When Renzo Piano, the architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center, visited Dallas last month and cast himself and the museum as the impotent victims of the phallic death rays emanating from Museum Tower next door, Jim pointed out a subtle irony. Because at the very moment Piano was delivering his tale of woe to the DMN, Londoners were speaking in similar terms about The Shard, Piano's 1,000-foot glass needle just piercing the London skyline.
The Guardian described it as "egomaniacal architecture" that, per Atlantic Cities, will one day be seen as a "sobering mistake." And since we've already made the inevitable phallic reference, it should be noted that The Shard makes the Museum Tower look like a limp noodle.
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As Candy Evan's notes this morning on her blog, yesterday was The Shard's coming out party, its official debut as Europe's tallest building. And how does one celebrate such a momentous achievement in keeping with Piano's low-key style? With lots and lots of lasers strafing famous London landmarks, of course. Green beams of light boring into the Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, etc. Which isn't ironic. At all. So lets all tip our hats to Mr. Piano for the fitting display of modesty and architectural restraint.