SOMA Nature Walk

Sometimes you don't realize that you have a question until you've seen the answer. In this case, "When your building is this aggressively hideous, how do you clean the windows?"

The answer, I'm guessing, is "badly".

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14 Responses:

  1. Christoph says:

    And imagine the pain of putting furniture in these buildings - no right angles, few straight walls... but at least the whole thing looks expensive and might win an award or so. Noone in their right mind would put up such things for practicality or good looks.

    • Jim says:

      We should probably be accepting abundant failure in the difficult quest to escape the contemporary rectangulatrons in hi-rises, to which I do prefer this design wholeheartedly (while agreeing that it will probably fall prey to maintenance issues.)

      An example of getting it right, in my opinion, is epitomized by Baltimore Tower on Canary Wharf, London:

      • tfb says:

        'Canary Wharf' and 'getting it right' are not things I ever expected to see in the same sentence. Every time I go there I just want to hit someone, possibly myself.

        • Jim says:

          Understood; most of it is terrible because not only are only a small fraction of the architects willing to think beyond the giant rectangle, but they insist on doing the same at street level and below as well. That's why Baltimore/Arena tower [fixed link from above] stands out. Every floor being a wrap-around open patio seems like an obvious and inexpensive upgrade. Soft corners rotating upwards is what the SOMA building above wants to be.

    • NT says:

      It looks to me like the interiors could be right angles. The rotations are mostly happening between levels.
      I think it looks cool. I mean, all skyscrapers are hideous but this one hasn't been value engineered as hard as your basic cartesian grid of glass and steel. I like it that it's kind of a puzzle to figure out how the window washing works or how many right angles there are. I mean, given that we can't build the Chrysler Building again. If there has to be a tower there I'd rather it be this one than most. Unless they can hire that guy who builds shiny concave buildings that melt cars on sunny days.

  2. Philip Guenther says:

    Did the architect credit the electropaint aka stonerview screensaver?

  3. halcy says:

    I'm a big fan of this building and I think it should exist in a cyberpunk dystopia video game and exactly nowhere else.

  4. Patrick says:

    It's not the window washing that would annoy me. It's all those tiny little flat roofs, each of which presents a brand new water ingress point, each of which probably needs maintenance to keep it dry, none of which are probably planned for.

  5. jwz says:

    Oh hey, it turns out they have a variety of window-washing scaffolds. This is a whole process.

    • MattyJ says:

      I wonder if this makes window washing more exciting or more annoying for the people doing it.

      That first picture certainly shows the most exciting window washing platform I've ever seen.

      • jwz says:

        In what world you do think that someone dangling from a rope with a sponge wants their day to be "exciting"?

    • Jim says:

      That's a pretty striking photo and makes me like the building, except for the obvious fact that at least a third of the windows and patios have got to be staring right into neighbors' bedrooms.

  6. Patrick says:

    I assume labor laws mean that a team of guys abseiling off the roof going "hup hup hup" with a squeegee and a bucket is right out, huh?

    • I saw that done once (only one guy abseiling, no "hup"ing that I could hear) on a relatively small building (maybe 6-8 floors) in Seattle's Pike Place Market.

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