Just a little blog about me and mine.

Where Form Meets Function and Zebra Print March 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katie @ 9:06 pm

Today I was reminded once again why I should bring my camera everywhere–I attended a meeting in the tackiest building I have ever seen.  Forgetting my camera turned out to be a blessing in disguise since I never would have looked up the building and read the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

I had to attend a meeting at the Clayton County, GA main library branch.  It wasn’t a terrible drive down there actually even though it’s way OTP.  When I got there I saw a building that looked like something in a prison yard (it even had a tower and had inmates doing yardwork-seriously).  The outside of the building was covered in cheap sheet metal that was spray painted with a hybrid of zebra stripes and some kind of stops.  Nice right?

So after forgetting my camera I search for the library’s website and look for a picture–lucky for you they have some.

While I’m not an expert on architecture, I have some taste and class and know my Bauhaus from my Art Deco from my mid-century modern (and have Craftsman dreams but a Ranch pocketbook)– and zebra spray painted sheet metal just does not work for me.

But here’s where the story gets really good:

The design of the Clayton County Headquarters Library won the American Institute of Architects/American Library Association Library Buildings Award in 1991 and a national Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1989.  Photographs of the library have been published in numerous international architectural journals and additional photos of Headquarters Branch can be found on the site of the architectural firm [name redacted since it’s an ugly building.]



5 Responses to “Where Form Meets Function and Zebra Print”

  1. Cheryl Thompson Says:

    What’s even funnier is that we have a St. Mark member who works for the Clayton County library system. I think he works in the Jonesboro branch, but still….

  2. Julia Says:

    That is so crazy that I’m going to have to send this to my dad (who’s an architect) to verify. Or explain why this could be. or something.

  3. Julias Dad Says:

    Well it does not do anything for me either. I hope the interior spaces are much nicer. Architectural awards are given for any number of reasons, among them innovative use of common materials (the corrugated metal panels and paint) as well as edginess of the aesthetic.

  4. Katie Says:

    Haha-thanks! The interior isn’t bad actually–but the outside, especially in person, looks like a metal shed that was looking dull so they spray painted it…maybe we should do that to our shed actually.

  5. cyndirella107 Says:

    I love this part of the description on the architect’s page,

    “Jonesboro, Georgia-the project’s location-is wedged in-between the southeast end of Hartsfield International Airport-one of the busiest airports in the world-and Tara, the mythical home of Scarlet. The strip between the two is folksy, hand painted (not all mass produced), a place where one is apt to pull along side a pick-up with a rack and ZZ Top coming at you through the open windows. It is a place where information is sought for practical reasons and history is personal. Scholars will not seek out obscure dissertation-supporting materials here. This library is more a filling-station for information for living life. A puppet show, a cooking class, a seed catalog. . . Easy parking. Come on in. A K-Mart for information….”

    My non-appreciation of stuff like this is why I’m an outcast in the field of contemporary architecture. I feel that buildings should delight their users rather than innovate for the sake of inflating the architect’s ego.

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