Message - Urban Steets and "Authenticity"

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Posted by  Paul Malo on September 22, 2002 at 09:09:21:

Linked is a site that ought to be good--although it loads extremely slowly (caveat to telephone modem users) and the most important part, the images, come through fragmented here. It may be worth a try, however. The notion is to present two case studies, of the "worst" and "best" urban streets in the UK. Submissions have produced a large number of other streescapes and analysis of criteria may be useful.

A relevant question for architects involves the degree to which the design of the individual building should defer to the desgn of the larger streetscape. Koolhaas has been quoted in this forum as saying something to the effect that "context is irrelevent" (I've cleaned up the vulgar language).

This question often arises in design--even in non-urban situations where there is a strong, prevailing character to the surroundings. I have know Modern architects who considered it "inauthentic" to do anything but a doctrinaire, Modern building, regardless of context.

I gather that one of the qualities of the favorite street in this survey is the harmony of the components. Apparently architects of more recent works here have deferred to the character of the street.

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