09 August 2008

How to Make Architecture Creepy

Some sniping back and forth on the level of pollution in China in the comments for the article Chinese Air Bars on BLDG. But that is old news.

The important bit is to look at the picture: a monolithic icon dedicated to media and modernism turned into a dark presence looming over the city. From an aesthetic stance, the transformation is worth far more than arguments over the air quality in Beijing.

Here is the original image.

And here for reference is an image on a different day. Borrowed from Neoliberal Fragements. The photo is from almost exactly the same distance at almost the same angle, the foggy foreground building on the left above appears to the center in the photo below for a sense of distance. Given the angle of the shadows in the shot, I would guess some of the haze could simply be the remains of a morning fog. Personally I love foggy mornings. Ironic that pollution will often make them more beautiful and not less.

Of course, and as with most architecture, the real thing somehow lacks the grace and aethereal beauty of the conception, which is presented in a shining clean city with shining crystal blue windows that are somehow oblvious to the fact that the primary lightsource is outside of them, surrounded by more shining buildings, and at a scale that hides the people scurrying off to work in its shadow, should they even be represented at all, let along the stray scrap of litter scurrying down the street in the wind.

Just found a better view with the same scene from further back and on high. Building also looks a little less intimidating in this one and better fit to the scene. The murky shot at the top seems to be from right inside that traffic loop. The image is from e-architect.

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