Pei update

re: demolishing modern architecture

well, it’s gone, as this Curbed Atlanta article reports, “temporarily.” Temporarily? yes, contrary to belief earlier that plans were to preserve a portion of the famous I.M. Pei’s first project, the plans were merely to have a look-alike in place. There is something lost and nothing gained by demo-ing and then reconstructing. Although, the sadly preservation-misinformed project manager is proud to report that the marble panels are in storage to be reused. In talking to Curbed Atlanta, he added that

‘…officials are “confident” the facade will look “exactly the way it was there before,” adding that the process of reproducing the actual steel for the dramatic straight-line look of Pei’s original project—and blending several four-story apartment buildings into that feel—is fairly in-depth, but designers believe they’ve done a pretty good job. “We think the Pei building’s a centerpiece,” he said. “We love the design, we love everything about it.” Newly released renderings show an affinity for Pei’s original, clean design (and lots of windows) throughout the residential parts of the development.’

I will refrain from commenting on every word our architect afficionado and I.M. Pei-lover project manager just said. Why even pretend you are “keeping” part of his building, you’ve just recreated something new, inspired by Pei, which is fine—great really except that you destroyed the real Pei piece to do it. It is not as awesome, interesting, environmental or in keeping with any sort of historicity as preserving the actual building and working around it.

sigh.

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