Good and Bad Architecture – not so easy to define.Its a very subjective topic.There is no quick, easy definition, but instead, a number of factors to consider, including time, money, the industry, form follows function approach, process flow, light, sustainability and so it goes on. In my opinion, these are some designs that dint work out well:
01. The unofficially named ‘Fish Building’ is a regional office for the National Fisheries Development Board, located near Hyderabad, India.
The four-storey building was officially opened in April 2012, and was reportedly inspired by‘s monumental ‘Fish’ sculpture in Barcelona which was completed in 1992.
The building was received a number of criticism due to its simple architectural form that literally copying the shape of the fish and paste it onto the site as a building. With no intention or whatsoever to make any effort to at least abstract the shape of the fish or break it down into simple elements and mediate the fish shape to re-form it later on as a building.
02. Ray and Maria Stata Center, Cambridge, MIT,MA
Architect : Frank Gehry.
The center, which features angular sections that appear to be falling on top of one another, opened to great acclaim in the spring of 2004. Mr. Gehry once said that it “looks like a party of drunken robots got together to celebrate.”
Thehas sued the architect and a construction company, claiming that “design and construction failures” in the institute’s $300 million Stata Center resulted in pervasive leaks, cracks and drainage problems that have required costly repairs.
If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design. – Dr Ralf Speth.
03. Hong Kong’s “Dragon Holes”
This is an example of a bad purpose. Though cultural values should be respected, building holes in buildings that serve no other purpose other than allowing a mythical creature to fly through them is absurd. Space is such a premium in Hong Kong and this just adds to that problem.
04. 20 Fenchurch Street
Angrily dubbed “the walkie talkie” this central London skyscraper features a concave facade of glass that focuses sunlight onto the nearby streets. The designers did not take into consideration the context of the environment around it, and the building has since been modified at a great expense to keep cars and other things parked on the streets beside it from being melted by its giant wall of reflective glass.
05. Orange County Government Center
This building was designed by Paul Rudolph in 1963 and built in 1967. And since it’s conception, it’s been viewed by the residents of Goshen, NY as one of the ugliest buildings of all time. Attempts to demolish it were made pretty much from the day it opened its doors. Though a brilliant ode to brutalist architecture, the building did not appease its audience. The people who interact with it in a daily basis have no appreciation for its historical value, but instead care about cost efficiency, which this high-maintenance design fails at horribly.
06. Federation Square Melbourne
This structure is largely hated. But why? It serves its purpose of connecting Flinders Street to the Yarra River wonderfully. It compliments its environment. People loved it when it was completed. However, the design wasn’t durable. Though tech-savy at the time, the project’s design began to feel dated quite quickly. They pulled inspiration from passing architecture fads which were prominent in the mid-late 90s and made them integral parts of the design.
Since its opening, the design of this plaza has been modified countless times. Interestingly enough, the styles of the building have once again gained popularity, and people are “learning to accept” this square’s design.
It’s not just major structures that you can find signs of bad design in either. Let’s take a look at some everyday examples:
- Dead Plants – Some buildings will cast shadows on plants that need lots of light. Other times it reflects sunlight onto a lawn and burns lines into it. If a building can’t get along with its surrounding landscape, chances are no thought was put into it.
- Lengthy Hallways – Though some hallways are lovely, most are the result of a bad layout waste floor space, and wind like a maze across a building. This is a sign that two rooms should been located closer together.
- Fake Windows – The exterior of a building should match what’s within. Bad designs sometime place intersections of closets or other small spaces behind dominate exterior walls which architects will lazily cover up with fake windows, to give the illusion that the insides somehow relate to the exterior of a building.