Archive for the ‘Plato’ Category

Too darn Trumped


Wave goodbye to Mies’ masterpiece – the IBM building – as Chicago’s Trump Tower rises to the sky.

Remember when the scene looked like this?

Unobstructed, beautiful Mies. We could have made the form of IBM (which is going partly condo!) the logo for our city. Celebrating the Modernism that Chicago gave the world. Adored it the way New York adores

Mies’ masterpiece Seagram Building. With a plaza in front.

But we’re covering ours with a Trump. Every day it seems to rise another floor and further hide the building that is
clearly closer to Plato’s perfect.

And the glass on Trump — can we talk?

The soft, wavy glass reflections are okay for downtown. Downtown Houston.

Architect Adrian Smith told Emporis about his Trump t-OW-er:

“The texture of IBM influenced the texture of Trump, and the rhythm and lightness of the Wrigley Building influenced the materials and mullion spacing. I think the challenge in making this a contextual piece is that it’s located in the midst of several dynamic buildings that each have their own importance to the city and to the field of architecture in general.”

What’s the color of the skin going to be when finished?

“It’s going to read as a silver building with stainless steel and natural anodized aluminum…. It’s going to have textured stainless steel spandrels with horizontal polished stainless steel tubes projecting about a foot out from the façade. The anchorage system for those tubes will be intricate, and the shadows and reflection from the tubes will give the skin a very lattice-like or lacy quality.

I think it’s all right to be glassy, but I want an expression of depth to the wall and a lace-like filigree texture. With a glass wall that’s fairly reflective, one can use the reflective nature of the glass to increase the sense of depth by hanging elements away from the glass so those elements will reflect in the glass and give the illussion of depth. In this case, it will reflect the projected tubes that surround the building, so it will seem as though the wall is two feet thick. The depth will give it a more solid but delicate appearance.”

Plato said on earth you will see many things that are but shadowy reflections of the truth. Not even real. And that’s what we see in Trump Tower’s reflective facade. Impermanence, rather than a higher form of beauty.

Plato said we can access, or at least attempt to, a realm of Reality, with Truth, Beauty and Good. He said, to do so, we should look at “Ideal Forms.” For example, a perfect circle, or in the case of Mies’ IBM building, a perfect rectangle. For Plato, “Ideal forms” have a universal existence and a transcendance! You see it also in the perfect mathematical relationships of the ideal forms, and in the precision. As at IBM.

So when you look at the IBM building, you contemplate the idea of perfection. That takes you to the realm of the gods. Plato says then you experience mystical thought. And he says, by contemplating perfection in ideal forms, you become more ready to absorb the truths of the gods.

For Plato, the highest calling of a human is to meditate on such perfection.
With IBM getting covered up, it’s a little harder to do.

I’d like to call on IBM tonight
and give my all to IBM tonight
I’d like to call on IBM tonight
and give my all to IBM tonight
but I can’t play ball with IBM tonight
cause it’s too darn Trumped

It’s too darn Trumped!