Remembering Frank Zappa

December 4, 2008

It is all of 15 years since Frank Zappa died, on this day in 1993.  One of the great original musical minds of our generation, he is missed.  Here’s Joe’s Garage:

I only got to see him perform once, in London on the Sheik Yerbouti tour back in 1979.  It was one of the great nights of my musical memory.

A New View Of Paris

September 26, 2008

Quoting directly from BD The Architect’s website:

This 180m-high Herzog & de Meuron-designed pyramid tower is a proposal for the first skyscraper in Paris for 30 years.

The 50-storey building will be situated in the south-west of the city at the Porte de Versailles.

It has been nicknamed the ‘Delanoë tower’ after the city’s socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoë, who won the fight to bring high-rises back to Paris after convincing the city council in July to make exceptions to the 30-year-old ban.

The ban prohibits buildings of above 37m-high and was inspired by the 210 Tour Montparnasse.

I have a soft spot for spectacle.  But I don’t know about this.  Not everything has to be prime time.  There are good reasons to break through barriers with more mundane (though no less superbly engineered) designs, designs that deliver a purpose, designs that improve without causing so much fuss.  Maybe that’s what’s needed first to get Paris comfortable with the high life again.