Pretty Buildings

Some of these places are very cool. I wonder if we’re about to head in to an era of functional architecture, given the state of the various economies. It would be a terrible thing for the 2010s to leave the same legacy of brutal architecture as the last decade of recession.


Categories: Uncategorized

11 replies »

  1. i just hate those buildings with their pointless cantilevers and steel and glass and more steel and glass.

  2. Do you really? Sometimes they are overdone, but if it looks interesting I’m okay with that. Apologies for the hyphen and any offence that it might have caused.

  3. The hyphen was bad form alright. i’m much more a ‘form following function’ type of guy, if they have pointless sticky up bits, and ‘features’ they just annoy the hell out of me.

  4. Interesting discussion gents – form follwing function, I agree.

    Is the challenge in design not to build something beautiful that works as well as possible for its purpose? So you may have a really elegant looking building but it’s too, dark, cold, hot, fluffy, whatever for people to use, then it’s a failure. Even if it looks fantastic.

    Some cool buildings there –

    If, however, you absolutely, positively, accept-no-substitutes, must live in a precast (or pre-cast) cube, how about taking some interior design tips from this guy:


  5. Le Corbusier who is one of the most respected architects of the last 100 years said that ‘the engineer is the greatest architect’, who am i to argue?

    I think my point is really that a lot of ‘starchitects’ just go out of their way to ceate stupid shapes ‘because they can’. Like the front of the dublin conference centre that looks like a tin of beans. i think its as ugly as hell, and i know it was stupidly complicated to do, so where’s the positive in all this?

    • Valid criticisms. I do like to see an attempt to break from the cube

      The positive is that it looks like a tin of beans.

      Now; I think they didn’t go far enough, they should have had beans spilling over the side, and a large platform projecting out of the front and through the quay wall that mimics via wood and yellow concrete the appearance of buttered toast.

  6. Well, I like much of Le Corbusier’s work, and I utterly agree with functionality being the key – there;s nothing more miserable than working or living in a beautiful looking building that’s impractical, doesn’t heat up/overheats, etc. That said, features that serve no purpose can be fun. I’ve seen the bean can, and I’m not really sure what it adds (other than that it is pretty distinctive.

    Not that I’d dissent from Le Corbusier, but I’d paraphrase Cantona – engineers are the water carriers of the architectural world – an engineer is likely to have a better understanfding of the materials being used, their limitations and characteristics, and to lend a practical edge to the flights of fancy of the architect. Like Frank Black and Kim Deal, the uncomfortable marriage of both skills is necessary, and usually better than the individual parts.

  7. What? The Engineer is the water carrier? How dare you!

    All i’m saying is that the majority of ‘feature’ buildings around Dublin are as ugly as hell, and i’d include the new Grand Canal Theatre in that (although it is very nice inside). Architect’s seem desperate to make a statement with most of their work, and forget about what the thing actually looks like.

    You’re right also about these building not working as buildings! i’ve read a lot of articles about how poor the drainage, heating etc is on a lot of these structures, and some of them even leak, which is not surprising really when you think of the shape of them.

    There’s a lot to be said for simplicity of design, using attractive materials! What are the bets that the tin of beans is knocked within our lifetime?

  8. I thought you’d like that! Still, I can see you as Dunga or Deschamps…

    I wonder if the bean tin was in fact supposed to be the “KFC Grand Canal Theatre”, but in light of the recession they pulled out., but t was too late to lose the bucket, so it ended up looking like a bean can?

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