An undercover source in deep infrastructure sent me a surreptitiously snapped photo of the new T entrance at Government Center the other day. The photo was too hot to handle, too ugly even to look at, so I left it alone to cool down and also let time elapse so that my source could scurry back into the woodwork from which she – oops, I mean he – occasionally emerges.
My source sent notes on a tape that went up in smoke after I copied it:
- no sense of context
- 32 feet tall (a subway entrance???!) hello!?
- another box!!
- will be covered w/ pigeon droppings in a week
- no way to clean except w/ fork lift
- architecture obsolete before complete!
- designed by BSA president Tim Love – a GSD grad – [redacted]
- poorly detailed – Foster on the cheap – you can’t do high-tech design on the cheap
- looks like KMart does Renzo
It almost seems as if authorities in Boston want to scare off public use of the facilities they control. Each new item of infrastructure looks scarier than the last. This is not a matter of honesty in design. The structures – some needed to exchange the fetid air of the Big Dig under Rose Greenway – do not express the ugliness of their enclosed machinery on their exterior, like a sort of mini-Pompidou. It is decoration pure and stupid, decoration designed to create not love but loathing for Boston. On the other hand, situated next to Beantown’s famously ugly city hall, maybe its designer thought he could take a vacation. He did. But new ugly does not make old ugly better.