Here's the letter I wrote in response to this article (which was never published):
I read with great interest the recent article in Science Times about the new biomedical research center in China with architecture inspired by the cell. It's a great thing having man-made creations inspired by fundamental molecular and cellular architecture. It's ironic that this hasn't happened to a greater degree. Many of the shapes in scientific structures are particularly interesting. Good examples would be the famous double helix of DNA and lipid bilayer of the cell membrane. Moreover, a key aspect of post-modern architecture is referring to and playing with evocative shapes and forms borrowed from non-architectural contexts. Thus, the irony in why famous pieces of post-modern architecture -- such as the AT&T building in New York, which makes reference to a grandfather clock or a Chippendale highboy -- seem to ignore the fundamental designs of nature.
FINDINGS; Inspired by the Cell, With Mitochondrial Pools
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By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Published: September 12, 2006
The blob is coming to Chengdu. A biomedical research institute in Chengdu,
China, is planning to show true commitment to scientific principles by erecting
an innovative building inspired by cells. Bulges on the surface are meeting
rooms and are intended to represent the proteins embedded in a cell membrane.
The interior pools, shaped like mitochondria, border on the surreal....