Friday, January 25, 2013

Architect's Accidental Historicizing

Flipping through January's Architect Magazine on the train this morning, something on page 136 caught my eye. A photo of Tour Total, designed by Barkow and Leibinger, seems to be capped by a large ghostly gable.

[Tour Total, Barkow and Leibinger, detail of photo by Christian Richters | Scanned from page 136 of Architect Magazine, January 2013]

The mirage that perfectly rises from each corner of the building comes from an advertisement for Hanley Wood University on page 135. I'll admit it's all pure coincidence, but the "capping" of the building is heightened by, well, the height at which the photographer took the shot, which flattens the top of Tour Total to a horizontal line. The shape then looks like a 30-60-90 triangle balancing atop the building, or an inadvertant Hitler-esque* attempt to historicize the unrelenting modernism of the tower.

*I've heard that Hitler had pitched roofs installed on the Bauhaus in the mid-1930s, but I've yet to hear or see proof of that temporary transformation of modernism.

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