Home Sweet

25 08 2007

Like this, but without the furniture. Southwest Exposure

I have of late taken up residence. Photos of the building feature on a Newark blogger’s website. Both snob and dandy in me are deeply enamored of this apartment since learning that these towers (another mirrors mine across a common lawn) were designed by Mies van der Rohe of (at the very least, and nearby) Seagram building fame, one of the fathers of architectural modernism and a name on the lips of every 101 survey student. This only confirms my superficiality, since I’ve never actually loved a van der Rohe building: they all look like they were built in the 60s to me, bland and dated basic corporate towers. I haven’t the eye, apparently, for the simplicity and understatedness of his once groundbreaking designs. Truly, as Jean Nouvel remarked in the interview I recently translated, on the contemporary trend for starchitects’ buildings to be considered objets d’art, brazenly plonked down around the world with disdain for indigenous context, as though for admiration on a pedestal of the designer’s ego: “Les villes seront musées ou l’on vient acheter les grands artistes pour les accrocher dans la vie.” Completing the irony is the fact that the architecture major subletting the place to me never brought up van der Rohe, perhaps believing it not a feature to attract the ignorant masses of which he assumed me a member (certainly assuming he assumed my ignorance is more generous than my assuming his?)








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