Lovely place. And if you gaze south across the garden, you see the wonderful Smithsonian castle in the background.
Turn around to face south and you see this -- thing. Whatever it is.
The horror. Is it really possible that someone once saw a plan of this monstrosity and thought, "That's terrific, let's build it!"
So let us turn back around and enjoy some better views.
Not a fan Brutalism, eh?
To playfully take on the role of devil's advocate, I'm not big on the Faux Norman myself, although I don't mind it as much as you seem to mind the appearance of (what I am pretty certain is) the US Department of Energy building.
I think they each have their own good and bad points, depending on your point of view. I personally try to find the beauty inherent in each of the two styles, and then balance that against things like how they handle their respectical practical architectural concerns.
The founders of brutalism would be aghast that you find "beauty" in their work; "beauty" was a concept they dismissed as sentimental nonsense. (Louis Kahn: "to make a thing deliberately beautiful is a dastardly act.") I, in turn, dismiss them as deranged enemies of civilization.
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