Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Witold Rybczynski Presents an Eero Saarinen Slideshow

Rybczynski's slideshows are marvelous, and this one is no exception. But it also inadvertantly underscores the problem with architecture.

Ryncsynski supports Saarinen's own view that the Finnish architecht's best building is Dulles Airport. When one drives up to Dulles, it is indeed magnificent--particularly at dawn and dusk. Its large mass is made human by its airiness.

But as a functional airport, Dulles is pretty much a disaster, in part because of the mobile lounges that are Saarinen's invention. I use Dulles between once and twice a month (Reagan National, a wonderful airport, doesn't do international flights or frequent flights to the West Coast, and Baltimore is too far away), and it is even more irritating than most airports. When one departs, the security lines move slowly, and when one arrives, it takes about 45 minutes to get from the airplane to one's car in daily parking. Among large airport terminals in the United States, O'Hare, San Francisco, Dallas and the new Detroit airport, while not as astehtically attractive as Dulles, work far better (note that I am talking about the buildings, not the air traffic sitution).


Uncle Billy Sculpts Mt. Pelerin said...

Wi told Rybczynski what?

That post was Dullesville.

Now how about the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Doesn't it remind you of a government housing project or modern penitentiary when you approach it from the North side?

You're arriving in L.A. a few years too late to see any significant architecture first hand. The Brown Derby... now THAT was art.

Uncle Billy Redux said...

In case you missed this reprint of article on Jim Johnson from same Slate issue.

Had no idea FNMA was so generous.

Uncle B Scripts An Exit Strategy said...

At first I thought, "Bull in China Shop." Then I thought: "Dilletante on blog"
But my comments here so far are probably more like those of Chris to Ben Kingsley from this Sopranos episode: (it's vaguely germane to the post as the episode was done artfully. And... it was written by a boyhood friend of mine).

RE related: If there are any sopranos fans out there -- you might remember the episode as well
where Tony discusses his involvement in a big HUD scam.