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Featured Eyesore of the Month

May 2016

James Howard Kunstler : May 2, 2016 2:46 pm : Eyesore of the Month


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Behold the new addition to San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art by the Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta, opening in two weeks. Thanks for yet another mystical genius innovation in building form, lending the institution the look of a collapsed Japanese paper lantern with moth holes. Note that the genius crumpled fiberglass cladding is guaranteed to trap auto emissions in the final decade of Happy Motoring. You can also be sure that the exterior will resist renovation and perhaps even basic maintenance — the sad fate of untested novelties in construction materials. Observe the now utterly clichéd canonical horizontal windows and their arbitrary placement, betraying the fact that buildings are now designed from the inside out, since the public realm has value only for marketing the design firm’s availability for new commissions. The PR bullshit heralding the official debut says that the design scheme is supposed to express “the waters and fog of the San Francisco Bay.” In other words, it’s a force of nature. No it’s not. It’s a force of egomania and techno-narcissism.

Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page!

Coming in June
World Made By Hand 4 (and final)

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Praise for A History of the Future:
Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist

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My local indie booksellers… Battenkill Books (Autographed by the Author) … or Northshire Books
or Amazon

Also: Published as an E-book for the first time!
The 20th Anniversary edition
With an entertaining new introduction by the author

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Bargain Price $3.99

Amazon Kindle …or … Barnes & Noble Nook …or… Kobo

Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page!

14 Comments »
Eyesore May_16

May 2016

James Howard Kunstler : May 2, 2016 2:46 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the new addition to San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art by the Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta, opening in two weeks. Thanks for yet another mystical genius innovation in building form, lending the institution the look of a collapsed Japanese paper lantern with moth holes. Note that the genius crumpled fiberglass cladding is guaranteed to trap more »
April Eyesore 1

April 2016

James Howard Kunstler : April 2, 2016 11:09 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold  the winner of eVolo Magazine’s 2016 Skyscraper Competition. I know… “Say, what…?” you say. This latest exercise in techno-narcissism by trendster architects Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu imagines the massive excavation of New York’s Central Park and the re-fashioning of its bedrock into a fantasy sunken wilderness landscape with a 1000-foot high glass wall around the whole more »
Eyesore Mar 16A

March 2016

James Howard Kunstler : March 4, 2016 11:13 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold! The Raptor has landed! Hail Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, with its grand opening this month. Starchitecture’s latest bowling trophy is less huge (yuge-uh!) than it looks. Check out the scale of construction vehicles at it’s beak end (or is that cloaca?) Cost $4-plus billion. It is not, by the way, New York more »
Evolution+Tower

February 2016

James Howard Kunstler : February 2, 2016 10:58 am : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page! Behold the Evolution Tower in Moscow, the clever DNA-themed behemoth joining the other bowling trophies in the Russian Capital’s jazzed-up Trade Center district skyline. It will be interesting to see how they clean all those curvey windows. Techno-narcissistic building stunts of this kind signal the end of an more »
Eyesore Jan 2

January 2016

James Howard Kunstler : January 4, 2016 9:37 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold, the renovated exterior of the Peterson Automotive Museum under construction in Los Angeles. We build these horrifying objects because we can. They are enabled by computer aided design (CAD) and the computer aided fabrication of modular construction materials. Sounds like a good deal, huh? Except the diminishing returns of technology never sleep, and in more »
Damien Hurst 1

December 2015

James Howard Kunstler : December 3, 2015 10:40 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the proposed new headquarters for “artist” Damien Hirst’s new one-man gallery (i.e. Museum gift shop)  in Lambeth, south London, just west of Waterloo station. As with so many contemporary Gotcha buildings, it seems as though we’ve seen this one a dozen times before because it’s so original. It would replace an ugly five story apartment building that more »
Sydney 1

November 2015

James Howard Kunstler : November 4, 2015 12:22 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the stylish new Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology Sydney (Australia) by starchitect Frank Gehry. Every college has to have its Gehry. This one appears to be a stack of old-fashioned brown paper grocery bags, or something like that. Here’s the catch: it will never be renovated. It will have one more »
Vancou

October 2015

James Howard Kunstler : October 5, 2015 11:03 am : Eyesore of the Month
Hey, who left that stack of Fed-Ex boxes in the middle of downtown Vancouver? Wait a minute… that’s the proposed new Vancouver art museum designed by Swiss starchitects Herzog & de Meuron. Anyone who’s been through the Vancouver Airport knows that they are very into the “environmental look” there. In the building trades, that means lots more »
Gardiner

September 2015

James Howard Kunstler : September 3, 2015 7:48 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston all pimped out with exciting bling! (Note the “gold” chain supporting the colorful whaddayacallit — five-armed ju-ju talisman? Hypnotic ass pillow?)  Here’s what the Gardner Museum Bulletin says about it:   Fenway Deity is part of the Garden Deities series created by Ken Smith. The large inflatable installation, with a more »
Anaheim artic

August 2015

James Howard Kunstler : August 4, 2015 12:54 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the Anaheim, CA,  Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). It’s a LEED Platinum champeen! It is also running a $2 million operating deficit after opening earlier this year. Revenue was expected from naming rights, but so far no corporation has paid to have its name plastered on the end-wall. An average of 460 Metrolink and 300 more »
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