How can I describe John Portman's work? The work that he did for his own house is curious, and the tower complex that he designed for Italy was provocative (if only it were actually built with white stone) but then he also has made some serious blunders when designing community complexes.

Model of Portman's "villa"

A nice print perspective of his house

Section sketches and final sections

Circa 1988, never built, I believe it was planned for Italy or Greece

This is the reason I title the post with career gone awry; this is a new development in China somewhere. I believed he modeled it based on Xintandi in Shanghai, but that density is appalling...

Again with this car-oriented culture...

Caption on this model reads: "Portman House, Jian Ye Li, is a historic preservation and redevelopment project located in the heart of Shanghai's French Concession. Built in the early 1930s, Jian Ye Li is one of the city's finest examples of Shikumen-style housing-- a design unique to Shanghai that blends traditional Chinese residential elements with functional Western amenities. Consisting of luxury townhomes, retail, dining, and entertainment venues, the Portman House project will restore Jian Ye Li to its original design while providing modern conveniences that offer residents and visitors a distinctive way to experience the history of Shanghai."

Now, I'm curious by what they mean by modern convenience and Western amenities, because of what I see here it wouldn't be a pleasant place to live.

A development slated for 2014 in South Korea

Songdo Master Plan, in Incheon, South Korea

The tower for Songdo

Again, the approach to the site is centered on vehicles. Do architects find it so troubling to design for people?

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