Stack The FedEx Boxes High——Vancouver’s Swell New Art Museum


Hey, who left that stack of Fed-Ex boxes in the middle of downtown Vancouver? Wait a minute… that’s the proposed new Vancouver art museum designed by Swiss starchitects Herzog & de Meuron. Anyone who’s been through the Vancouver Airport knows that they are very into the “environmental look” there. In the building trades, that means lots of wood, because wood is “organic” and “natural.” It is of nature, and therefore stands for nature in the center of the horrible mechanistic city, with all its baleful glass-skinned boxes. Note, also, the miniature British Columbian forest around the base, a totemistic exercise to ward off the encroaching anti-nature of the surrounding city. The darn thing looks a bit top-heavy, though, as if the top three boxes are supported by stacked levels of…playing cards! Lots of theoretical people in the rendering, enjoying the “green space.” Experience actually suggests that public places enfronted by multi-laned motoring corridors will probably be shunned by casual droppers-by. Modernism lives… until the long emergency drives a stake through its snooty heart.

Thanks to the nearly a dozen people who rushed to send this nominee in: Michael King, Lorne Beaton, et. al.