Sunday, March 15, 2009
Glass Schmass Redux
IN TODAY"S NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, Jim Lewis writes, "New York is the capital of glass, the city of windows. Other cities get their gravitas from marble or stone." Lewis (who seems to be from Texas), has it backwards.
New York has long been a wonderful city of stone and masonry buildings but has recently gone through a spurt of glass tower development that makes some (like me) pull out sarcastic references to "Houston-on-Hudson.
Some of this unfortunate development has come in the name of "green building." But at a European real estate convention in Cannes last month, the former designer behind many of Norman Foster's glass towers, Ken Shuttleworth, said that glass walls were a thing of the past, because they are environmentally unsustainable. Despite all the LEED Platinum glass towers, this is what the experts like atelier ten have been telling us, and what other traditionalists like the Prince's Foundation and I have been documenting for years.
All the glass towers in New York, Houston, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai are about style. But in architecture, as in so many other fields, it's time for change we can believe in. Peak oil and global warming are here to stay, and we have to stop fiddling while Rome burns. Or, to use a nominally more erudite Roman reference,
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures. (Julius Caesar - IV.ii.269–276)
We don't have time for this anymore
The Brompton & the Lucida
What's So Good About This?
All the best blocks in New York
Cities Need Both Richness and Order
Egotecture to be branded as Ecotecture
The New World Order — Houston, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai
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okay, I get it, it's the Ides of March
Posted by: steveo at Mar 16, 2009 1:46:51 PM