The Eyesore of the Month

Architectural Abortions from the USA and Around the World
(And Sometimes Other Miscellany Infecting the Landscape)

February 2012

     Cornel Tech Center on Roosevelt Island NYC featured in Kunstler's Eyesore of the Month February 2012

     Techno-grandiosity rears its sleek, mystifying surfaces in the proposal for Cornell University's new Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island, New York City designed by the corporate androids at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP. The deployment on the ground is what we call "train-wreck urbanism." No street-and-block pattern. In fact, it is just an update of Corbusier's old towers-in-a-park motif (though the towers appear to have toppled onto their sides). This is the "green" update on Corbu, of course, with the tilted slab buildings oriented to the south for solar collection (or else they may simply roast the occupants within). Note, characteristic of Corbu-derived anti-urbanism, the "green space" surrounding the buildings is wholly ambiguous – while the tree plantings are arbitrary in the vain attempt to signify: "Nature Here!"
      How much do we suck?

     Thanks and shout-out to Meg Dahlgren for sending in this humdinger. She remarked wisely: "It seems that all an architect has to say is "green design," and all else is forgiven."

Previous Eyesores of the Month