One of the areas where modern society is making the greatest progress is in architecture. Until recently, classic Italian ‘rennaisance’, ‘baroque’ and neoclassical forms of architecture were deemed to be the standard by which all other architecture was judged. Visit almost any city in Italy such as Florence, Rome, Naples, Pisa and you will still find many examples of these styles.
Columns, pillasters and other elements of construction were used in an attempt to create works of symmetry and supposed ‘aesthetic beauty’. A classic example of such architecture is Milan Cathedral:
Other European countries were swift to copy such styles for their cities in acts of grotesque cultural appropriation.
It was only with advances in civilization in the late twentieth century that people realised the terrible architectural crimes that had taken place over previous generations. For hundreds of years, a secret cabal of exclusively white male architects had erected racist and phallic towers and buildings. This meant that city populations were and still are visually raped on a daily basis. This was, sadly, not the only crime committed by these white male elitists.
The truth is that neo-classical architecture is grossly offensive for ethnic minorities. Shockingly, it seems some of our architects today have failed to move on with the times. Many new buildings are pure evil, oppressing people of color. One example of this is Denver’s revamped Union Station. As journalist Mark Rinaldi noted in his article “Did diversity miss the train in Union Station’s architecture?”:
“Union Station is a neo-classical mix of styles — European styles. The symmetry, arched windows, ornate cornice and stacked, stone walls have their roots in the glory days of France, England, Greece and Rome, in empires that were nearly absent of ethnic minorities and who felt fully at ease invading, exploiting and actually enslaving the people of Africa, subcontinent Asia and South America.
Yes, that’s all in the past; things have changed. But the $54 million renovation of Union Station doesn’t take that into account. It restores the symbols of an old world with no updates. The gilded chandeliers have been rewired, the marble polished, but there’s no nod to the present, no interior walls in the bright colors of Mexico, no Asian simplicity is in the remix. There are no giant sculptures by African-American artists bonused into the lobby, no murals on the basement walls….The present restoration harkens back to Union Station at its height, in the first half of a 20th century when many Americans suffered the social indignity and economic disadvantage of a segregated America. Denver’s neighborhoods, parks, schools and social amenities were divided sharply by race. Denver’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan, one mayor a member, kept things in their place.”
This is shocking and hurtful to Denver’s people of colour. Union Station needs to be demolished immediately.
What the world is crying out for now is some of the stunning architecture that first came to light in the 1960s and 1970s. Soviet-style architecture is perhaps the embodiment of construction perfection. Whilst symmetry is suggestive of conformity (a good thing), we find assymetry to be more progressive as it reflects the transgendered world we live in. We also need more use of not only bright colours but a mix of colours on the same building to reflect our cultural diversity. We find the Pixel building below to be near-perfection.
We have a modest proposition for Europe that makes economic as well as aesthetic sense. Bulldoze your basillicas, demolish your domes, and crush your cathedrals.Replace them with new buildings that take 100 days to build and not 100 years like the ones they will replace. The economy will thank you and so will the population.