Is it “Good”? Sure. Is it great? Who knows. Should I care? Maybe. Do I? Doesn’t matter. I’ve got my opinions as I am sure everyone does, but is it my place to say? This building stands out from the typical fire station, but does it stand out from the typical building? It wants to be unique yet focuses on how to shape and define the street. Why does it care about what’s going on around it? It’s complicated, and people weren’t sure if Hadid could be any more than a “paper architect”, but is it simple too? It uses steel, glass, and concrete, but why doesn’t it use Dada? “Quite terribly simple” (as Hugo Ball would have it)? Maybe. Different? In some aspects. Dada? eh.
Its commitment to reality is disarming.
The Vitra Fire Station utilizes intersecting concrete planes to create a dynamic and energy filled building. These concrete planes help to define the street that runs through complex. The use of concrete is raw with no unnecessary decorative application on the material. The intersecting of planes allows for an expression of dynamic lines which helps mask a “true” façade. “The celebration of the modern world of industry and technology” is strongly represented in use the of raw materials like concrete, steel and glass. And the incorporation of simple yet dynamic planes emphasizes “the beauty of speed.”
-Abacuc Rodriguez (Futurist)
Abacuc, I totally agree with your thoughts on materials. Using the raw materials with no ornament help to display the material for what it really is. Although our ideas are similar when speaking on materials, our design ideas differ. Don’t you think that architects should design more for the people and not for their own individual expression?
Abacuc, I like how you talk about how the fire station uses different planes to create a dynamic and energy filled building, but where I disagree with you is on the ornamentation. I too think that it should be just the raw material, but don’t you think that there should be some color? With the building as it is it is stark and lifeless. It may be dynamic with its use of shapes and planes, but if its all one color does it really achieve that goal?
Ohh, Grant, this building needn’t any decoration superimposed over it, Abacuc is correct in the beauty of this building’s raw materials. Artificial color would only corrupt this building’s pure beauty, and to paint the material would only flaunt that the designer chose the wrong material.
I agree, these planes are quite strong and are legible to the eye, kudos to Zaha Hadid. This planar construction and the material it is made out of allows me to delightfully identify this building’s structure. However, I would like to see more of the ironwork because these concrete planes could be lying to me about their true purpose.
Abacuc, this building is truly a work of art, not only its use of concrete but the lightness of these forms is sensible, swift, and practical. The lines of this building are agile, mobile and dynamic in every detail. This, my friend, is truly the future.
Who cares about our “modern world”? Go against the grain. “Intersecting concrete planes” are boring, where are the “intersecting concrete boats” or “dada dada cars” or better yet “intersecting concrete dadas”? This building does not make sense but it also makes too much sense. It wants to react while standing out, be unique but use common material, be dada but isn’t DaDa. “The beauty of speed” has nothing on the beauty of dada.
Abacuc so true about the dynamic planes and simplicity of structure. But violent colors are wanting here, and would perfect the design, while it lasts … surely it should be demolished before we die.
It’s buildings like this that cause us to lose all of the connections between architecture, painting, sculpture, etc. Zaha Hadid is clearly trying to be individualistic with her design, but this is breaking ties with other art. Her design is coming from her personal tastes. Art, especially when talking about architecture, should be about the people not the architect. The people are who we are designing for anyway, right? This building needs to be stripped down to the materials that are needed and expose their uses. There is no need to make them into something they are not.
Andrew, I understand where you are coming from, but don’t you think that we should also emphasize the work of the architect? If all buildings just reflected who we are making them for they would begin to become dull and boring in my opinion. We need to have a little bit of liveliness to our buildings and who cares if it looks like a sculpture? If it functions as what it was intended for it shouldn’t matter.
When not just buildings but designs overall are structured in a manner that relates mostly to the architect then we are missing the point. We should have a set way of designing that is universal throughout. This way we are able to give people what they want and designers are able to be taught in a way that is consistent.
Go back to Russia.
The people? Strip down to the materials that are needed? Nothing is “needed”, everything is dada. Everything should be designed as something it is not. You should always break ties with other art. This building doesn’t do dada perfectly, but at least it ain’t conforming to the governmental, cookie-cutter crap you want to force on people who all have different tastes for a good reason. How can you be “about the people” without radical expressions? Don’t strip down people the way you want to strip down this building.
How can you say a building about a person (though they are an architect) isn’t about the people? Though usually there are few sensical things to be taken from Dada, Caleb is right. Obviously, not everyone is the same, has the same taste or emotion. By capturing the unique emotions of this person in a wonderfully radical expression, we gain a better understanding for the people at large.
Comrade Andrew, But at least it does maintain a quality of assemblage to it. I see only industrial materials, prefabricated (although not mass produced); a promise unkept–typical of a capitalist enterprise like Vitra.
I would say this building is half good and half a missed oppportunity. On the plus side, the design of this fire station extends beyond just utility, beginning to capture a dynamism acceptable to a place of such urgency and importance. However, this building is bland and closed off. Instead of extending the reach of the inhabitant beyond each wall with glass, its exterior is a minumally ornamented capsule, (if you even could wish to argue it is ornamented,) whose boundaries are too impenetrable to evoke much feeling other than harsh enclosure.
Why are you looking for so much ornament in architecture? We want to be able to see the materials. The raw materials are what makes a building true and what makes a building beautiful and useful. Covering it up would just be a lie and would not help to show the modern materials.
Jordan, I completely agree that the design of the fire station starts to capture a dynamism, which is seen in the strong intersecting concrete planes. However, this building is not bland, but simple and beautiful. The raw materials used, such as the concrete, glass, and steel are simple and help express the dynamic and energy filled concrete planes. There is no need for ornamental design! “The Decorative must be abolished” because it is used to hide the raw and beautiful material of the building.
I would say that half o’ this buildin’ be better ‘n half be missin’. On th’ plus side, th’ design o’ this fire station extends beyond th’ equipment necessary t’ accommodate acceptable mobility at th’ necessary ‘n important location. However, this buildin’ be blue ‘n close t’ closure. Instead o’ expandin’ a livin’ dimension outside o’ each wall wit’ glass, its army has t’ decorate th’ decorative capsule (if ye wants t’ claim that ’tis a decoration), whose edges seem a lot without a hard line
Jordan, But I do not undertand the emotion I am supposed to feel! The concrete is so sharp and thin! Is that the real feeling of concrete?! If so, what has this to do with a garage for fire trucks?! Is it about the energy of fire-fighting?! Or the energy of fire itself?! Because that would be exciting! but I wonder how this building will bring a reform in society?! Was it designed for the architect or for us?!
While the Virta Fire Station does contain strong geometric shapes and straight lines to give it a utopian society feel, it also does not make use of the three primary colors yellow, red, and blue commonly associated with the de stijl movement. Because it is void of color and does not use enough rectilinear shapes I cannot support this building as fitting within the style of de stijl.
I would argue that the lack of rectilinear shapes and inclusion of strong dynamic lines creates a strong energy filled building. Colors are not necessary because the materials are shown in their purest form. Putting colors like yellow, red, and blue would hide the raw materials, which is wrong!
Indeed, This building represent a more universal expression of art. this kind of architecture preserves geometry that can’t be confused by any viewer, we know art when we see it, specially in this geometric language. Rectilinear shapes can’t be considered enough by themselves. For it to be a good building it needs more colors that describe the different planes, specifically primary colors.
Why are the two of you set on these primary colors. You are wasting your time by constraining yourself to these limits. Why not just leave the material as is. leave the steel its original color, leave the concrete raw. Its better that way.
I would need to agree with part of what my futuristic friend has said here! The strong dynamic lines are what give this building life!!! The emotion Hadid wished to capture is envoloped by these forms and is worth recognizing!
Definitely, concrete straight lines are real and universally understood. Abstract shapes le your mind free!
Grant , the real horror of this building is that an architect finally figured out how to make planes really float, and then makes them all jagged and individualistic. Plato could not name those shapes, nor could we. And we can name the materials this thing is built of, rather than just recognizing the pure value of defining space with abstract planes.
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