Monday, May 11, 2009

The Dystopian Future Is Now!

Back in 1975, the movie Rollerball came out. Like the decade that spawned it, this work was about many things: moronic, superstar athletes, powerful weapons, drunk people in ugly clothes, a bloody sport that lacked all appeal and lots of shiny "modern" buildings. After all, it takes place in the future. It might as well look like it. So what if things aren't great or even if they're completely rotten, things would look cool.

Because of Rollberall and other films set a few decades ahead of present, I just assumed I would be living, working and worshiping in a shiny, "modern" building. Unfortunately, that kind of future hasn't yet emerged. But there are signs that somebody was thinking about such options all those years ago. I give you the 4th & Vine Building:

It serves as corporate headquarters for John L. Scott Real Estate...

...and also seems to host a large contingent of Coast Guard guys, because they're always hanging around.

I'd like to show you this building's good side, but it doesn't have one. Observe:

As you can see, although reflecto-riffic, the building has no definite shape. It's just nine floors of modern anonymous. Yeah, I was really pretty certain that I'd be spending some significant time in a place like this, but I lucked out - along with the overwhelming majority of the human race. About the only way that a building like this can be interesting is if it can reflect superior buildings. It can:

But that's kind of a double-edged sword, because Belltown's ugliest building, the Bayview Tower, is right across the street.

That makes for some very bad reflectin'.

Here's the strange part: Rollerball came out in 1975, right? Well, this building was built in 1976. I'm thinking that somebody took that film a little too seriously. Although the architectural firm, Chester L. Lindsey, went on to such triumphs as the Darth Vader building and the Columbia Center (Seattle's tallest building), this project leaves me scratching my head. It's not exactly ugly, but it's far from appealing. Even back in 1976, I wouldn't have wanted to live, work or worship there. Anyhow, from this day forward, let this place be known as the Rollerball Building!

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