25 April 2007

Block City – Update



The cat

Oliver has left a long comment on the easy-to-draw building I wrote about some weeks back. It’d be a pity if what he wrote just gathered dust in the archives, so I thought I’d post it out here in the fresh air.

“Did you know that amateur architect was a guy named John Hejduk, who died a few years back? Long-time dean of the architecture school at Cooper Union in New York, colleague of Colin Rowe and Peter Eisenman at Cornell University in the 1960’s, and mentor to Daniel Liebeskind (architect of the much-toutet but similarly dysfunctional Jewish Museum around the corner), whatever he did with this building it wasn’t by accident. Which I guess must make it even more suspect.

But that’s the point, I guess. “Why, why, would he do this to the southern facade of a building?”, you might ask. The short answer is because he was far more interested in the biomorphic (sad geometric cat) appearance of the building than in merely trying to fulfill the needs the inhabitants.

The long answer can be found in the book Hejduk’s Chronotope, a collection of essays by cutting-edge 1990’s architecture theorists edited by K. Micheal Hays. At least there’s a place for the satellite dishes, and a ladder. I know for fact that you can get great reception on the south side, too, so light is in this sense let in in a completely different way. And they enhance the reading of a nose, possibly suggesting nostrils, or nose plugs.”

Hejuk’s Wall Housevia www.figure-ground.com