Sunday, July 08, 2007

Manolo Blahnik - Despoiler of Antiquity?

"No, Ms. Nemcova, we're not calling you an elephant."
Anthee Carassava has a great story in this Sunday's New York Times about how the 5,000 seat Odeon of Herodes Atticus amphitheatre in Athens is being done in by twin new plagues. What war and earthquake couldn't accomplish in over two millennium, bubble gum and stiletto heels is. Recently over 60 pounds of discarded gum was scraped from the Odeon's marble, but the strain of that operation pales in comparison with the impact of modern patrons in their oh-so-stylish stiletto heels, which are being blamed for an epidemic of cracks in the structure's wall and foundations. Reports Carassava:
"Strengthened by a metal rod, stiletto heels and their metal tips transmit more pressure per square inch than a 6,000-pound elephant, architects and archaeologists say."
Most of the damage has taken place on the lower tiers, where the swells dwell. The upper reaches of the theatre, the realm of the less affluent and their more sensible footwear, has undergone much less wear and tear.

And while we're on the subject of stiletto's, also check out in the The Times Lisa Chamberlain's story on new hotels in New York's historic Chelsea district, including Greenhouse 26, pictured here, a project from Arpad Baksa Architect that's angling for Gold LEED status. 19 stories, 26 rooms total, 19 feet wide, offering a possible preview of where Chicago is headed under the "cram-it-in-up-to-the-gills" policies of the current administration.

2 comments:

Robert Salm said...

I happen to love Arpad Baksa’s Greenhouse 26. The structure is a great solution to a problematic site, and it is striving for LEED Gold status. I love the massing and the façade. It shows just what happens when you put people first and take cars out of the program. When was the last time a Chicago developer did not shove a 6-level above-ground parking garage underneath a residential/hotel project? When was the last time a Chicago developer created a project that strived for LEED Gold before breaking ground as part of a mission statement? If this is a preview of where Chicago architecture is headed, paint us green and bring it on.

Anonymous said...

I hope this is where Chicago is headed. Look at the nice historic buildings preserved to the right and left. In Chicago, a developer would demolish the whole block and build a short and fat building.