NBC Olympics fake fireplace

This is maybe a bit picky, a bit too much of an architect’s complaint, but…

We have been watching the Olympics over the last few days, including the Bob Costas interviews in the “ski lodge”.  Now there is much to possibly dislike about this kind of interview, but what I can’t get past is the fireplace in the dead center of the image.  It is fake.  At least the flame is.

And what keeps bugging me is the masonry above the fireplace opening.  Come on, give us a lintel for God’s sake.  Stone or steel, or something.  I keep waiting for the large stone in the center to fall.

This kind of visually unsupported masonry is what you see all the time in bad builder houses.  Typically a steel angle is back there doing the work, holding up the masonry, but it doesn’t look right.  Unless the design is making something interesting about suspending the masonry in the air, like some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s more sculptural fireplaces or Mario Botta’s carved masonry solids, this lack of attention to details and architectonics really bugs me.

Mario Botta houses

Okay, I’ve gotten this off my chest, so now maybe my wife and girls don’t have to hear it every evening.

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