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the blob invades prague!
December 4, 2007 6:35 PM   Subscribe

The proposed new home of the National Library of the Czech Republic. The old one looks like this. The new one ... well ... is it an octopus? What the hell is this thing?
posted by pyramid termite (42 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
When will be Gehry be made to pay for his crimes?
posted by DU at 6:43 PM on December 4, 2007


Forget Gehry... someone send in Tom Baker and K-9 to kill that thing before it consumes the entire planet.
posted by wfrgms at 6:47 PM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Teletubbies!!
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 6:47 PM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think it's wonderful. But isn't the air leaking out?
posted by jfuller at 6:55 PM on December 4, 2007


Man, that is soooo cool. I just hope it doesn't end up with structural problems like the recent Gehry pieces.
posted by rottytooth at 6:59 PM on December 4, 2007


That's no octopus, it's kodos!
posted by MillMan at 7:12 PM on December 4, 2007


As a fan of Bilbao (and not a fan of EMP) I have to say this is pretty underwhelming, not to mention fugly.
posted by maxwelton at 7:12 PM on December 4, 2007


Maybe they should lose the spots and build six of them.

The color scheme is definitely jarring, but I can't decide if it's jarring in a good way or a bad way. The shape I kind of dig. It's interesting on that site.
posted by prosthezis at 7:19 PM on December 4, 2007


Fun slide?
posted by HTuttle at 7:20 PM on December 4, 2007


Or maybe it's just a brain slug?
posted by prosthezis at 7:36 PM on December 4, 2007


That's so vile it's brilliant. It's not clear from these links how brightly the building will be illuminated at night. At what rate will the eery lights pulse? Will the spots flicker independently of the the mail heartbeat? I want to know these things. Will there be a heat ray?
posted by nowonmai at 7:38 PM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


If that crooked Thatcherite cunt Vaclav Klaus is against it, I'm for it.
posted by kenlayne at 8:05 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


That looks worse than the seattle public library. I just hope it doesn't copy the new revolutionary (aka horrible) filling and organizational system. the SPL, while having plenty of books, is a nightmare to navigate. My favorite was trying to find audio books of harry potter, which were not in the audio book section (and there wasn't a place holder in the audio book section saying this) but they were in the general childrens audio book section, was was 4 floors below where I was, in a large open space with 3' high shelves strewn about at "interesting" angles.

I am sure someone will correct me on the design / layout / philosophy of the place, but it just seemed too much design for the sake of design, instead of an underlying purpose. (the automatic book system IS neat, but thats because I like those things).

So yeah, this one looks like JBL speakers or a brain slug, or what would happen if a brain slug mated with some JBLs.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:08 PM on December 4, 2007


Just to post more. It appears from the article (and design) it will have an automated book retrieval system in the basement, which will store up to 10 million books that can be retrieved from any floor in the build. Which sounds really neat and fun, and I wonder if that was the driving force behind this.

However, what happens to the wandering around endless stacks of books, walking through the scifi section looking for an interesting weird cover and title that catches your attention?
posted by mrzarquon at 8:11 PM on December 4, 2007


As a fan of cephalopods, I like it! However I must say it really doesn't scream out "Prague".
posted by clevershark at 8:27 PM on December 4, 2007


CALL NUMBER: PZ 354.1
STATUS: Available
LOCATION: Humanities — 3rd Tentacle — Under the Purple Spot thingie
posted by gubo at 8:39 PM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


For a city that hates this relatively subdued Gehry building, I can't understand how this is going to fly.
posted by the jam at 8:46 PM on December 4, 2007


that purple is unbearable. imagine trying to READ around that...ick. the reddish colors of the neighboring rooftops would be much nicer. they aren't planning to tear down the old library, are they? that'd suck.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:56 PM on December 4, 2007


disastrously moldy swiss cheese?
posted by geos at 9:06 PM on December 4, 2007


That's no octopus. It's clearly a nudibranch.
posted by Quietgal at 9:10 PM on December 4, 2007


The design, by the Czech-born architect Jan Kaplicky.

Quit blaming Gehry.

If that crooked Thatcherite cunt Vaclav Klaus is against it, I'm for it.

Amen to that. Bring on the avante garde/fugly!
posted by piratebowling at 9:17 PM on December 4, 2007


This seems as good a thread as any in which to predict, publicly, that Frank Gehry is just one "misunderstood genius" fiasco-tastrophe away from totally snapping and becoming an architecture-themed super-villain.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

...In any case, whoever designed this monstrosity is, on his best day, the "Batman Beyond" version of EvilGehry.
posted by unregistered_animagus at 9:21 PM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Maybe the whole world needs to mail-bomb the architect with thousands of copies of "How Buildings Learn."

Where I live, we have a parking garage that looks like a Habitrail. Because we are feisty, creative people, we call it "The Habitrail." That liblob is so much hideous and cool, though.
posted by not that girl at 9:47 PM on December 4, 2007


Seeing the pictures I was instantly reminded of the green, randomly expanding blob-cheese-thingy in the c64 game Boulder Dash.
posted by Anything at 9:49 PM on December 4, 2007


It seems that the designers are planning for it to become a disused haunted ruin. Not only does the building already look dilapidated and half-demolished, their renderings feature headless ghosts wandering the grounds and making use of the facilities.
posted by plant at 11:19 PM on December 4, 2007


Are you guys sure someone didn't just spent too much playing SCUMM and actually forgot to submit a real cad proposal?
posted by phyrewerx at 11:50 PM on December 4, 2007


I kind of love it... but, really, not in that setting. At all. No. I could totally see it working in a much more architecturally eclectic city, but, wowzer, not there. Ouch.
posted by taz at 2:03 AM on December 5, 2007


The construction of the new Latvian National Library is also controversial, but they do a pretty good job of answering the critics, and it's across the river from the most historic part of town, where there are already a few other modern buildings.

Oh, and the building doesn't look like a ball of mucus spat down from Heaven by the Almighty. So that helps.
posted by mdonley at 2:17 AM on December 5, 2007


This building makes me laugh because it looks ridiculous, but I don't think I mean that in a bad way, honestly.

What they said...except the part about meaning it in a bad way.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:37 AM on December 5, 2007


I hear they expect the librarians to wear uniforms.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:13 AM on December 5, 2007


Prague already has a million classical buildings and, to take issue with taz, how does a city become "architecturally eclectic" without putting up some new stuff?

Also regarding kenlayne and piratebowling's comments- agreed. If Klaus was against a proposal for having me stoned to death I'd probably be in favour of it and demanding the cobblestones be used asap.
posted by Gratishades at 3:14 AM on December 5, 2007


From the "octopus" link:

President Klaus said the design was so ugly, he would prevent construction going ahead with his own body

Man, I wish I had the power to stop the construction of ugly things with my own body. That would be a great superpower to have. Better than x-ray vision!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:25 AM on December 5, 2007


I did think about what you're talking about, Gratishades - in almost exactly the same words, in my haid. But I still believe that pleasing eclecticism follows certain aesthetic considerations, and that the next thoughtful step in such a traditional setting should still incorporate elements that complement the surroundings, and that things can organically branch out from there. It starts somewhere, of course... but this is kind of like perfunctorily plopping down a Corbusier chaise lounge amid your all-American Colonial house. Except more so. And in purple and bright green.
posted by taz at 3:42 AM on December 5, 2007


Fair enough taz.

The proposed site of the building is a fair way out the historical centre near the Sparta Prague stadium (which is as ugly a football stadium as I've ever seen). It's not going to be in the Old Town Square.

I like the artists impression of how it will look from the castle, seems quite cheeky and interesting in equal measure.
posted by Gratishades at 3:55 AM on December 5, 2007


"It's moving toward Staten Island, General. It has yet to make its intentions known. But we think it may be trying to find and mate with the other one."
posted by pax digita at 5:14 AM on December 5, 2007


I, for one, welcome our biblio-cephalopod overlords.
posted by chinston at 5:24 AM on December 5, 2007


I like the artists impression of how it will look from the castle, seems quite cheeky and interesting in equal measure.

Thanks for that—it's the first image I've seen that doesn't induce the gag reflex. But I'm willing to hold off and let the building make its impression; a number of buildings I thought I'd hate turned out to be quite nice once I got used to them. (Not that I'm likely to have the chance to get used to this one in situ, alas. Damn, I miss Prague.)
posted by languagehat at 5:39 AM on December 5, 2007


Whether I'll get a chance to get used to it is still in question. The knee-jerk reaction of the conservatives has kicked in with the ODS mayor doing a volte face from initial approval, and chief clown Klaus taking a break from climate change denying to state his horror at it.

Whether it'll go ahead, get kiboshed or moved elsewhere seems to still be up for debate. This article seems to imply that the location is being reconsidered.
posted by Gratishades at 6:07 AM on December 5, 2007


The latest update on whether it'll go ahead here. Including Klaus calling it "disrespectful, self-indulgent and arrogant"- which would make it an admirable monument to his presidency.
posted by Gratishades at 6:14 AM on December 5, 2007


how does a city become "architecturally eclectic" without putting up some new stuff?

By putting up new stuff, sure, just not this caliber of "new." This should not be step one in the eclecticisation of a city - more like step seventy.
posted by arcticwoman at 6:22 AM on December 5, 2007


A fellow architect told me an essential riddle:

Why do we build such ugly Buildings?

Because we can.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 7:28 AM on December 5, 2007


Quietgirl, those nudibranchs are lovely! this one in particular reminds me of the library. Unfortunately, pretty slugs do not make pretty buildings.
posted by naoko at 7:59 AM on December 5, 2007


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