What Trumpitecture Reveals About The New President-Elect
Photo: Trump Towers (Getty Images).
As the world looked on with bated breath at the presidential election that would ultimately crown the 45th president, some in the design world have already drawn clues about what a Trump presidency would look like. Where from? The vast collection of Trump buildings and properties across the globe, now conveniently referenced as Trumpitecture. Whether or not Trump has been a viable influence on the culture of design and architecture is entirely debatable. What is undeniable is his unapologetic presence in the conversation.
American architect Doug Staker has certainly brought that very conversation to the fore. Staker most recently referenced Trumpitecture in a blitzing opinion piece railing against everything that is wrong with the phenomenon from its big audacious designs to its lack of symmetry and coherence.
“Architecture has the potential to inspire, uplift, and transcend; the creation of architecture is a pursuit, a life, a passion,” says Staker, setting up his argument that Trump’s penchant for big, bold and opulent designs betrays the true essence of what architecture is all about. “Trumpitecture veers away from difficult realities in favour [sic] of reductive simplicity.”
Whether that is also an attack on each of the respective architects that undertook Trump projects or a larger indictment of Trump branding and philosophy is unclear. Staker and others in the design community assert that the buildings, whether of Trump’s own vision or not, are a solid reflection of whom he is as a person and what we should expect from him as a president.
Trump Tower New York was erected in 1983 by architect Der Scutt. Its 58 stories loom large over Manhattan’s 5th Avenue. And a long told legend goes that Trump had one of his buildings (possibly this one) made to look larger by having the height of an adjacent building reduced.
Trump’s Las Vegas property is gilded in gold color to reflect the decadence and hedonism of Las Vegas and possibly Trump’s own passion for opulent luxury. Gold is a reoccurring theme with Trump properties. In fact, he descended a gold escalator in one of his properties to formally announce his candidacy for president.
Trump also has properties in Manila, Chicago, and soon a Paris property that has already riled purists in the City of Lights. Flank to flank with some of the world’s more majestic buildings (Paris’ Athenée, for example), Trump properties opt for a modern approach light on design aesthetic. Big. Bold. Brazen. Should we expect nothing less of the new president’s foreign and domestic policy?