09 February 2011

a wasted opportunity (wherein we rant about football & architecture)

since the superbowl, los angeles has been inundated with press about the possibility of a new stadium to house a new NFL team, to which m21 responds *YAWN*.

let me preface by first stating m21 could care less about football (a shocking confession, right?) honestly, we would prefer to watch paint dry then to watch a football game- the rules are arcane, there are two brief seconds of action, followed by a whole lot of waiting around and boring commentary; the halftime shows are always lame and dated; and finally- and perhaps most importantly, what's the point of watching hot young guys in great physical shape if they are completely obscured by tons of padding and helmets? ;-)

still, we are adult enough to understand that just because we don't get it, there are millions of people who live for it, and we don't begrudge them their enjoyment, so if LA needs a team, by all means, bring one here. we are a world class city, after all, and thus should have the things that world class cities need to maintain their status as such: 1st class museums, cultural institutions like the symphony and opera, and i guess, major sports franchises, too.

so that brings us to the point of today's post- if we a are to get a new NFL team, let's ensure that stadium being built for it is as world class as the city it's being built in.  it simply goes with out saying that it should be architecturally stunning, and of immediate landmark status- along the lines of our disney hall and getty center museum, and since we are in the 21st century, it should also lead in technology- perhaps being the greenest stadium ever built. instead, what has been proposed is bland and ordinary, and would be more suited to des moines or milwalkee, than to the city that has, for better or worse, come to epitomize american culture to the world (no offense to the residents of either of those assuredly lovely cities, btw).

beijing built this:

montreal built this:

munich built this:

and we are proposed this:
best of the bunch, but two swoops and a gaint LED sign, do not a masterpiece make. it's still an ugly box wearing a church lady hat.

or this:
boring and ordinary.  maybe it would have been impressive in 1978, but we expect more in the 21st century,

or this:
we can't even speak of how dreadful this ugly box of a design is. it looks like a 2nd rate convention center in a 3rd rate town.

what a wasted opportunity. these banal examples need to be sent back to the drawing board, and we need to start all over again to give the city of angels the world class landmark it deserves, and something even us football-phobics can love.  we live here too, ya know, and hundreds of thousands of citizens of los angeles, whether football fans or no, will be forced to drive by these ugly, boring boxes every day- so please AEG, corporate backers of the stadium, as well as mayor villaraigosa, give us a view that inspires, beautifies and makes us proud of our city.

read more in the breathless press release sent to promote this crap as something significant here.



Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

This is a pet peeve of mine too!!!! And they are always so proud of their big boring boxes. That first example in beijing blew my wig off. Fantastic...yet..not sure I'd want to see it in my own city. But yes....a huge opportunity missed. I believe they don't do 1. because the sort of men that are in charge of these kinds of projects are not visionaries. No they are the type that want things to stay the same but make more money and 2. they don't understand paying more money for something just because it's architecturally more significant. If a box will do the a box.

We have our own huge box here....which they built in 2001 and are reinventing now because it looked antiquated immediately. So of course I envisioned something spectaular...but is now a box with a hat.

I don't know if they even use it anymore for big events but I always loved Memphis's big pyramid. It was unusual and fitting of the name of the city.

Are you sending letters to management?

maison21 said...

"Are you sending letters to management? "

i just did. ;-)

Eden Blake Collection said...

Great post. The pictures say it all. Perhaps you should email them I.M. Pei's portfolio or direct them to his design firm, Pei Cobb Freed &Partners... :-)

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Agree. I am not a football person either. Tennis is my sport.
Thanks for bring this up.

jones said...

My sentiments exactly. Please rant on. Mary

jane said...

Especially since the stadiums it would be replacing are so cool: the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl. If they are going for new and modern, instead of old and classic, they should really go for it.


maison21 said...

for reals, jane. both stadiums we have are awesome, just not enough corporate skyboxes for the modern age. :(