Thursday, August 12, 2010

beauty and the brute

The science building is arguably the University of Auckland Building Most Likely to Harbour a Communist Bloc Dictator, uglier even than the engineering one.
And you see some weird things sticking out of it sometimes - tubes at awkward angles, first year chemistry students etc - for important experiments that Arts students like myself couldn't begin to understand.
But wait - what's this?

That's not an alum crystal, it's a baroque, fripperied, fol-de-rolled and curlicued chandelier! It's ruining the brutalist lines and transforming the building from an imposing behemoth in its own right to merely a contrasting backdrop for prettiness. Huzzah!

Twenty metres further down the road, outside the Information Commons, students go about their business in ignorance of such annexation and colonisation of the Science podium by frothy aesthetics:

But wait - again, what's that?! A battle seems about to begin:

More chemistry fume induced hallucinations? Maybe one of the armies wants to cover the stone wall with some lacy fretwork to go with the chandelier. One can only hope!


  1. A chandelier hangs over an alleyway. At first it symbolises luxury and hope but as it degrades over time it becomes a symbol of dystopia.

    Well, there you go then. Deep.

  2. Unfathomable! I'm tempted to think you enlisted one of your many chandelier-owning contacts to install this jobby in the wee smalls. Hilarious post.

  3. thanks Ninah, ... what happens if I throw glitter on the chandelier every day? Does utopia win? I don't want brutalism to win! Dr Edit! Great idea! Let's chandelierise the city!

  4. I went to see it. It made me happy. Iris

  5. Hey whats wrong with the engineering school!

  6. strip away the fluorescent art and... it's beautiful if you're into roughcast concrete basic geometry.