Pairing the european Union’s brand-new facility in Strasbourg with the medieval painter Brueghel’s Tower that Babel has occurred to not a few on the Internet, and also not without very great reason. You can nearly assume that the designer intended to dare doubters to attract the evident comparison. Modern architects are prefer that. Harum-scarum! however the E.U. Is a fount of many voices, “out the many, one,” so to speak, and also amounting to babble only in the eyes of critics. However the critics may be correct. The E.U. is a quagmire, but less that a babble, accurate or figuratively, than the united Nations: Many more voices, even an ext babblicious.

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At the risk of shocking my friend Malcolm Millais’s eyeballs into a furious roll, I need to say the the photo he sent out of the E.U.’s brand-new headquarters in Brussels is quite cute. Contemporary architecture has actually here created something that may come together close come beautiful as can be imagine by objective observers in the full capacity of their sanity. Listed below is a nice picture taken from an extensive shoot in ~ Dezeen, “E.U. Headquaters attributes glass crate containing curvaceous glow lantern.”

New E.U. Headquarters in Brussels. (Photos here and below from Dezeen)

The new building, whose design was led by the Belgian for sure Samyn and also Partners, possibly does not also rely for its high aesthetic quality on the historical structure at its reduced right corner, to which the bigger structure has been attached. Another photo below from an edge taken in ~ dusk likewise shows turn off its breakable loveliness. The building appears pregnant v the future the Europe. (Yes, ns myself cringe in ~ the words flying off my keyboard.)

Having said every one of this, let’s reiterate what has not been said: As architecture the structure is ghastly, like nearly all modernism. Choose all together buildings, come imagine a classical or other traditional building in its ar is to imagine an advancement in its public beauty. But delicate it might be, the brand-new E.U. Headquarters quiet crushes the spirit of passersby, hazards the future potential for beauty top top the remainder of the boulevard, and also is unsustainable. For the matter, it is not a building anyway however a sculpture, a huge sculpture pretending to it is in a building. And if the next photo offers any kind of evidence, there are times (such as daytime) when its elegance doesn’t really come as much as snuff. Yawn!

The box containing the lantern is interesting, regardless of the critical picture. The photo below, difference the surface of the old structure with the surface ar of the glass crate in i beg your pardon the spherical “lantern” sits, or hangs, or whatever, is described below the photograph by Alyn Griffiths, author of the Dezeen article, along with an architects’ statement.

The transparent walls that wrap approximately the brand-new northeast corner of the structure comprise a patchwork that 3,750 recycle wooden window frames procured from renovation or demolition sites throughout Europe.

“This brand-new facade will be both a practical and also philosophical statement about the re-use of these classic construction elements, express the european diversity the cultures,” claimed the architects.

Haw! Haw! that statement of the architects – exactly how typical. Still, even I should admit that the patchwork the recycled windows is interesting and, if you gain close enough, also elegant. How entirely sad that so couple of works of modern architecture can strive come merit also the derision in masquerade the is this watch glowing testimonial from style Here and There!


About David Brussat

This blog was started in 2009 as a attribute of the Providence Journal, wherein I to be on the editorial board and wrote a weekly obelisk of style criticism for three decades. Design Here and There fights the layout wars for classic architecture and against modern-day architecture, no hold barred. History Press inquiry me come write and in respectable 2017 released my an initial book, "Lost Providence." ns am currently writing my 2nd book. My freelance creating on architecture and other subject addresses concerns of style and society locally and globally. Ns am a member the the board of the brand-new England chapter of the academy of Classical architecture & Art, i beg your pardon bestowed one Arthur Ross award on me in 2002. I job-related from Providence, R.I., where I live through my wife Victoria, my boy Billy and also our cat Gato.If friend would favor to rental my writing and editing to enhance your work, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat, or speak to 401.351.0457.Testimonial: "Your work-related is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and also write what Iwould have written."- Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the college of Texas, architectural theorist and author of countless books.

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