More worst buildings of 2017

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Recent photo of KieranTimberlake’s new U.S. embassy in London. (Design Week)

While awaiting my promised post “Best traditional buildings of 2017,” here is “From Manila to Manhattan, These New Buildings Will Define Architecture in 2017,” written by Anna Kats for Artsy, a website dedicated to … well, we’ll let that ride. Written exactly a year ago today, it looks forward to the … well, we’ll leave that for the reader to decide. Needless to say, it should sharpen the appetite for what I hope will be my next blog post, “Best traditional buildings of 2017,” which is proving difficult to research. So, enjoy it in a … well, let’s just say a snicker will not be enough. For a taste … the U.S. embassy, London. Believe it or not.

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The widely viewed rendering for the embassy design. (Courtesy of KieranTimberlake)

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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5 Responses to More worst buildings of 2017

  1. The first responder don’t like the previous US embassy, the one by Saarinen?
    As North-East Regional Corresponding Secretary of the “I Love Eero” fan club, I am compelled to respond:
    Supposedly, many people dislike it because of all the garish gold metalwork on the facade (an anodized brass finish on aluminum extrusions, or something like that).
    What I read is that Saarinen was anticipating that London’s coal-burning induced air pollution would quickly soften and subdue that gold finish, and make the overall effect of it fit in with London.
    BUT. just as the building was finished, London passed a strong anti-pollution law: coal smoke was vastly reduced, and the embassy’s facade materials never got that visual softening whic the architect had [most reasonably, I’d say] predicted.
    Oh, those architects– they just can’t get a break!

    Like

  2. Clayton Fulkerson says:

    And I thought the “old” embassy was bad! Considering what’s been happening to London architecturally, this comes as no surprise. On the more hopeful side, perhaps someone like Quinlan Terry will have the opportunity to clean up Grosvenor Square.

    Like

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