Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What Ever Happened to the Art of Understatement?

The Eden Project (the world's biggest plant Biome, located in Cornwall, England) has a new center. Er, make that centre.... Nah, they're right, call it "The Core" and avoid the silly transAtlantic obstinacy over spellings. What is it? Well, Eden Chief Executive Tim Smit is very happy to tell you:
"I hate exaggeration so I’ll tell you the simple truth. This is the finest modern building in the world, and anyone who says they can show me a better looking one is either a liar or clairvoyant. I could give you a lot of guff about inspirational education and the success of the Eden project, the genius of the architects and the artists involved, but it boils down to one thing. This building is a cathedral and it moves you and fills you with awe."
Not sure what he's on about? Perhaps the Guardian's assessment will clear it up:

Its design, inspired by the plant "architecture" of sunflower heads, follows the famous mathematical sequence, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 and so on, discovered by Leonardo da Pisa, and called Fibonacci, in the 13th century. This is better known today as a plotting device in Dan Brown's bestseller The Da Vinci Code.
Still not sure what the f*** they're talking about? It's a building. A building inspired by the shape of a sunflower. Get it? It's earthy...goes along with the whole Garden motif they've got going on over there.

Why the venom? I don't know...wrong side of the bed, perhaps. Lack of caffeine? Hype intolerance? Bad commute? Satan? Who knows? (What you want from me, eternal sunshine?) Here's more

Architecturally, the building’s focus is the sweeping roof: a timber-structured, copper-clad form that emanates from the centre of the building and spirals outwards and down, touching the ground in three places.

Characteristically of a Grimshaw building, the primary expression of the building comes from its structural solution, but here the structure has an unusually organic form. This is because the roof’s geometry derives from nature’s recurring ratio that drives nearly all plant growth (a process called phyllotaxis). This is why its form seems so appropriate both to man’s innate sense of beauty and proportion and, more specifically, to Eden’s commitment to fostering man’s appreciation of the plant kingdom.

The Core will host scientific exhibitions as well as art exhibitions. No, wait, I got that wrong. They're saying the building IS art: "The Core is a piece of artwork as much as a building." Where's Clement Greenberg when you need him?

I actually have some opinions on whether this building is as new or interesting as they're saying it is, but I think I really should get some coffee first. Here's one more photo:


Blogger Mark said...

Cool "center", seems like another survival/sustainable evironment similar to the Bios-sphere here in the US. I like the jelly fish sliding down the hill.

9/21/2005 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous bambino said...

it's aaaammmaaaaziiiinnnnggggg
I like it :)

9/21/2005 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

you have to get that sticky keyboard fixed, bambino. ;-ppp

9/21/2005 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous james leonard said...

it looks like a lovely visitor cente...erm...core. but I couldn't tell you if it is a work of art without first seeing the informational displays, giftshop and restrooms. are there picnic tables near the parking lot?

9/21/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous ML said...

Everything has become art. Everyone has become an artist. As asked in the Incredibles, "If we are all special, is anyone special?"

The building is ok. Spectacle is an art form. At least it temporarily eliminates boredom.....

9/21/2005 08:54:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home