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Featured Eyesore of the Month

March 2013

James Howard Kunstler : March 21, 2013 10:53 pm : Eyesore of the Month



Get a load of this beauty. Social housing on the outskirts of Paris by the architectural firm Maison Edouard François. The awkward galumphing colossus manages to employ every schlock gimmick from the PoMo and DeCon playbooks: the homage to industrial banality, the confusion of building typologies, the arbitrary change of cladding materials, the ironic “squashing” of the “row houses” along the base (to make the point that gravity is a joke), the iconic horizontal window bands and flat roof, and the cartoon treatment of the bungalows perched playfully askew on top. The objective of this stunt-obsessed architecture is to confound our expectations about the urban habitat and the things in it, under the theory that life is not suffficiently anxiety-provoking — so architects must supply more of it. Absent are the elements really needed in the urban setting: decorum, legibility, scale that will afford adaptive re-use over time, and a ground floor that shows some generosity to public life.

Thanks to reader James Mullen, who remarked of this: “I figure the only way the architect could make the building more outwardly annoying is to install speakers all around that amplify the recorded sound of fingernails on a chalkboard 24/7.


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March 2013

James Howard Kunstler : March 21, 2013 10:53 pm : Eyesore of the Month

Get a load of this beauty. Social housing on the outskirts of Paris by the architectural firm Maison Edouard François.

more »

February 2013

James Howard Kunstler : February 21, 2013 11:04 pm : Eyesore of the Month

Behold the new Perot Museum of Science and History in Dallas, Texas in all its magnificent cubosity! Wow, what an original idea! 

more »

January 2013

James Howard Kunstler : January 21, 2013 11:09 pm : Eyesore of the Month

This abortion, an observation tower for Phoenix, AZ, is described by one wag as a giant toilet cleaning brush. Are you sick yet? Well, then get a load of the view:

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December 2012

James Howard Kunstler : December 21, 2012 11:11 pm : Eyesore of the Month

Behold the landscape of Happy Motoring in its latest iteration in northern Virginia, that is, the Washington DC suburbs. It’s significant that the very seat of policy and governance in our country is the epicenter of cluelessness about the fate of our tragic car dependency. They just see endless new layers added onto the existing clusterfuck, and you can be sure that money will continue to be created for it — though it is suicidal for our society.

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November 2012

James Howard Kunstler : November 21, 2012 11:22 pm : Eyesore of the Month

On view in Kingston, NY. This kind of says it all about the condition of America’s Main Street economy. Note, this is about both the programming and quality of the buildings. Thanks to Martine Hahn from Greenwich, NY, for sending it in. Closeup below:

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October 2012

James Howard Kunstler : October 21, 2012 11:31 pm : Eyesore of the Month

The architect of this addition to Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, Mels Crouwel, dubbed his creation “the Bathtub.” Actually, it looks more like what we in America would call a laundry sink.

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September 2012

James Howard Kunstler : September 1, 2012 12:35 am : Eyesore of the Month

This roadside display in Calvert County, Maryland, kind of says it all about where civilization stands in the USA these days.

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August 2012

James Howard Kunstler : August 1, 2012 12:39 am : Eyesore of the Month

Presenting the First Baptist so-called Church of Hammond, Indiana, serving deep-fried Rotarian-style Christianity in the big box format.

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July 2012

James Howard Kunstler : July 6, 2012 12:45 am : Eyesore of the Month

London 2012 Olympic “Village” for athletes designed by the firm Delancey and Qatari Diar.


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June 2012

James Howard Kunstler : June 6, 2012 12:46 am : Eyesore of the Month

Welcome to Cough Triangle, Brooklyn, NY – yes that is its real name – tucked neatly between the reeking Gowanus Canal and the Gowanus Expressway.

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