Sunday, June 5, 2011

Roof Garden and Rem Koolhaas

You gotta love an architect whose last name is Koolhaas.

Neil and I went and saw the last day of the OMA/Rem Koolhaas exhibit Cronocaos at the New Museum.

The exhibit is about an ongoing discussion in the architecture world about what does it mean to "preserve"something, what is preservation and how do you preserve a building or a neighborhood?  It's complicated, the exhibit was a very thought provoking and fascinating discussion about what preservation is and can be.  It really made me question everything I'd ever thought about preservation. 

This is from the exhibit and I think works out of context here:
Then Neil and I went to the top floor of the museum (which is only open on the weekends so if you visit make sure to go on Saturday or Sunday), they have a great terrace with views in every direction.  Looking south, one building over someone has set up a very ambitious roof garden which made me think about how 25 years ago every building in New York had a black tar roof, not heat deflecting white or silver ones like so many have now.  The only reason to go to the roof, or Tar Beach as my friend Elisabeth use to call it, was to put out a lawn chair and work on your tan, drink beer, smoke cigarettes and pot and then run downstairs to cool off in front of your air conditioner.  On occasion some ambitious soul would try growing a tomato plant which would inevitably dry up from the blistering August sun or wither from neglect.

Change happens slowly, but the greening of Manhattan is starting to happen, look at this: a bright white roof and a large well tended garden, right here on the Bowery.

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