Monday, November 16, 2009

Kowloon Tong Liebskind

I passed the site for this new Universtity building in Hong Kong's Kowloon Tong yesterday, where they've cast some concrete and the shape is starting to come through. It's a 'Creative Media Centre' by Daniel Liebskind- better known for his Jewish Museum in Berlin, getting screwed over for his work in the site of the NYC trade centre, and being an all round 'I'll baffle you with words that I just made up into thinking that I'm just the guy to provide a metaphysical response to your culturally sensitive building problem'. Which is fair enough when it comes to issues like the holocaust (whether you buy into the hype or not) but what about University buildings? To me, just as all Artist's really want is a functional 'white box', not some wild shape attack, why should Creative Media students want some jagged shaped building with weird rooms and funny windows? I can see how the University wants to promote how progressive and cutting edge they are by commissioning a 'signature' Architect, but I can't help thinking the money would have been better spent on staff and equipment. And if they'd just built a functional box maybe they could have used the money saved to buy some cladding? Beauty through material, not crazy shapes.