Architecture Critic Confused by Concept of "Function"

Architecture Critic Confused by Concept of "Function"

Architecture Critic Confused by Concept of "Function"

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Aug. 4 2010 3:42 PM

Architecture Critic Confused by Concept of "Function"

New Yorker architecture writer Paul Goldberger tried this week to sketch a history of the parking garage, by way of introducing Herzog and de Meuron's fancy new parking structure in Miami . So caught up was Goldberger in the Swiss avant-garde company's bold artistic gesture, though, he forgot that not every decision is about aesthetics:

In New York, meanwhile, most early garages were converted stables, which suggested that denial, or at least camouflage, was the only proper way to handle the new horseless carriages.

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Or maybe, you know, when people got the new horseless carriages, they thought it made sense to put them in the existing buildings for storing carriages? Because those buildings were already made for moving wheeled vehicles into and out of? And they had vacancies? 

As for "camouflage"—the stables being nicer than an oily, noisy garage—Goldberger might want to read up a little on the actual effect stables and horses had on the pre-automotive urban environment.