Inside out: why do so many great buildings have drab interiors?

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Inside out: why do so many great buildings have drab interiors?

Inside out: why do so many great buildings have drab interiors?

For me, one of the most exciting features of Superman’s comic strip adventures would occur when he travelled into the Fourth Dimension to visit his parents Lara and Jor-El on their planet Krypton.

He would emerge into a fantastical urban utopia, revealing wondrous, strangely contorted, soaring buildings intersected by a labyrinth of organically fluid superhighways in the sky.

Back on Earth, you can see the real-life version of these futuristic cityscapes in several rapidly developing cities, such as Doha in Qatar, Singapore and the Pudong district in Shanghai.

But all too frequently there is a disappointing mismatch between the exterior flourish and the interior spaces.

Once you progress beyond the public circulation zones to reach the office tenancy spaces of British architect Norman Foster’s Swiss Re building in London (better known as “the Gherkin”), you will find uninspiring interior environments lacking the grandeur created by the exterior.

Michael Molloy, Queensland University of Technology

1 COMMENT

  1. That’s what happens when “high tech architecture” fails to see the importance of craft in this age of endless possibilities.

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