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Manuel Calo

"Russian oil giant Gazprom"?
Can you read?



That is barbarism!


I guess that should read "energy giant" or "petrochemical giant". Whilst the biggest extractor of natural gas in the world it also has the world's third largest oil reserves, just behind Saudi Arabia and Iran.

UPDATE: RMJM were announced as the winner of the competition, but only after the Pop Idol celebrity judging panel including Stormin' Norman Foster, Rafael VInoly and Kisho Kurokawa had walked away from the competition jury, with Kurokawa openly critical of the design brief and the proposed building height.

Which only goes to make the smell from this whole fiasco even worse, and it's not gas.


AWWWW.. someone has jealousy issues.

willfulness is beauty. ego can do wondrous things. stop imposing your upbringing on architecture as art.

those buildings are gorgeous, and when placed their, they will have more of an effect on people and interactions than 90% of the stuff we architects get to design.

if i had designed any of them, i'd be happy that i'm getting such a visceral reaction coming from people like you, but then i'd discard your opinion as that of someone who hasn't thought deeply enough about context-less architecture in a world that's changing so fast.


Whoa, thanks Chuck.

I don't have a problem with wilfullness per se, but with no program, formal logic or context provided we are being asked to judge a beauty contest on looks alone. Is that what you want from architecture?

Koolhaas has said "logic allows you to be wilful" (in reference to the Zeebrugge port terminal designed back in the day). Reading more about his fascination with pixelation, Rachel Whiteread's boxes and Malevich's 'arkhitectonic' sculptures, there's a theme and a formal exploration there which is manifested in the design of the tower, even if it is hopelessly underdeveloped.

Nouvel's design also explores a programmatic approach.

Without context or program, the last resort for most architects is iconography, as documented superbly in an ongoing project by Michiel van Raaij at Eikonographia. It's at this stop that RMJM and Herzog de Meuron decided to jump off, with variations on a wisp of smoke.

Which just leaves Fuksas and Libeskind. As I mention, Fuksas simply recycles the design from a previous scheme - the ultimate in context-free design.

This leaves Libeskind out on his own, ever the iconoclast, creating either a radical new archetype for a skyscraper, or exhibiting sure signs of narcosis. What was he thinking?

But in this context-less brave new architectural world that you seem so keen to celebrate, Libeskind just needs to keep hawking this round, like Corbusier's 'cartesian carpetbagger' - until he gets it built somewhere, anywhere. Ego can do wonderful things, but it can also lead down the path to hubris.

Finally, an interesting quote from Koolhaas, quoted here:

"“Next to OMA and AMO, we’re about to erect a third pillar: generics, like the medicine, which will distribute projects without copyright or ego.” I frown at the idea of Koolhaas and OMA working anonymously. “It’s a huge challenge, but just watch us!”

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