Why do all new buildings in America look like this?

911

Crow
Here are a couple of nicer new condo projects, in Minneapolis and Toronto.

The former incorporates some classic early 20th century elements, while the latter maximizes greenery:

[img=630x420]http://tcbmag.com/TCBSite/media/images-articles/Eleven-Top-Floors-resize.jpg?ext=.jpg[/img]














This is a really good article on the subject of why we hate contemporary architecture, identifying aspects that drive bad architecture: fear/hatred of traditionalism, lack of integration with nature, fear of symetry/harmony, etc:

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/10/why-you-hate-contemporary-architecture
 

estraudi

Kingfisher
Gold Member
They exist all over the Phoenix metro(the land of cheap build outs galore).
[attachment=42821]
Thanks for the thread, no one in my real life has ever considered them hideous. They grate on my eyes and just look like glass sealed concrete boxes.
No art and to boot they market them to college kids, grads & empty nesters. To me it's how they cordon the well-to-do off from the riff raff of most urban areas. They're built like jails but with much easier access, entry & exit.
My coworker's building near Arizona State Tempe campus has a boxing ring, tanning, jumbotron, ski simulator and much more!
[attachment=42820]
Crazy amount of amenities for sure, in a shitty looking package.
Like a HB4 that does everything a woman should do!
 

Attachments

RedKurrant

Sparrow
We have a similar thing happening in the UK, predominantly in southern England (where the higher values for developers are):







It's just a shame that housing is so unaffordable here. There's also the issue that most of these new builds have a poor internal finish because developers use cheaper materials in order to cut costs, resulting in purchasers having to spend even more money on snagging. But I guess those are topics for another day...
 
Roosh said:
I thought it was only an east coast thing, but I saw these buildings everywhere. It's the standard design for all new buildings.
I would swear all the buildings in Roosh's OP are near me in Denver, but we don't have palm trees, so I guess not.

Central Denver has a large number of older apartment buildings and houses, 100 years old or more. My place was built in the 1890's.

Here a link to a series of articles showing where Denver houses for each decade were built, and showing typical styles, starting in the 1870's. It's an amazing combination of GIS data and serious research and data collection. The styles for ordinary houses in the late 1800's were very ornate and artistic, far more so than modern houses.

https://denverurbanism.com/single-family-homes-by-decade

I only recently got my current place, and before I did, I thought a lot of these contemporary condo and townhouse developments looked pretty nice. Now they look soulless to me. I'm a dedicated fan of older architecture now.
 

Handsome Creepy Eel

Owl
Gold Member
debeguiled said:
Let's test this theory. If you see one of these in your town, post it in this thread.

Do these count?

Both are student housing and have funny names that sound like smartphone models, like "The K90" or "The 666"



I sure hope there are 420 and 69 among them...
 

estraudi

Kingfisher
Gold Member
RoastBeefCurtains4Me said:
Roosh said:
Central Denver has a large number of older apartment buildings and houses, 100 years old or more. My place was built in the 1890's.


I only recently got my current place, and before I did, I thought a lot of these contemporary condo and townhouse developments looked pretty nice. Now they look soulless to me. I'm a dedicated fan of older architecture now.
I used to live in capitol hill and LoDo for years and their was one hugely offensive soviet bloc with red brick looking building at 8th ave /Broadway that I wished would crumble!
Hideous!
 

Oak

Robin
Art and aesthetics are an outgrowth of society. Societies with higher values and self-respect produce dignified architecture.

Western society is now centred around earning a wage and consuming products. Hence the architecture consists of soulless little death-boxes.
 
This was a Bloomberg article a read a while back that covered some aspects of this phenomenon (it's behind a possible pay-wall depending on the user but their are free views):

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/feat...a-s-new-apartment-buildings-all-look-the-same

If I recall, it basically came down to cheap plug and play designs that are ultra cost effective that can utilize cheap materials and low quality labor. These designs can be re-used furthermore forever to avoid costly (time and money) codes/regulation hurdles. The demand for housing in certain areas is overwhelming and the vast majority of developers gain nothing from trying to do something high-quality, different or outside the box. Every little aforementioned bit eats into the bottom line.

Personally, I think modern US housing (as in the past 30 years) is basically crap. Forget the designs for a moment. The QUALITY of craftsmanship and materials is absolute bottom barrel garbage; including those fancy looking mid-rise "luxury" buildings. But because it looks shiny and modern, idiots will drop half a million/per a unit on them not understanding remotely the worthless junk they just bought. If you watched these places get built everyday, you'd be appalled by what you see. Someone is paying big bucks for THAT quality?

Yeah, if it's a housing project... I would get it. But a "luxury" place in a nice part of town asking for top dollar?

:laugh:

With some exceptions and a handful of select custom builders, I wouldn't touch any post-late 1980s property in the USA. They might not be nearly as aesthetically pleasing or hip but the BONES of the property are WAY more solid in my opinion. They are usually cheaper too because they are not nearly as trendy or full of BS "amenities."

Makes sense when you think about it: The 1980s was basically the last decent decade for the American blue-collar worker. Reagan eventually did amnesty in the mid-80s and corporate America went into hardcore selling out mode around the same time period and onward. Corrupt trade deals, offshoring, importing shit grade materials, real estate consolidation, repeal of Glass/Steagall and loan regulations that led to unjustified housing boom, etc.

Like a lot of things in the USA these days unfortunately: It's all shit with the exception of a very thin layer of gold on the outside. And it's usually fake gold at that.
 

HermeticAlly

Woodpecker
These designs are becoming pretty generic but they don't bother me too much, it's better than apartment buildings from the last few decades which are way uglier.

It's a far cry from something actually beautiful, though.
 

Blaster

Ostrich
Gold Member
H1N1 said:
Honestly I think they are beautiful, and I bet they are great to live in - loads of natural light, well insulated, comfortable, and probably extremely affordable. I like them. The fact that they are popping up everywhere is also great. We have such a deficit of affordable housing in the UK, it's a real problem. I'd love to see these popping up everywhere in the UK, both because I personally think their functionality is itself attractive, and because it would be a great sign of a country full of confidence and invested in its future.
I've lived in one for a couple of years-- not going to post the exact one for for privacy reasons but the design looks much like others in this thread. It was a late-stage gentrifying residential neighborhood of a major city with good access to mass transit. Not downtown or a high-end neighborhood but not ghetto either.

It was NOT a condo building, though, it was a "luxury apartment" rental building, although I'd probably call it "low-end luxury." I'd estimate rents were at least 25% higher per square foot than the average old stock housing (which had a very active market due to presence of universities and yuppie employment downtown). The apartment was good quality, with in-unit laundry, granite countertops, elevators, and so on. But there was definite evidence of skimping on everything that could be skimped on and still get away with calling it a luxury building. Cheap toilets and sinks, laminate flooring, and probably a bunch of other things that a contractor with a better eye than mine could point out. Also I was on the top floor and don't know how noise might have been on lower floors. Basically, many of the details that an actual owner-occupant would probably upgrade.

Overall it was a pleasant and easy place to live, with nice neighbors (lots of young doctors and well-off grad students) at least until a clan of Muslims moved in. After that there kids running up and down the halls late at night being loud, leaving crumbs and garbage everywhere, fat women complaining about pets in the elevator, and men loitering around the entrance at all hours paying no attention to anyone else except sometimes to glare.
 

Salinger

Woodpecker
The "glass and steel" office buildings are bad in the sense that they all look alike.

However, the apartments and condos of today are the real eyesores. In the past, the facades of these buildings had character...







But nowadays, because of the need to save time and money, facades are very uninviting. They give buildings an Orwellian feel since they look boxy and cheap.

I've noticed there are no arches, no sloped roofs (why?), and they all use the same cheap railing on the balconies which look like the bars to a prison cell.

Most of them also seem to sport a minimalist feel to them and are painted either white, tan, or some shade of red. Here's one in Denver that is the epitome of both ugly and soulless.

 
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