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rick potestio
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This is the most sensitive and elegant remodel/addition/renovation in this city in years. The firm of Henneberry Eddy is to be commended for such excelent work. Every aspect of the design work on this building, both the original and the renovation, is stellar. The setback addition of the top floor, with its horizontal roof plane, is the perfect counterpoint to the asterity of the sleek marble walls. While desinged in the 50's... right after the WWII, this building exemplifies the "Mussolini Modern" (my term) movement in architecture in Italy before the war. Portland is blessed by Belulschi's splendid interpretation of this proto-style... the Oregonian Building being another example. I would encourage architects to study this building. Its restraint and rigor are a welcome relief from all the noise that is current architectural fashion.
Thanks to Brian and Jeff for writing about this remarkable structure. This building is both beautiful and somehow disquieting... it exposes the inadequacies of the modern architectural vocabulary... while intended as a transcendent space, it somehow manages to capture a banal quality that is more like a convention center or airport of the period.... modern architecture's minimal set of elemental, formal and elaborative components falls far short of the inventive and expressive natue of the roof form and resultant space. I think this building is fabulous for what it attempted to be, and I lament that the mundane aspects of this building were not reconsidered. That said, it has a heroic quality that makes me think of our Memorial Coliseum.
rick potestio is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 3, 2011