It was a wild and stormy night so I settled in to re-watch the last half of Peter Jackson’s 800 minute extended version of ‘The Return of the King’. At the point when Frodo finally reaches the entrance to the Crack of Doom I was struck by the design of the stonework around the entrance, all hard planes and jutting fins. Bereft of humanity, soulless and sullen, it looked ever so familiar and tugged at my memory but I wasn’t sure why. And suddenly, in the ruddy light of Mount Doom’s coursing lava, I knew. I knew where I’d seen that alien style before. I’d seen it in Atlanta…. it’s the in-house design style of the large Atlanta architecture firm Thompson, Ventulett & Stainback! Seriously. I kid thee not. Are you familiar with the AT&T Promenade building in mid-town? Sauron’s evil eye winters there. You know that stingy little building they squeezed in where Gorin’s diner used to be? I have it on good authority that it was designed by a very cross orc who was having a very bad day. No lie. Check it out. But that’s not all. These guys are so bent on filling the world with their inhuman designs that they are beginning by switching the meanings of words to confuse people and possibly to kill innocent fish. Read on…
According to TVS & Associates’ website, they want to make a “Paradigm Shift Underwater”. Apparently this involves taking all the fish out of the water, to whit:
“Given Atlanta’s land-locked address, the design team has focused on the importance of “emersion,” wrapping the guest in an underwater world, coming face to face with some of the most incredible ocean creatures. Our design of the Georgia Aquarium will shift the “aquarium” paradigm and how its visitors interact with inhabitants.”
According to every dictionary that I could lay my hands on the word “emersion” means emerging from water, not being immersed in water. That would in fact be immersion.
Oh for goodness sakes humanity, immerse yourself in a book once in awhile. I recommend beginning with the dictionary and moving outwards. Check back with me and I’ll tell you when you’re ready for ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
To be a good sport I also make fun of my own mistakes. However, making fun of architecture firms has become a hobby of mine, partially because I usually have friends at those firms and partially because architects are never able to take a joke, which is funny in and of itself. Oh yeah, Foster is short.