Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Renzo Piano - Peek & Kloppenburg Store, Koln, Germany

This isn't the exciting part, although i think most people would find it exciting...it's a bit too "look at me" for my tastes.  Set against the backdrop of the stone (?) grid to the left, yeah, okay.  It's a bit too jarring a contrast vs. the slabs to the right, but I'm not sure where this project ends and the next begins. 

In any case, this:

is the kick-ass part.  Exquisitely detailed, as one might expect in a Piano project - the exposed fasteners in the wood (?) framing (you can imagine someone in Piano's office doing sketch after sketch of that pattern before the boss finally okayed it), the reduced cross section as the framing goes down the wall, the interior framing that braces the vertical members, the horizontal "piping" (are they mechanical components, or horizontal purlins?)...the overall effect is that of willful precision.  You get the idea that Piano designed the egg from the inside out, although that is almost certainly not the case.  Contrast that with something like Gehry's Disney Concert Hall, where the designer came up with an exterior look (which, it must be noted, is not my style at all, but to each his own) and shoehorned a structure and (possibly) program after the fact.

As I said, exquisite.
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