The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 December 2005

Where is this place again?

Michael Bates, writing in Urban Tulsa Weekly, on buildings as icons, and how the new BOk Center doesn't measure up:

[Architect Cesar] Pelli's design fails as an icon because it is not distinctive. It's arena-shaped, it's built with steel, concrete, and lots of glass, and it looks like millions of other modern buildings, just differently arranged. It doesn't draw on any symbol that would bring to mind Tulsa or Oklahoma or even the United States. It could be anywhere in the world, and so it brings to mind nowhere.

Although Pelli claims that he used Native American and Art Deco elements, they aren't apparent. The shape of the building is reminiscent of a QuikTrip coffee lid, but that's the nearest connection to Tulsa's heritage that I can find.

Oklahoma City's Ford Center isn't particularly iconic either, but it's intended to fit into an existing urban environment, not to anchor a new one.

Posted at 7:30 AM to Soonerland


TrackBack: 11:58 AM, 23 December 2005
» Hypnotic Vision from BatesLine
This week I managed to lead off my Urban Tulsa Weekly column, about the urban design characteristics of the new downtown Tulsa arena, with a Monty Python reference. UPDATE: Charles G. Hill comments: "Oklahoma City's Ford Center isn't particularly iconi......[read more]

TrackBack: 11:57 AM, 26 December 2005
» Good enough to drink from! (PICTURE) from meeciteewurkor
Thank you Dustbury for the inspiration! Although Pelli claims that he used Native American and Art Deco elements, they aren’t apparent. The shape of the building is reminiscent of a QuikTrip coffee lid, but that’s the nearest connection t......[read more]

i'm *sure* it's not what they had in mind, but it looks to me like the bottom end of a tornado at the exact moment it hit a home depot.

Posted by: hatless in hattiesburg at 9:07 PM on 23 December 2005