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Old 28th December 2009   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 517
Default Re: Beauty vs. ugliness in architecture and fashion

I'd like to believe that maybe a revolt against the modernist tyranny is finally gathering steam. Just the other day, according to the following article, the Washington Post named the grotesque steel-and-glass addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto "the world building of the decade":

And apparently, a travel site listed it as 8th among the 10 ugliest buildings in the world.

Writes the Post:

"Sure, there were a lot of Wal-Marts thrown up in the Aughts, but Daniel Libeskind's addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto surpasses the ugliness of bland functional buildings by being both ugly and useless," he added.

Here's how one commentator describes the addition:

A short time ago while driving east along Bloor Street in the early morning, the ROM emerged from the first rays of sunrise and the "crystal' struck me with a definition that since has become reality for me - "cancer". As I thought over how this creation is grafted into the foundations of the ROM, how the arched brick foundations were ripped apart by mini-back-hoes and mats of rebar steel were inserted for concrete to form foundations for the steel to cantilever the structure out over Bloor street. The process seems cancerous. In appearance, function and the invasion of the architectural purity that was the ROM: CANCER is indeed a most fitting label.

In case you haven't seen it, consider yourself lucky. Here's the beauty of the original ROM, which indeed exhibited great architectural purity:

Now, here's what this modern monstrosity looks like. All I can think of when I look at it is, "I bet the fashion types would praise it for its 'angles'." Ugh! It looks like a collapsed warehouse.

And just think -- this obscenity was accepted as the structure of a museum -- a museum (!), the repository of the greatest artifacts of beauty from Western history. It's as if the exterior structure is designed to devalue the beauty of the objects within it. Welcome to the 21st century.

But as I said, it's encouraging to see at least some writers denouncing this kind of architecture. And even more encouraging to see a city like Dresden rebuilding its glorious Baroque past rather than trying to impose a blight like this.
Emily is offline   Reply With Quote