Buildings so ugly, only an architect could love them

In the New York Times Magazine recently, Alexandra Lange asked several of the world’s most famous architects to defend the architectural designs of some of the most hated buildings to blight the skyline of world class cities.

Completed in 1973, the Tour Montparnasse stands at a defiant 758 ft above the city of Paris. The design was so jarring, and so out of place with the surrounding architecture, that the city enacted a height ban as a result.

Noted architect Daniel Libeskind on the building:

It’s legendary for being the most hated building in Paris. I want to defend it not because it’s a particularly beautiful tower, but because of the idea it represents. Parisians panicked when they saw it, and when they abandoned the tower they also abandoned the idea of a high-density sustainable city. Because they exiled all future high rises to some far neighborhood like La Défense, they were segregating growth. Parisians reacted aesthetically, as they are wont to do, but they failed to consider the consequences of what it means to be a vital, living city versus a museum city. People sentimentalize their notions of the city, but with the carbon footprint, the waste of resources, our shrinking capacity, we have no choice but to build good high-rise buildings that are affordable. It’s not by coincidence that people are going to London now not just for work but for the available space. No young company can afford Paris. Maybe Tour Montparnasse is not a work of genius, but it signified a notion of what the city of the future will have to be.

Source: New York Times Magazine

Judge for yourself. Here is the Tour Montparnasse shown with the Eiffel Tower:


Image courtesy Wikipedia


The image below shows the magnificent view afforded by the building:



Image courtesy Wikipedia