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Thread: The Morgan Library & Museum Expansion - 29 East 36th Street - by Renzo Piano

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzel View Post
    No offense, Ablarc, but you couldn't make a place look dull if your career depended on it.
    Backhand?

    Btw, my career does depend on it; I'm asked to make places look dull all the time. Most folks want that, so...

  2. #62
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    Backhand?

    ... I'm asked to make places look dull all the time. Most folks want that, so...
    Really?

    Why would that be?

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Really?

    Why would that be?
    Mostly it's because good-looking architecture is associated in people's minds with extravagance. It's a form of puritanism. Two anecdotes:

    I once designed a state university building and found strategies for getting some pizzazz into it without much bumping the cost. The building came in 10% under the budget allocated for it. There was general elation, but it was short-lived. Turns out the state had an architectural pizzazz ombundsman, and he eliminated 100% of the building's nice features. When asked why --since the building was under budget-- he replied that his job was to make sure the taxpayer didn't get the impression that the state was being extravagant.

    Another time I designed a monumental stair for a church building. The stair was curved because that configuration fit the allocated space and structure in an efficient manner (while delivering a little glamour). The building committee feared it might strike the congregation as extravagant, so I was made to square it off. That necessitated a structural change that actually increased the cost.
    Last edited by ablarc; November 8th, 2006 at 01:30 PM.

  4. #64
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post

    ... puritanism.
    Aha ... Ever-present in the USA (and beyond), since day one.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    Mostly it's because good-looking architecture is associated in people's minds with extravagance. It's a form of puritanism. Two anecdotes:

    I once designed a state university building and found strategies for getting some pizzazz into it without much bumping the cost. The building came in 10% under the budget allocated for it. There was general elation, but it was short-lived. Turns out the state had an architectural pizzazz ombundsman, and he eliminated 100% of the building's nice features. When asked why --since the building was under budget-- he replied that his job was to make sure the taxpayer didn't get the impression that the state was being extravagant.

    Another time I designed a monumental stair for a church building. The stair was curved because that configuration fit the allocated space and structure in an efficient manner (while delivering a little glamour). The building committee feared it might strike the congregation as extravagant, so I was made to square it off. That necessitated a structural change that actually increased the cost.
    Are people afraid to explain stuff?

    I really don't think I could handle that depth of stupidity.

    Do you have 'happy ending story' to balance that out?

  6. #66

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    The customer is always right.

  7. #67
    The Dude Abides
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    The building committee feared it might strike the congregation as extravagant, so I was made to square it off.
    Extravagance? In a church? No, those two have never gone together...

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    Mostly it's because good-looking architecture is associated in people's minds with extravagance. It's a form of puritanism. Two anecdotes:

    I once designed a state university building and found strategies for getting some pizzazz into it without much bumping the cost. The building came in 10% under the budget allocated for it. There was general elation, but it was short-lived. Turns out the state had an architectural pizzazz ombundsman, and he eliminated 100% of the building's nice features. When asked why --since the building was under budget-- he replied that his job was to make sure the taxpayer didn't get the impression that the state was being extravagant.

    Another time I designed a monumental stair for a church building. The stair was curved because that configuration fit the allocated space and structure in an efficient manner (while delivering a little glamour). The building committee feared it might strike the congregation as extravagant, so I was made to square it off. That necessitated a structural change that actually increased the cost.
    Quite fascinating. So the marketing axiom is true: Perception is Reality.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    Extravagance? In a church? No, those two have never gone together...
    Sensitive to the idolatrous, Catholic past, some churches make a fetish out of humble architecture. I've designed churches that look like they fix cars inside.

  10. #70
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    I've always regarded those to mainly serve the Protestant factions. But now it's spreading to Catholicism? What's next to go - the golden chalices and tabernacles?

  11. #71

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    No, no, it's the Protestants who are sensitive to the Catholics' excesses; they've felt obligated since Martin Luther.

    The Catholics? They hire Richard Meier.

  12. #72
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    I know about the Protestants. For some reason, I thought you were designing a Catholic Church, which I readily associate with extravagance. I don't know; maybe I just automatically think "Catholic" when I hear "church".

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    For some reason, I thought you were designing a Catholic Church...
    I wish...! But for some reason they never come around.

    The evangelicals are all puritans. Occasionally I get a black church that wants something fancy. Trouble is, they already know what it is; they come by with photographs from newsletters.

  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by daver View Post
    So the marketing axiom is true: Perception is Reality.
    Perception is the gateway through which reality enters our consciousness. Have you read Huxley's "Doors of Perception"?

  15. #75

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    c'mon Abalrc, don't be so coy, show us one of your churches!!!!

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