[quote=Queeenie]can someone research the use of "boss" from the architectural point of view [/quote]
Yeah, I Think I Got This One.....
"If I Do Not Finish My Architectural Designs By Friday On The New Capital Dome, My BOSS Is Going To Fire Me!!!!!"
Well???? Extra Credit????
ARCHITECTURE VIEW; 'Boss' Design: A Los Angeles Sketchbook
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By HERBERT MUSCHAMP
Published: June 12, 1994
LOS ANGELES IS A WORK IN PROG- ress, and the excitement is that the design is still evolving.
Just now, the Getty Center is the Acropolis in reverse, a lofty urban landmark on the rise instead of one in ruin. Brentwood's hilltop city of the arts, a symbol of the surging cultural ambition of Los Angeles, will not be completed for two years. But if construction were halted tomorrow, it would still be worth climbing the hill just to see the sublimely beautiful stone veneer that now clads the Getty's base.
Part of the pleasure of visiting this nascent citadel, which will include the museum and a research center for scholars, is the surprise of seeing Richard Meier work with stone. The purest and palest of all the architects once known as the Whites has gone and got himself a beach-boy tan. Yet the white porcelain panels of Meier's other buildings have often taken on subtle coloration from reflected light, and here the stone resembles a fossilized form of the radiant air around it. A Roman travertine, cleft-cut against the grain, the stone is shot through with yellows, violets, grays and pinks, an iridescent palette that varies from block to block and from hour to hour as the sun's angle shifts.
But the complex is rising at a moment of skepticism about powerful cultural institutions like the Getty, a time when many people are more inclined to resent their power than respect their culture. Seen from the city below, the Getty hulks against the sky like a fortress; Marcel Breuer's Whitney Museum is a sweet little sand castle by comparison. And while Los Angeles may be ready to exchange the Hollywood sign for a more culturally elevated urban symbol, the Getty's symbolism is double-edged.
Physically remote, the Getty also presents a picture oddly distant from the city whose cultural prestige it is meant to enhance. The cultural vibrancy of Los Angeles today has little to do with either the high-art tradition represented by the Getty or Hollywood's commercial kitsch. It derives partly from the breakdown of that dualism under cataclysmic social and environmental pressures -- riots, earthquakes, challenges to the power structure -- and from the city's receptivity to ideas that reckon with those pressures.
Power is the theme of one of the newest buildings in town, the U.C.L.A. Energy Services Facility, popularly known on campus as the Chiller Plant. Raw power, utility-type power: the plant's chief function is to generate the energy required to light, heat and cool the entire campus. But the design is also concerned with power on a philosophical level. It invites viewers to ponder the impact of power on those who use it.
Designed by Wes Jones when he was at the San Francisco firm Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones (he now heads Jones Partners Architecture), the plant is indeed a chiller, the air-conditioner of the apocalypse. At age 36, Jones is a cold-war child, and a recurring theme of his work, like the Astronauts Memorial he designed for the Kennedy Space Center in 1991, is the interplay of fascination and dread that technology generates in the nuclear age. Jones shares little of the modern architect's belief in technology as a benign social force. He is even less sympathetic toward the post-modern desire to put the machine back in the box and tie it up with bows.
Jones's approach derives from Heidegger's warnings about the spiritual impact of the machine. In Jones's view, the problem in seeking to master nature is not that it jeopardizes the planet but that it threatens humanity. The Lord of the Universe role is a corrosive delusion; masters are corrupted by the subordination of others into a role of servitude. Nature is one of those others. Jones's Chiller Plant is an architectural essay on the need to confront the desire for mastery. It stands not only for the technology to heat or cool a campus, but for the mind-set it takes to build a city in a desert, atop a network of seismic faults.
The plant is a full-service servant. Besides generating power, it houses repair shops and offices for the campus maintenance department. But the main tenants are two gigantic generators, designed by the engineering firm Parsons Main. In effect (and appearance) giant jet engines, their function is not to thrust an aircraft but to transport a campus, lifting it out of its desert habitat into a condition more favorably disposed to scholarly pursuits.
It would be logical to hide the machinery behind normal-looking wraps; this is, after all, a structure whose function is to normalize the environment for human beings. Jones's design partly acknowledges the desire for concealment. Walls of red-orange brick, identical in color to those found throughout the campus, clad the building's lower half. Except for some brick panels that tilt down (like overscaled garbage-chute doors), and some segments of contrasting slate-blue brick that dance like stylized shadows across its ruddy surface, the bottom part of the building could be a generic campus brick box of the 1960's.
But above the brick, the plant shifts into high expressive gear, first with a tier of immense steel louvers, painted a bland industrial putty tone, then in a barely controlled eruption of mechanical equipment -- chimneys, compressors, ducts, pipes -- that rise above the louvers, enveloped in an infernal cloud of steam.
This ominous superstructure is an example of what Jones calls "boss design" -- mastery in built form. It is the vocabulary of industry, weaponry, engineering and urban infrastructure. In its poeticized form, boss design was also the grammar of modernism. But while Jones exposes the boss, he suppresses the poetry. His intention is not to celebrate technical prowess but to honor the power of nature. The raw display of industrial strength is a tribute to the mightier natural forces it seeks to control.
The plant is an ecologist's nightmare. It does nothing to decrease the city's disconnection from the natural environment. What it seeks to do is challenge our disconnection from the technology that makes that separation possible. As such, it performs a teaching function. It instructs the university to take responsibility for the environment it has created.
BY COINCIDENCE, THE chiller Plant sits directly opposite another recent building dedicated to science: the MacDonald Medical Research Laboratory, designed by Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates. The lab was completed two years ago, and even then it looked like a period piece, though a fine one, a decorated shed of patently post-modern vintage.
The MacDonald lab, too, deals in a sophisticated way with issues of screening and exposure. Like Guild House, Venturi's seminal post-modern building of 1963, the lab has a flagrantly false facade, pasted onto the front of the building, and much of the interest resides in the play between the two-dimensionality of the facade and the richness of its ornament. With its bands of patterned red and orange brick interwoven with rows of flush-mounted checkerboard-mullioned windows, the facade is an ornate Victorian pile that has been flattened to a pancake by a century of disbelief. When one of the windows pivots open, at once calling attention to the flatness and breaking out of it into the third dimension, the trompe-l'oeil effect is as startling as one of Magritte's.
The MacDonald lab doesn't completely hide the technology within. It also has louvered panels, two little ones that peek out from the roof line on either side of the facade. The effect is a bit like someone making donkey's ears behind someone else's head. It gently mocks the ornament's humanist aspirations and subtly puts into question who's the real boss: the pretty face or the mean machine lurking behind it.
I imagine that from Venturi & Scott Brown's perspective, the Chiller Plant must look like a period piece too. Do all those steaming pipes really add up to a substantial departure from modernism's machines for living? It is true that in the Chiller Plant Jones is dealing with historical themes. He's picking up a strand of history that post-modernists let fall. Implicitly, his design rebukes his post-modern elders for thinking that the machine could be civilized with historical quotations or teased into submission with jokes.
I'm drawn to Jones's side of the street, because he's the challenger in this unplanned contest. He has introduced a polemic as gutsy as the one Venturi mounted 30 years ago, before post-modernism became the boss. Also, as a cold-war child myself, I'd like to think that architecture can reckon with the complexities of superpowerdom. Yet it's not necessary to reject one of these buildings to appreciate the other. Of course, the architects themselves have taken sides. The strength of both projects reflects the vigor of their designers' convictions. But my overriding response to both is one of gratitude toward a city that has invited architects of conviction to create buildings that matter.
If You Didn't Build It, Customize It, And/Or Modify It, Then It Truly Isn't Yours. Rebel Rouser