Architecture & Design

7 Wild, Fantastic Icons Of Postmodern Architecture

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Picture just being able to color with a No. 2 pencil, then unexpectedly being able to use a complete Prismacolor set. That’s exactly what the shift from modernism to postmodernism was like. With its dynamic hues, wild shapes, and historic winks, postmodern architecture declined the stoic rigidness of its predecessor. Liberated from modern architecture’s fixation with formal pureness and “sincere” materials, postmodern architects were complimentary to utilize every bit of their innovative creativity. The results were often overwhelming, as the new book Post-Modern Structures In Britain (Pavilion 2017) shows.Today postmodern

architecture is having a minute, as this fairly recent motion– which grew from the late 1970s through the 1980s– is increasingly seen through a historical lens. At the exact same time, it’s at the center of several intense preservation fights. Buildings from this age are finally old sufficient to be considered for landmark status, yet developers like renovating them for contemporary tastes. Such is the case with the AT&T Structure, in New York City, which is presently steeped in debateover a Snøhetta-designed strategy to transform the lower floorings into glass. There’s pressure to upgrade many of Britain’s postmodern buildings for 21st-century tastes.Post-Modern Structures In

Britain aims to raise awareness about these architectural treasures by presenting readers to their originality. [Image: Batsford] Take architect John Outram

‘s 1986 design for a pumping station in London. While the structure has the components of a classical Greek temple– a triangular pediment, in proportion exterior, and columns– the proportions are exaggerated and Outram emblazons the tops of the columns with whimsical colors and patterns. An exhaust fan smack in the middle of the pediment looks like a threatening all-seeing eye. The structure looks like if it was pulled from a pop-art painting. A comparable nod to history blended with jolts of color also appear in a the China Wharf Structure, a waterfront apartment or condo building by the firm CZWG. Finished in 1986, it references an Art Nouveau train station in Vienna, with an exterior of mostly bluish glass other than for a brick-red arch tacked onto its front. Often designers mined other disciplines for motivation. At his home in Scotland in 1988, designer and historian Charles Jencks created a staircase that climbs up a hill and zig-zags to look like DNA’s double helix shape.”The built works of British post-modernism, always in the minority, are today quickly disappearing– thus this book,”authors Geraint Franklin and Elain Harwood write in the book’s intro.”But the post-modern motion’s assisting concepts and strategies– chief among them pluralism, context, story and subversion– have actually never ever been more relevant to contemporary architecture.”



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