In 2005, famous architect Daniel Liebeskind designed a 38-story condo building called Aura, which was to be built at 601 Capitol Mall in Sacramento, CA. The plan fell through when the developers of the project defaulted on a loan. The photo below shows Libeskind’s design for the building, which was never built in Sacramento.
A building with this same design has since been built in Moscow in Russia. The building is shown on the far right in the photo below.
Why should anyone care if the building, shown in the photo above, was built in Sacramento or not?
I’ll tell you why. When this project was first announced in the Sacramento Bee newspaper in 2005, I was horrified. I had seen one of Daniel Libeskind’s buildings in Berlin, and I did not think that one of his designs would be suitable for Sacramento. His architectural style has been called “deconstruction.”
My 2001 photo below shows the Jewish Museum in Berlin, which was designed by Daniel Libeskind.
The ultra modern design of the Jewish Museum in Berlin is intended to be in the form of a deconstructed Star of David, as though the building had been hit by lightning. The only windows are the angular slits that you see on the sides of the building. The surface of the building is covered with polished metal facing. There is no door into the exhibits in the building; entry is through a tunnel from the Baroque building next door, which is shown in the photograph below.
You can see some more of Liebeskind’s style of architecture here; there are photos showing what he did to Dresden. There oughta be a law!
I went down to 601 Capitol Mall today to check out the address; 601 Capitol Mall is currently nothing but a parking lot with a small one-story building which is the office for the building at 621 Capitol Mall.
The description of the proposed building on this website reads as if the building had actually been built:
Situated in the heart of downtown Sacramento, California, the Aura condominium tower at 601 Capitol Mall is reshaping the city’s skyline with a much more modern view. The building, designed by Daniel Libeskind and developed by BCN Development of Denver, both embraces the architect’s signature sculptural forms and steps up the capital city’s architecture a notch.
Rising more than 400 feet above the city’s floor, the 38-story luxury residential tower features a luminous glass façade wrapped with translucent bands of balconies cut by curvilinear lines, which will provide residents with sweeping views of the city and surrounding landscape when it opens in 2007. The 256-unit building will also feature street-level dining, a sidewalk café, a fountain with sculptures, and a pedestrian-friendly lobby, all in the name of encouraging interaction between the tower and lively public space outside. Inside the residences, 10-foot ceilings open up 700-square-foot one-bedroom condos, the 4,400-square-foot penthouse, and everything in between. Other amenities include a landscaped garden, spa facilities, and 24-hour concierge services.
“The sculpted form of the building, its lightweight construction and luminosity, and its seamless interior spaces create an iconic whole greater than the sum of its parts,” says the architect, who is best known for master planning the new World Trade Center site and for designing the Jewish Museum Berlin. He calls Aura, which is his first project in California, “a sculpture that changes with light and the season.”
Libeskind has brought “a sense of energy and vibrancy to the city,” says Craig Nassi, founder and CEO of BCN. A developer for high-end, mixed-use, luxury properties, BCN currently has a combined real estate portfolio valued at more than $500 million.