June 10, 2008

Significant Boston Architecture. Love or Boo.

There are a lot of very architecturally significant buildings in Boston. We went to a ton of them but rather than bore you with the ins and outs of why they matter how about a quick summary judgment. Love or Boo.

Institute of Contemporary Art by Diller Scofidio + Renfro – Love.
The Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston
Although that’s probably because the sculptural ribbons remind me of one of Matt’s old studio projects… also I love their blur building so I’m a bit biased.

The Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston

Plus they have the added bonus of being a husband/wife team where the wife’s name comes first. Because if architectural history has taught us one thing it’s that if the wife’s name comes last it will be dropped. I’m so not making that up. How many people have heard of Venturi? What about Scott-Brown? I rest my case.
The Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston

Kresge Chapel by Saarinen – Love.

Kresge Chapel
Kresge Chapel

I’m a huge fan of the perfect circle on the outside and waviness on the inside.

Kresge Chapel
Kresge Chapel

Kresge Auditorium by Saarinen – also love.
Kresge Auditorium
Here’s why:
kresge auditorium
kresge auditorium
Yeah.

Some Ghery Campus Building I don't even care enough to look up the name of - Boo:
Stata Center
Seriously can we be over these already? He jumped the shark with Bilbao and that was over 10 years ago. All of his campus buildings kindof look the same and even worse they leak. But for some reason we’re plunking these down on campuses across the US. Definite Boo.

Simmons Hall by Steven Holl - Love:
Holl dorm
Holl dorm

Ok I was admittedly biased on this one because I though Kiasma sucked a big one. Seriously that building was all about path of discovery and the experience of walking though the galleries… everything was all ramped and linear and stuff to make you go in one direction and one direction only. And this whole carefully designed path cumulated with a fire stair. I shit you not. Fire stair. But I have to admit…. This?

Holl dorm
Holl dorm
Holl dorm
I kindof love. Although that might be because of the ball pit. Yup. The building has a ball pit (pic here). What’s not to love about that?

Trinity Church by H.H. Richardson:
Trinity Church
Well I’m going to give this one a big Love.
Trinity Church
But I’m a Richardson fan. Also all of the column capitals are different and details like that make me ridiculously happy.
Trinity Church

I.M. Pei Concrete Monstrosities:

First off is the Government Center:
City Hall and Plaza
This would be from his concrete “I swear it wasn’t me” period. From before he discovered that glass pyramids were the way to go. And based solely on the giant, useless, empty, hard, boring, plaza in front of it this building is a Boo.

Next would be the Church of Christ, Scientist:
Church of Christ, Scientist
I’m going to go with a Love. But that might just be because the maparium inside was so frickin’ cool. That or the reflecting pool:
Church of Christ, Scientist
More buildings should have reflecting pools.

Quincy Market – Boo
Quincy Market
This is significant b/c it a large scale preservation project along with one of the first festival market places so I’m pretty sure I studied it for at least one of those reasons. Or something like that.

I’m still giving it a boo because it was essentially a tourist mall.

So there you go.... yeah architecture!

Oh and many, many more Boston pics are over here on Flickr... I've finally finished uploading all of them!

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for the smart commentary and terrific photos. Your enthusiasm for architecture and your eye for detail are refreshing. Great post!!!

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  2. I agree great post! Your pics are awesome. I feel like I'm there. P.s. sent you message on Ravelry. Look see. :)

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  3. I'm too much of a heathen to go to church, but that Kresge Chapel is AWESOME. I'd be very bright-shiny-object obsessed during sermons with that action behind the pulpit!

    Also seriously love Simmons Hall. It looks like a robot!

    He, when it comes to architecture, I apparently have the taste of a 12-year-old boy. :P

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  4. Ha! This post is so ruling right now. I need to get my shiz together and post my boston stuff. dmmit.
    I am a bit miffed that we didn't have time to get to all the other stuff in boston. sad to miss those other buildings. but i will just have to live vicariously through your flickr. and you so called it with the women in architecture. oy. i think maybe you should do a regular "love or boo" with any assortment of stuff. that would be a great addition to the blog i think.

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  5. lindy9:37 AM

    When the Rock and Roll HOF was being built, my mom called him "I.M. Peid Way Too Much" HeeHee!

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  6. Wow, you make my hometown look so great. I am embarrassed that I don't even know where a couple of those buildings are and yet I am familiar with all the "boos".

    Maybe I'll take a walk this weekend with fresh eyes. Thanks!

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  7. MIT has a ton of great buildings - and Kresge Chapel was always a favorite of mine.

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  8. Anonymous11:33 AM

    I thought that Steven Holl kind of got lost with his MIT dorm...but the fact that it has a ball pit confirms it. Those pits are being removed almost everywhere, because it turns out that they are great breeding ground for all sorts of wonderful diseases. Ask any parent!

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