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Elegance and background

In joel's latest artcile on "elegance", he refers to the book "The architecture of happiness" and mentions the extract drawing comparison between Salginatobel Bridge, in Switzerland and Clifton Suspension Bridge, in England. Naturally, the Salginatobel Bridge in Switzerland looks more beautiful. There is a visible simplicity/symmetry and we sense its a complex structure. Now as the author Alain de Bottom draws the conclusion that Salginatobel Bridge is more "elegant" than Clifton, I mentally try to superimpose the Salginatobel Bridge (just the bridge) to the Clifton setting and the picture looks ugly to me. The Switzerland setting itself is beautiful and the Salginatobel Bridge adds to the beauty, credit to the architect Maillart. But then, the backgound for Clifton looks kind of stoic and the Clifton bridge design that displays strength may be the most "elegant" design for its background. So "elegance" may not be just what looks beautiful to eyes, but also that jells well with the surrounding.
Ravindra Keskar Send private email
Friday, December 15, 2006
 
 
This is exactly what I thought about it.
Roman Werpachowski Send private email
Friday, December 15, 2006
 
 
I agree with both of you. Both bridges are nice designs. I don't see one as being more elegant than the other. Neither are ugly. The Swiss one is more run of the mill - I've seen that minimalist arch design in lots of places. It's a me-too bridge.

The English one is more unique - the suspension towers are unlike any suspension towers I've seen and fit in very well with the rock in the surrounding environment. Compared to this, the Swiss bridge looks out of place with it's distracting bright white color.

Overall, I thought the article was pretty bad yammering on about DNA replication.
Meghraj Reddy
Friday, December 15, 2006
 
 
>>> The Swiss one is more run of the mill - I've seen that minimalist arch design in lots of places. It's a me-too bridge.

It was the very first of a kind. It was an improvement over all its successors.
Karel Thönissen Send private email
Friday, December 15, 2006
 
 
Yes, you're right. OK, so it wasn't me-too, it was innovative and stunning. Being the first does count.
Meghraj Reddy
Friday, December 15, 2006
 
 
Anything with the word "Salginatobel" in its name will be considered super-elegant ;-)
Roman Werpachowski Send private email
Friday, December 15, 2006
 
 

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