Support evidence for first argument of Windows Without Buildings.


For all the time I have spent in federal buildings I have never managed to convene in a room with windows. This is strange because the archetypal federal building, dating from the post-war population swell of government bureaucrats but before the retraction into privatization, is outstanding in most city landscapes for having the most windows. Certainly there are all-glass buildings, but these are single gigantic monolithic windows. The federal building is characterized by the Cartesian relentlessness of its glazing subdivision where what is expressed is the window frame rather than the window opening. There couldn’t be a more Kafkaesque resolution to the federal building design problem. A building envelope that fluctuates between communicating the sovereign existence of the individual as one of many or the loss of that individual identity through the homogenization of bureaucracy and bean-counting, all expressed through the primary conveyance of hope in a structure: a window to the sky; and all of this meeting a building whose interior we are fortunate enough to gain access to (sorry K!) only to find that there are no real windows.

Critical Response:

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