The Winners of the 2012 Honor Awards


The photo captures it perfectly — dismal!

Why doesn't it come up to the street line? Why is it hidden by stupid plantings? Why does it have to consume an entire megablock (four blocks, actually)? Why is the ground floor all parking instead of retail (one measly cafe)? It looks like Redmond or Factoria to me. That whole district is like something out of dystopian sci fi.
The problem with architecture is in the training of architects. Once these yahoos get out of school every ounce of intuition and humanity has been beaten out of them. Studies have been done on architects to see how different their taste is from the general population, and the results are appalling. So the profession continues to reject the thousands of years of knowledge it accumulated pre-1950 and inflict its ghastly modernist and post-modernist structures on the rest of us, the hoi polloi whose lives and built environments are negatively affected by their egos and trained amateurism.
@3: so, more columns & pediments, then?

charles, get a better camera. christ.
@3 Studies have also shown you don't know what you're talking about.
horrible image .. lovely buildings .. have any of you haters ever been by them? They are splendid, modern, evocative of the PNW, while nodding to Northern Europe design influences. I think they are a great addition to the U-District
The buildings are fine, it's just a shitty photo from a shitty camera. Walking or driving by them, they look nice! The wood at the entrances actually looks really cool. One of the buildings is set back a little from Campus Parkway, but so is every other building on that side of Campus Parkway. The building with the little convenience store/cafe at the ground floor goes right up to the sidewalk.

@2 These buildings are right next to the Ave...why do they need to be filled with ground level retail? Plenty of empty storefronts on the Ave at any given time, why overbuild retail space?
Wow - and here I thought the architectural "community" couldn't be more out of touch with the actual one.

"Stalinist" is the most polite term I've heard to describe the school of "architecture" these monstrosities hail from...
They're the colors of mold and rust. Perfectly northwest eyesores.
I deliberately picked that pic. this is exactly how i see the buildings in real life.
@7, it's not just these buildings, it's the entire district, all across from there through the new Health Sciences campuses. Dead zones.

@4, the problem with your snappy comeback, and all of architecture today, is precisely this: you're thinking in terms of building design, which is, ultimately, unimportant. It's not classical design elements that are the missing ingredient; it's classical URBANISM. Modern architects have nothing but contempt for the way people live and get around. All they care about is the magnificence of the art statements -- but magnificence has little practical value in a street.

If I might direct your attention to this famous debate between Christopher Alexander, who pretty much stands alone in his school of humanist architecture, and Peter Eisenman, who represents everything that is not just offensive but DELIBERATELY offensive about modern architecture. It's from 1982, but everything said in it is as true now as ever:…

CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER: The thing that strikes me about your friend's building -- if I understood you correctly -- is that somehow in some intentional way it is not harmonious. That is, Moneo intentionally wants to produce an effect of disharmony. Maybe even of incongruity.

PETER EISENMAN: That is correct.

CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER: I find that incomprehensible. I find it very irresponsible. I find it nutty. I feel sorry for the man. I also feel incredibly angry because he is fucking up the world.
They could not have designed uglier housing blocks had they tried... An immense disappointment for me.
I think they are ugly and represent a step backwards. Just my opinion, of course, but I think it shared by most people who walk around there.

If you walk around the campus you will find some fantastic buildings. Most of those are old (e. g. Suzzallo Library). You will find some really ugly buildings. Most of those are from the sixties and seventies (e. g. Odegaard Library). You will also see some pretty good buildings from the last twenty years or so (e. g. Physics/Astronomy building). Again, just my opinion, but I think if you asked most of the students and faculty, they would agree.

The nice thing about the newer buildings on campus is that they recognize classic style (with lots of red brick) along with some modern touches. They compliment the older buildings, while not trying to copy them.

The same can not be said about these award winning buildings. They don't compliment the campus, nor do they compliment the retail area. They are drab, and simply drag it down. They look cheap and unfinished. Rewarding artistic risk taking makes sense for a painting. You don't have to like it; you can always ignore it if turns out the risk seems silly twenty years later. But we will probably have to live with these buildings for a long time. Hopefully newer buildings will be be built that are high enough to hide them.
Windows come in colors other than white, especially if one is ordering enough for a sizable building. A complementary rather than contrasting color for the mill-work on these buildings would have been a substantial improvement. IMHO the white stands out terribly and doesn't belong on these buildings.