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My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love

April 26, 2012

OMA’s new Parisian courthouse:

Helpful explanation of the origin of form:

My god. Help me survive this deadly love OMA has for us.*

If you don’t know, I consider myself to be of the OMA camp. Most of what Rem Koolhaas writes and comments on is deadly on point, ahead of the curve by miles, and I am proud to be however vaguely in that lineage. I enjoy lots of OMA buildings, including the latest one I visited at the IIT campus in Chicago.

But here — I don’t think I need many words to critique this. None are needed. All that is written just accentuates the horror of it all. I suppose they are trying to invent the language for a new monumentality or classicism but it’s an ignorant move towards design that creates a dead space. Death space. Actually, probably the most interesting to comment on here is the first rendering and their cheerful choosing of the background. That’s why it hurts all the more — OMA knows precisely what it’s doing and embraces it. The setting for a dystopian movie, an idea which I am stealing from this tweet:

Getting sadder and sadder about architecture** — the smartest people in the room, wasting their talents on trying to make smart statements rather than buildings meant to be inhabited and enjoyed. These buildings are for scurrying through. Not in awe at the power and benevolence of the state, either. Just in awe at the weak will of the government for acquiescing to build another of these things. (Especially Paris — did they not learn form La Defense?)

**And by extension graphic design as well, of course.

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