Sunday, February 26, 2017
manufactured for our satisfaction
You will find no creature more duplicitous and delusional than an architect. In the span of a single sentence, he or she will profess a great love and respect for the architecture of the past, and then with great enthusiasm set out to destroy that history. There is no shame or irony in this. The past does not pay the bills, and in the case of waterfront development, the grubby authenticity of the docks will not satisfy the logic of modern development.
Hence, the seaside community, when developed fresh on previously utilitarian landscapes, reflects the best and the worst of kitsch. Stuff has to be built well enough to withstand a few decades of abuse from the salt water, and it cannot be given over to geometric fantasies or long-winded polemics about the dignity of modern design. Stuff has to look familiar, it has to work, and it has to get torn down and rebuilt frequently.