Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More Ugly Buildings . . . The US


Verizon Building:

The Verizon Building is located in New York and was completed in 1927. The architect, Frank walker, was inspired by Mayan architecture in designing the fa├žade. Architects and historians consider the Verizon Building as the first Art Deco skyscraper but the jury remains out on whether it is a thing of beauty or just plain ugly.

Located adjacent to the World Trade Centre site and 7 World Trade Centre, it experienced major damage in the 9/11 attacks but its thick masonry exterior and use of masonry to protect steel columns and structural elements helped the building withstand the attacks. Restoration of the building after the attacks took three years, at a cost of $1.4 billion.

432 Park Avenue:

Whilst looking at ugly in New York, here is another: 432 Park Avenue, a residential skyscraper in Manhattan, New York City that overlooks Central Park. At 425.5m/1,396 feet, its construction was completed in 2015, making it the third tallest building in the US and the world’s tallest residential building.

It has been criticised for its appearance and for failing to blend in with surroundings, some having compared it to a giant matchstick. It has also been negatively described as a symbol of ostentatious wealth and inequality.


Boston City Hall:

The seat of city government of Boston, Massachusetts also happens to be one of the ugliest buildings in the US, if not the world. Built in 1968, it features the style known as “brutalist”. 

Despite common public opinion that the building is a giant paper bag job, a 1976 poll of architects, historians and critics conducted by the American Institute of Architects, listed the building with Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia campus and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater as one of the ten proudest achievements of American architecture in the nation's first two hundred years.


Denver Public Library:

It has been described as looking like a medieval castle haphazardly put together, but apparently internally it is a marvellous blend of form and design. The exterior was designed by architect Michael Graves in the postmodern style of architecture that he co-founded. That style rejects modern skyscrapers and opts instead for the classical forms, natural materials and colours of centuries past. 

As if the building isn’t enough, there is also a giant chair with a sculpted horse upon it. The scale of this work is meant to recall that time in life when even everyday objects seemed monumental.


Geisel Library:

The Geisel Library is the main library building of the University of California, San Diego Library and, although it features on some lists of ugly buildings, I like it. It is constructed in Brutalist style and is named after Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. The building's distinctive architecture has resulted in its being featured in the UC San Diego logo.

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