Monday, March 31, 2008

Rudo contra Tecnico

Terminal 5Sir Richard Rogers should be thinking about giving back his Pritzker prize (or give it to Foster ) (btw: tomorrow it's this year's laureate announcement) I must admit he has done very interesting and spectacular buildings. Although, on his bio Sir Richard Rogers-T5they don't mention any collaboration with Renzo Piano on the Pompidou Center. On the other hand, the infamous Heathrow's Terminal 5... has failed to meet the Vitruvian principles of : “firmness, commodity and delight”. T5 is a horrible oversized grain storage shed! It's not just ugly, it has been a complete functional disaster and operations are at the edge of collapsing just one week after it's opening... the hiccups from day one turned into an almost heart failure... It's just how Meredith Grey's step-mom died! And that's not the first British architectural fiasco lately:
Heathrow's T5This was also another blow to London's and Britain's image in the eyes of the world, following other fiascos such as the Millennium Dome (expensive white elephant), the Millennium Bridge (unstable), and – closer to home – the Holyrood Parliament building (over-budget), the "squinty" bridge over the Clyde (broken cable) and the Science Centre Tower (non-working lift).
Sir Norman Foster's Beijing AirportNo wonder that kiwi pseudo-architects like Warren and Mahoney are so incompetent, with such terrible examples form their masters! Although, Sir Norman Foster did an excellent job on the also new Beijing Airport. For starters: it's not a box shape; The idea of the analogy/reference with a flying dragon is a good example of using cultural references to develop a modern aesthetic language; The parking space and pick-up are Norman Foster - Beijing Airport T3well resolved as compared to the rigid small shoe-box that came out of the big shoe-box; The overall view at user's perspective is just to die for... compared to the bulkiness and almost threatening rigidness of Richard Rogers' glass box; and last but not least: it seems that the skylights not only resemble dragon's scales, they also regulate temperature : "Terminal 3's curved roof contains thousands of skylights. Their orientation to the southeast is intended to maximize the heat gain from the early morning sun, Beijing Airporthelping to reduce the amount of energy expended by the structure for heating. The golden tint, meanwhile, is meant to evoke the colors of Beijing's Forbidden City, the Ming Dynasty-era imperial palace at the city's center" In other words, the flying dragon is much more transparent and welcoming, is less obstructive and blends and respects the environment. I guess, I'm starting to prefer the principle of harmony, rather than disruption, confrontation or contrast as a form of aesthetic composition.

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