Last month the Dispatches section of The Atlantic included a piece about architecture entitled: The Nostalgia Trap In Brooklyn and London, the Future is Losing to the Past. The London part of the article was about the iconic Battersea Power Station. The image above is the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals. Note the pig floating between the chimneys to the left. It’s not the work of photoshop, but a helium filled balloon, the size of a double decker bus.
Seems like a lot of work for what is, let’s face it, a mediocre (if legendary) effect, especially when, in the words of The Atlantic:
The balloon escaped its tether and the pig floated away, eventually landing in a distant pasture and badly frightening some cows.
But computers were the size of a house at the time, so I guess photoshop was out of the question.
The piece in The Atlantic also talks about The Domino Sugar Refinery inWilliamsburg. The author connects the two buildings because they both sit at the heart of massive development projects that involve their partial preservation. And not only that, they share the same architect: Rafael Viñoly, who’s described as:
the Uruguayan-born, Argentinean-raised, New York–based architect famed for soaring steel structures such as the Tokyo International Forum and Seoul’s Samsung Jong-ro Tower.
In The Atlantic article Viñoly appears ambivalent at best at the requirement that these buildings be preserved. Talking about the Battersea Power Station, he’s quoted as first identifying the Power Station as “a culprit in the history of pollution of the Thames” and then suggesting that “it’s like preserving Dracula, somehow.” And I don’t get the impression he means that in a good way.