Saturday, November 15, 2014

Big Brother....

....praise to the market.

And finally I was ready to accomplish my sense of dwelling, approaching the yellow and blue shelter, ready to start creating that intimate universe where the memories are triggered by the perfect scale.

But my intuition sent me a bitter caveat, and suddenly behind my dreams, a big mass of concrete and steel made its bulky entrance. Again like other many times, again with the same voice, and effectively destroying my illusions.

Building behind the shelter.  Miami Beach.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sotto Voce Miami

Ray Bradbury's envisions

...of a distant hereafter that can be triggered by this Illustrated Man building, an all-nighter teller of astounding stories of betrayal, cruelty, transpiration and shattered sounds of shaky galleons anchored at the humid coastline of the Malecon, with Don Facundo Bacardi standing between hallucinations of better times…

It’s not just that, is also declaring a vertiginous future with a myriad of images. Open scares with an incontrollable voice of hope. 

Latin modernism at its best! 

The Bacardi Buildings in 1975

The Bacardi Buildings
Biscayne Boulevard at NE 20th. Terrace
Midtown Miami.

The 8-story tower was designed in 1963 by Cuban architect Enrique Gutierrez, who previously worked on Bacardi’s headquarters in Mexico City.

Miami's iconic Bacardi Building and  the adjacent Jewel Box (designed by local architect Ignacio Carrera-Justiz in 1975) were declared historic sites by the Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board on Oct 6, 2009 and  are a landmark of Midtown Miami. 

On April 18, 2012, the American Institute of Architects' Florida Chapter placed the building on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places, as Bacardi USA.

© Luigi Seta

Recommended reading: Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause
By Tom Gjelten

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gehry Fucks You...

Frank Gehry Claims Today’s Architecture is (Mostly) “Pure Shit”

(Appeared on Architecture Daily - October 23, 2014)

“Let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. There’s no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that’s it. 
“Once in a while, however, there’s a small group of people who does something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don’t ask for work. I don’t have a publicist. I’m not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don’t ask questions as stupid as that one.”
Frank Gehry

This, followed by the middle finger, was Gehry’s response to a reporter asking the 85-year-old architect how he responds to the critics claiming he practices “showy architecture.”
Originally covered by El Mundo and translated by Gizmodo, the awkward confrontation happened at a press conference in Oviedo, Spain, which Gehry attended to receive the Prince of Asturias Awards for the Arts
Emotions may have been running high considering this past week Gehry celebrated the opening of the new Fondation Louis Vuitton building which the critics have claimed to be not much more than a “spectacle.”
Fondation Louis Vuitton / Gehry Partners

Should I read that he and his work are the exception? 
Evolution in architecture, like in other discipline or art, is not linear, it is more like a sinusoidal line, with periods that are empty of content and others ebullient, exuding creativity through its porous (e.g.: pre and after the two big wars). Because architecture as a  holder of the activities of the human being is not disconnected from our feelings and passions 
And that’s my point, architecture is good, when is able to contain the in-habitant and/or the exo-habitant in a way of referencing all the scales, including the urban…. And if those users can develop its feelings, memories, wishes to dance or sing…in a few words, the magic of being happy… the purpose is satisfied. And that for me, is what defines good architecture.
So the judgment of good or bad, is relative to a very definite user or finite group of users (city inhabitants) that con enjoy or not the proposed three-dimensional space.
I am not worry about Mr.Gehry’s claims, especially coming from somebody that only in a few occasions took in consideration the people inside and/or outside of its buildings… 
Looks like it is easy to fuel the ego when you have the connivance of big clients….
© Luigi Seta