Comment of the Day: Beauty Is in the Intention of the Landholder

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BEAUTY IS IN THE INTENTION OF THE LANDHOLDER “Houston is full of architectural bad taste, but it tends to be bad taste that politely pays obeisance to prevailing norms of bad taste. Hence the faux-Tuscan McMansion becomes a self-perpetuating meme. Developers keep building them and homebuyers keep buying them [and] because they see so many other versions of the same crap, they start believing that turrets are good. La Luz del Mundo utterly ignores the norms of architectural tastes in Houston (which are horrible but all [too] common). Its crimes against taste are unique and displayed with gusto. Unlike the buyer of a faux-Tuscan architectural travesty, the congregants of La Luz del Mundo don’t care what other people think. To which I say, right on!” [RWB, commenting on Freeway Church of the Eastex Holy Roaming Empire: Shining a Little Light on La Luz Del Mundo]

6 Comment

  • Properly implemented, turrets *are* good. The problem in this particular case as well as with so many modern faux-Tuscan and faux-Chateau adaptations is that architects fail to incorporate functional support for modern defensive armament and surveilance equipment. For instance, no McMansion is truely complete without a remote-controlled servo-actuated Browning M2 machine gun hardwired to the saferoom. But that critical bit of hardware doesn’t do the least bit of good if the turret does not project out from the structure or if it is lacking a sufficient number of meurtrieres to ensure an adequate field of fire.
    Along similar lines, I question the lack of murder holes above the entrances to such homes; no McMansion should be complete without the capability to dump a vat of scalding hot oil onto Jehovah’s Witnesses at the mere flick of a switch.

  • Well, yeah, Niche. Of course. All that goes without saying. But you’re bringing functionality into an aesthetic argument, which confuses the matter.

  • What could the functionality of wrought-iron fake-balconies be? Fancy burglar bars?

    I get having “bar-ditch” as moat. Particularly with all the new townhomes inside the loop now.

  • Form follows function. Anything else is a bastardization of architecture.

  • I guess that’s true if you are a puritan high-modernist Mies van der Rohe type. Me, I like a little functionless decoration. I’m a hedonist who likes bastardization, hybridization, pastiche, parody, and all sorts of useless frippery.

  • I’m not knocking aesthetic embellishments, merely stating that they need to work around the functional characteristics of a structure.