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Letters to the Editor

Visual impact

April 18, 2011

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To the editor:

Architecture deeply affects our environment and daily lives. Its errors are immediately glaring. More closely connected to the life of urban planning, more rigid and unchangeable than interior design, architecture is the one most exposed to criticism.

In most other fields the standards are going up. Standards in architecture, however, have been plunging as mentioned in an Journal-World article “Stuck in Time” from March 16, 2008, where Kansas University architecture professor Dennis Domer said “the lack of modernity is a sign of the community failing to connect with the intellectual ideas of the university.”

Strong Hall on the university campus is an example of good architecture and of lasting details and workmanship, not modern really, but built within the last century. Where is the culture of buildings with great entrances and a plinth or base, like the old Carnegie Library which places the building upon the landscape? The Carnegie’s new addition fortunately honors this tradition.

We must all demand more substantial and enduring qualities, instead of the application of fashionable styles. Architecture should be neither histrionic, “cupcake style,” or so extreme that it disconnects from design for the place and climate where the new building occurs.

Healthy growth in Lawrence demands vision. New architecture should demonstrate the current technological leaps being made in green building. The glaring failure of the recent Oread Hotel architecture to address the concept of “sense of place” or contextual design should mark it as the last local design where not only architecture but sustainable and green issues were neglected.

Comments

BruceWayne 2 years, 12 months ago

reason #78,897 Svenderella lost his campaign bid.

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BigPrune 2 years, 12 months ago

I've always thought architects are NOT creative, but more like their engineering kin, or an accountant. They think with the wrong side of the brain. Just look at the boondoggle library, a ripoff look from a library in California done by the same firm. No originality.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 12 months ago

Oh, wait, you can't respond because you've been disappeareded again. Never mind.....

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 12 months ago

Sven, did you go around and pick up your dozen yard signs so they don't become litter?

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Chengdu808 2 years, 12 months ago

The Oread Hotel is a blight on the skyline of Lawrence. It is the ugliest structure I've ever seen. When looking west from the third floor of the public parking garage, one can see the spires of and rooftops of several downtown churches, and to the south, the Watkins Community Museum Building. All are beautiful structures. But in between them is the Oread Hotel. Those cell towers look like smokestacks on a federal prison. Someone should be in jail for that design.

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Liberty_One 2 years, 12 months ago

What is he talking about? The Oread Hotel looks fine to me. Sounds like someone got his ox gored and is trying to rationalize his views with pseudo-intellectual hogwash.

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Benjamin Roberts 2 years, 12 months ago

"Standards in architecture, however, have been plunging as mentioned in an Journal-World article...."

A comparative example might help: http://www.dreamgreenhomes.com/plans/santafe3.htm

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