An interesting take on today’s digital baroque

Berlin architect Zvi Hecker on Lebbeus Woods’ blog, commenting on the disengaged architecture of recent years:

The more obscure and environmentally irresponsible were the financial investments, the more excessive became the Architectural form. In its most extreme version the Architecture’s mere existence became its function, just as the inflated growth of the financial market became its only raison d’être.

No longer required to follow the rules of logic, coherence and clarity of the plan, the “Architect as Architect” became rapidly irrelevant. This may explain why in recent years so very few significantly innovative designs emerged in Architecture’s core fields of engagement: solutions for housing, urban design, and integration of the socially deprived, subjects which were the bedrock of the Modern Movement.

(more at

I couldn’t agree more – especially when I look at much of what is going on with “digital” architecture, I see nothing substantially new. No new ideas are being explored, only new possibilities for more complex form. The thing this new but hardly innovative architecture reminds me of the most is a new Baroque – superficially over-elaborated, but substantially vacuous. There’s got to be more to architecture than showing off.

Folds-in-cube cont’d

After a dismal showing in my review on Monday I should shut up and hide under a rock, but I thought I’d share this with the world instead – so here’s my cube’s program:

In order – parking, public space, office and hotel.

Here’s a rendering from a previous version:

I think I’ll have to rework the whole thing – the parking, which is supposed to be integrated into almost the whole height of the building is too much of an “alien” insert, and in general the geometry is too much of a one-liner. ‘T ain’t easy.