The sputtering economy and markets might mean more than a shrinking 401(K) and a mortgage at odds with reality.
I’m not talking about hunger, job losses or increased poverty: I’m talking about plans to build crazy skyscrapers coming to a halt. Architect David Chipperfield told Bloomberg this week that the global financial crisis will take the wind out of the sails of the “wow” building industry.
Chipperfield said “wow” buildings are a result of an excess that just can’t be counted on to fund such projects anymore. I’m not sure if we’ve really reached that point in places like Dubai and the former Soviet Union where announcements for new record-setting buildings still seem to come in at a pretty good clop.
I do wonder what kind of architecture will spring from the coming decade. Will it be borne of necessity, hinged on frugality, or greased by lots of public dough? What will it look like if it’s all of the above? Will it at least stop getting taller and taller and taller?
What about here? We all know about the staggering number of public projects built in the U.S. during the Great Depression. Some are still “wows,” others might best be categorized as “hows?” Construction on Seattle’s own Viaduct and seawall started in 1934.