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Posted by  SR on January 15, 2004 at 10:20:46:

In Reply to:  Re: WHAT IS GOOD ARCHITECTURE?? posted by Nadine on January 15, 2004 at 02:59:05:

Good architecture is architecture that feels good, looks good, and works. Bad architecture never feels good because it either looks bad, or doesn't work, or both. Now, I'm talking about architecture as actual buildings, as opposed to photographs, drawings, or models of buildings. Most of us haven't really haven't experienced all that much residential architecture, for example, because it's private. In my imagination I love Palladio, but I haven't been to Italy yet so I don't know. In Boston we have a wonderful side by side example of good vs. bad architecture. The Boston Public Library by McKim, Mead, and White is a marvelous public building that makes me feel like an honoured guest being invited to feast on the accomplishments of my fellows. Next door is an addition to the library by Phillip Johnson, and it makes me feel cheap and unwanted. The McKim is of harmonious proportions and beautiful lit by a mix of natural and artificial light. The Johnson building's proportions feel constricted; it is harshly lit with florescent lighting. The McKim is crafted, signs of handwork are everywhere. The Johnson is manufactured, devoid of human touch. Now all this is my idea of what's good. You probably have different ideas. I love Robert Venturi, and his book "Complexity & Contridiction in Architecture" is one of only a handful of essential 20th century books. But I don't think, as Venturi does, that Las Vegas sets a standard for good architecture. The reason is simple. Las Vegas doesn't feel good to me. It's ugly and makes me want to leave. Good architecture seduces you into staying for a while; when it's great, you never leave the same person.

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