Comment 20265

By erik van (anonymous) | Posted March 23, 2008 at 14:30:19

As with furniture, great new buildings are always welcome, we need these public places to confirm our participation in the human condition.
However, in buildings and furniture, it's always a mistake to confuse "new" "exciting" and "cutting edge " with "worthwhile", "beautiful" and "usable".
This building in my opinion is an example of the personality cult gone wrong - buildings are meant above all to be used, and the ROM crystal uses very poorly indeed.
Surely when entering a great public building the user should feel a sense of awe and expectation, a hopeful excitement about this expression of the best of human endeavour - in this case, it feels like one is entering a fairly large public washroom, it is oppressive, shoddy, and makes one want nothing more than to get out of the lobby.
Once inside the feeling doesn't change much, except upon entering the revamped spaces of the original building.
As a critical exercise, it's great to enter the Crystal, (pay the ouch, 20 bucks) get the lobby feeling, then head straight to the original entrance, and pretend to enter the building again. The contrast in those 2 experiences is all that's required to make up one's mind.
Yes, we desperately need new architecture, but only if it's better than the old.

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