To [Hatherley], architecture is the physical manifestation of politics. It is power literally in bricks and mortar. In this respect he is unusual and, I believe, right. But he is handicapped at every turn by his belief, worn on his sleeve, in the nobility of the socialist cause. This can be an asset as he wrestles manfully to evoke the spirit of places from which most of us would turn in horror. — wsj.com
More from British architecture writer Owen Hatherley here, and on communist architecture:The promises and problems of a Cuban architecture marketProtesting context, not form, of Ottawa's "victims of communism" memorialCreepy Photos of Russia’s Crumbling Communist ArchitectureCzech Communist...
Though easy targets for fiscal hawks, public architecture that’s luxurious and dramatic — even excessive — should be ours as a right. — Jacobin
Chinese cities have recently become notorious for their sheer degree of copying and reproduction, with hundreds of replicas of famous historic buildings and even of recent ones – such as the copy of Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House, under construction almost immediately after the original was completed. But in London, the Crystal Palace replica is only the most vast – and probably the least likely – of a smaller but still significant series of proposed reconstructions. — guardian.co.uk
Produced as a diploma project in 1928, it justified itself by pointing out – as generations of environmentalists would later insist – the need to minimise human impact on the planet. Except rather than treading lightly on it, we wouldn't be treading on it at all, but living in flying mobile homes, which could dock at collective housing, hotels, factories and leisure centres, able to descend to the earth to enjoy it unspoilt. — guardian.co.uk
Richard Rogers's 1986 headquarters for the insurers Lloyd's of London has just been listed Grade I. This makes it, along with the Royal Festival Hall, one of the few 20th-century structures to be placed at the same level as, say, St Paul's. But, like the gothic cathedrals it so closely resembles, Lloyd's was not meant to be an entirely finished product. Look up to the top of its facade, and you'll find cranes are still there... — guardian.co.uk
This was the city of the 20th Century, but surely nobody, neither utopians or dystopians, imagined that it would look like this. It was nobody's dream and at least in theory, nobody's nightmare. How did we get here? — BBC
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