How to Look at the San Francisco Federal Building



Obviously, Cascadia should impose our own building requirements.

See what Nelson BC is doing, or Capilano University in North Vancouver BC - low carbon building requirements that are locally sourced and use local renewables that fit in with the environment.


It looks like one of those Jawa sand crawlers from Star Wars


The tragedy of architecture is that the ancient Greeks figured it out the theory and practice of it so well, that you might as well not even try. Do you think one single idea from the Brutalist or Deconstructionist movements will be inspiring anyone a thousand years from now? I got this same feeling seeing the Egyptian art collection at the PCS a few years ago. Give up, they already did it all better than you.


@2 ftw

Trump is over, and so are his building plans for the Fourth Reich


@3: au contraire - I think imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, in the arts as well as architecture.


Will there be a requirement that all toilets be made of solid gold?


The idea that buildings like the San Francisco Federal Building should be the answer to Trump's call for Neo-classical buildings is as absurd as Trump making his assertion for Neo-classical buildings. I'm all for new ideas in architecture. The Seattle Public Library is a great example of modern architecture. Walking into that building is inspiring. But if a building is to incorporate new ideas it should, at a minimum, inspire and enlighten rather than degrade and diminish. Challenging traditional ideas should mean that one exceeds those ideas.


@6 -- oh yes. trumpf got the Contracts and has developed a Gold Plating from actual Fools Gold that looks just like REAL Gold and he adds a little Lead for Heft and is gonna make another a Killing in Construction. just like trumpf Himself, plan on Multiple Flushes where nothing ever vacates the toilet bowl. caveat fucking emptor Emperori.


This is a bad read of the executive order. Did you even read it? Cause it's not limiting federal building to Neo-Classical styles. In fact it goes out of it's way to call out Pueblo Revival. I'm not sure most of his controls are a good idea. But the Federal Building in San Francisco is...polarizing to say the least. The cesspool of waste, feces, and drug use that surrounds is a bigger problem than the architecture, but the architecture is a love-it-or-hate-it deal that's everything he claimed it was, deliberating for elite appreciation and built without feedback from the public or concern for their preferences. And like it or not the vast, vast majority of people would prefer something Neo-Classical or Georgian...or Pueblo Revival for that matter. Design for the people. It's not that hard.


My favorite is art-deco pre-WWII.
The old Phoenix City Hall has the Phoenix floor plate in brass, surrounded with a circle of different symbols - including a swastika, which was then considered an emblem of good luck.


And you know...I get why people would something "white" about Neo-Classical architecture...but there's not "not white" about Brutalist or Deconstructivist styles. These are as white as any that they were created and popularized by mostly white people in mostly European cities.


"Opened in 2007, Morphosis architect Thomas Mayne..." He was?


@11 at the time they were popular in Italy, Italians were not considered White, actually. The racism of America was even deeper then.

Personally, I think we over-emphasize building architecture periods as being "better" because they're older. Much of what people love in Seattle is what used to be described as "multi-family housing detritus" back when it was built.


@9 -- "Design for the people.
It's not that hard." bingo.

fuck trumpf and 'traditional' architecture. we're about to experience a Planet Wide Paradigm Shift -- let's take Advantage and make it Organic cozy sustainable and well-suited to its Occupants like hollandaise on eggs benedict. [burp].

did any one ask the Occupants
what they thought of spending a Third
of their Lives there? oh and which parts Work?

it's About the Inside
the Outside's the Icing.



@11 -- I came here to say the same thing. Jasmyne's take was silly, but she did get to say "racist" so there's that.


@15. Right? It's disappointing that she wrote something juvenile and unlearned, and will probably get 99.99% praise for it. Meanwhile, post-modern African architecture (also called Afro-Futurist architecture for no reason in particular) in the the middle of a genuine renaissance on that booming continent.

Nigeria is expected to be the world's 3rd most populous country soon. Its economy is growing. And she has nothing to say about art/architecture except to complain that Trump took steps to lead public architecture in a direction people will overwhelmingly prefer, including I suspect most black and brown people in the US, who time after time report to pollsters that they have more conservative and traditional cultural and aesthetic values than whites at large.

Like hey, The Stranger, at some point you have to take this intern who wanted to be an art critic and expect her to actually learn something about art. You're doign her career no longterm favors by setting the bar this low. I live 5 blocks from the SF Federal Building (which looks much cheaper and shabbier out of ideal lighting). And your "How to Look At" article said nothing about the actually looking at it.


Afro-futurist building is the wave of the future, that's true.