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Problem with 20 Fenchurch Street is that even though it's a pretty nice tower on its own it really doesn't fit well in the location they decided to build it. But it still shows that vinoly can design truly awesome quality cladding (just see the construction photos).
 

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20 Fenchurch Street is about to screw up London's skyline and is an unproportionate bastard. Just as 432 Parks is.

So could we now please return to discuss how ugly this bastard is? Thanks. :)
Dude, come on. We get it, you don't like it. Loosen up a little bit, you're too aggressive in letting us know how ugly it is to you. You're gonna get a heart attack. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Don't worry about my physical abilities, it's all going smooth Dino. :)


I have to admit, I just can't comprehend how this thing actually has admirers. Guess it's merely for the sheer and absurd height-width ratio. Because architecturally this one doesn't offer anything of great value. Nothing that is a proper replacement for what was there before - for almost a century.

And indeed, some of us have to join the crusade against the horrid derailing of human taste and flawed senses of proportion and natural aesthetics caused by modernists until today. Let's invade architecture schools first. Join now! :smug:
 

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Don't worry about my physical abilities, it's all going smooth Dino. :)


I have to admit, I just can't comprehend how this thing actually has admirers. Guess it's merely for the sheer and absurd height-width ratio. Because architecturally this one doesn't offer anything of great value. Nothing that is a proper replacement for what was there before - for almost a century.

And indeed, some of us have to join the crusade against the horrid derailing of human taste and flawed senses of proportion and natural aesthetics caused by modernists until today. Let's invade architecture schools first. Join now! :smug:
Get out of the 19th century already. This tower rules BECAUSE of its simplicity.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
I won't. Because what was valid in the 19th century will always be valid, when it comes to aesthetics. Even the most beloved Art Deco highrises still followed the basic aesthetical logic of the 19th and earlier centuries. Only modernists brutally broke with these rules to screw our cityscapes. They may work as solitary buildings, but they fail to comply in ensembles of older, more grand buildings.

Modernist architecture in itself is more than a hundred years old - and has proven to fail at most places, so it's the one to be considered outdated, not classical / traditionalist architecture.

This is simple too:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Central_Park_DSCF2447.JPG

The bulky yet simple GM Building behind the neat Sherry Netherland Hotel. Bulky simplicist Solow Building behind the Plaza.


MetLife von ahisgett auf Flickr

The bulky simplicist MetLife Building behind the grand old Helmsley Building. Modernists ridiculing the idea and genius loci of the urban surroundings.


From what I can say I've heard and read, all these modernist "beauties of simplicity" are considered eyesores by New Yorkers and visitors of the city.

In a similar way, 432 Park is breaking out of context, without any sensibility for what's around. You might say, yeah, that's a character trait of NYC. But it never overruled the NYC aesthetics before the modernist era - towers like 432Park do. And uglify both the historical cityscape and the proportionate skyline of New York, especially from Central Park.

Simplicity neither means clarity, nor fortunate proportions, nor artistic brilliance.

It can, but in this case, as you may notice by reading lots of reactions in here - it fails to do so in the eyes of many.

Beauty is something universally accepted, perceived instantly and without the necessity of deep questioning and academical discussion.

THIS is what applies to a universal conception of beauty: Art Deco


Source @flickr


What's needed? A new zoning law for NYC to reintroduce the setbacks, the main characteristics of New York City.
And a new language of architecture as a valid and continious successor of expressionism, postmodernism and Art Deco.
Neo-Historism can be part of a proper response.
This has to be taught by architecture schools. Not any more boxy concrete shelves designed by AutoCAD.
No more random 432 Park boxes!


And indeed, architectural discussion about this tower to subject is allowed in here so don't feel the need to reprimand anyone. ;)
 

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So could we now please return to discuss how ugly this bastard is? Thanks. :)
With all the respect, sometimes I agree with you but sometimes I just can't understand why you are a moderator :nuts:


'From what I can say I've heard and read, all these modernist "beauties of simplicity" are considered eyesores by New Yorkers and visitors of the city.'
Yeah, just like old WTC.


This building has 3 big flaws - firstly it is standing on ruins of Drake Hotel. Secondly It leaves bare walls of neighbouring buildings; not filling the lot properly. And at last - It is too high (at least now - NYC is booming so I expect that It won't be o problem in ~20 years).
But otherwise It's a great building.
 

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It's okay. Not many people have the ability or mental capacity to understand modernism or minimalism. They just cannot comprehend those styles. It's easier to be superficial and enjoy the decoration on the sides of the building instead of taking in the building as a whole. Even if they don't understand the point behind said decorations. Why have the cake when you can have just the icing?

Also, what if I don't find the Chrysler beautiful?
 

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Erbse - if You want decorations, go to Shanghai, I'm sure you'll love it.

Modern architects usually can't do anything decorated. Partly because of lack of skills, mostly because those materials are really expensive now.
 

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erbse, it's not a deco or Beaux Arts building. Given Warren and Wetmore is more to your taste, I confess some confusion as to why you follow this project. Soan is dead. Wonderful, but long-gone.
 

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Some east Asian architects like Minoru Yamasaki, F. Maki and I. M. Pei have designed spectacular minimalist buildings, and have done so on purpose. Mies Van der rohe designed his buildings like that with a reason. Skidmore Owings and Merrill have designed a large percentage of modernist structures and they're highly revered, as a company. Lack of skill is rarely the case.
 

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Well, I personally am glad that erbse is discussing this building here with us. I don't like if a thread is made to be just a warehouse for one sentence praising cliches like "Oh, this building is awesome!" or "Wow, this is incredible!" Or "Go New York!". Negative opinions are opinions just as much as positive ones are and they are just as much important for a good discussion as positive ones are, so they should have their place in threads too :cheers:

I personally couldn't disagree with erbse more, since I think the modernist buildings he posted look far better than the art deco buildings he posted. Also, I absolutely love 432 park. In my opinion beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and there is no universal standard, which would describe what's beautiful and what isn't :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Thanks for the mature 1st paragraph, Kanto.

Erbse - if You want decorations, go to Shanghai, I'm sure you'll love it.

Modern architects usually can't do anything decorated. Partly because of lack of skills, mostly because those materials are really expensive now.
That building is piss-poor tacky, sorry. Just in case you might have been serious. ;)

IT'S NOT ABOUT PLAIN FACADE DECORATION, people. Please. I never declared that.
It's proportions, structure and the urban genius loci current modernist structures like 432 Park are lacking.
Even the earliest simplicist structures like Rockefeller Center are following the necessary pattern. It's a variety of Art Deco though.

And just because I get into a deeper discussion here you shouldn't assume I couldn't be objective about moderating the threads. I could easily have a second account argueing with you, but that's a) forbidden on SSC and b) doesn't represent my way of doing things. I'm standing by my word.


ThatOneGuy: I recognize the same pattern I always hear by the words of modernist architects. In fact, most of them are unable to create something of classical proportions. They don't even get educated about them. Global traditions and talents got lost in recent decades. It's a shame, since it's equivalent to a cultural loss in all hemispheres.

Btw, "starchitect buildings" aren't a rule but an exception in most places around the world, even in NYC.

Most people nowadays are blunted by dull modernist architecture surrounding them. It's sad but true. You can hardly develop a natural sense of aesthetics this way.

It's not behind my comprehension to understand the beauty of simplicity. Early modernist buildings such as Mies van der Rohe, Fritz Höger and Bruno Taut buildings are perfectly beautiful to me. That's because these architects understood the aura and genius loci of their surroundings. They cared about ensembles and wholehearted integration of concepts. About quality regional materials. And how to place effects, highlights and proper proportions on even the simplest things.

Most of the current architecture generation is way behind this talent and doesn't even understand basic rules of architectural aesthetics.

So is Vanoly with his 432 Park design.


(Luckily, there are exceptions such as IM Pei or UN Design - they would have designed a way better building, I'm certain about that.)
 

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ThatOneGuy - You are talking about ~10 architects, I'm talking about all of them.
Good historical designes are really rare now.

Postmodernism was something that erbse wants - reaction for that simple, souless form. How It ended - we all know.


Erbse said 'Modernist architecture in itself is more than a hundred years old - and has proven to fail at most places, so it's the one to be considered outdated, not classical / traditionalist architecture.'
Not true at all. Modernism faild, but not in terms of architecture, but late modernism urban planning.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Postmodernism gave us some of the most iconic buildings in the world, such as the Petronas Towers. See here for more.
I agree there were failed examples and taste irritations, but that's the rule for almost any style since the early 20th century.
In comparison, postmodernism created more urban spaces, vital neighborhoods and timeless buildings than all late modernist styles combined.

Not true at all. Modernism faild, but not in terms of architecture, but late modernism urban planning.
Both were inseparably connected throughout the 20th century, so of course both failed.
Most modernist architects were urban planners at the same time and tried to create new spaces by tearing down whole historical quarters. It didn't turn out for the better.
 

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Excuse me, architecture and urban planning is something totally different.

A lot of architects in 60-70-80 were designing modern buildings in historical sorroundings and It turned out great.

What is the greatest example? NYC.

But now you will say that they were not good and circle is closing.
You have different taste, I have different taste, but as you said - all styles have great examples, boxy buildings too.

What makes me annoyed Is that you are talking for the whole and a little bit.. rebellious which is at least strange for a mod.


Genius loci was never considered as a problem especially in fast-growing American cities - only thing that matters there is economy (cince 19 century). Hopefully with that economy ALWAYS came great architecture. NYC has great classical architecture, then eclectism, Art-Deco, modernism, created post-modernism... There were fashions, but NYC was always on the top. And 432 PA matches those requirements for me.
Proportions? Modernism always took it a little bit differently than classical architecture.
 

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Modernist architecture in itself is more than a hundred years old - and has proven to fail at most places, so it's the one to be considered outdated, not classical / traditionalist architecture

Wow, :eek:hno: I am not sure what to say to this. If traditionalist architecture still worked in this world...architects would be designing it and builders would be building...wasn't that the lesson learned with Post Modernism?...but it is a fact that it doesn't work today...for the same reason no one drives a 36 Packard to work...That doesn't mean we cannot appreciate the beauty of Packard as an elegant design solution for it's time but it does not fit in today's world...no more than the Drake Hotel did...and I will say this again and keep saying it..the Drake was nothing special...they tried renovating it and modernizing it and it still did not work...nor did it have a very inviting street presence...and I speak from the experience of LIVING with these buildings not studying them from afar...I walk through the courtyard of Lever House almost daily and it is a delight as it was the first time 30 years ago.

Beauty can be defined in many ways...one of its fundamental requirements for our experience of it rests in the perception of an organization, a solution, a resolution of a problem rooted in time. I embrace the evolution of solutions
 

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Discussion Starter #38
The problem with postmodernism was, that there were a lot of people attempting at it THAT DIDN'T HAVE A SINGLE CLUE about traditional architecture. About its proportions, aesthetical rules and traditional, sustainable construction methods.

The same goes for today - even worse. Except Paris' Notre Dame School, THERE'S NOT A SINGLE SCHOOL TEACHING TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE.

So that's what you get from nouveau riche oriented planners, investors and architects: Either cheesy modernist architecture - or (admittedly sometimes even more) cheesy pseudo-historicist architecture.

We need a paradigm shift. A new way of thinking towards regional, traditional and sustainable architecture.

You can find loads of good examples how it can be done in this thread: --- New Buildings Built in Traditional Architecture Style ---

It can also be combined with new elements. But it has to be done with a sense of architectural aesthetics. THAT'S what most current architects fail at. I'm not rooting against new and time-adapted solutions, but against misguided ideals in applying them. Humans come first, not cars, not concrete fantasies, not architect's egos.
 

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As I said - that is only one side. Who will pay for that?

I can't even imagine how expensive would be for example Chrysler Building nowadays...
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Good architecture doesn't need a lot of money, but creativity and talents. It's not hard to create a better structural facade than Vinoly did. To use setbacks, refined regional material mixes (instead of expensive imported Chinese stuff), classical proportions.

It really IS NOT a monetary matter.

Of course a new Chrysler Building wouldn't come along cheap. But we're not talking about new Chryslers here. A new Wells Fargo Center, NBC Tower or a new Messeturm (figuratively speaking) would be a good start though.

Btw... Chrysler was still built brick by brick. Of course you wouldn't do that nowadays, but you could still use brick panel facades or proper limestone facades on similar structures. While 432 Park obviously goes the most brutal way by using nothing but bare concrete.
 
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