You know, Austin is an insanely creative city. We have lots of cool artists. Live music out the wazoo. But there’s one area where we are sorely lacking: architecture.
I’ve been pondering this for quite some time, as my sleepy little hometown turns into a bustling mini-metropolis. We have experienced a building boom unlike any in recent history. The good news? Lots of cool new places to shop, eat and live. The bad news? Apparently these builders and architects think there are only two colors in the palette—sand and burnt orange.
Now, I can understand that a lot of these good old boys went to my alma mater, UT (whose burnt orange and white color scheme is pervasive around here). But seriously? Every fucking new building?
The new Hilton Hotel. The Marriot Courtyard. The Whole Foods Whorld Headquarters. I could go on. And on. People are even repainting old buildings in shades of sand and orange. It’s epidemic.
So stop it. Grab a fucking color wheel! Why do you want your building to look like every other building? Is it lack of imagination? Lack of adventure? Lack of eyes that see in color?
Meanwhile, fucking Beijingis building a spate of high-end buildings so that the city will look uber-cool for the Olympics. (Rem Koolhaas’ latest is truly amazing. Check it out.)
Now, granted, Beijing is spending $40 Billion. And most of our local projects probably don’t have the financial wherewithal to hire a Rem Koolhaas or a Zaha Hadid, or even a Frank Gehry. But surely there are local architects who’d give their left mansard to emulate one of the greats.
To the handful of builders who have chosen other options, bless you. Your architecture is still fairly predictable, but look how your otherwise-plain building stands out in crowd.
Would it kill you to make a statement?