Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The ART of the Addition

Two people meet. They get to know one another. They fall in love. They make lives together. And then the inevitable...let's have a baby! (Babies are to families as additions are to buildings.) This critic has plenty of experiences with both, although at this time, he's free and clear of the mandatory diaper changes from the babies and late night crying from failed additions. The other day, in fact, the critic and his spouse were having a discussion on what do to if someone they know has an ugly baby. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has to do the obligatory, "oh he/she* is soooo CUTE!" (*and by he/she I don't mean a sexually ambiguous baby...yuk.) Do you lie to the parent of an ugly child? Well, as the question was posed, this critic came to the firm conclusion that you certainly can't lie. No matter how nice and proud the parents are, you'll just have to ignore and deflect, and the best observation would be, "Ah yeah, your addition is so....pleasant".

Pleasant, as an observation, would be what would characterize this highway church, which was passed on the road on a return trip to the new metropolis of residence. It's neither breathtaking or hideous, but there was definite thought (at the very least) put into the design. As a structure, in and of itself, no problems. HOWEVER....the parental congregation of this structure decided at some point to add on. An addition, you say? Well, yes, an addition. Can we make it relate to what's already there? Sure. How about adding some metal? Check. How about adding some glass? Check. And maybe some towers...like the old building. Hell yes! And wouldn't you know! VOILA!!! Here's your new addition:

As this critic was taking pictures, some of the congregation scattered in the parking lot decided to have a conversation and inevitably the question was asked, "So, you're an Architect? Well, we did a lot of work trying to get this addition to really match the character of the old church. What do you think?"

Yikes. The first thought was, "wow that's horrible. Did Jesus make you do it?" The second thought was, "no...on second thought, it must have been Satan." The third thought was, "Don't lie. Whatever you do, don't lie. You're near a church for Christ's sake!" The main lesson garnered from such a probing question is that ugly babies and ugly additions are lost on people, who out of months of intense fermentation, have given birth to something so hideous that the sight of the offense is lost on their candy coated eyes. So this critic, mustering all his tact and not making any eye contact, slowly spit out, "well....it's....pleasant" before flooring the gas home.

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