So Javier you really like this project? Gerhy has done better in my opinion. From the phots I've seen, I wouldn't care much for this building. After all, it's just a preciously decorated 'typical corporate glass box'.
French: I am more curious about John Maeda's architecture tastes than the actual merits of the Stata Center. Maybe he should have been to Dallas instead of Austin, where amidst all the typical glass boxes you can find a work of true simplicity at Piano's Nasher sculpture center... or even IMPei's corporate tower is waaay better than the one Maeda adulates.
but since you want to know, I think some of the moments inside the Stata Center where different objects meet are really damn great. As a whole, I don't like the complex's mimesis of a townscape. I find that to be tea-staining on a massive scale; it is a crescendoing manufacture of sense-o-place, the imagineering of city life where in reality there is a single tenant. On the other hand, it is not a typical corporate box. The break-down of the massing itself is rather good, if only it wasn't rendered as a city pastiche, except that some of the lobby spaces are like oversized, underprogrammed remnants.
There are moments at dusk in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia when Helmut Jahn's Liberty One and Two buildings - as banal a pair of mid-80's corporate towers as they come - look stunningly gorgeous, melding with the deep transparent blue of the sky. So beautiful they took my breath away and gave me that elusive and joyful oceanic feeling on many, many occasions.
Mr. Maeda, this is the result of mixing bluish reflective glass with clear dusk light and that sense of excitiment that comes on many people as the day becomes night. Architects should know how and try to harness this natural phenomenon to their advantage, whatever the form of their building design, simple or complex.
Dave Hickey wrote that in Las Vegas when you see the frantically bright Strip at dusk backlit by an achingly beautiful desert sunset, it is the sunset that looks fake, not the Strip. Spot on.