March 10, 2008

George W. Bush Memorial Library

I know what your thinking. Mockitecture. Hotspur has come across some great examples of mockitecture. Check them out here. These are concept sketches for the George W. bush memorial Library. Representing the new era of mockitecture, they build on past precedence such as California Crazy and Post-Modernism, while incorporating an attitude that is rarely seen in architecture. These are satirical interpretations of the Bush administration's contribution to society these last 8 years.

My personal favorite is the "bottomless pit of lies." The underground "red level security" bunker with no public access is a great example of mockitecture. What is important about this mockitectural prominade is that it not only creates a formal "bottomless pit," but it also engages the user into the experience of the joke. And this is where the mockiteture happens. Many of the existing mockitecture projects are funny, but they do not actively engage the user in the joke.

While "It floats on fountains" is funny, and would be a very valid mockitectural project, what really makes it funny is the "disconnection" and possibly the anger one would feel when entering the library through an underground tunnel. A metaphor for the anger and disconnection some feel toward the administration. I am not advocating architecture that makes you angry, but as a concept, I think this is very appropriate in a George W. Bush Library. It is the idea of experiencing the joke that makes it even funnier.

Disconnection seems to be a common thread in the responses to "George W. Bush" Memorial library. Some of the responses are pruely formal, which can be a valid communicative strategy. Anyone can see the Statue of Liberty giving the middle finger and know what the architect is saying. This is important. What makes this project, and many of the others more meaningful, are the multitude of other references and metaphors that make these buildings richer. Going into an underground bunker is a great analogy. (How well would it work for a library? I'm not sure, but great analogy)

Some of these buildings are also great buildings on their own. They are examples of "built jokes" that is buildings which are extremely direct in conveying a message (a strange or ironic message) and are designed creatively/efficiently/etc... think Renzo Piano Duck on acid and steroids.

So enjoy these projects, and hopefully Robert Stern's project will be along the same lines. Somehow I think it cannot help but be. Viva Moquitecturra!

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