Tropolism Voting: What Was Foster's Inspiration?


We love a good meme. We love a good rhyme. We also love a really good joke, of which there are so desperately few in my profession.

However, never let it be said that we don't know our Louis Kahn (om) back projects. (Actually: we don't care). I went to Washington University for architecture, you don't think that the first thing I learned was that Kahn competed (and lost) for a project there? A project that is not unlike the proto-metabolist aspirations you see above, before he saw Light As A Material (om).

And, the Kahn monograph is unfortunately so large it's difficult not to open it occasionally, if only to take the dust off the cover. Sometimes while dusting, it flops to the page showing his diagonally gridded structure. One of the difficulties of my profession (both as an architect and a writer) is having Kahn enthusiasts bring him up like no one else has ever heard of him. Lovely how this meme leads us into a witch hunt: Commies everywhere!

In my view, the tower wasn't visually as similar to Foster's building as the triangular grid in the sculpture I mentioned, so i don't see it as a precedent. Also, my experience with Foster leads me to believe that his inspiration would come from a sculpture, not a klunky Kahn. But that's my opinion, not a fact. And so, we're jumping full-force into the first Tropolism Voting Project. Readers, please vote: which of the two potential sources of inspirations do you believe more closely resembles Foster's Hearst Building (right)? The Kahn project (far left for the non-architect demographic) or the Francisco Sobrino sculpture (middle) I mentioned in my earlier post. You have until Friday 9am to write us with your opinion!. We will duly post when the public has finished deliberating.


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