Ando vs. Daley

    Concrete Thinking?

    Can you explain this? Just days after we hear that His Omnipotence Mayor Daley's administration has issued
    an anti-concrete edict...

    "Under a new City Hall edict, the construction material--including a decorative, poured-concrete version that has become increasingly common on the exteriors of new residential and retail buildings--has been banned in developments that receive city subsidies or certain zoning approvals."

    ... we learn that the Mayor will welcome, and honor Tadao Ando at Preserving the Legacy presented by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust on Nov. 15th at 6 pm at the Palmer House.

    Ando is a poet in concrete, as in his "Church of Light" (above left) in Japan, and here

    And at the Eychaner House in Lincoln Park - Chicago. (no photo yet.)

    and Frank Lloyd Wright, well,

    his Unity Temple, is not exactly made of traditional brick.

    These projects, and many others, including Ralph Johnson's Contemporaine on Wells and Grand show that concrete can be used, um, well and grand. It's not the fault of the material when projects go ugly. It's a lack of imagination on the parts of government, planners, architects and we, the people who accept mediocrity.

    Now of course, Daley has a point. I agree there is too much concrete in the city and I agree we should use less of it. First and foremost I'd make our sidewalks, which are such a huge percentage of what we see when we're out. Sidewalks can and should be prettier. As for what drivers have to look at, along the medians and the highways that should not run through our cities but do we can do better than concrete. Praise Daley for his planters in teh middle of streets, but why are they concrete? Praise Daley for getting us an Abakanowicz sculpture, but why is this artwrok - a stylized 'forest of human trees' separated form the earth by a concrete plinth? If we have to separate it (we don't) can't we offer the peopel a beautiful stone plinth on which to walk? It does a make a difference. It makes all the difference in the world. Most concrete, badly done, deadens the air around it. it saps life to walk by it, rather than exciting us.

    Blair Kamin had a fine, important article on how Harry Weese's unforgettable Metropolitan Correctional Center, of concrete, is being painted, and deadened. I went by, he's right. I'll offer pictures soon.

    Mr. Mayor. You're on the right track. I'm glad you want the city beautiful, and humane. You are the Best Mayor in America, and the greenest. I am your vassal.

    But on that evening with Ando, look at his work. What we need here is work like his. Infused with great talent, great thought, risk, and of our epoch.

    -EdwardSource URL:
    Visit Beautiful Blog for Daily Updated Hairstyles Collection

Blog Archive