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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Friday, May 07, 2004
The 'end of the loft as a meaningful cultural symbol?' A fascinating piece in Metropolis about The Ironwork Lofts, a rather dismal collection of executive homes in Colorado masquerading as pseudo factories, canneries and warehouses. The architects responsible are Terra Verde, who are seemingly able to turn their hand to anything, from the style that should be known as Prairie Golf, through to Neo Adobe and Steroidal Ranch. The developers, Cornerstone Homes ('we build livable art'), have identified a niche - people who want the space and style of city living without the actual city.

Perhaps the developer should be praised for their willingness to do something new and break out of the box marked 'McMansion'. There's no reason why living in a pseudo-industrial estate is any different from living in a fantasy development like Seaside, with its picket fences and strict residential codes. It's all very well for commentators to tut over the irony (the piece concludes that 'as commercial builders embrace a loft aesthetic, the fact that lofts were a way of reviving disused urban neighborhoods falls by the wayside'), but the truth is that this Colorado suburb isn't alone.

In Minnesota, the Sunset Ridge Senior Homes, designed by the firm Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (who aren't, by any stretch of the imagination, bad architects), fulfils a similar role - transplanting spaces and styles once only experienced through a layer of urban grit into wipe clean suburbs. The vogue for 'loft-style' developments (and other hybrids, like the 'loft house') doesn't seem to have peaked in the UK, nor has the hackneyed desire for 'space and light'. As a result, one expects this kind of development will surface, in some form or another, over here soon. But, as with so many things in life, the emphasis is on cloaking the everyday in something else, adding more and more layers of meaning and complexity.

Some other things. The photographs of Elina Brotherus (via Conscientious) / Apartment Therapy (thanks to Gina) / the history of the US Postal Service (thanks to Susan) / some food weblogs: The Hungry Tiger, Foodster, Food Porn Watch / the slightly creepy split-screen VW Ball, reminiscent of Gabriel Orozco's truncated Citroen DS (read more abot Orozco at Greg.org).

Dare you enter the Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness? (via bifurcated rivets) / London art deco (think I linked this before) and Decopix, general deco views / Lots of Co., a weblog / the infinite cat project (thanks tmn).

It's nice to be considered part of a 'wonderful little flurry of thoughtful, fascinating activity' (thanks, Submit Response).