Architecture – Avant Garde?
Abu Dhabi has recently announced plans to turn itself into a sort of Arabian Left Bank, with cultural venues designed by Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Jean Nouvel. Beijing, meanwhile, is completing the giant steel bird’s nest of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron’s Olympic Stadium, and also has Paul Andreu’s titanium-egg National Theater, and Rem Koolhaas’ unusual state television headquarters (CTTV headquarters, above) which locals have dubbed “the twisted donut.” An obscure sheikhdom on the Gulf and the world’s largest Communist dictatorship have unexpectedly become the latest hotbeds of avant-garde architecture.
“The clear implication is that buildings designed by avant-garde architects are ahead of their time. But are steel bird’s nests, titanium eggs, and twisted helixes really a portent of the future?”