Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Arc de ????


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
7 Comments » | Published in Architecture, General, Landscape Design, Public Space, Urban Planning  |  7 Comments

Atlanta has this big new area full of hotels, exhibits (will “Bodies” EVER leave? The billboards are GROSS!), stores, condos, apartments, and even temporary Cirque de Soleil tents called Atlantic Station. I think they planned this project fairly well except for the fact that there is no MARTA station onsite. However, the dumbest thing I have ever seen in this city thusfar is this:

I mean, we had an Eiffel Tower at King’s Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati, but an amusement park is the proper context for such a folly. Couldn’t they come up with something more original? Is this supposed to fool us into thinking that the road to IKEA is the Champs-Elysees? Does that make the Chatahoochee river the Seine? Does your city have anything as stupid as this? Do tell!

About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!



  1. kitpollard says:

    April 9th, 2009 at 9:53 am (#)

    That’s really kind of hilarious. Unfortunately, I think I can kind of imagine the brainstorming meeting this emerged from.

    I’m not sure that Baltimore has anything this bad. But we do have a very huge, kind of strange, weirdly androgynous sculpture outside our train station. So weird that when Anthony Bourdain came here to shoot a couple of months ago, the first thing people noticed was that he stood staring at it for a while, like, “what IS that thing?”

    I feel you on the Bodies exhibit, too. It was here for a while and I’ll be happy never to see one of those ads again.

  2. Robin Cailloux says:

    April 9th, 2009 at 11:00 am (#)

    Gosh- I think this is awfully negative. I mean- there are so many things worth complaining over- I don’t think public art should be one of them.

    Not that I disagree with your gut reaction to the piece- I think it’s outdated and badly scaled. But we should at least be giving the developer credit for putting up the money and the land for this public art piece. He could have decided to put another office tower there and make a bunch of money instead.

    I think it’s a more telling comment that this area of town is called “Atlantic Station” but there is no transit station within miles of the site. Not that the lack of public transit is a surprise in Atlanta- we have some backwater ‘leaders’ in the Gold Dome.

  3. Casey says:

    April 9th, 2009 at 11:13 am (#)

    No, Bodies will never leave – it is STILL here (along with its billboards) in New York.

    And New York also has its fair share of public art weirdness, but the worst example I encountered was in front of my freshman dorm at Bucknell. Everyone on campus agreed this thing was NSFW.

  4. Becky says:

    April 9th, 2009 at 1:08 pm (#)

    Robin, it cost $20 million. You can rent out the top for private events. It was privately funded, and it’s called The Millennium Gate. I think pre-Sept. 11, it had plans to be in D.C. Atlanta seems to think it makes itself more worldly with this. I have a theory that the person who built it has a Napolean complex – ha ha! To me, it’s like plopping an imitation St. Louis Arch down in, I don’t know, Orlando Florida, or a version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Birmingham Alabama. No originality. People call it the Arc de IKEA b/c IKEA is right down the road.

    I think the area used to be a railyard, so it is baffling to me that it’s not connected to MARTA. They do have a shuttle to and from the museum stop nearby. Sometimes people keep the public transportation out on purpose, like Georgetown in D.C. I wonder what the case is here.

    Casey, no sooner did Bodies leave one venue when it came right on back. People keep telling me how cool it is, then I tell them how easily I pass out…

  5. Chad says:

    April 9th, 2009 at 3:27 pm (#)

    You are my hero for posting this. I hate that thing and never understood the purpose.

  6. Becky says:

    April 9th, 2009 at 4:10 pm (#)

    Thanks Chad! There’s an interesting article that explains a little more about it in a very generous manner here:


  7. Diana says:

    April 9th, 2009 at 8:03 pm (#)

    I worked at KI for 3 years in high school and I cannot tell you how much I hated that aqua Eiffel Tower. YUCK.

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