for living in.

I agree with Cnapan that architecture should 'create delight'. Most buildings being built in our towns and cities do not do that.

Maybe some brave architects will try and start a new movement to save us from the boring and tedious poor modernism we currently have to deal with.
I really do think that architects should begin to experiment with ornament and detail again. I have often wondered just why ornament is a crime?
Including ornament in this day and age would be relatively inexpensive. CNC machines can sculpt material quicker and more cheaply than any human and 3d cad programmes are perfectly capable of producing complex shapes.
Any ornamentation would obviously need to reflect our age. It would need to be contemporary and unique.
I am not advocating reviving Georgian or any other historical style. Instead I am imagining a new style for the 21st century. I think that challenging the modernist status quo would be a really interesting idea.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:42 PM   #100
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Any ornamentation would obviously need to reflect our age. It would need to be contemporary and unique.
And that's fine.

The 'ornament' of contemporary architecture is usually the exposing the internal workings of a building - Lloyds, Leadenhall all do this. The Shard does it by cutting back into the building and having differing layers of glass that give it animation.

But sometimes there is nothing more pure, or dramatic, then no ornament at all. There's many glass buildings in the City that are highly reflective and disappear into the surrounds like optical illusions thanks to their sheer clean lines and crisp, sharp corners, of which any 'additions' would destroy that sense of the drama of less is more.

What I find superfluous is the need to 'add' ornamentation of a classical or ancient design that no longer relates to the times we live in. Why the constant need to go back? Architecture should always be progressive and pushing boundaries in design and engineering. I think it just boils down to a distinct lack of wanting to try anything new for fear of upsetting the masses.
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