I often criticize architects and designers for their uninspired buildings.

Unfortunately, for better or worse, a lot of the blame for that falls on Bostonians.

They just don’t like new.

For example, I was up in Montreal one weekend and stopped by Roche Bobois, because I was alway seeing their ads in magazines. It looked as though they had great, modern furniture. And, the showroom in Montreal was full good stuff.

So, next time I was down on the Waterfront, here in Boston, I stopped by the local Roche Bobois.

And, it was completely different.

Old, stuffy furniture.

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Updated: January 2018

I was shocked. The salesperson said, “It’s Boston.”

So, now we hear in the Boston Globe that Bostonians have been slow to warm to the new Phillippe Starck-designed condos in the South End.

Me being the contrarian, I have to agree with Kimberly Blanton, the reporter on the story, that it comes down to design. Not overprices, not a cooling market.

I agree, as she mentioned in the story, that the units were priced very high for the area, at $1,000 a square foot, I believe. The prices have come down a bit, since then.

And, in addition, the property IS under construction – and it’s a bit premature to say that the building is not going to be a success. I was at the groundbreaking, and I’ve been watching the renovation, every day, since then, and it sure seems to be going slowly. I think sales will speed up, as they get closer to completion. And, it’s only 26 units, it’s not like they have to sell a hundred of them.

Still, I do think it comes back to design, and, as you can see from the Globe’s photos, the interiors are quite shocking in design, at least compared to what else is out there.

Not for everyone’s taste, that’s for sure.

I wonder if part of the resistance is the stark contrast between exterior design (a boring brick four-story building) and the modern, somewhat sterile interiors.

Not necessarily a good mix.

Anyway, I guess I’m saying that it’s too bad there aren’t more people in Boston who like this sort of design.

Complete story: Designer’s high-concept condos may be too hip for Hub – By Kimberly Blanton, The Boston Globe

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