Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Clean Lines And Black Boxes
I've always been interested in architecture. I really enjoy being in a building (the Tate Modern in London, for example) or a house (Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater comes to mind) that makes you feel something.
I enjoy being in a building and letting the building have its way with me, to let it influence how I'm thinking and what I'm thinking.
I might not like them in the end, but I admire buildings that elicit a reaction of any kind.
So many of the buildings and houses built today are so, well, boring. There's no imagination, no effort to instill the structure with a soul or personality. Does it really cost that much more to add a little whimsy to a building, or a detail that is pleasing to the eye?
I live in Prague, so I'm never far from some amazing architecture -- 1,000 years of architecture. In Prague, we have everything from the 14th-century Charles Bridge, to Frank Gehry's so-called Dancing Building, to the Art Nouveau masterwork Obecni Dum, or Municipal House, one of my all-time favorite buildings in the world.
Lately, I've been interested in apartment buildings in Prague. I've noticed that a few the apartment complexes being built around the city have a certain style that I admire. They're not cookie-cutter buildings.
A few months ago, I took some pictures of what I believe are two separate apartment or housing complexes off Evropska, toward Divoka Sarka, that I admire. I think they're cool. They've got clean lines and splashes of color and I really admire them.
I'm not quite sure what style of architecture these buildings would fit into. Post-Modern? Functionalist?
Take a look above and below:
On the flip side, I discovered a couple of houses in a new neighborhood in the village of Roztoky that seem to take the same general idea and totally botch it up. They can only be described as black cubes.
I use to think that they were not quite finished, but now I'm convinced that this is the way they're supposed to look. Why someone would design such an ugly house I do not know. I wonder what it's like to live in them.
Is there a method to the madness?