Designing Our Future #10 | Faking It

Why Asheville Needs New Design Guidelines

635658300605119947-BBT-FINAL3Thanks to our colleague for pointing out this article to us by Laura Berner Hudson who serves on the Planning Commission. The article in Mountain Xpress reflects some of our sentiments here, but she expresses our need to better our city’s design criteria so much better — so let’s let her take over the dialogue. Click here for the article. Cheers!

Laura says,”When serious, authentic architecture is rejected in favor of simulacra, we exchange reality for a mythical past where everything is made to resemble what might have been. In turn, we blur the boundary between copies and genuine history. It is the elaboration of continuously changing ideas that makes a city truly authentic, and if we don’t embrace this vitality and diversity, we risk becoming a generic, theme park version of what we never were instead of an authentic manifestation of who we truly are.”

One response to “Designing Our Future #10 | Faking It

  1. How sad…..of course, perhaps the real dramatic metaphor for this practice is in Winter Park, Florida. Park Avenue, which has a streetscape that features primarily 2-story commercial building from the early part of the 20th century — a compatible blend of the then-reigning “Spanish” style, a few Moderne storefronts, and such–has a building that “takes the cake.” Sometime in the 1970s, a couple of original buildings on the corner of Park Avenue and New England were supplanted by a rather monolithic mirrored box approximately 6 stories tall. Was is out of scale? Yes. Was the architecture “exuberant?” Perhaps for its time….Whether one liked the building or not, at least it was indicative of the TIME/ERA in which it was built (when glass boxes were the vernacular of the day). When one looked at the building, one KNEW when it was built, and there was a sense of history of Park Avenue of that time. Only a few years ago, the building was stripped to its girders, and the “new” facade is a poor imitation of something else — a panache (and I use THAT term advisedly) of trite representations that hearken back to the buildings that it supplanted only a few decades before! Talk about a REAL eyesore now….

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