We live just minutes away from some very wealthy suburbs that attract celebrities and professional ball players. They build enormous mansions on cul-de-sacs that are freakin' ugly. Copper roofs AND Grecian statues AND seven curved windows AND a four-car garage AND a turret. Money does not buy you good taste.
As silly as these homes are, they pale in comparison with the wealthy abroad. Have you seen this house in Mumbai? It cost $1 billion to build. It requires 600 employees to maintain it.
It is also butt-ugly.
I'm still working my way through the fantastic article in Sunday's Times about the architecture, museums, and universities going up in Dubai and Doha. (Check out the interviews with I.M. Pei, Gehry and others. )Their case is somehow different, because respected architects were hired and paid tons of cash to build franchises in these cities. I can't decided if I like these buildings or not.
I am horrified by how these projects have happened. They've brought in hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to construct these buildings, paid them little, beat them, and then plan to kick them out of the country when the project is done.
These projects smack of hubris. It's not hard to imagine, when the oil dries up and the money disappears, the desert sands swallowing up these monstrosities.