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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:45 AM   #21
M.W.
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Originally Posted by Historico! View Post
Nice to see all those responds
Let me show you one case that particulary interested me in this topic. This was the project of building "The Church of Croatian Martyrs" in Udbina. Basically the Catholic church first accepted the idea of one croatian architect who wanted to design this modernist thing:
http://old.d-a-z.hr/img/novosti-Crkv...1224694210.jpg
http://old.d-a-z.hr/img/novosti-Crkv...1224694323.jpg

However later Chuch changed it's mind. They said this is not the kind of church that people would want to come in and pray, the architecture does not allow the spiritual filling that it should.
So they decided for another design which is how they finally built it:
http://www.mup.hr/UserDocsImages/gal...h_mucenika.jpg
http://www.kastav-crkva.org/arhiva2008/mucenic08.jpg
http://www.udruga-gavran.hr//plugins...d_borovcak.jpg

This design is actually some kind of copy of one early-christianity church:
http://www.ezadar.hr/repository/image_raw/44647/xxl/

The Church's explanation was that this is the appropriate sacral style for such an important religious building of national importance. Of course, croatian art historians and architect called this project the "national disgrace".

So the question is... is this the case of appropriate traditional architecture or is this simply a kitsch?
It's not "kitsch" because "kitsch" is a meaningless non-word. It has no strict definition, as we have seen.

The revised church is much more attractive than the modernist design that was rightly rejected.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 12:55 AM   #22
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To start, I'd define kitsch as a mix of 'ugly' and 'cheezy'

Why do we call some attempts at historicism kitsch? Because they aren't built to the standards of the historic buildings an as a result become tacky. The forms do not interact with each other well.
Listen to yourself. You're trying to "define" a meaningless non-word (kitsch) with other meaningless non-words ("ugly" "cheezy" "tacky").

These terms are all empty and have no precise definitions and are thus interchangeable.

What you're simply saying is, "kitsch," to you, is defined as "I-don't-like-it."

So translating your terms into concrete expressions would result in:

"To start, I'd define 'I-don't-like-it' as a mix of 'I-don't-like-it' and 'I-don't-like-it'."

For my part, what I consider ugly is every single International-style modernist box ever built. Every one. That's my taste. Yours is clearly different. So be it. But hurling terms like "kitsch" or "ugly" or "cheezy" at buildings is pointless, because all of those words have no other meaning than You-don't-like-it.

If on other other hand, criticisms are used such as "excessive ornamentation," that is at least a comprehensible critique; hopelessly subjective, but at least comprehensible. Then there's an immediate understanding: "You don't like ornamentation, I do, and that's all there is to it."

But name-calling like "kitsch" or "ugly" or "cheezy" is empty of any meaning or content.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 06:47 AM   #23
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I don't give shit about other people's tastes, I have no right to judge. But the word 'kitsch' exists and it has a definition. It means bad taste, gaudy, tacky. By your logic, the word 'beautiful' has no meaning at all, therefore you can't say that any building is beautiful, because the opposite word, 'ugly,' has no meaning. Just putting that out...

Also you don't seem to get it when I say that kitsch buildings have improperly placed/fabricated ornament that does not match. I've never said that ornament itself is kitsch. I wish these die-hard classicists would stop reading what they want and instead listen to what others actually wrote.

Once again, I'd say this is not kitsch


This is.


Don't agree? I don't care, but most people would share this opinion.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 06:57 AM   #24
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Lol exactly, kitsch is a defined word in the Oxford English Dictionary. There is no such thing as a 'none-word'. Kitsch as a word very much does exist just as kitsch buildings like those posted exist.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 02:58 PM   #25
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You're proving his point by saying that kitsch is a substitute word for "bad taste, gaudy, tacky." These are all subjective terms. And yes even "ugly" and "beautiful" are subjective terms. However the word kitsch also has been co-opted by people who are against traditional architecture, even traditional architecture of high-quality design and materials, simply for their perceived popular or sentimental appeal (which is closer to the ACTUAL definition of kitsch). On the flipside, what does that say about modern and contemporary architecture, that the public should dislike it and have negative or indifferent feelings towards it? If you're simply going to dismiss a building as "bad taste, gaudy, tacky," you're not making an argument, you're just expressing a superficial opinion. For your opinion to mean anything or be worth anything you're going to have to give specific, value-neutral evidence to back it up. "Wrong ornamentation" is getting there; "bad materials" is getting there; "weird proportions" is getting there; but you'll have to say what makes it wrong, bad, or weird.

Posting pictures, even extremely unflattering ones, does not make an argument. There's nothing self-evident about the meaning or definition of "kitsch" in the photograph of the Dubai skyscrapers. What specifically about those towers makes it kitsch in your opinion? Now do you see why people consider "kitsch" a non-word for criticizing buildings? It's at least one layer of meaning away from actually saying anything:

kitsch -> bad taste, gaudy, etc. -> wrong ornamentation, bad proportions, bad materials -> what specifically is wrong or bad

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Old June 23rd, 2013, 06:09 PM   #26
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Alright. Pretend this word has no meaning simply because lovers of modern architecture say it
Enjoy bad proportions, half-assed ornamentation that matches nothing on the building, and horrid colours. Hey, at least it's not evil, infidel modernism. And kitsch buildings certainly bring up opinions of neo-classicism, definitely!

Also, funny you should use a night picture from far away. You can't see the stuff that makes it cheapo-kitsch, then. Maybe you should do the same with the kitsch Mecca skyscraper and then people won't see it as the ugliest building in the world, anymore!

Last edited by ThatOneGuy; June 23rd, 2013 at 06:17 PM.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 06:41 PM   #27
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The skyscrapers in Dubai has at least as much modern in them as tradionalism, so they could equally be used as a argument against modern architecture.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:06 PM   #28
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They are postmodernist, not modern. All modernists I know hate the skyscrapers in Dubai, and I don't think classicists should feel any different. Modernism stands for the opposite to what these half-assed attempts at historicism do: to create a building that can use its entire being to fulfill its impression and meaning, (less is more) instead of relying on redundant details.

These postmodernist buildings just put whatever lousy detail they found, whatever random colours they could come up with, and don't give a shit about the overall unity of said ornaments and colour. And they do this, simply to not be so-called "bland." That is backwards thinking right there.

I have no idea why classicists keep supporting kitsch architecture. It really does lower support for the construction of actual classic-style buildings since people start to believe that that is the actual standard for it.
You should be hating it with a passion.

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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Historico! View Post
Thanks for your comments I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who likes neohistorical architecture. The problem of kitsch I generally understand.
What interests me more is why architects and art historians are some much in favour of interpolation instead of respecting historical suroundings. For example, I live in Croatia. In our capital city Zagreb, in the centre you can see beautiful historical building mostly from the 19th and early 20th century. And now they are doing terribal interpolations!!! I'll put some pictures later so you can see...

And also, what exactly is the problem with Skopje 2014? I know that this project is heavily critisized. Is the general problem the fact they are building in neohistorical style or because they are not respecting the rules of classical architecture in those buildings?
The poblem of kitsch is just a problem of time
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:13 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
They are postmodernist, not modern. All modernists I know hate the skyscrapers in Dubai, and I don't think classicists should feel any different. Modernism stands for the opposite to what these half-assed attempts at historicism do: to create a building that can use its entire being to fulfill its impression and meaning, (less is more) instead of relying on redundant details.

These postmodernist buildings just put whatever lousy detail they found, whatever random colours they could come up with, and don't give a shit about the overall unity of said ornaments and colour. And they do this, simply to not be so-called "bland." That is backwards thinking right there.
They aren't attempt at historicism, they are at attempt at postmodernism.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:13 PM   #31
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I don't see much traditional in these buildings. Of course they were inspired by Chrysler, but they reproduced it in total modernist’s way - simplified design, cheap modern materials, not even attempt to make such details.

IF they could do it with natural stone or bricks and same level of details - it could be considered as "traditional" style. It could be good or bad attempt - they could fail proportions, for example, even with right material and care for details - but it could be considered as an attempt to build traditional, at least.

For now it's just another modernist building and quite a bad one, imho.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:27 PM   #32
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I have no idea why classicists keep supporting kitsch architecture. It really does lower support for the construction of actual classic-style buildings since people start to believe that that is the actual standard for it.
You should be hating it with a passion.
Nobody support "kitsch architecture" - if by "kitsch" you mean examples like shown above. We just don't like this word 'cause it often used against great buildings built in last year’s in traditional way, or even against old, classical buildings.

Sometimes it ends with total nonsense’s.
Once I read self-proclaimed "architecture critic" blamed as a “kitsch" this building:

Also he was sure it was build in a last years and made quite a speech against modern architects, who use everything to gain attention

Made me quite mad for a brief second... then I just started laughting
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Old June 24th, 2013, 08:36 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Chimer View Post
I don't see much traditional in these buildings. Of course they were inspired by Chrysler, but they reproduced it in total modernist’s way - simplified design, cheap modern materials, not even attempt to make such details.

IF they could do it with natural stone or bricks and same level of details - it could be considered as "traditional" style. It could be good or bad attempt - they could fail proportions, for example, even with right material and care for details - but it could be considered as an attempt to build traditional, at least.

For now it's just another modernist building and quite a bad one, imho.
For the last time, this is not modernism. It's not even close to it. No 'total modernist' wants it, at all. Modernists aren't incapable of detail, we instead stay as far away from it as possible to instead focus on the overall building itself. Toronto Dominion Center is total modernism, not this sad, kitsch attempt at art deco.

I'm done here. Bunch of lunies in these classical threads...
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Old June 24th, 2013, 09:20 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Chimer View Post


Once I read self-proclaimed "architecture critic" blamed as a “kitsch" this building [St. Basil cathedral in Moscow]
Also he was sure it was build in a last years and made quite a speech against modern architects, who use everything to gain attention
Don't you have a link, by the way? It's impossible to believe that there is someone who honestly thinks that this cathedral has been built just recently.
Didn't he mean something like that (St. Basil's model in a Turkish resort)?
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Old June 24th, 2013, 04:09 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
For the last time, this is not modernism. It's not even close to it. No 'total modernist' wants it, at all. Modernists aren't incapable of detail, we instead stay as far away from it as possible to instead focus on the overall building itself. Toronto Dominion Center is total modernism, not this sad, kitsch attempt at art deco.

I'm done here. Bunch of lunies in these classical threads...
No one have said it is modernisism. It is however not historiscism as talked about in this tread; It's post-modernism combining the two. How hard is that really to get? It's does not have any more to do with building buildings in traditional styles than it have to do with modern buildings. If you do not believe me then I suggest you take a look at a classic Art deco building and compares the two to see the difference.

Your example is a building that have been inspired by classical design and is being built with new materials. I want buildings with new designs that are being built with classical materials and classical eye for proportions.

Last edited by Galro; June 24th, 2013 at 04:16 PM.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #36
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Don't you have a link, by the way? It's impossible to believe that there is someone who honestly thinks that this cathedral has been built just recently.
Didn't he mean something like that (St. Basil's model in a Turkish resort)?
I'll try to find the link, but I'm not sure I can do it, it was few months ago...
But the talk was about original building for sure, of course I can't mix up these two
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Old June 24th, 2013, 06:14 PM   #37
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You're proving his point by saying that kitsch is a substitute word for "bad taste, gaudy, tacky." These are all subjective terms.

And yes even "ugly" and "beautiful" are subjective terms. However the word kitsch also has been co-opted by people who are against traditional architecture, even traditional architecture of high-quality design and materials, simply for their perceived popular or sentimental appeal (which is closer to the ACTUAL definition of kitsch).

On the flipside, what does that say about modern and contemporary architecture, that the public should dislike it and have negative or indifferent feelings towards it?

If you're simply going to dismiss a building as "bad taste, gaudy, tacky," you're not making an argument, you're just expressing a superficial opinion.

For your opinion to mean anything or be worth anything you're going to have to give specific, value-neutral evidence to back it up. "Wrong ornamentation" is getting there; "bad materials" is getting there; "weird proportions" is getting there; but you'll have to say what makes it wrong, bad, or weird.
Precisely.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #38
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Toronto Dominion Center is total modernism, not this sad, kitsch attempt at art deco.

I'm done here. Bunch of lunies in these classical threads...
What the modernists' argument boils down to: anyone whose taste differs from theirs is are "lunies" (loonies).

Must be convenient to have been born with divinely-granted perfect taste.

For my part, I think there's scarcely a building in the world that's uglier and more repellent than the Toronto Dominion Center -- a cold, brutalist box of black metal and glass. Death Star architecture fit for some kind of dystopian, totalitarian state. I actually have a friend who works in that building, and his assessment is the same.

I don't consider those Dubai towers ideal, and they're certainly not historicist, but they're a far sight more attractive than the TD Center. In my opinion.

Last edited by M.W.; June 24th, 2013 at 06:27 PM.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #39
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Just a question MW, what word would you use to describe this?
image hosted on flickr

VA5_7272 by FOSM, on Flickr
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Old June 26th, 2013, 12:34 AM   #40
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Just a question MW, what word would you use to describe this?
image hosted on flickr

VA5_7272 by FOSM, on Flickr
I'll answer this question:

The architectural components are all wrong. The column shafts are cylindrical with no entasis (taper), the entablature overhangs the column capitals, etc. It looks more cartoon-like.

I've attached this drawing that I did of the classical orders. notice all the components that are shown for the Corinthian Order, notice the alignments between those components, and notice the scale and proportion of the various components.

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