Eyesore of the Month
The new Simmons Hall dormitory
at MIT, Cambridge, Mass, by architect Stephen Holl. It's a perfect
metaphor for an institution saturated in the cult of techgnosis,
a building-as-pure-diagram. Note that there isn't a single line
that is not absolutely straight, meaning Holl has managed to expunge
every last hint of the sensual, the decorative, and the female.
It actually looks a bit like a computer chip standing on edge.
My favorite touch, though, is the strip of parking on the apron
in front of the facade, just to remind us who MIT really serves.
Strange to relate, some of the rooms
inside have no straight lines at all. The one depicted below is
a sort of concrete womb nightmare. It also reminds me of the dungeon
that the Count of Monte Cristo was left to rot in, except he wasn't
allowed to have such cutting edge furniture.
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001,
2002, 2003, 2004 James Howard Kunstler