this recent post by bustler on the housing tower at kripalu center for yoga by peter rose + partners elicited an old familiar reaction—ohhh pretty concrete! recently, discussions on the relocation of the whitney museum from its original building by marcel breuer and negative reactions to the ohio historical center by ireland and associates have kept the topic of concrete animosity in the news [i’m particularly fond of breuer, having helped in the efforts toward conservation of his grosse point library, one of his non-concrete buildings]. but as an architect raised by concrete-loving, unapologetic modernists, i can’t help myself [and why should i?]: i love concrete [coincidentally, recent post here on lovability or lack thereof of brutalist buildings and their preservation chances].
perhaps it’s the fact that i went to several all-concrete architecture schools—starting with my alma mater in gye [sorry the pic is so blurry!]: picture a fallingwater-type composition layered on the side of a tropical hillside but made by a poor man’s tadao ando [i love the building but economic conditions did not allow for a good clean finish]. the architects if i remember correctly were bravo & robalino, both still teachers at ucsg. in any case, animosity against concrete always confuses me. why the hate, when there’s so much to love?
so without further comments, some concrete porn for all kindred souls who also salivate a little at the sight of some good concrete…
poetic: tadao ando at vitra factory in weil am rheim
unexpected: frank lloyd wright’s guggenheim during renovation in 2007
… and soft: rudolph’s government service center stairs
sculptural: column at st. mary’s cathedral, sfo, by pier luigi nervi and others.
infrastructural: underspass in sfo periphery
mythical: carlo scarpa, iuav gate at venice
… and underneath that roof: faites l’archi, pas la guerre!
ps. plug for my pals from heroic: boston concrete
pps. i cannot resist giving you one more: