We’ve already established that sometimes architecture is a mindfuck; full of small details and tiny decorative flourishes straight from the uncanny valley of WTF. This little oddity is from the Don Lee Building at 1000 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. Built in 1919 as a Cadillac showroom, this neoclassical building contains all manner of fanciful human and humanoid figures. The above image, a repeating element on the entryway columns, combines two common decorative flourishes: a cherub/putto with a swag/festoon/garland. But why is the garland coming from it’s mouth? Continue reading
You don’t need to be an objectum sexual or Ballardian protagonist to see the aesthetic sexuality inherent in some buildings. The way that line, mass, and shape converge into strangely provocative visual statements – totally hot. This, however, is not one of those buildings. Oh no, in keeping with my pretentious first sentence this is a Cronenbergian horror of the first order. There’s something off here. Something small and subtle that pricks at the subconscious. What could be causing this fairly generic example of post-earthquake architecture to feel so decidedly creepy and wrong?