Friday, September 18, 2009

JerryWorld gets the NYT Arch Review Treatment

It's a giant clam! wiping away the tears of Arlington taxpayers.

By the NYT arch critic Nic Ouroussoff:

First, it rightly lambasts all of David Schwarz's work in the DFW area, which includes the AA Center, Bass Hall, the Ballpark in Arlington whatevaitscalledforthisyearuntilthatcompanyevaporates, and West Village:
the stadium’s design mercifully avoids the aw-shucks, small-town look that has become common in many American stadiums over the years. There’s no brick cladding, no fake wrought ironwork, no infantilizing theme restaurants that seem as if they had been commissioned by Uncle Walt for the Happiest Place on Earth.
And then, for the thesis:
Still, Cowboys Stadium suffers from its own form of nostalgia: its enormous retractable roof, acres of parking and cavernous interiors are straight out of Eisenhower’s America, with its embrace of car culture and a grandiose, bigger-is-better mentality. The result is a somewhat crude reworking of old ideas, one that looks especially unoriginal when compared with the sophisticated and often dazzling stadiums that have been built in Europe and the Far East over the last few years.
Those stadiums were quite impressive at the Euro Cup held in Germany. I think it was quite clear the distinction between the sophistocation of those stadiums with the current crop of American Stadiums or the dumps that held the World Cup in '94 as embarrassments architecturally, culturally, and intellectually and the higher level Northern European countries are operating on, but ya know, they invest in their people thru health and education and all that craziness.

Other notable one-liners from my favorite starchitectural sycophant turned pragmatist:
Walk around to either side of the structure and you’re confronted with what looks like a conventional suburban office park. A service road encircles the structure, surrounded by endless expanses of parking. A few lonely trees only draw attention to the absolute joylessness of the scene.
But once again, this is Dallas (or actually in this case, FARlington - as the cowboys join the rangers in their disengagement from Dallasites) and if we do anything well, it's getting the words "world class" right, but not the actual meaning.