Modern architecture

So, have a look at these photos over here:

The Canadian mathematician made a multimillion-dollar fortune by writing calculus textbooks for universities and high schools. Last year alone he sold 500,000 books, accounting for about $26.6m (£17.5m) in sales, according to his estate.

Stewart was also an unlikely architectural trailblazer. He devoted many years of his life, and much of his income, to building his dream home in an upmarket Toronto neighbourhood. Integral House – named after the “integral”, a concept in calculus – is a shrine to calculus, the mathematics of flowing change.

And Jeebus but the place is hideous. And entirely unfit for any form of human existence.

But it won prizes!

29 thoughts on “Modern architecture”

  1. An ability to make money from books does not of itself confer good taste.

    The outside looks like a swanky library and the interior like an ‘executive lounge’. Fine for 30 minutes but depressing if your flight’s delayed.

  2. I have his 3rd edition from my university days. It’s actually very well written for a maths text, and unlike some of my others I learnt quite a lot from it. I still have it, I’d say I’ve definitely got my money’s worth.

  3. Mathematicians are jolly useful chaps, but ultimately (given their head) they produce bad art. What these people really need is someone with a classical education to inform their tastes.

    It is self-evident that anyone who disputes this analysis merely resents himself for having no Greek.

  4. That said, I actually quite like that building. But like most of these things it would look truly appalling on a wet day in Croydon, ten years after completion.

  5. “What these people really need is someone with a classical education to inform their tastes.”

    Yeah right. Victorian urban terraces. Each one a Romano-Greek, builders catalogue temple.

  6. I don’t normally like that sort of modern architecture, but I don’t mind that one. It isn’t the sort of house I’d choose to live in, but it’s a lot better than the white boxes that you see on ‘Grand Designs’. At least it has some wood in it.

  7. I like it. Plenty of room to stick in a really big home cinema, a snooker table and a bar. There’s probably also a separate room somewhere to make a proper man-cave to indulge hobbies (train sets, guitars, airfix kits, whatever floats your boat)

  8. @ Charlie Suet
    That is an unfair generalisation: Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Wren are merely the best-known (among many) mathematicians in the field of art and architecture.
    However I do agree that my art is so bad that I take pains to avoid ever producing any.

  9. “The place is hideous. And entirely unfit for any form of human existence.

    But it won prizes!”

    Change ‘but’ to ‘so’ and it makes complete sense.

  10. It makes me think of a student union building. Which may be why, as Steve observes, Guardian commenters like it.

  11. “It makes me think of a student union building.”

    My student union building was a brutalist concrete box that stank of damp and piss.

    The wooded location is sensational though – really makes it imo.

  12. Looks like a cheap hotel trying to be swanky.

    For me, and it’s my engineer’s mindset, the beauty is often in the function – for instance I rather like quite a lot of the identikit offerings that Swisshaus puts together: https://www.swisshaus.ch/fr-ch?set_language=fr-ch&cl=fr-ch

    Some are horrible, but the more classic ones are nice to my taste: simple, classic proportions, with a focus on the function.

  13. @CharlieSuet: I’ll give you one counterexample – Penrose Tiles. Possibly not ‘Art’, but I love the look of a Penrose tiling.

  14. “Mathematicians are jolly useful chaps, but ultimately (given their head) they produce bad art. What these people really need is someone with a classical education to inform their tastes.”

    Sadly, Brian Sewell has passed away.

  15. Yea gods, but I hate those floor-to-ceiling windows, and in a bedroom for glod’s sake! Do these nutters have absolutely no concept of privacy?

    Apropos of this, on one of those Let’s Retire Somewhere Pretty programmes on TV last night a couple were bemoaning the fact that their ground-floor street-fronting bedroom resulted in passers-by being able to stare straight at them in bed.

  16. Looking at it, I have trouble in working out what it’s for. It certainly isn’t for living in. It doesn’t seem to have much liveable area in it. Just lots of space connecting those inhabitable islands it does have. Sort of place you’d need hiking slippers & food supplies to find a bedroom.
    It’s almost the opposite of what I regard as good design. Designs that, although looking simple, are complex on another level. Where aspects serve multiple functions, depending on how they’re used. To be both cosy & intimate & spacious & airy simultaneously.

  17. Bloke in Costa Rica

    It’s in Toronto. Can you imagine how horrendously fucking parky it must get in the winter with all that glass when the wind’s blowing straight off Lake Ontario? Even if it’s quadruple-glazed, heating all that open space must cost a fortune.

  18. I also had the book in college. At least it was one of better books in the university bookstore racket.

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