Advertising Jiujitsu

East, East Coast
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
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If you’re an architecture geek like us, you love playing Spot the Building while watching TV or at the movies. (The International, otherwise mediocre, is one of our favorites for this very reason.) That’s why this Cadillac commercial caught us so off guard when we saw it the other day. At first, we knew we recognized the “museum” at the start, even though it wasn’t actually one. In fact, it wasn’t even one building.

How does the Times' cafeteria... (Courtesy Food In Mouth)

The big photos of the Caddy are on display in the 14th floor double-height cafeteria at Renzo Piano’s Times building, a nice touch given the cool light effects the building’s (very climbable) ceramic bars create. But then, their gallery-going complete, the happy yuppie couple step outside into… Huh? That’s not Times Square but Cooper Square! Somehow, through the magic of advertising, we’ve been transported downtown, outside Morphosis’ new Cooper Union building. As though the restrained rectilinear forms of Piano could be mistaken for the curvilinear craziness of Thom Mayne! Nice try, Madison Avenue fatcats. You can’t pull a fast one on The Architect’s Newspaper.

... magically transform into the lobby of 41 Cooper Square? (burnlab/Flickr)

2 Responses to “Advertising Jiujitsu”

  1. Jack Skelley says:

    Of course, a proper museum would not allow direct sunlight — such as we see here — to damage the artwork.

  2. Lydia says:

    With all that advance billing and the cool architectural backdrop, the actual car looks decidedly less impressive. Not into that Star Wars-stormtrooper front grille.

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