Skip to comments.American architect Thom Mayne，he is my idol.
Posted on 03/27/2014 4:24:21 AM PDT by chinaboy
Hello, Chinaboy. Mr. Mayne’s designs are a bit too modernist for my tastes.
No thanks. I’m not a fan of modernist/post-modernist architecture. I believe the Greeks and Romans had some of the most aesthetically pleasing architecture in history.
I wish we had more stunning Second Empire style buildings in our American cities. So many of them were demolished en masse during the “Urban Renewal” nightmare period.
I was good friends with an architecture student in college. She was very liberal and believed the “old styles” represented the hegemony of the white man over western society (she was white) and that it should all be replaced with more modern architecture to show solidarity with all races.
In recent years, I have found myself increasingly attracted to the urban architecture that prevailed in the first 2 decades of the 20th century but before Art Deco. To me it represents a combination of dignity, sturdiness, and optimism.
Funny thing is I do not even know what the style is called, although I have without success looked a bit online.
Hi, chinaboy. I don’t share your fondness for Mayne’s work, but I am glad to see you here.
I hope all is going well for you.
Chinaboy, it is very nice to look at photos of an architect’s work and think that it’s beautiful and exciting. But architecture is not a success if the people who have to live with and work in a structure are made unhappy by it, if the structure needs constant repair and reconstruction, if it does not fit well into its site. In the past 50 years we in the US have succumbed to the desire to be cool and modern in our architecture and for the most part we are very sorry. The temporary interest of seeing a new office building glinting in the sun does not compensate for the dehumanizing experience of actually working or living in these glass boxes.
The philosopher Roger Scruton has given voice to the millions of us in the West who are quietly angry that we have been forced to live and work with modern and post-modernist ugliness of the type Frank Gehry and other fashionable architects inflict on us. Ugly building materials, odd sharp angles, exposed utilities, and brutalist proportions are an expression of contempt for the basic, simple longing of the human heart for Beauty.
For whether it came about through the pressures of evolution or the endowment of a gracious and loving God, or both, the human brain responds to and even hungers for the visual presentation of certain proportions, certain scenes. It is probable that when we see scenes, pictures, viewscapes, or buildings with these proportions, our eyes move in patterns we find pleasurable. These neurological responses are certainly hard-wired in the human brain since people in every culture find pleasure (= the recognition of beauty) from similar sights.
We can be trained or pressured by Society to shut up about what we like to see and can even force ourselves to “like” ugly objects, buildings, or music. But it is dehumanizing to do so, a fundamental denial of who we are. We object now in ever-louder voices to have this inflicted upon us by the developers, fashionable architects, and artists who claim to know better than we do what we are supposed to look at or live with.
I urge you to consult the writing of the artist David Clayton, who has a blog called The Way of Beauty, or the writing and videos of Roger Scruton. If you like I can send you links privately though there’s no guarantee you can see the videos in your country.
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