Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Judging Architecture from the Skies: Google Earth as the newest vantage point


In the attached slideshow we've placed some of the most admired buildings of the past decade against their Google Earth mugshots. And as you'll see, some of the buildings play quite well from the skies, while others seem barely more interesting than a Walmart Supercenter. If you want to turn this into a coffee table book with me send an email, cause I know a great coffee table guy... (not Kramer).

Though I can't imagine that the grumpy and ludditish architectural critics are going to agree, I'm thinking that in the next couple of years architectural accomplishment will be somewhat determined by the newest perspective at play - Google Earth's birds-eye.

Before Google conquered outerspace with rearview satelites, architects like Art Vandelay could safely assume their buildings to be experienced from alongside or from within. And as such, the créme de la créme architecture was that that did very well at designing for these two experiences. It didn't matter what was going down roof-wise because no one besides balloon boy would ever see it. But not anymore.

In the Google Earth era, there are two segments of visitors: the people who come physically, and the hundreds of thousands of us who visit the buildings from our computers, descending in to experience the architecture from above.


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