Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mann of the hour

Walk-on’s first start message to big men

Kansas center Matt Kleinmann wrestles for ball control with Jackson State defenders Grant Maxey (32) and Jeremy Caldwell (44) during the first half Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Matt Kleinmann wrestles for ball control with Jackson State defenders Grant Maxey (32) and Jeremy Caldwell (44) during the first half Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Audio clips

2008 KU-JSU basketball

Reader poll

Which freshman will have the most dunks this season for KU?

  • Tyshawn Taylor 40% 704 votes
  • Marcus Morris 27% 478 votes
  • Markieff Morris 13% 230 votes
  • Quintrell Thomas 9% 170 votes
  • Travis Releford 9% 171 votes

1753 total votes.

Matt Kleinmann took a deep breath as he finished signing autographs outside Kansas University’s locker room, readying himself for a long, uphill trek from Allen Fieldhouse to Marvin Hall, high atop Jayhawk Blvd.

“I’m going to ‘studio,’’’ KU’s senior basketball center said after an 86-62 Saturday matinee victory over Jackson State — a game in which the big redhead made his first career start.

“I’m not going to sleep. I’m not going to do anything else the rest of the weekend. I won’t go to bed until Monday afternoon. I’m going to ‘studio.’’’


“It’s homework, an architect’s version of final exams,” Kleinmann said, eager to provide further details.

“I’m designing a mixed-use hybrid — a 750,000-to-1,000,000-square-foot facility next to the John Hancock Center in downtown Chicago. It’s got a museum, theater, offices.”

And ...

“It has to be finished by Monday,” added Kleinmann, who only hopes his classroom presentation Monday morning proves as exhilarating as Saturday’s game.

“It was a thrill,” said Kleinmann, a walk-on who last opened a game during the 2003-04 season — as a senior at Blue Valley West High.

“It was cool watching that (pregame) video, realizing for the first time in my life I’d be part of a starting lineup at Kansas. It was surreal.”

The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder, who grabbed one rebound in three minutes, earned the starting frontcourt spot next to Cole Aldrich after outworking freshmen Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Quintrell Thomas at practice Friday.

“Coach went through the (big-man) rotation and said, ‘All right, Matt, now it’s your turn. You’ve got a shot at it,’’’ Kleinmann said of coach Bill Self allowing him to play with the first team midway through Friday’s practice.

“I was trying to run hard and do what he asks our big guys to do.”

Kleinmann ran harder than any other frontcourt player.

“I think it was more a message to them in terms that he wants guys to work hard,” Kleinmann said of a direct message to the Morris twins.

Message delivered.

Marcus Morris scored 13 points off 5-of-6 shooting and grabbed four rebounds in 17 minutes. Markieff contributed eight points and five rebounds in 19 minutes. Another freshman, Thomas, had three points and four boards in seven minutes.

“I thought they came out and had one of their better recent games,” Kleinmann said of the twins. “They still need to work on running hard. It’s their first year. They’ll get it before long.”

Self, who said the twins “probably played one of their best games,” certainly hopes so.

“We’ve got to get everybody practicing at a pretty high level. I’ll leave it at that,” Self said of his reason for starting Kleinmann. “Yesterday, I don’t think our three big guys who have a chance to play next to Cole were performing to their ceiling in those particular areas.

“I think you play like you practice. You can’t turn it off and on. When guys don’t run in practice, they are not going to run in the game.”

KU junior point guard Sherron Collins understands why Kleinmann earned the nod.

“He and Cole are the toughest big men we have right now,” said Collins, who hit four second-half threes and finished with a team-leading 17 points after missing his first seven shots.

“Matt knows how to go after the basketball. He is more physical right now that those other guys,” Collins added.

Kleinmann exited two minutes into the game — the twins taking over — with KU down, 4-2.

“They go hard in practice. Sometimes in games they may be nervous,” Kleinmann said. “It’s a matter of time they learn that if they sprint every possession they’ll score three or four more points for us every game, each of them. It takes awhile for freshmen to learn what it takes to play at this level.”

It took KU a long time to shake the (1-8) Tigers of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Sophomore Tyrel Reed hit two free throws and a pair of threes, hiking a 48-42 lead to 14 points with 13:17 remaining.

“Tyrel stepped up and made big shots, big plays for us,” Collins said. “He shot it good. He always shoots it good.”

Collins led the way with 17 points, followed by Aldrich and Marcus Morris (13 each), Reed (11) and Tyshawn Taylor, who had 10 points and 11 assists.

Forward Grant Maxey led Jackson State with 19 points off 6-of-12 shooting.

“Have we played against anybody that has a prettier stroke than him?” Self asked of Maxey, a silky-smooth 6-6 junior from Toledo, Ohio. “Anybody who shoots it that well, you can find a spot for him (on any team in country).”

And anybody that works as hard as Kleinmann on the court and in the school of Architecture?

What do you call a guy like that?

“Stud,” Self said.


Carter Patterson 14 years ago

Way to step up Matt. Your hard work makes the team better. Too many people blow off the roles of players who don't get to spend alot of time on court. Everybody should note that the players spend a LOT more time practicing than playing.Something tells me that in 25 years after a large donation to the University, we'll have a new building named after Kleinmann.

Tony Bandle 14 years ago

I have a Bachelor of Architecture degree from KU and I can't begin to tell you how hard that five years of study was. By the term "studio", it pretty much means days upon days of continuous work without sleep on design documents, presentations, related engineering classes, electives plus a minor distraction called DIVISION BASKETBALL!!! Matt, I am proud of what you have accomplished.P.S. A little hint...if you're not familiar with the REVIT computor system platform, start now!!Regarding KU and the Big Twelve. Preliminary predictions based on continued growth of team, no major injuries or suspensions and similar development of opponents.Kansas State: Tough last year, have a good recruiting class coming in next year, this year...not so much. Record against 2-0/ Overall 2-0Iowa State: The curse of Hilton Colosseum returns. Record 1-1/Overall 3-1Colorado: Even with Patton gone, they still pretty much suck. Record 2-0/Overall 5-1Nebraska: Always a potential trap game in Cornland, but we don't play them there till JAN. 28, so I'm betting the boys are far along in development. Record 2-0/Overalls[little humor there] 7-1Missouri: Pretty much of a return to Misery playing their best game on a 2/9/09 Monday night on ESPN in that piece of crap arena. Record 1-1...ughhh!! Overall 8/2Texas A&M: The Aggies in problem. Record 1-0./Overall 9-2Baylor: Another ESPN Monday Night Nightmare. I wish we were playing them even later. Got a bad feeling, but a good learning experience game. Record 0-1/Overall 9-3Oklahoma State: No way we lose to the Cowgirls in Lawrence. Record 1-0/Overall 10-3Texas Tech: Revenge for the football team will be sweet. [Their QB doesn't play basketballl, does he????} Record 1-0./Overall 11-3Oklahoma: In their place...nope, nada, no way..ANOTHER friggin ESPN Monday Night ON THE ROAD!!!!! Record 0-1/Overall 11-4Texas:On paper, a big mismatch. Some pretty tough match-ups for our young guards. This looks like a difficult game at best. HOWEVER, and there's always a however in life, I have been commuting to Lawrence for at least one game a year for the last 15 years with a current record of 17-1, so based on KU KARMA, the Hawks win in overtime on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in the Phog. Record 1-0/Overall12-4Whether this is good enough for the Big Twelve Title depends on what Texas and OU do to each other. Your comments would be more than welcome. Thanks.GO HAWKS!!!!!!

KU 14 years ago

Oakville, I appreciate your predictions and commentary. I think you're pretty much right on target, but I expect us to have a hiccup against at least one team we should beat since we are so young. On the flip side, maybe we steal a game we shouldn't win. I'm not sold on Oklahoma. Other than Griffin and the freshman guard we recruited (Warren), they're pretty average. Baylor can always be had, especially if their 3's aren't falling.

kufanboy 14 years ago

carterpatterson, If only you knew how little us architects get paid. We are lucky if we can afford to donate enough to the williams fund to get nosebleed season tickets.

KEITHMILES05 14 years ago

Self would have had better results had he started one of the big 3. The way it was things turned very sour very quickly. The Kleinmann trick was silly. Aldrich is the one who should have been sitting on the bench most of the day. He looked horrible like he had partied all Friday night. This team better learn what high quality opponents can do. They get to the Bgi 12 and they'll be blown out by playing lax and selfish.

kranny 14 years ago

Keithmiles,I'd leave the armchair coaching commentary right where it belongs-on the armchair. I think our National Championship winning, best winning percentage in 5 years, 4 time big 12 winning, etc. coach knows what he's doing. To imply any of his decisions as being "silly" reveals an absolute ignorance of coaching at the Division 1 level in NCAA basketball and at Kansas University.

GBedoreNum1fan 14 years ago

This was my fav. article ever. Go Gary!

treidy 14 years ago

Matt you deserved it a long time ago, congratulations! My favorite players on the team are usually the walk-ons because they work harder than ANYONE else in the country and never get praise for it. You exemplify what it means to be a true Jayhawk: self-sacrifice, determination, hard work, etc. As a fellow Kansas Citian it makes me proud to see a local kid who grew up cheering on the Jayhawks now playing for them!

kvskubball 14 years ago

Gary,Way to give a little hype to the overworked and often undervalued walkons who put so much effort into making KU BB great!Twins did play well today, message received, I think.Keithmiles,Not much Cole can do on offense if he doesn't get the ball. He had great position on the blocks most of the game and the guards could NOT get him the ball. At least twice it was picked off because it came in short and flat. This is a young team, and yes they are likely to get hammered against good teams if they don't play well, but hey that happens to ANY team, just ask Duke!!!Coach has his own style on handling players. You and I may not always understand it, but I'm sure he makes himself understood by the players. Those that listen and do what the coaching staff asks of them seem to do very well, thank you very much!RCJH

actorman 14 years ago

keithmiles makes the typical ignorant fan comment that reflects the belief that one game is more important than the entire season. Self was obviously making a point to his big men that they need to work hard all the time, not just when they feel like it.So what if he would (or MIGHT) have had better results in THIS GAME if he had started one of the other guys. He is not coaching for just THIS GAME. If the Morris twins got his point, then this will help in the long run. That's all part of coaching -- a point which is apparently difficult for someone like keithmiles to grasp.

jaybate 14 years ago

OakvilleJHawk,OUTSTANDING! Both on hoops and on architecture. Super. On hoops: TA&M only point of disaggreement. I reckon they will be very tough.On arch: I am a lover of archi-designphile and invariably find architects and designers among the most enjoyable folks to kibbitz with on the internet. You prove the rule. Regarding, Kleinmann's studio project, given today's economy, it may be prudent for him to scale it down, or turn it modular and envision it for China, once China comes up for air. I am still amazed by the 600K person modular cities China had western architects design, so China could drop them in on the urban fringe and have them up and ready for occupancy in three years. It is an amazing response to rural to urban migration and to archaic infrastructure in so many of the 1 million plus cities.Here's an assignment.Design us a mobile Allen Field House. It moves on underutilized railroad tracks back and forth between Lawrence and Kansas City. Who needs the Sprint Center? The whole crib comes with us when opponents want to play us in KC. :-)

jaybate 14 years ago

Post Script on Kleinmann: tell me this guy at least gets to eat at the training table for free.

jaybate 14 years ago

Post script on all the walk-ons.Who pays the training table expenses for the walk-ons?Would it be legal for we bloggers and readers to start a blog called "Friends of KU Walk-Ons" that had a link that raised money to pay for the walk-ons' training table food bills? I'm thinking this is one of those issues that every KU fan would be willling to give a $1 to $5 for each year and we could put a pretty big dent in the training table costs for the walk-ons, if those expenses are not already paid for. My gosh, these guys give so much of themselves to KU over four years, it seems the least we fans could do is raise the money to cover their food bills. Would the NCAA permit this sort of contribution? Would KUAD permit this? Would KU fans step up to this challenge? Some of the walk-ons parents are probably affluent and might decline the assistance. But for the work these guys put in, regardless of their economic backgrounds, surely we should at least be allowed to cover that cost. These guys burn a ton of calories keeping our starters sharp.

Tony Bandle 14 years ago

Jaybate..if you are not an architect, you should be one.Modular housing [or any other type of modular for that matter] depends not so much on technology for success because the materials, systems, construction procedures are all in place but rather the acceptance of the environmental culture necessary to make that specific housing type work.In other words, getting people to understand that they are not living in boxes but rather they are enjoying life in their homes. Very doable in second and third world countries or super-saturated population centers.{ Japan, China. India etc.]. However, this is the biggest challenge in the western civilization environment.Wait a minute, my apologies to all, for I digress. The more important concept of your blog was a suggestion for an Allen Fieldhouse unfettered by foundation. It could be done...all it takes is money [well, lots and lots of money]. Still for KU to play all it's games home and away in the best environment in the country truly makes the senses reel!!!!

rockchalkin54 14 years ago

Usually my favorite part of the game is when the walk-ons get to play. And my favorite player is usually a walk-on. Those guys give so much to make the rest of the team better.

KEITHMILES05 14 years ago

Some of you people are borderline retarded.

jaybate 14 years ago

OakvilleJHawk,Yes, yes, yes, I whole heartedly agree about the need for people and architects and designers and developers and planners to begin to see the living function as the actual end of architecture and design, and the bricks and mortar and infrastructure systems as functionalist form enabling it.I have become a great admirer of Renzo Piano over the last few years, after studying his work very closely after putting it off for far too long. I'll cut to the chase. He's a freaking genius. He seems (with the unfortunate exception of Pompidou which he did early with Rogers) to be a post mod architect, who threw everything away, went into partnership with a formidable structural engineer, and has slowly but relentlessly transformed himself into functionalist virtuouso at a time when so many architects and designers remain entrenched in form language debates.(especially the progressively superficial debate over modern vs. post modern vs. decon vs neomod). I had this amazing insight recently, which others such as yourself probably had long ago. Mine went like this. Louis Sullivan and the Frenchman he learned his functionalism from laid down this amazing functionalist model for architecture late in the 19th Century. F.L. Wright learned functionalism and a significant amount of engineering at Sullivan's fimr and went on to become essentially an organic functionalist widely mistaken for a modernist. Alas, FLW could not hold the tiller of architecture's direction for many reasons and both his and Sullivan's functionalist approaches largely fell out of vogue and was eclipsed by an internationalist form language derived from Bauhaus and de Stilj (de Stilj being where Bauhaus borrowed some of their ideas). The bulk of 20th Century architecture became rather narrowly focused on the internationalist form language which among other things imposed a heavily geometric formalism. The severity of this geometric formalism were softened for popular consumption with some arts and crafts interfaces derived from Cranbrookers' and Danish Moderns',takes on modernist form language precepts.

jaybate 14 years ago

Designing neutrally bouyant space held sway till Robert Venturi's Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture in 1964 or so signalled a move to deemphasize Internationalist/Bauhaus/de Stilj zeal for purification of form language and the corresponding goal of neutrally bouyant space. Instead the Post Mods emphasized massing and surfaces with ironic ornament, though geometric formalism remained the cornerstone that the complexity and contradiction played off of. Then Gehry et al begin to try to embrace the deregulation and reregulation of global political and economic game space with deconstructivism and reconstructivism. Bilbao is composed of formalist shards that are both collapsing and emergent simultaneously; that is the great beauty and profundity of it as a commentary made in the form of a building at thetime that it was built. But as a building it remains locked in the by then near century old architectural tendancy of formalism trumping functionalism. But here comes Renzo Piano, after a shocking false start with Pompidou, and he progressively becomes this freaking prodigy of engineered functionalism right in the midst of this crashing tide of formalism and, well, I'm pumped. I'm excited as heck by: a) his insistence on returning the engineering and the aesthetics of engineering to paramount consideration; and b) his apparent willingness to pursue functionalism unapologetically. I just reread John Ruskin's writings for the first time in 30 years on architecture and the gothic and, while a lot of it is dated and silly, one thing he said that I always hang on to in architecture, kind of like I hang onto e = mc^2 in hard science, is that an authentic building ought to look like what it is made of. After just visiting Piano's California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, I'm convinced Piano's engineered functionalist approach is on the right track. This building looks utterly like what it is made of everywhere you look, and at every scale, too. I can't really explain it to you in words yet, but it filled me with a sense that what we were all doing inside this magnificient atrium dominated building was what really mattered and the building was just helping us in every way imaginable that shelter could do so. It is a tour de force only partly because it gets along without traditional HVAC and operates like a living breathing 21st Century combination of a beached Jules Vernes' Seaview and the old Sutro Baths reborn.The CalAcad building is a highly localized building solution depending on San Francisco's anomalous climate characteristics. You can't do one of these in KC, though I'm convinced Renzo could do something interesting even with that humidity..

jaybate 14 years ago

The far more important and lasting contribution of this CalAcad building is that it wreaks of functionalist engineering and aesthetics and it insists that everything this building is made of is presented beautifully and unapologetically. This building looks exactly like what it is made of at every scale you examine. It has form, but the form does not trump the engineering or the materials. They exist in, almost disappear in, a splendid symphonic equilibrium. Does it have problems? Of course. The concrete panels on the floor are already cracking after less than six months of use. It borders on Rube Goldberg complexity at times. But still, the thing flat out works.And regardless, a very contemporary functionalism seems now underfoot and so we at least finally have a chance to make buildings and constellations of buildings in the west once again about the life function going on within them, rather than about heavily formalized expressions of what a building might look like if you set about purifying form language and hiding the fasteners you used to build it. CalAcad looks engineered and assembled, not formed and sculpted. People talk way too much about the grass on the roof. Its okay, but people have been doing sod roofs for one reason or another for 2 millenia. It reduces run off organically, if you don't count the likely petroleum based fertilizer supplement required. Covering the roof with ocean sponges might have achieved a similar effect, organically. :-) Regardless, I wanted to spend the whole day in the building even though it was crowded and I hate crowds. Air movement was a symphony of its own. To most this will seem hideously geeky, but the building is a clinic in fasteners. You have to see the way the fasteners are orchestrated at every scale to appreciate what he did.

jaybate 14 years ago

For unfortunate counter point, look across the boulevard at the new de Young. What I call Heavy Modern formalism. All surfaces and mass. Utterly formed. Sits like a paper weight. Dark. Dreary. Marvelous sculptural commentary on society, if you hold the POV that we have entered the age of retro-bunkerism (aka brutalism), not if not. No freaking way of telling WHAT the thing is made of! In fact, what it is made of only matters to the extent that it permits the form and embellishes the form. Can't see any sign of engineering, of assembly, of what the building really is. All it communicates is a formal symbolistm. Essentially more of the same of the last century or so. Very sad, I say. it repelled me. I had to fight through looking at the building to even go inside it. Please forgive me for presuming on a professional in this way, but I am just intensely excited about the possibility for moving in the direction you were talking about and see this functionalist approach manifesting as a great vehicle within which to pursue it..We don't need -isms right now, we need -ists. You sound like a person with an -ist and a keen problem solving mind. Obama wants to build infrastructure. Infrastructure includes certain kinds of buildings. I hope you get to build a lot of them. Reaffirm life function. Feel the force, Luke.

kvskubball 14 years ago

KeithMiles...With you, there is no borderline....

kansasYEA 14 years ago

Obviously, Kleinmann is a quality individual who works hard both on and off the court. But, I hope Self isn't making a mistake with the Morris twins, at least Marcus. I feel like he is doing the same thing with Marcus Morris that he did with Julian Wright- forcing him to play a 4 position that just isn't what he plays. I wouldn't blame Morris for not being overly excited about that, and perhaps, unmotivated.

JayCeph 14 years ago

Jaybate, your dialectic on architecture reads like a macrocosm of what was going on in my head during the Summer Olympics when everyone was focusing on the marvel of the aqua-cube.I kept wondering how the Nelson-Atkins could get away with their new addition to that classical building under all the fanfare that accompanied it when, in fact, it seemed like Beijing did everything with the aqua cube that the Nelson wanted to (but failed in my estimation) with their new mutant extremity. A sad and shallow shadow of an idea that was mismanaged in its execution.sigh

jaybate 14 years ago

Yes, the addition to the Nelson was most unfortunate based on photos I've seen, though, to be fair, I haven't visited it yet and that can sometimes change my thinking. Additions always need to respect their legacies, or else be so much better than the original portion, that we are grateful for their addition. Neither occurred at the Nelson. The original Nelson, though a revivalist architecture that has long been scoffed at by critics since the 1950s, at least, is (was) a magnificient example of that form of revival architecture. People loved the building. It was sited magnificiently, meaning the landscape was almost as important as the structure itself to the aesthetic experience of it. And it was quite whole unto itself, as any photo of the front indicates. By this it did not want formally for any addition. Another thing about the original Nelson: though a revivalist structure, the Nelson was quite contemporary to its time; i.e., revivalist architecture was in vogue at that time and it was squarely in the center of that movement, whether one likes that sort of architecture or not.Now consider Holl's addition. It is not at the center of a broad architectural movement. Frankly, it is at the moribund, tail end of such a movement, maybe even after it. I.M. Pei's addition to the Louvre was done about 20 or so years ago now. I don't like it, but it at least was of its time and it had strong dynamism and a strong symbolic message that it conveyed, again, whether or not one agreed with that message, or not. At most, Holl's addition can be called a revival of international style. But this revival, first rearing up in midcentury modern design collectors 5-10 years ago, has not really taken off in architecture, as one might have expected. True, it has put the knife to the most egregious aspects of post modernity by eliminating vapidly ironic ornamentation, but it has not thought through the architectural problem deeply enough to do more than that. It has left architeture, so far anyway, with the worst of both modern and post modern. It is astringently geometric and formally obsessed. It has not revived neutrally bouyant space. Rather it has scraped off the ornament of post modern and left the heavy, block form language, as well as the surface fetishism and heaviness of the post modern. Further, it does so without affecting International style's pleasing neutral bouyancy of space. Holl,in fact, has made a glass addition that looks as heavy and static as the masonry structure that it attaches to, and, note, working with glass that is not easy to do. :-) If we let Michael Graves at it with some ironic ornament, you wouldn't be able to distinguish it from post modern.

jaybate 14 years ago

And it is certainly not deconstructivist on the outside, so we can't claim that it is part of that less moribund, though already borderline hoary form either.The thing that distinguishes Piano, is his willingness not just to revive functionalism, but to BE a functionalist. He openly advocates engineering driven architecture. He's really become like a bridge builder doing buildings. You try to make the bridge as visually pleasing as you can, but you never try to hid that it is a building. You don't try to make it look like cubes, and pyramids, and cylinders and so on in order to hide the bridge-ness of the thing. You let the bridge, given the site, be the best fitting and best looking bridge that it can be, given the budget. In contrast, Holl, at least with the Nelson addition, has designed an addition that could just as easily be an office building, an R/D building, or a warehouse, as an art museum. This is and always has been the inherent flaw underlying flaw in modernism and post modernism and deconstructivism. In their honest pursuit of formal elegance as a means of yielding functional spaces, they have inevitably tended to yield buildings that looked far more like abstract forms than like functions that they housed. There is something deeply wrong with this, even though the enormously talented persons that have embraced these to -isms in architecture over the last 3/4 of a century have succeeded in producing some pretty wonderful looking and functionally useful buildings. The fact is more often than not they have looked like great cubes, or spheres, or pyramids, and have often worked very poorly. Form follows function turns out to have been an unfulfilled precept in Modern and Post Modern and Decon architecture. They did put function first. But then they immediately compromised the function by allowing it a bizarrely limited opportunity set of geometric forms to function inside. For example, as Corbu said, a house is a machine for living in, but then he produced boxes for machines. Frankly, there is nothing LESS like a machine than a box. So: either he was wrong about a house being a machine for living in, or he wrongly defined a machine as a box. The functionalist approach practiced by Louis Sullivan, then FLW, and now Renzo Piano, all quite different in their sensibilities and solutions, makes excellent sense for many kinds of architecture, especially monumental architecture. It produces a superbly fitting suit, when that is needed. It also produces a product with authenticity to its time.

jaybate 14 years ago

I happen to believe that authenticity remains the only continuity in the legacy of man made objects that makes them worthy of more respect than say, a common portable out house. And even for all the common things, a functionalist approach can probably do a better job of producing useful things that can then be turned into cookie cutter construction. At least that's my take these days.Again, think about every bridge you've ever seen and admired. It wasn't trying to use formalism to look like a cube rather than a bridge. To be blunt, Holl's addition disfigures the Nelson without adding to it a thing that we can prefer. The best one can say about it is that it is not hideous. But monumental buildings in communities are supposed to be more than not hideous, are they not? And so in this regard the Nelson with the addition is now transformed from a distinguished old building into a building that is not hideous and has some extra space. I am here giving Holl the benefit of the doubt and assuming that the addition actually does serve its functions, though I have to admit looking at the Zaha Hadid-esque stairway treatments in part of the interior, I have to wonder about functionality, too. Holl is supposed to be a good architect. I am hopeful that when I visit the Nelson on my next trip to KC, I will see all of the good things that he did accomplish that do not show up in photographs. I often find that architects,especially good ones, make some bad buildings that have within them the ur-stages of solutions that they will one day master. Renzo Piano's Pompidou center positively stinks as any thing but a piece of sculpture with a social commentary. It is only a building in the loosest definition of the word. But embedded in it, in ways that none of us back then, probably not even Piano himself, understood, are ideas that would one day propell him toward a legitimate revival of engineering driven functionalist architecture. I will trade one rotten government subsidized building for an eventual profound leap forward in architecture any day. Good young players on the KU team have to stink up the floor for a time before they and Self can give birth to some extraordinary play down the stretch. The same holds with architects. It is just unfortunate that stinker buildings hang around and haunt us all alot longer than a bad game. :-)

JayCeph 14 years ago

Unless that game is against Syracuse in 2003... smirkNice points, all and I have to say I agree with you completely. Your dissection of the new addition sounds like me when I'm talking with my wife. She and I have come to the conclusion that it is nothing more than a very expensive, glassy version of a construction foreman's operations trailer. The space inside is... lofty but the migration from one space to the next is far less than 'inspired.'I am certain that there are some cosmetic adjustments that could be made to add more of a visual bridge between the two forms. But, I'm afraid that will have to wait since everyone is still so blinded by the luster of the building's infancy.I also had the opportunity to visit a 'Piano' building when I was in Sydney and, I must say, it was quite superb... not only in its construction but also in its placement within the downtown plan. It lives next the AMP tower, bookends the governor's mansion, the lower corner of Hyde park and frames the harbor next to the opera house. Stellar choices by all with that one.I loved your segue between architecture and bball games/teams. Nice.

jaybate 14 years ago

JayCeph,I've heard about the Sydney building, but have not seen it. Thank you for recalling it to my attention. And thank you so much for indulging in a little public discussion of architecture. Has it ever occurred to you that persons fond of architecture may appreciate the game of basketball in a slightly different way than some others? Architects are persons who design and build structures for human circulation within space. Architects use,materials and site and tradesmen to form a structure within which persons can function both collectively and individually.Basketball coaches do something similar. They use the arena, floor,and assistant coaches, maybe even the fans, to create physical and emotional structures of play--offensive and defensive schemes, tempo, intensity, etc.--in order to get a team of players functioning elegantly together and individually in pursuit the end of the game--a higher score..Architecture does not have such a final score per se, though the continued successful, happy use of the space is in essense that score.vis a vis other buildings at competitive sites.But fundamentally, basketball is a game about building circulation in a crowded area with the goal of putting a ball in metal rim that is either part of the structure, or at least part of the building equipment.Ah, basketball. It can be appreciated on so many levels.But still none is better than the level of a 6 year old making his first basket; that is the origin of all that is to follow, whether it is made in Mission Hills, the inner city, the suburbs, or exurbia,.and the memory never loses its glow.

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