In US elections history, architecture has never been so much in the news… Join us on a Trumpitecture tour. From Las Vegas golden tower to the misfortunes of a cheated architecture firm but also a provocative and tongue-in-cheek pink wall running across the US-Mexican border.
TRUMPITECTURE – Before joining the race for the White House, tycoon Donald Trump made ends meet as a real estate developer building luxury resorts and Trump-branded skyscrapers across the globe. From New York to Istanbul, from Manila to Panama. “The Trump Organization is the world’s only global luxury real estate super-brand. Superior Quality, Detail and Perfection are the standards that Trump demands throughout its projects”. They say.
Trump Tower in Manhattan’s 5th Avenue hosts the headquarters of both Trump’s empire and the Republican campaign. Designed by architect Der Scutt, the building features a stepped corner planted with trees. Other two towers rise in New York City, while Chicago, Toronto and Sunny Isles Beach near Miami, Florida, host further real estate developments. The Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas seems reflects the Nevada desert and seems to be wrapped in gold foil.
Trump’s architectural portfolio features also the sail-like shape Trump Ocean Club in Panama City by Colombian firm Arias Serna Saravina, and the Istanbul Trump Tower. After the Republican candidate proposed to ban Muslims from the U.S., both the Turkish President and the local owners wanted to remove the Trump-name from the buildings.
In an editorial on Dezeen, US Architect Doug Staker says that these self-indulgent buildings reveal the tycoon’s real values. “They leave little as a treasure for posterity, a monument to its own era, or an icon for a city. Trumpitecture leaves a legacy for one thing: Trump”.
“It offers to the world an opportunity to embrace all that is backward and regressive in architecture, to miss the opportunity for depth and insight in favour of the easy and simplistic, to miss every chance to build a better world, both literally and figuratively”.
CHEATING? – Few months ago Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a video in which architect Andrew Tesoro tells how Donald Trump cheated his five-person architecture firm out of thousands of dollars, back in 2006.
“Donald Trump, and his organization’s way of managing relationships with professionals, contractors, vendors – is driven by an aggressive machine – motivated by an infatuation with money.” Said Andrew Tesoro to ArchiDaily. “They squeeze every possible dollar without regard for the value of the work, the responsibility to honor agreements, or fairness to those who worked hard on Trump’s behalf”.
PINK WALL – In the meantime, Estudio 314 from Mexico ironically designed a pink wall running along US and Mexico border after Trump called on a wall dividing the countries in view of a more conservative and controlling policy.
Inspired by the great 20th-century Mexican architect Luis Barragán, Estudio 314 combined the Pritzker Prize winner’ s modernist design with Trump requests. The project is a provocation, “we hope it will allow the public to imagine the policy proposal in all of its gorgeous perversity”, say at Estudio 314.
The un-commissioned wall responds to Trump’s immigration plans enclosing a prison where 11 million undocumented people will be processed, classified, indoctrinated, and/or deported. The proposal features also shopping mall and an observation terrace, from where migrants can admire from a distance the “Land of the Free”.