Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Falling Starchitect

The other day there was a lambasting article with regards to the "Starchitect" Saantiago Calatrava and his excesses with regards to his public projects and their ultimate contribution to problems in maintenance, longevity, costs and purpose; in other words the entire aspect of what defines sustainability and building. But for many of these esteemed stratosphere those are annoyances in pursuit of either pushing boundaries or extreme egos.

The article discussing his history and the projects in the wake of the pursuit of above is here.

Then today I read another interesting article in Dwell with regards to its never ending adulation of pre-fab. I get that in essence it has all the hallmarks of defining affordable housing but that is all it offers. Until the costs can be realistically restrained, much like "starchitecture" it has a niche role. Sorry but I have been over pre fab for quite some time and while I want to believe, the costs just have not ever been accessible to meet the overall reality of what costs in proportion to income and in turn lending needs for the average home buyer.

This absurd version of what is lauded in the article to me looks like a container adaptation which is being used in both commercial and residential applications or a very expensive trailer/mobile home.

I have no idea what to say about this and of course the neglect of leaving price per square foot without land and additional costs being accounted for, a common fault or reality when touting pre fab design.

Even the interior design seems more amenable to a solo dweller with minimal needs let alone minimalist taste.

The article is here and you can see the slide show and can make your own decision with regards to the practicality and usefulness as well as the longevity and purpose of Mr. Massie's design.

I do think there may be something practical in seeing how pre fab and container upgrades could be utilized as affordable housing for the homeless and temporarily in need of transient housing, as opposed to the absurd podments that seem to be the concept of what defines affordable housing.

And this type of construction build could easily accommodate workers in areas of energy and agriculture that dominates the rural landscape.

We have a long road to build communities let alone housing that is both efficient and affordable and perhaps these stars of architecture could figure out how to do that. Perhaps partner with their equivalent in the Tech Sector since they seem to think they are changing the world. For who and how remains a debate.

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