Friday, December 3

Dismissed and ridiculed when they stood up, it’s time to re-evaluate the twin towers | Rowan moore

FNew buildings illustrated the power of architecture to be different things to different people at different times than the twin towers of the World Trade Center. For their architect, Minoru Yamasaki, they were “a living symbol of man’s dedication to world peace.” The terrorists who destroyed them made them symbols of conflict. To a generation of New Yorkers, they represented the faceless corporate civic bodies that razed a thriving and diverse district called Radio Row to build the towers. When I studied architecture, they typified empty modernism, the “largest radiators in the world,” said one of my tutors.

However, the Japanese-American Yamasaki was fired by his contemporaries for being “delicate”, “prim”, “epicene”, “ballet school”, for example, because of the slender gothic-looking arches that ran along the bases of the towers. Now looking at the old images republished with the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the towers look majestic and graceful, magically capturing the ever-changing light, serene counterparts of the frenetic city that spreads out below them. Not to mention the pillars of the world that changed forever with its collapse.

Suspicious methods

Ivermectin packages in Argentina.
Ivermectin packets in Argentina, where its use was growing earlier this year. Photography: Roberto Almeida Aveledo / Shutterstock

At a bus stop outside the British Library in London, and elsewhere, as far as I know, a poster appeared last week lamenting the effects of lockdowns on children. It looked convincing and official, with the UK government and NHS logos on the base, but if you scanned a QR code between the logos, you were taken to an anti-vaccine, anti-mask and anti-blocking website. It was tortuous, in other words, in a way that seems characteristic of those promoting alternatives to official positions on the pandemic.

See also the arguments used to present ivermectin, a drug most often used to deworm cattle, as something that prevents Covid. These are based on studies that have been credibly called “suspect“Or they have been withdrawn for” ethical concerns. ” For which methods is the question, if your arguments are sound, why present them this way? In this context, I prefer the direct language of the US Food and Drug Administration: “You are not a horse.” tweeted re ivermectin. “You are not a cow. Seriously, all of you. For.”

Children’s ideas

children's drawing of the house and family.
Britain’s home builders should be able to do better than this. Photograph: Professor25 / Getty Images / iStockphoto

“If you ask the children to draw a house, they will draw the Game school house, with a door in the middle, windows on each side and a sloping roof, “he says Andrew Whitaker, planning director of the Federation of Home Builders. You’re trying to justify the ubiquitous products of the high-volume home builders your organization represents, which roughly fit that description, albeit somehow without the allure of a child’s drawing. I would wonder how far this idea of ​​basing the adult world on the perceptions of babies should be taken: would anyone really want the idea of ​​a child of a car showing up at the school gate, least of all Mom and Daddy come out of him, in the shape of stick people with circles for faces and triangles for skirts?

Embarrassing puppy

Puppy by Jeff Koons, at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Puppy by Jeff Koons, at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, in full bloom. Photograph: Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao has released a rap video to help fund the restoration of Jeff Koons’ large flower-covered puppy statue outside his Frank Gehry building. “It’s the ‘P’ with the ‘U’ with the ‘P’ with the ‘P’ with the ‘Y’,” says local musician MC Gransan. “So please don’t kill my vibe.” It’s making daddy shake by dancing. Also, given that Koons’ net worth is reputed to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and the Bilbao pup helped build his reputation, I would have thought he could look up the back of his metaphorical sofa for the € 100,000 (85,000) pounds sterling) required. It would save everyone the embarrassment.

Rowan Moore is the Observer’s architecture critic.

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