Friday, February 20, 2004

Still in the architecture mind, I think.
It was interesting to see the culmination of Kahn's life work in Bangladesh - forms that were tried out here that, in my mind, did not work out but were perfect for that part of the world. It's in the philosophy, I guess.

For example, generally I've hated most of what Corbu had created - beton armée, though cheap and readily available in most places just plain looks cheap. Go into any housing block (if you don't mind risking having something flaming lobbed at you at this point) in a banlieue of a major French city and you can see how these great 'machines for living' have fared over the years. Or, if you're not up to travelling to the continent, just take a look at the Carpenter Center over on Oxford street. Mind you, though it follows his dictates on form, I wouldn't necessarily say that it follows his intentions for building for The People. Harvard tends to be about as far from The People as you can get. In any event, it still looks awful, despite the money they can throw at it for preservation. However - and I'd like to see a more more modern image of it - the work that he did in Islamabad for Pandit Nehru, something he truly believed in, was very impressive indeed. Again, philosophy put to practice in a place where an experiment of hope like that had a chance.

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