I thought about the inherent but delightful contradiction of the building toy after reading Edwin Heathcote’s article. Architectural structures are designed to endure but building toys, by definition are meant to be impermanent –they go up, they collapse and they go up again. And, fortunately young children can be imaginative and provocative in their thinking when they play with building toys without having to answer to commercial concerns….will it collapse… how much will it cost… will anyone like it?

“When people buy a home, you might think, they want to see permanence, solidity, not collapse. So how are architects using these aesthetics to inform an architecture that can be both commercial and provocative?”

“The finest example might be Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard in New York’s Tribeca.”

“There is something in all these buildings that appears to suggest the possibility of collapse-the Jenga-like challenge of balance – but which also embodies a questioning of our increasing dependence on the digital. They represent an aesthetic rupture, a momentary loss of faith. The divergence from the certainty of much construction is intriguing, a sense that ultimately architecture is play, at its most basic a thrill in the stacking of one element on top of another. Perhaps what appears to be a foreboding of fragmentation and fear is, in fact, a rediscovery of a sense of joy.”

Quotes from Edwin Heathcote “The skyscraper architects who find inspiration in disintegration”, Financial Times, February 26, 2016