Dalrymple in Antwerp

Dalrymple writes that he once saw

the office of an airline in Latin America that was shaped like an airliner. This architectural mimesis or onomatopœia seemed to me cheap, vulgar, and ridiculous, symbolism for the irreducibly literal-minded.

So he confesses that he started with a prejudice against the Havenhuis in Antwerp.

From pictures I had seen, it struck me as the acme of modern celebrity architecture. It is shaped like a cruise ship and perches, by means of concrete supports, atop an early-20th-century copy of a stone-walled Hanseatic building. Its glass facets are diamond-shaped, to suggest Antwerp’s other great trade, diamonds.


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