Tag Archives: modernism

Why Do We Continue to See Modernist Buildings Being Built?

By Dom Nozzi

Several decades ago, the architecture profession was infected by the Modernism virus.

That infection strongly persists everywhere in the US, and remains firmly in place to this very day.

It is a sick, twisted, absurd, politicized building design ideology that elevates design “innovation” over all else.

Timeless beauty has been tossed in the wastebasket. Beauty has been disparaged as being “subjective” (which, by the way, is complete nonsense – it is now well-established that humans are hard-wired have a number of building design preferences).

Part of the modernist campaign to make our buildings ugly is to make the insane claim that ornamentation is somehow criminal, authoritarian and elitist – which is more pure nonsense. Survey after survey shows that nearly all of us despise the ugly character of modernist buildings — buildings that thoroughly destroy any sense of civic pride.

Tragically, British, American, French, and other armed forces obliterated a huge amount of gorgeous medieval architecture in Europe in WWII — architecture which was almost entirely replaced with awful modernism. This is one of the greatest losses of architecture in human history and is largely irreplaceable.

Modernism is a recipe for societal decline and the extreme uglification of our cities. Given how much we need citizens to live in town centers, and how many have instead come to fear centers due to safety concerns, the last thing we need to do is to make town centers more ugly.

There are a few tiny, tragic benefits associated with modernism: So many people hate it that it will be in lower demand and therefore more affordable after it is built. Modernism will also create a large number of demolition jobs in the future, as nearly all modernist buildings will soon be demolished because of how despised and dysfunctional they are.

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Why Does Modernist Architecture Persist?

By Dom Nozzi

Why is nearly every new building, to this day, still infected by Modernist design?

After all, it is plain as day to the vast majority of people for several decades that Modernist buildings are hideous, ugly, unlovable, barren, sterile monstrosities.

As described by James Stevens Curl in his book Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism (2018), highly persuasive architectural crusaders in the 20s and 30s emerged mostly in economically devastated Germany and the crusading new Soviet Union (led by such people as Mies and Gropius, and Le Corbusier) to create what many in those places at that time craved: a new world and a new human living in a utopian heaven on earth. A great many at the time were eager to join the crusade – the salvation — to bring on the utopia.

But as we know from history and even recent times, utopians are so blinded by their feelings of being heroic leaders that the utopian ends were easily able to justify cruel, irrational means, and overwhelming counter evidence is easy to disregard. The 20s and 30s provided quite fortunate timing (ie, fertile ground) for these crusaders, as they were able to leverage the heroic, crusading witches brew of Soviet Stalinism, America instituting messianic left-wing reforms to emerge from The Great Depression, and fascism. Many early Modernists were either totalitarian Stalinists or American reformers or authoritarian fascists – to this day, many Modernists proudly consider themselves to be cultural Marxists fighting with the proletariat against the bourgeois (or other powerful elitist “oppressors”).

It is exceptionally seductive for a left-leaning, intelligent, empathetic person to adopt an ideology that promises to rescue the downtrodden.

As persuasive crusaders, people such as Mies and Le Corbusier successfully formed a new fundamentalist religious cult of Modernism, where a dogma must be adhered to, dissent is not tolerated, believers are isolated, superior knowledge is claimed, subservience is required, brainwashing is practiced, and incomprehensible language is used.

Like other successful fundamentalist cults, Modernism has been able to attract fervent believers who tend to remain believers for the rest of their lives (and pass their beliefs on to future generations), despite the irrationality and overwhelming evidence against the ideology. Like Soviet communism and fascist Germany, Modernists are blind to the awful, cruel world they have created. All three groups, in other words, have “drunk the Koolaide.”

To this day, according to the author, left-leaning architecture professors, professional architects, and architecture students continue their fundamentalist crusade, which includes the need to “cleanse” the world of “bourgeois” classical/historic/beautiful/ornamental architecture and hasten the advent of the “new world,” the “new human,” and the “new utopian heaven.”

Standing in the way of the fundamentalist Modernist crusaders – like with other communist, fascist and religious fundamentalist crusaders – takes enormous courage. Courage is needed even when it is clear that what the Modernist proposes is another hideous building that is likely to lead to massive amounts of crime, vandalism, and being quickly demolished (the fate of countless Modernist buildings in the 20th century).

When you are part of a cult, it is so easy to rationalize, in your own mind, why your efforts are utopian, even if it should be self-evident that your efforts are destructive.

In sum, all cults have a good and evil narrative, and a promise for utopia. You are either one or the other. There are the “saved” and the “damned.” The “oppressed” or the “oppressor.”

There have been many cults in our past. And there are many cults in recent times up until today, both on the political right and left.

On the right, there is the Jimmy and Tammy cult, the Jim Jones cult, and the Billy Graham cult. There is the Second Amendment Gun Rights cult. The Donald Trump cult. And the Republican Party cult. On the left, there is the Marxist cult, the feminist cult, the woke cult, the antifa cult, the BLM cult, the Democratic Party cult, and the Modernist Architecture cult.

In each case, by definition, cult followers become Eric Hoffer’s “true believers.” People who are compelled to deny or rationalize away overwhelming evidence or logic right in front of their eyes, because to not do so makes them a heretic or a criminal or an insane person or an enemy of the people or a racist or an oppressor. Someone who is so immoral that they must be punished or banished from the tribe of friends and family.

Millions of educated people on the left have been members of the Marxist cult (I used to be one of them) and denied or rationalized the backwardness of the Soviet Union and the millions tortured and liquidated by Stalinism (to do otherwise is to open yourself up to be seen as supportive of the evilness of greedy, exploitative capitalists).

Similarly, millions of people on the right have denied or rationalized away that Jim and Tammy Bakker were exploitative charlatans (to do otherwise is to open yourself up to be seen as supportive of the evilness of satanism). Stalin didn’t send millions to the gulags! Jim and Tammy did not lie to church members on their way to becoming billionaires! The Emperor is wearing lovely clothes! There is no elephant in the room! Modernist buildings are wonderful!

THAT is why nearly all buildings to this day use unlovable, butt-ugly Modernist design.

I fear our society will not be able to escape the widespread zombie cult of Modernist architecture in our lifetimes – a cult that is criminally destroying the proud, admirable beauty of our world.

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Looking Forward Rather Than Looking Backward?

By Dom Nozzi

Modernist architects are fond of disparaging traditional architectural design by stating that we should be “looking forward rather than looking backward.” We should “design for the future rather than the past.”

However, in countless cases, looking forward to the future has led to terrible outcomes that have created problems that society has spent a long time trying to correct.

The following are a few examples of how “looking forward” was an extremely bad idea…

DDT

Lead-based paint

Mercury-based dental fillings

Leaded gasoline

Interstate highways, widened highways, and beltways in urban areas

Trans-fats/Hydrogenated oils

Low-fat diets

Polyester and corduroy clothing

Invasive plants and animals imported from other countries

Bean bag chairs

Use-based zoning

Nuclear weapons

High-fructose corn syrup

Asbestos

Car-based suburbs

Marxism

Agent Orange

Cigarettes

Red Dye No. 2

CFCs

Olestra

Margarine

Subprime mortgages

Hydrogen blimps

Ford Pinto and Edsel

Tanning beds

Pop-up ads

Plastic grocery bags

8-track tape

Polaroid instant camera

It is far past time to add the failure of modernist architecture to this list. “Looking forward rather than backward” (or “designing for the future rather than the past”) has ruined the beauty and civic pride of cities throughout the world.

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Is Growth and Development Killing Our Cities?

By Dom Nozzi

Boulder Colorado is one of the hottest of the hotbeds of NIMYism – the misguided belief that trying to stop development is the best path to protecting quality of life.

But Boulder has been degraded NOT by new residents moving to Boulder, but by land development codes that do not require lovable, timelessly classical, people-oriented design. Instead, the codes are ANYTHING GOES.

There is no desire to force the traffic engineers to design for happy people rather than happy cars, which means the motorists have been having a field day in Boulder for several decades, and nearly all citizens are firmly convinced that a car-happy transport system is essential for a better life.

Boulder could have a large percentage of wonderful, much-loved buildings in its city, but gets unlovable, hideous modernist buildings because residents and elected officials are distracted by thinking that all efforts must be devoted to punishing and stopping growth. Forgotten in this rush to NIMBYism on steroids is the pressing need to obligate the inevitable growth to be lovable.

Boulder makes the tragic mistake of thinking that happy cars equals happy people.

The reverse is true.

Growth and development DESIGNED BY MODERNISTS AND TRAFFIC ENGINEERS is what is killing our cities. NOT growth and development, per se.

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Modernism versus Timeless: Some Benefits of Timelessness

By Dom Nozzi

Timeless, lovable design is inherently more sustainable and long-lasting because it is much less likely to be demolished by a community. By contrast, the awful, unlovable, “innovative” stuff that modernists are tirelessly and single-mindedly focused on tends to be so dated and unloved that citizens cannot wait to get rid of it. Indeed, the author and architect Steve Mouzon has made these points in his writings on this topic.

What about “new design styles?” Shouldn’t we allow architecture to evolve over time?

In my view (and the view of a number of other urban designers), I think anything “new” needs to incorporate “new styles” incrementally and in a subtle way. Otherwise, like most modernist eyesore buildings, the “new style” will be too jarring and unfamiliar. This incrementalism is a way to slowly test new ideas. If they add to the beauty of a building, they will be retained and slowly incorporated in future buildings.

One big key for me – for those of us who seek to ratchet down the knee-jerk furious opposition to needed new housing (and needed infill in general) – is that we must stop giving new development a black eye by allowing builders to build jarring, look-at-me, sore thumb buildings. I’m utterly convinced that if we obligate developers to abandon jarring modernism and instead build timeless, lovable designs (and we know what those are), citizen support for new development/infill/housing will grow. For example, a Council member in Boulder Colorado made that precise point a few weeks ago at a council meeting. Following a presentation by my friend and designer Paul Saparito regarding his proposed compact housing at Alpine-Balsam (a property Boulder has purchased and plans to redevelop as a mixed-use development), this same Council member said that while she generally dislikes density, if the new buildings looked like what Paul showed, she’d be much more likely to support the project.

In sum, if new buildings fit the context of the neighborhood or city – if it is compatible in design or, in other words, if the design is FAMILIAR to Boulder residents, they are much less likely to oppose it, and much more likely to feel comfortable about the new building. Familiarity breeds acceptance. Unfamiliarity breeds hatred. And modernist design, which has as its leading sacrament the imperative that the building design is INNOVATIVE rather than familiar, is a recipe for broad and raging citizen opposition.

“Oh, that proposed new building is FAMILIAR to me. I’m comfortable with that…”

Consistent design is very important. Urban designers like to recommend that houses and retail and offices should be consistent in building design. They should, in other words, be “soldier” buildings. It is only the “civic” buildings such as a church or a city hall that should stand out and be taller, grander, and more of a look-at-me style. The civic building – and ONLY the civic buildings – should be a “hero” building. Otherwise, we end up with unlovable chaos, as this image shows.Hero bldgs vs soldier bldgs

A few good examples right here in Boulder, Colorado: The Holiday neighborhood in North Boulder, and the University of Colorado campus. Both of those places obligate a consistent style or theme that creates a sense of community and comfort. And coherence, I would add.

As I’ve said many times, there are only two advantages I can think of for modernist buildings (and the advantages are too small, compared to the downsides, to allow them to continue to be built). First, modernist style is so universally awful and disliked that future generations will have plenty of demolition jobs (an economic boost!). Also, because so few homebuyers are interested in buying someone else’s bizarre modernist innovation building (“is it a house or a spaceship or an insecticide factory?”), such homes will be more affordable to buy than the timeless, lovable home styles.

 

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Modernism versus Timeless: Some Benefits of Timelessness

 

By Dom Nozzi

Timeless, lovable design is inherently more sustainable and long lasting because it is much less likely to be demolished by a community. By contrast, the awful, unlovable, “innovative” stuff that modernists are tirelessly and single-mindedly focused on tends to be so dated and unloved that citizens cannot wait to get rid of it. Indeed, the author and architect Steve Mouzon has made these points in his writings on this topic.

What about “new design styles?” Shouldn’t we allow architecture to evolve over time?

In my view (and the view of a number of other urban designers), I think anything “new” needs to incorporate “new styles” incrementally and in a subtle way. Otherwise, like most modernist eyesore buildings, the “new style” will be too jarring and unfamiliar. This incrementalism is a way to slowly test new ideas. If they add to the beauty of a building, they will be retained and slowly incorporated in future buildings.

One big key for me – for those of us who seek to ratchet down the knee-jerk furious opposition to needed new housing (and needed infill in general) – is that we must stop giving new development a black eye by allowing builders to build jarring, look-at-me, sore thumb buildings. I’m utterly convinced that if we obligate developers to abandon jarring modernism and instead build timeless, lovable designs (and we know what those are), citizen support for new development/infill/housing will grow. For example, a Council member in Boulder Colorado made that precise point a few weeks ago at a council meeting. Following a presentation by my friend and designer Paul Saparito regarding his proposed compact housing at Alpine-Balsam (a property Boulder has purchased and plans to redevelop as a mixed-use development), this same Council member said that while she generally dislikes density, if the new buildings looked like what Paul showed, she’d be much more likely to support the project.

In sum, if new buildings fit the context of the neighborhood or city – if it is compatible in design or, in other words, if the design is FAMILIAR to Boulder residents, they are much less likely to oppose it, and much more likely to feel comfortable about the new building. Familiarity breeds acceptance. Unfamiliarity breeds hatred. And modernist design, which has as its leading sacrament the imperative that the building design be INNOVATIVE rather than familiar, is a recipe for broad and raging citizen opposition.

“Oh, that proposed new building is FAMILIAR to me. I’m therefore comfortable with it…”

Consistent design is very important. Urban designers like to recommend that houses and retail and offices should be consistent in building design. They should, in other words, be “soldier” buildings. It is only the “civic” buildings such as a church or a city hall that Hero bldgs vs soldier bldgsshould stand out and be taller, more grand, and more of a look-at-me style. The civic building – and ONLY the civic buildings – should be a “hero” building. Otherwise, we end up with unlovable chaos, as the attached image shows.

A few good examples right here in Boulder: The Holiday neighborhood in North Boulder, and the University of Colorado campus. Both of those places obligate a consistent style or theme that creates a sense of community and comfort. And coherence, I would add.

As I’ve said many times, there are only two advantages I can think of for modernist buildings (and the advantages are too small, compared to the downsides, to allow them to continue to be built). First, modernist style is so universally awful and disliked that future generations will have plenty of demolition jobs (an economic boost!). Also, because so few homebuyers are interested in buying someone else’s bizarre modernist innovation building (“is it a house or a spaceship or an insecticide factory?”), such homes will be more affordable to buy than the timeless, lovable home styles.

 

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The Incremental Uglification of Cities

By Dom Nozzi

There is an adage that has recently emerged that I really like: “I’m already against the next war.” I was reminded of this yesterday when we drove by the hideous modernist building going up on Canyon near the Transit Center here in Boulder Colorado. For me (and surely many others), “I’m already against the next modernist building being built.” Or “I’m already looking forward to that modernist building being demolished, even though the construction  has not finished yet.”

Shame on Council for not putting building design rules in place that would stop the incremental uglification of Boulder.

How to stop the descent into more ugly? Prohibit modernist design. Require timeless traditional design. We have a shining example of timeless right here in Boulder: The Hotel Boulderado. Despite the conventional wisdom, cities are allowed to require timeless design. And there are rules that make it possible.

My visits to the historic center of many European cities make this screamingly obvious. Like millions of tourists throughout the world, I fall in love with the splendor of the historic buildings. And am deeply saddened when I see some of those historic centers incrementally losing their lovable charm when awful modernist buildings that ignore context or basic rules of urban civility are painfully inserted into that historic fabric.

Admittedly, Boulder has very little in the way of an existing supply of historic buildings. But there is no reason the City could not obligate new buildings to use a timeless traditional design so we could incrementally move toward a more generally lovable ensemble of buildings in our town center (the new Elevations/Twitter bank building on Walnut near the Transit Center is an example of something new and timeless). After all, each modernist building that goes up makes Boulder incrementally more ugly and less loved…

A community has the right to promote the beauty of its public realm, and prohibit the degradation of the public realm.

Something else that saddens me: It seems nearly certain that what will ultimately be built (or retained) at the Alpine-Balsam redevelopment site will be largely if not completely ugly modern.

“There is nothing more dated than yesterday’s vision of tomorrow.”

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More on the Failure of Modernist Architecture

By Dom Nozzi

November 15, 2018

Nearly all modernist architects, as part of their ruinous obsession with being “innovative,” take great joy in designing a building that completely ignores the context of other buildings on its street or neighborhood or community. The arrogant, selfish quest is to design a jarring, heroic “LOOK AT ME!!” building that sticks out like a sore thumb with regard to other buildings.

I believe humans tend to enjoy the pleasing character of assemblages of buildings, not individual buildings. People flock to Assisi or Florence or Venice not so much because of the desire to enjoy individual buildings, but to enjoy the collection (assemblage) of (time-tested) buildings built with traditional (not innovative) designs. Some designers call such humble buildings “soldier” buildings – these are buildings that are not much as individual buildings, but when assembled with other “soldiers” creates a city that is so formidable in its magnificence that people throughout the world flock to it to admire it.

There is a place, of course, for “look at me” buildings that are designed to not fit into the context of nearby buildings. But that design must be reserved for civic buildings such as churches or important government buildings. When most or all buildings ignore context (as modernist buildings, by definition, strive to do), they create a chaotic public realm that is chaotic, unpleasant, unattractive, disorienting, and stressful to most people.

Consider, for example, the attached photo. The image of a modernist city on the left exemplifies chaos and confusion and lack of coherence.

It will never be tourist attraction, except for those who want to experience something bizarre or crazy.

Modernism vs Traditional in Boulder, April 2017

 

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The Failure of Modernist Architectural Design

June 4, 2019

By Dom Nozzi

The reason the classical building is far more likely to stand for centuries than the modernist glass box is that, as the name “classical” implies, classical design has stood the test of time with regard to how loved the design has been over the course of several generations or centuries.

Modernist architects have opted to throw away “test of time” designs and have arrogantly decided that “innovative” is the only design criterion. That a person can just dream up an innovative design that will stand the test of time.  It is utterly unsurprising that nearly all “innovative” modernist buildings are considered hideous by the great majority of people surveyed.

When a building is loved, it has a far greater chance of lasting for centuries than buildings that few if any people love.

Almost no one (except modernist architects and those looking for amusement or the bizarre) will visit a neighborhood as a tourist to enjoy the beauty or charm or romance or lovability of a neighborhood or collection of buildings consisting of modernist buildings. Admittedly, some will, as a tourist, visit INDIVIDUAL modernist buildings, but almost always this is to observe a building because it is so peculiar or outlandish. Hundreds of millions of tourists, by striking contrast, flock to admire a city skyline — a collection of buildings within a town or neighborhood — largely consisting of classical or traditional building design.

Rome. Copenhagen. Paris. St Augustine. French Quarter. Amsterdam. Prague. Utrecht. Bologna. Bath. Assisi. Florence. Venice. Berlin. Cologne. Dresden. Lucca. Siena. Barcelona.

Each time one of these widely loved cities has a modernist building built within it, that city incrementally becomes less loved. The modernist building in such cities becomes a scar that people look away from, and try to keep out of the photos they shoot of the otherwise charming city.

An important reason why NIMBYism is so rampant is that unlike in the past (before modernism), citizens have come to expect that any new building built in town will be unlovable modernism. Nearly every new building built makes the town less loved.

Modernists are infamous for not using any sort of ornamentation whatsoever. For obvious reasons, this tends to make buildings appear boxy or cubical or so lacking in features that it fails to provide any interest to the observer. Architects did not use ornamentation for several centuries simply because they enjoyed wasting time and money to install it. They used ornamentation because it is a time-tested way to give the building appeal or interest. When I (and many others I’ve observed) am traveling to a new city, I have zero interest in photographing a metal or glass cube building because it is so minimalist and therefore uninteresting and unlovable. However, I (and many others I’ve observed) am strongly compelled to photograph buildings that are richly ornamental.

It is a myth that everyone has his or her own opinion about what is a lovable building design. Survey after survey shows that classical, traditional building design is far preferred. After all, why else would classical, traditional design be so replicated for so very many centuries? By contrast, I know of no modernist building designs that have been (or will be) replicated. That is telling. It is no coincidence that people from all over the world have flocked to the same classical and traditional buildings for centuries to admire them. I and many others believe that this is in part due to the fact that humans are hard-wired to admire certain building designs. Again, the fact that certain designs have been replicated for so many centuries is a testament to that.

Nearly all modernist architects, as part of their ruinous obsession with being “innovative,” take great joy in designing a building that completely ignores the contextual design (the design vocabulary) of other buildings on its street or neighborhood or community. It is an arrogant, selfish quest is to design a jarring “LOOK AT ME!!” building that sticks out like a sore thumb with regard to other buildings.

I believe humans tend to enjoy the pleasing character of assemblages of buildings, not individual buildings. People flock to Assisi or Florence or Venice not so much because of the desire to enjoy individual buildings, but to enjoy the collection (assemblage) of (time-Hero bldgs vs soldier bldgstested) buildings built with traditional designs.

There is a place, of course, for “look at me” (“heroic”) buildings that are designed to not fit into the context of nearby buildings. But that design must be reserved for civic buildings such as churches or important government buildings. When most or all buildings ignore context (as modernist buildings, by definition, strive to do), they create a chaotic public realm that is confusing, disorienting, and stressful to most people.

Consider, for example, the photos above. The image of a modernist city on the left exemplifies chaos and confusion and lack of coherence. It will never be tourist attraction (except for those who want to experience something bizarre or crazy).

Modernist buildings tend to be extremely notorious for being staggeringly expensive to maintain. They also tend to be terrible in achieving energy efficiency. After all, by tossing out traditional design tactics for the all-important need to be “innovative,” modernists blindly toss out such efficient (and affordable) tactics as how the building is oriented toward the sun, abandoning the need for large roof overhangs (to shade the building), installing windows that cannot be opened from the inside, using non-local materials that cannot be locally sourced or repaired, using flat roofs that are extremely likely to leak or collapse under the weight of snow or water, and using glass or other wall materials that are far more costly to maintain or clean than brick or wood.

I do not believe it is true that a person who pays for a building to be built should be able to build anything he or she desires. The exterior building design, unlike paintings or furniture inside a building, is something that everyone in the community must be exposed to for the remainder of their lives. That is why I agree with the many cities that have found it very important to adopt development regulations that prohibit certain designs or exterior colors or flat roofs or large setbacks or weeds/litter/car wrecks in a front yard. The public has a right to not be subjected to what amounts to an eccentric who gets enjoyment out of flipping off his fellow citizen by what amounts to “mooning” the public realm with a jarring, shocking building design.

It is telling that modernists tend to prefer to live in houses with traditional, classic, timeless design rather than the modernist experiments they inflict on us when they design for clients. It is also telling that modernists tend to strongly oppose conducting citizen surveys to determine which building designs are the most appealing. Why? Because building using modernist designs nearly always rank as the most undesirable.

I would be remiss not to mention one of the very few “advantages” of modernist design. Because so few find the modernist style appealing, the market for those who wish to buy modernist homes is tiny. Which means that modernist homes promote affordability because so few want to buy it.

Modernism also fails in several ways at the neighborhood level. Emily Talen, in her book Neighborhood (2019), notes that the highly influential Congress International Architecture Modern (CIAM) successfully influenced — for decades and to this day — the design of neighborhoods throughout the world so that they included the highly dysfunctional features of separating homes from offices, retail, civic, and manufacturing; prioritizing the car over the pedestrian; rejecting the street as public space; creating superblocks that promote insularity; treating buildings as isolated objects in space rather than as part of a larger interconnected urban fabric; rejecting traditional elements such as squares and plazas; demolishing large areas of the city to make unfettered places for new built forms; and creating enclosed malls and sunken plazas that deaden public space. I would also note that these modernist designers also brought dysfunctional, disconnected, disorienting, curvilinear roads to neighborhoods.

Buildings must be built well. That is one of the main reasons why I reject modernist design. Modernism is too often using designs and materials that fail or are extremely costly to maintain. Another “advantage” of modernist buildings, then, is that because they tend to be fall apart or become too costly to maintain, and are so commonly unloved in appearance, they will provide a great many jobs in building demolition, as modernist buildings are destined to be quickly considered blighting eyesores that need to be removed from a city.

I agree with those who state that one of the most essential ways to promote energy conservation and material conservation is to use a building design that is loved. When traditional more sustainable than modernismthe building is loved, it is much more likely to last for generations, because citizens will be more likely to defend it from demolition. Time-tested buildings, by definition, are the most loved. I am completely convinced that “innovative” modernist buildings will, in nearly all cases, not stand the test of time, and be demolished relatively soon. To build buildings that are so unloved that they are soon demolished is dreadfully wasteful.

“Nothing is more dated [and, in my opinion, unloved] than yesterday’s vision of tomorrow.”

Modernism is a failed paradigm for the reasons I give above. We need to toss this paradigm into the waste basket.

Other Blogs I Have Written Regarding Modernist Architecture

The Failure and Unpopularity of Modernist Architecture

The Failure and Unpopularity of Modernist Architecture

Modernist Architecture is a Failed Paradigm Ruining Our World
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/modernist-architecture-is-a-failed-paradigm-ruining-our-world/

Modernist Cult of Innovation is Destroying Our Cities
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/the-modernist-cult-of-innovation-is-destroying-our-cities/

Opposition to More Housing
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/opposition-to-more-housing-or-better-urbanism/

Moses and Modernism and Motor Vehicles
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/moses-and-modernism-and-motor-vehicles/

Indirect Opposition to Affordable Housing

The Indirect Opposition to Affordable Housing in Boulder, Colorado

Video from another source on how modernism has made our world so ugly

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Opposition to More Housing or Better Urbanism

 

By Dom Nozzi

February 19, 2019

Often, but not always, opposition to compact development (or more housing) comes from folks who either don’t like cities or don’t have a good understanding of what makes for healthy, safe, sustainable, diverse, convenient, choice-rich cities.

Other opposition, understandably, is based on the many of us who are appalled by the many newer buildings which are too often unlovable, boxy, jarring, look-at-me modernist architecture.

Still others oppose more housing because they believe that such development will make their car-based lifestyle more costly and difficult (a concern that is more suburban than walkable urban). But in a healthy town center, it SHOULD be costly and inconvenient for space-hogging, high speed motorists.

I’ve never been enthusiastic about “educating” people about the benefits of compact urbanism (such as adding more housing). I think there are different strokes for different folks, and that we should equitably accommodate all lifestyle choices (even suburban choices), as long as people choosing such lifestyles are paying their fair share. Of course, this is rarely the case with suburban lifestyles, which tend to be far more heavily subsidized by the community than any other lifestyle.

There is a place for every form of lifestyle, but I insist that we need to let the urban town centers be urban, rather than be degraded by suburban (car-happy) values (ie, the values that deliver design elements that are toxic to walkable urbanism, such as excessive open space or building setbacks, low densities, wider and higher-speed roads, large surface parking lots, required parking, “horizontal skyscrapers,” and single-family zoning).

Too often, this toxic degradation harms town centers, as America is a very suburban society with suburban values. Even many who live in town centers have suburban values they wish to impose on the town center, which is unsurprising, given the many decades America has subsidized and enabled suburbanism.

More Blogs I Have Written Regarding Modernist Architecture

The Failure and Unpopularity of Modernist Architecture
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/the-failure-and-unpopularity-of-modernist-architecture/

The Failure of Modernist Architectural Design
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/the-failure-of-modernist-architectural-design/

Modernist Architecture is a Failed Paradigm Ruining Our World
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/modernist-architecture-is-a-failed-paradigm-ruining-our-world/

Modernist Cult of Innovation is Destroying Our Cities
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/the-modernist-cult-of-innovation-is-destroying-our-cities/

Moses and Modernism and Motor Vehicles
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/moses-and-modernism-and-motor-vehicles/

Indirect Opposition to Affordable Housing
https://domz60.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/the-indirect-opposition-to-affordable-housing-in-boulder-colorado/

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