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Featured Eyesore of the Month

December 2020

James Howard Kunstler : December 2, 2020 5:05 pm : Eyesore of the Month

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Behold: the proposal for a 160-story, 2418-foot tall “carbon neutral” skyscraper from the French architecture firm Rescubika on New York City’s Roosevelt Island. It incorporates 36 wind turbines, 8,300 shrubs, 1,600 trees, 83,000 square feet of plant walls, and nearly 23,000 square feet of solar panels.

The project is named Mandragore after the mandrake plant, the root of which is said to resemble the form of a male human being. But, let’s face it, this thing looks more like a techno-mutant new incarnation of the Loch Ness monster rising from the toxic depths of the East River — but don’t fret… it’s… environmental ! ! ! Yes, this is the latest method for blowing green smoke up the public’s rear-end:  design an outlandishly gigantic real estate project, brand it as “green” — though it requires immense amounts of hydrocarbon energy just to build — and then rake in immense profits from unit sales, and finally hand off the ownership to a condo association and let them deal with all the future problems.

For instance: the problem of not just caring for all those plants, but for the ceilings (and floors) that will be subjected to all the plant-watering that will have to go on to keep the plants alive. Do you have any idea how heavy water is? And how much it will take to water those 8,300 shrubs and 1,600 trees?

Color this project fuhgeddabowdit, as they say in Gotham.

Some additional cultural notes: skyscrapers are now obsolete. Our cities are now contracting, shrinking, and the process has only begun with the ravages of Covid-19. Coming next is a tax revenue famine of epic dimension and a self-reinforcing downward spiral of collapsing city services along with the flight of additional taxpayers with the means to still vamoose. This is one of the last proposals of its kind you will ever see. And like many expressions of things in nature just prior to extinction — e.g. Paraceratherium — they reach their largest and most florid expression just before the end-of-the-line.  Thanks to Brandon Haleamau for the nomination!

paraceratherium

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10 Comments »

December 2020

James Howard Kunstler : December 2, 2020 5:05 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Behold: the proposal for a 160-story, 2418-foot tall “carbon neutral” skyscraper from the French architecture firm Rescubika on New York City’s Roosevelt Island. It incorporates 36 wind turbines, 8,300 shrubs, 1,600 trees, 83,000 square feet of plant walls, and nearly 23,000 square feet of solar panels. The project is more »

November 2020

James Howard Kunstler : November 4, 2020 11:34 am : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Architect Sir David Adjaye becomes the first back-to-back winner (Oct, Nov) at the Eyesore of the Month with this unfortunate and misconceived humdinger for lower Manhattan at 130 William Street. Unfortunate because this kind of residential mega-tower was the-thing-to-do just a year ago, before Covid-19 rang out around more »

October 2020

James Howard Kunstler : October 2, 2020 2:44 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Behold: the New Princeton University Art Museum!  Or is that the box that it came in??? Yeah, I know, an old gag, but it still works. What you get here is just another exercise in fake originality. How many of these floating boxes are there in the world? more »

September 2020

James Howard Kunstler : September 2, 2020 3:00 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Behold, the second coming of St. Thomas Parish Church Washington, DC (1517 18th Street NW, off Dupont Circle). Kind of looks like the musical instrument that the space aliens flew down to Earth in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977) to play the dumb-ass tune that more »

August 2020

James Howard Kunstler : August 2, 2020 12:48 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Behold the “Shipwreck Tower” in Prague, proposed to be the Czech Republic’s tallest building at 440 feet, about 40 stories. This humdinger was conceived, obviously, before Covid-19 raced around the world. What you get is another colossal art stunt incorporated into an office building, a virtue-signaling gag telling more »

July 2020

James Howard Kunstler : July 5, 2020 12:15 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Behold: the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas, Texas — if you can even call this inchoate mash-up of low-rise crapola, parking lots, and freeway ramps a downtown. The building was designed by Eyesore of the Month All-time Champeen, Thom Mayne (countless humdingers over the more »

June 2020

James Howard Kunstler : June 5, 2020 4:02 pm : Eyesore of the Month
The Eyesore of the Month! Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Behold, the Grand Castle Apartment Homes, Granville, Michigan. “Live like a King!! the brochure says. Well, fer sure, because America is going medieval after the New Great Depression is through with us. Actually, there are federal penitentiaries that have better-designed neo-medieval details than more »

May 2020

James Howard Kunstler : May 4, 2020 5:52 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page   Architect Thom Mayne and his Morphosis firm are great favorites here, year after year, and they’ve come up with a new humdinger expressing every trope of techno-narcisismo idiocy in circulation — at least until the corona virus put the schnitz on what used to be considered our more »

April 2020

James Howard Kunstler : April 2, 2020 5:20 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Behold: The embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China, Washington DC, a fortification undreamed of in the most garish nightmares of the Marquis de Vauban. Only this death-star was designed by American architect, the late I.M. Pei’s outfit, Pei Partnership. What were the Chinese expecting back in 2007? Godzilla? more »

March 2020

James Howard Kunstler : March 4, 2020 12:05 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Behold the Universita Luigi Bocconi, School of Economics, Milan, Italy by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, principals of Grafton Architects, Dublin, Ireland, winners of this year’s Pritzker prize. The Pritzker is considered the most prestigious prize in the architectural world. The Pritzker committee is crazy for Orwellian dystopias, and more »
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