Monday, September 14, 2009

Thompson Center Straps It On

Is this the architectural equivalent of holding things together with scotch tape?

Nearly a quarter century after the building's opening, the pink and gray granite panels on the monoliths at the James R. Thompson Center are being corseted in securing grids of It Straps On stainless steel banding, appearing to confirm a comment from one of our readers on our previous post that there's a fear of the panels popping off.
The distinctive monoliths deconstruct the base walls, shrinking progressively in height as they head towards the corner of Clark and Randolph. Judging from the state of glass panels at the bottom of some of the columns, the arcade hasn't exactly been treated with tender loving care down through the years.
When catching the sunlight, the metallic bands add another layer of glitz to Helmut Jahn's controversial design. Is this going beyond rescue, into the realm of commentary?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My gripe with this building is the red (salmon?) and blue panels and columns.

I like the building but wish that they had just used silver, gray, or black.

The colors make the building look a bit cheap, like it is trying too hard to be noticed.