Michael Badu's Comments
Don't like any of them
Comment on: Thornton Heath Library, Croydon, by FAT
I hesitate to comment too much before I actually visit the place (since I can quite easily, and in fact walked past it not so long ago thinking, 'that looks like a FAT building), but I'm inclined to agree with the above comment. I do think more should be said about the interior and the furniture design which I think (from the photo's) looks really great. The new furniture works really well with the refurbished 19th century interior, not the usual blanf minimalist stuff, but characterful and well judged. Perhaps FAT's work is better suited to interiors (which is something most architects are very poor at)?
It's all about branding. It's about the image on the brochure, fee income from students (perhaps international ones - Steven Holl more of a pull than.....er....Nord & McAlslan?).
I was going to say that this was a pretty lucid defense of the pretty much indefensible, but the end of the article seemed to trail off a bit. Is it really sensible to say that only parametricism could have produced workable solutions to the Nordpark project? I think that there are a number of problems with the premise of this article. Patrik seems to be suggesting that Modernism was a style that we got bored of when in fact it was a style whose limitations began to be understood (cold bridging, leaky rooves, aesthetic poverty in the eyes of lay-people. Modernism was also not really a style; it was an attempt to get to grips with the technological and economic fall out from the industrial revolution. If Parametircsm is a 'proper' (epochal in Patrik's words) style rather than a transitional one (like PoMo or Decon) then it has to be borne of a similar urgent necessity to the one that gave rise to Modernism in my humble opinion. Now I'm no tree hugging eco-warrior, but global warming,as well as the scarcity of fuel and materials is the only 'thing' going in my opinion that compares, in terms of urgency and universality, to the industrial revolution which spawned Modernsim (which is neat because the Industrial Revolution and the Sustainability question are two sides of a very big coin). If we accept that this is indeed the case, then we have to look at the likes of BedZED, the works of people like Baumschlager Eberle, Konrad Frey, The Vales and other Sustainability pioneers as the real harbingers of an epochal style. Parametricsm then turns out to be just another style (and I really like the Nordpark scheme actually) best suited to the high end 'Formula 1' type of market. In fact I think that Zaha Hadid should design the next F1 racing venue if they haven't done so already because that seems to me to be a magnificent fit