The morning after the blaze was about mourning the aftermath of the destruction. And two publications for the pyromaniacs amongst us (and there are a lot, that much we know). Both Abitare and ArtForum published a version of ‘Burn After Building’, the first one the raw version, the second one intelligently and graciously edited by Phil Tinari. Thank you both!
Burn After Building is a quick write-up of a walk around Ground Pyro (somebody feeling like copyrighting, trademarking?) the morning after. A strange sense of sulfur and serendipity filled the Beijing air and the proliferation of Burn After Building (see amongst those “The Boom is Over” on BLDGBLOG, dysturb.net, Archined and others) happened shortly after.
One could write a lot on how much architecture is supposed to burn, see how this is advancing the end of Architecture, if not the Icon, read it in lawlessness, stupidity and bad luck. It happened. That is about it. I rather stick to questionably, retrospectively and retro-actively “legitimating” the reality, hence the reference to “Fighting the Flames” as described by Rem Koolhaas in Delirious New York in the text. All that there was left to say is summed-up in my pyro-noid critical impression of that morning, the rest on Abitare and ArtForum.
Walking around the area, one is immersed in a strange architectural experience, one feels something is happening, but is wondering what. More fingers point to the façade. For a second one could think an audacious stuntman is climbing the façade of CCTV. Police troupes are walking the streets, sidewalks are closed, traffic diverted. For all its devastation, human loss and years spend in negotiations over the construction of the building, its interiors, its management, for all of its tragedy, there is a strange beauty to the building as it stands now. A burned out Olympic torch-like tower next to a glimmering ring.
A lot can be said about the unfortunate event. But we will restrain ourselves until further notice.
Pictures by movingcities.org