Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Shanghai dragon

Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) inflicts a building in the form of a metal "dragon" in the centre of Shanghai.  Even the ChiComs don't deserve this.

Question:  Exactly when did architecture become an exercises in bad jokes that the rest of us have to live with?


Cthel said...

I'd say... Probably when the first Architectural award was presented.

Instead of an architects work being judged by public opinion, it was now judged by a panel of "experts" (other architects) and the designs were free to move away from any sort of reality or utility into the sunlit uplands of increasingly abstract architectural theories.

eon said...


The best remark on that was made by (IIRC) Louis Kahn, when Michael Graves was given a prestigious award by the American Association of Architects for his "theoretical" studies in 1964; "We used to give architects awards for building buildings, now we give them awards for doing drawings".

Even by Yanko standards, this thing reaches new levels of theoretical obscurity. The chart at the bottom apparently is intended to convey how "mystical" the design is, as if its very existence will somehow raise the karma level of the city. (You may notice at the top that they cannot correctly spell "cultural". Hint, Yanko; Spellcheck is your friend.)

I suspect that simply hiring Buddhist monks to sit in the park chanting mantras would be a good bit cheaper, if that's their main objective.

What will be interesting is how this thing would react to an East China Sea cyclone. My guess is that after it got done playing Lash LaRue with downtown, bits of it would be touching down somewhere around Nanjing.



Sergej said...

Also, I notice, "morfology", and "redused air pressure". Maybe this guy isn't a native speaker of English. Spellcheck starts underlining an annoyingly large proportion of your words when you start speaking in even slightly specialized vocabulary.

Interesting thought, bringing visual relief from all the tall buildings, and some park-space into the middle of the city to provide a habitat for muggers. This was after all, the idea behind Manhattan's Central Park. Structurally, no less insane than St. Louis's Gateway Arch. From a utilitarian point of view, I guess it's just forcing its footprint to be zoned for a row of funny-shaped short buildings that provide the utility of one tall skyscraper: trading more open space for less efficient use of square-footage. Lots of windows, so some nice views for the desk-drones inside, and there'd better be some powerful air conditioning. Being self-contained for energy by tapping the same river four times, and drawing cooling water from the river as many times, and that goofy thing with the holes and the fans, and also solar panels... I don't think that's going to happen. Nice picture of a dragon, though. I would suggest a beefy arm coming out the back of his neck, but really, there is only one Trogdor.

Brandon said...

Looking at the charts on the page and it appears that only a very small portion of that park space is listed as "public spaces". The majority are shown as "green areas" so I guess no humans allowed.