Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Architecture for Christmas

It seems a but mean to moan about a £189m library even if it does look like a stack of Christmas presents but as far as I can see, one demonstrative edifice is simple being replaced by another. Tom Dyckhoff drove us there (!) for the Culture Show last night, to meet lots of other Tom Dyckhoffs (as far as I could see) and try and make sense of it. In running around it, nobody made a good deal of sense at all, which was most appropriate for our age. For your benefit and from this armchair:
1) The outside doesn't know what size it is, it is indeterminate in scale. Is it a small thing made big, or a really big thing made small? Maybe it's a big jewellery box (the architect mentioned something about jewelry) or a small Cape Canaveral? I wondered for a minute if the above image really was a model or not- a true sign of contemporary 'genius'. It is a sign of the times.
2) It's 'cutting edge' (!!)
3) The inside is ideally created for the pleasure of those who like (nostalgically or otherwise) books very much indeed, but especially perfect for the new (C21st) bourgeoisie who simply like the idea of them: it's the perfect place for parties.
3) The public like the idea it looks like Christmas presents (for them) on a grand scale.
4) The public didn't seem to understand that they will be paying for it, somehow (nothing new then).
5) The old concrete thing looked slightly more prepossessing (and TD seemed to agree). Wheel on Owen Hatherley?
In the meantime, are we running out of things libraries might otherwise be? Personally I would have preferred a giant Black Sabbath '13' which could be lit up on Walpurgis night each year, or a giant 'Swan Song' logo inhabited by said library. Christmas presents, is however, original.

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