Thursday, May 29, 2014

Let us play

At the risk of accusations of heresy, I’m going to shoot my mouth off.
Sorry. OK. Here goes …
Mid-century modernist architecture gets a little high church at times.
The Bauhaus, for example. That hairshirt, Socialist notion of the building as functional machine for noble workers. The roof is flat, ja. Where’s the fun in that?
Even Frank Lloyd Wright. Yes, I bow before FLW. But there’s a high seriousness about his work. A churchy-ness to it. Falling Water. Kneel, heathen. The Johnson Wax Building. Avert your eyes, sinner! His mile high skyscraper? Cringe, miscreant! For you have touched the throne of God.
Corbusier? Fuhgetaboutit. Yes, some of his buildings are ugly. Not to mention nonfunctional. But they’re sacred, goddamnit!
And Mies van der Rohe. Christ. Can’t you hear the choir singing?
Which brings me to the so-called Sarasota School of Architecture.
Listen, please, for the sound of the organ playing.
Don’t hear it? No, you don’t.
I love the playfulness of these cats. The madness of Lundy’s swooping bird-wing “new wing” at Alta Vista school.
The concrete funk of the Siesta Key pavilion. Double Ts up on pylons? Yeah, baby!
Houses shaped like cocoons. Houses shaped like umbrellas.
Architecture can be fun.
Architecture can be play.
If that be heresy, let's make the most of it. 

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