Building Essay

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Yet more imaginative new skyscrapers must still stand alongside architectural abominations. He also says such a policy would bring political rewards.

Yet unless a developer prizes the land on which a Grade X building stands, the cost of razing it could be prohibitive. Ferguson's proposal timely is that it also offers food for thought to cities, above all in Asia, that are engaged in wild construction booms, accompanied at times by the destruction of traditional neighborhoods. So will skyscrapers heralded today deserve an X rating tomorrow?

People are drawn to the historic centers of Rome, Prague, Budapest and Barcelona and even more to the medieval towns of Provence or Tuscany because these places have evolved slowly.

Prince Charles of Britain has gone further: to demonstrate that the old can be re-invented, he is sponsoring construction of a new traditional-style English village in Dorset.

Will today's daring designs look dated tomorrow?

Certainly, a generation of architects with remarkable panache has emerged since the demise of post-Modernism and its kitsch embellishments of concrete blocks.Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas.He received his Ph D in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014.Instead, in such cases as Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain and the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, architecture can actually transform a neighborhood.In the same way as, say, Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Ferguson.'' I have been speaking out against landmark-ism,'' he said from Nîmes while admiring the Carré d' Art, a contemporary art museum designed by Norman Foster and situated beside a Roman monument.If you don't like a movie, you can walk out; if you don't like a song, you can change radio stations; if you dislike a painting, you can even turn it to the wall.But alone among artists, architects can impose their aesthetics on the public. True, there are structures like the Eiffel Tower, which at first seemed shocking and in time became icons.The main culprit is postwar Modernism, a style rooted in the purist idealism of the Bauhaus movement, but distorted by the rush to rebuild and expand European cities through the 1970's. Ferguson would like to slap with an X rating.'' I want the government to introduce grants for destruction,'' he wrote recently in The Evening Standard of London.The concrete office and housing blocks that sprouted up in European cities and towns eased demographic pressure, were quick to build and, in their day, seemed modern. '' How often has a bad piece of architecture marred a beautiful view?They are involved in designing skyscrapers, bridges and airports as well as museums and opera houses.And far more than their postwar predecessors, they seem eager to make sculptural statements with their works.


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