A Point In Design

Commentary – Facade Based Design
November 29, 2011, 7:13 pm
Filed under: Commentary/Reviews

Are buildings with images plastered on them the new trend in Architecture? A recent article in the Melbourne Age documented this trend popping up in Australia’s biggest cities. Thus far I have yet to see this catch on in the US, but then again not much is really being built here right now. The general opinion among those that commented on the article was decidedly against this trend and I tend to agree with their assessment. This is merely pastiche, or pointless ornament designed to give interest to a drab exterior. These murals will not hold up well over time. Are people really going to want a picture of Pamela Anderson on their house 25 years from now, long after the actress has been even relevant culturally speaking. The article suggests Architecture is just reflecting the ephemeral nature of culture. But given the cost of constructing anything these days, why would someone want something that is going to be dated a year after its built. The true measure of a successful project is how it ages over time.The AIA doesn’t give out awards for buildings until they are at least 25 years old. Many buildings from the recent past (1960s) are today considered ugly and cold. What was once avant garde is now dated and dingy; Boston City Hall is a prime example. That said I do have to admit to liking the office tower project. The face in the building evokes the image of Mustapha Mond from Huxley’s Brave New World
or something from 1984. Ultimately it is all about the image you choose for your facade.

”Good buildings dealing with interesting contemporary ideas in an appropriate, powerful way don’t date because people look at them as extraordinary historical documents that tell a story about their time. Diversity makes a city fantastic.” – Carey Lyon architect and proponent of facade based design

Project Photos

The Age Article

2 Comments so far
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