Does anyone like this project?

April 04, 2007

Proposed addition to the Tate Modern

I can't help it... but I've had an immediate gut reaction about this proposed addition to the Tate Modern by Herzog & deMeuron. I hate it. I seriously hate it. I'm willing to give it another chance, since I've long been a fan of Herzog & deMeuron (I mean, who isn't?), but its going to take a lot more than some snazzy renderings to convince me that this is a worthy addition to the wonderfully designed Tate. I've been thinking about this project for the last few days, ever since I saw it posted on Dezeen... I just can't get it out of my head.

I've been trying to think about what would cause an architecture firm known for its simplicity of forms, clean lines, and innovative use of materials and skin to design such a heinous building. It looks like something an intern at Gehry's office would put together, trying but not succeeding to impress the boss. It looks nothing like the H & deM I know and love. I can't help but wonder if this is an effort to stay relevant and cutting edge, at the loss of the firm's identity. It really brings about the question of whether architects and artists can push the envelope of design, while remaining true to their roots. Personally, I'd like to argue that we can and should remain consistent in our ideology while constantly trying to further develop and create dialogue regarding those very ideological beliefs. I just feel like Herzog and deMeuron have completely left their developed history behind in favor of what they think is the architecture du jour.

I honestly hope that this project doesn't get built... at least not without some serious re-design. Although, I'd certainly be open to learning more about the project (if anyone can convince me that is isn't an atrocity, please do!), I have to admit that my gut reaction isn't likely to change. But I hope at least that something positive comes from this project... I'm just not sure what that could be right now...

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