Archive for September 10th, 2007


The Giant Phallus Wins

Previously I posted about a contest to rebuild the San Francisco Transbay Terminal. I didn’t like many of the entrants. You can read my critique -such as it is- here. Today a jury chose its favourite and the winner is the design from Pelli Clarke Pelli. Here’s what I had to say about it.

The Pelli Clarke Pelli design looks like a giant vibrator or high tech phallus. Given that none of the buildings in the area are giant, reflective testicles this thing just sticks up in the sky pronouncing its penis inferiority complex. Put a giant SUV on top and the image is complete. Sadly the interior looks like it would be better suited for a rest home for insane persons than a bus terminal. Oh wait, it’s a bus terminal! Spot on design.

I’m happy to say that I’ve revisited the pictures of their design and not changed my opinion very much. The only addition I would add is this thing is the most boring, uninteresting, safest design I’ve seen in a long time. There isn’t even a unique feature on the tower. Just a smooth, smooth skin on a over-long, over-sized phallus.

The jury unanimously chose this thing. They loved it. Yet the park on the roof is not “a risky, daring move in neighborhood development,” as the jury would have you believe and the tower does not fit “beautifully as part of the urban form of San Francisco both from an aerial perspective and at ground level.” It is a dildo of epic proportions with a park at the bottom.

I’ve lived all over the world. I’ve seen people with tattoos of Prague Castle, of Sutro Tower, of Nam Dae Mun, of the World Trade Center, of the US Capitol, and many others. You may not like the buildings yourself, but they are distinctive and loved enough to get inked on bodies. If the sign of unique, distinctive and loved architecture is that people would be willing to get a tattoo of the thing, the Pelli Clarke Pelli building is doomed. Who wants to get a tattoo of something you’d buy in a sex shop? I can’t wait for Good Vibrations to start selling their special version…

5 Comments | Catergorized: grrr  san francisco  technology
« NASA Needs a Slogan      Would You Buy This Book? »