Jean Nouvel’s Monad Terrace South Beach May 12, 2017
The groundwork for the erection of the Monad Terrace, yet another luxurious condominium development for the Ultra Rich on South Beach, was reportedly delayed pending delivery of steel pilings. Construction was to proceed last January, but the cleared site still awaits groundbreaking as of May.
Hopefully it is the steel and not the money that is wanted, for the condominium market has slowed down lately, and it would certainly be a crying shame if the eloquent architect’s design is not realized, as was the case with his disappearing 1989 office high rise, The Tour Sans Fins, planned for La Défense, France, and the simply too-costly 2003 Carnegie Science Centeraddition in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. But this is a small project: a mere $1.7 million is asked for the cheapest Monad Terrace home, and the top end, at $7,100,000, is paltry compared to the $35,000,000 penthouse at Enrique Norten’s ponderous affair at 321 Ocean Drive.
This 14-story complex with 59 one- or two-bedroom apartments is designed by Monsieur Jean Nouvel, the famed Originalist, in collaboration with project architect Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design.
The bathrooms will apparently be larger than the average South Beach studio. Ten-foot ceilings will augment the positive mental attitude of residents. After all, nothing is more valuable to affluent minimalists than empty space or nothing in particular that one can see; spacious quarters are ideally furnished with a minimum number of obstructions so that one may worship Being or Nothing and enjoy one’s allotted portion of an absolute sense of freedom within the plenum and its infinite possibilities.
The glass within the apartments, ranging from 1,453 to 3,996 interior square feet, with from 574 to 1,620 square feet exteriors, will be framed to draw attention to various aspects of the spectacular surround.
The plots have been assembled and demolition is complete. Gone are the Mediterranean bungalows on one side of the street running from West Avenue to the bay and modest two-story apartment buildings on the other.
New York developer Michael Stern’s investors have more than $50 million invested including a reported $9.25 million paid to hold-out Steffania Scaffidi for her plot upon which sat her 840 square foot home that she paid a mere $500,000 for in 2010.
Envious critics may believe this is yet another case of greedy developers destroying humble Florida abodes in what used to be a poor man’s paradise. The South Florida coast is a monadic terrace for the worship of Number One, the Almighty Dollar. Be that as it may, poor Steffania Scaffidi laughed all the way to the bank.
Monsieur Nouvel, the cofounder and luminary architect of Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is renowned for his revolutionary illusory illumination schemes, landscapist virtuosity, contextual assimilations, and his repudiation of stylistic dogma. He prefers free flowing words to confining plans.
Like Sartre, he strives not to repeat the same phrase twice. The best technique is never seen. It is said that “Nouvel does not do technique: he dances.” Nouvel is frustrated cinematographer as well; his architectural spectacles are in effect movies with 360-degree scenery. A monad, by the way, is preoccupied with perceptual motion in harmony with the universe, wherefore a monadist is necessarily concerned with the principle of continuity between frames.
Conspiracy theorists naturally think Monsieur Nouvel is a member of the secret Illuminati organization that inspired the French Revolution. If he is a member of the Illuminati, he will deny that he is a member with a formulaic denial known only to its luminaries.
The novel design for the Monad Terrace features honeycomb glass on one side that will serve to shade the apartments while ensuring privacy and providing sights according to the perspectives of the viewers, whose homes will have at least three sides exposed to the surround. An elevator will stop outside each apartment to further protect the resident’s privacy.
A huge reflective lagoon between the wings of the complex below the honeycomb glass is not only part of the reflective machine, but is expected to accommodate typical flooding if not the great flood of biblical proportions that will inundate the beach sooner or later, only God knows when. The parking garage has been described as impermeable as a bathtub. Monad Terrace, inasmuch as it is in harmony with the pre-established order, shall not be destroyed by the great flood because as a monadic project it is itself part and parcel of that flood.
Viewed from a yacht at a distance, the Monad Terrace reconciles its formal structure and modest mass with the bald and rather boring row of condominium buildings imprisoning dwellers directly to the south.
That is, it fits into the general concrete mediocrity and its environ. Yet a closer look contradicts the mechanical or rational emphasis of those uniform structures with a rather wild, uneven appearance, given the reflecting glass and lagoon, the swimming pool and waterfall on the bay, the sweeping terraces, and the “climbing” vegetation shrouding. That is why it is said that Nouvel’s designs are not aliens parachuted in without regard to the circumstances. They are wild cards to be played with the hands he has been dealt.
The Monad Terrace puts to shame the frightful stacks of transparent boxes recently crammed into the glass ghetto in South Pointe at the south end of South Beach. Glass has been used for windows since the discovery of clear glass through the introduction of manganese dioxide by glass blowers in Alexandria circa 100 AD and used thereafter for architectural purposes in Rome.
A window is one thing, but who wants to live in a transparent glass box? Modern architects have been obsessed with glass residences ever since the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the “glass cage on stilts” in Illinois, much to the discomfort of the exposed occupant, Edith Farnsworth, who claimed that “‘the house is transparent, like an X-ray,” and resented the architect’s tyranny over her home’s contents.
A home, after all, places a limitation between inside and outside, frames and shields a person’s identity. A window that serves as a wall should be opaque as well as transparent to provide a definite separation between man and man and man and nature; uniform blinds and curtains constitute a poor definition.
Now the presence of windows in Monad Terrace, with some of its condo castles even having exposures in all four directions, might cause fundamentalist students of the great theodocist Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, author of Monadology, to suspect, since they take him literally, that blasphemy is afoot, because Leibnitz’ monads are windowless: “The Monads have no windows, through which anything could come in or go out.” But residents of the Monad Terrace, peering through glass or standing on terraces, shall gaze at the so-called reality outside albeit from unique individual perspectives.
Herr Leibnitz constructed a grand ambiguity and asserted it as a pre-established harmony of man and nature willed by the creator. This consummate logician even managed to reconcile good and evil in one god and thus monistically avoid evil dualism. He might explain that monads, the mysterious microcosmic elements of the macrocosm do not have windows per se, because they are, for one thing, metaphorical, and, furthermore, they must ideally perceive things differently, because “each Monad must be different from every other for in nature there are never two beings which are perfectly alike and in which it is not possible to find an internal difference, or at least a difference founded upon an intrinsic quality.”
Nonetheless, anthropic monads at Monad Terrace may occasionally and together internally perceive Biscayne Bay, for example, because it and the fish and other things that exist in it are also in every monad, although perceived in a somewhat different way; wherefore the Bay and for that matter all else they discuss exists from their perspectives as elemental minds. They shall occasionally believe they perceive the same thing as if it were outside because monads, although analytical isolated, are in effect an harmoniously established whole.
What we have in Monad Terrace is evidently the best of all possible condominiums in South Beach. The project is clearly in accord with Leibnitz’ law of non-contradiction, that everything that might be said of it is self-consistent with the best that can be said. Nouvel, in his own original way, imitates the divine order found in infinitely rich nature, which to its degree of perfection is true, good and beautiful for the time and place.
May 12, 2017
- According to the law of non-contradiction each substance, which conceptually is all that may be predicated of a subject, may individually be possible, but they must all be possible together, the universe forming a vast, consistent, non-contradictory system. God chooses the universe that is the most logically perfect. This principle of perfection is consummate with the idea of God as an infinite being; to choose a less perfect universe would be to choose a lesser universe. Thus the actual world is the best of all possible worlds. But this is not to say that God is logically constrained
- What powers the wheels of modern revolution, the wheels that are grinding so many selves into monadic statistical dust?
- No wonder postmodernists dwell on madness and imprisonment, and even allege that the brick-and-mortar penitentiaries are only there to distract outsiders from the realization that, in free production and consumption, they are enslaved by the introjected wardens of their own little virtual prisons, which are modeled after the gigantic Western panopticon – its form follows its function: the inspection principle allows Big Brother to inspect everyone equally. Every monad is in effect the same although their perceptions may differ slightly from one to the other as they gaze indecisively at their différances in the polished stainless steel mirrors over the mass produced sinks. There are no windows to peer out of, but all within the cells may be remotely monitored; the possibility of being inspected at any time and punished for infractions keeps the prisoners in line. Given Augustine’s statement that free will can only sin against the law, only anarcho-Christian libertines and sociopathic criminals are truly free.
- The inhabitants babble yet speak in tongues universal, but shall never perfectly understand one another even with translators intermediating because the hypostasis or the ground they stand on belongs to the whole and not to the individuals, who are doomed by individuality to errors, so-called sins to be cleansed by successive waves of development absent the great flood. History is a mistake; nothing is perfect; this structure shall pass in time. In the meantime hypocrisy, the underlying crisis between the reality and the ideal, prevails.
- Monadic exploration is a new approach to interacting with relational information spaces that challenges the distinction between the whole and its parts.
- Judaism, thanks to the liberal casuistry of the Pharisees, had already, two thousand years ago, advanced light years beyond the barbaric fundamentalist faith expressed by some Christian leaders today. Having taken on the character of its enemy the Philistines, the Judeo-Christian leaders would militantly organize the global political-economy into a gigantic machine, to be worshiped and served by the population, now distracted by anti-culture and anti-art, denigrated into “free” individuals, monads ruled by Occassionalism, having little concern for their spiritual or cultural life but that it is devoted to production and consumption of objective goods and services – thus mental health was defined by the Surgeon General of the United States, during the Year of the Brain, as “the ability to lead a productive life,”; i.e., a life of incessant production and consumption of material goods, including the cure for mental illness recommended in the Report: high priced drugs. The very multiplicity of the produced objects aggravates the individuality of objectively disoriented people – the more things for sale, the more divided they are, the more mechanical life becomes, and in this distracting routine the individual thinks he is doing what he likes because he is free to despise his immediate neighbors and to express his murderous.
- The progress of our brand of civilization with its focus on competitive self-help for the love of money; rugged individualism; individual free will; liberty and equality; mechanical and robotic mass production and consumption outside of the home; serial relationships of convenience; cultivation of aloneness; – is gradually abolishing the family and resulting in an impersonal sort of floating unfeelingness, as well as a flat feeling of mechanical dullness, if not a feeling of general anxiety. The new family is not the good old family who resented intruders and whose young greased themselves up and went out and warred on members of other groups when they grew hungry or uneasy; the new order is a highly structured global system which promises to break down all familial and group barriers and to atomize everyone into monadic automatons if they do not blow up the world before the division of wage-slave labor is perfected.
- As Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA would have it in his “astonishing hypothesis, “you” are a machine: “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” You merely think you have a will of your own, assuming so when you become aware of your material determinations, and then you believe it is your conscious devise, the source of which is unknown to you hence the great mystery called Will. By the way, as an organism, you are merely a genetic pawn; so eat, drink, be merry, go forth, spread the seed, let the surviving genes be selected at random and multiplied. Mind you that this is just a hypothesis, a working myth, and a morally degenerate one at that. It jibes with our material culture and its science because it is a symptom of that neurotic culture, where all that can be known is particulate and measurable; wherein the individual is about as helpless as an atom or windowless monad, although as a social ant he is a strong force for his size—the secret of the strength of Formica (Sp. hormiga, industrious, thrifty ant): tiny forces or ants pressed into a board. That concrete culture has become so dominated by theory that it loses touch with the matter it worships. High technology: low morality. The debased individual feels little on the job besides a feeling of helplessness, and for the lack of affection during working hours compensates off-duty by resort to an array of self-destructive behaviors. The society is subject to hysterical economic paroxysms over nothing more apparent than a critical calculation of debt, nervous social breakdowns resulting in massive impoverishment in the midst enormous material resources. The will has been so downplayed that little can be done to allay the flight to the exits short of intensive shock therapy: wherefore “God’s Doom” or Judgment Day.
- Pope Benedict overstepped the bounds of his domain in 2006 when he meddled in politics and quoted an old denunciation of Mohammed in current political context, and then traced a political line between East and West, implying that his side is more reasonable therefore best or morally superior. We understand his desire for a single religion to tame the world, namely his own brand of religion, a one-eyed octopus that would encompass the globe. How can a religion that deals with ultimate things be compartmentalized and made water-tight with creed and dogma? Shall there be hundreds of such compartments floating around and banging into one another from time to time? Or even worse, shall individual consciences enjoy billions of religion-of-ones, each and every one a windowless monad differing only in subjective perception?
- We are not monads but to understand monads or anything else we relate them to our own modes of experience – anthropomorphism. In truth no person is a monad, a homunculus, microcosm, a world unto oneself without others and a universe to boot. We speak not of monads as points scattered about space, but as active centers or perceptive point-events, as the elemental, universal perception that constitutes the animated, evolving universe itself in relative identifications of subjective mind and objective matter. Our reality is before all based upon the subjective experience of objects; where there is no relation between subject and object, neither exist as far as we are concerned. We posit, for example, a standard speed of light that may not be exceeded because we have no experience of an excess; and if we ever do, that standard shall fall like the others before it.
- Every poor slob has at least some chance to get filthy rich in this great nation of ours, wherein the worship of Money has superseded the worship of Bull. There is said to be a fusion of the two gods into a loving messiah who bids us all to enrich ourselves in his name so that the battle between the rich and poor may end in prosperous equality with every city family owning a 2,525 sq. ft. home with two cars and a private elevator, and active flat panel walls that simulate the grandest views upon voice commands. We may cry crocodile tears for the loss of the avenue to the bay, the modest two-story apartment buildings, the Mediterranean cottages, but we do not feel sorry for the good fortune of the plot owners who sold history out to the future for an enormous gain of capital.
- The Monadic Terrace is contingent upon the hierarchy of Being, which is necessarily corrupt at all levels falling by increasing degrees short of perfection at the pinnacle yet upholding the structure from the basis to the apex, wherefore the lower classes are bound to be pushed out of territory near the base as they provide the labor needed to erect the structure in return for funds whether those funds are laundered or not.
- The monad may be supposed at its higher plane to be the soul or mind of man temporarily imprisoned in his body. At first it was surmised that his soul had fallen, from being one with the universal Monad, the ONE, into the “sin” of material individuality, wherefore he had cause from suffering that bitter diremption or divorce to reason, since the two represented one’s extended alienation from the ONE, that only one was good or god and two the evil devil. If only the alienated one would be at one with or atoned to the supreme one, the ONE, all would be well again.
- Leibnitz presumed that monads are necessarily interrelated in a logical system or harmonious web of being governed by the law determining a thing to be what it is and not something else. This harmony is Logos, the essential rationality or reason sufficient for the divine architect’s creation, the truth natural to a rational order. What we have with the monad is the principle of the ONE, the one above all from which hangs the chain of being. According to this rationale, God is the ONE perfect being; all else appears imperfect due to our ignorance of our perceptual relationships. We may, however, resemble perfection the more we “grow” i.e. become aware our accidental qualities and assume the corollary knowledge and activity of the supreme perfection in the love for and care of others and desire for their perfection.
14, Monsieur Nouvel may not care for what some German idealist said about monads. The Germans were confused by their Indic studies. He may have examined and approved of Etienne Bonnot de Condillac’s discussion of monadic systems, although we doubt it because that might belie his reputation as a member of the Illuminati since Condillac was an empiricist, a pragmatist who believed the mind was a blank slate dependent entirely on sensations for its content.
Source: Miami Mirror Blog