News New Park Entrance coming to Epcot

SirNim

Well-Known Member
Never forget: The Desecration of the 1982 EPCOT spine (CommuniCore central plaza design) is Disney’s repudiation of the genius of Bernini

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Marc Davis Fan

Well-Known Member
I realize that many of us - including some of WDWMagic's most valued members - have great nostalgic attachment to the CommuniCore buildings. But, if I may offer my humble opinion, their brutalist architecture did not age well. I realize that the trees and pond made them work a lot better, but I still don't think it made them timeless.

Here are some images, courtesy of RetroWDW.com, to give you a sense/reminder of what CommuniCore was like in the early days, shown to display it at its absolute best:
Outside-Communicore-East-1983-1.jpg

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Communicore-1983.jpg


It's a lot better than what it was later turned into, that's for sure.

But, absent nostalgia, I don't think it was really a classic accomplishment of imagineering. It wasn't World Showcase or Spaceship Earth. I think that if Disney built this today, people would say it was plain, boring, and generic.

For instance, I recently happened to be on the campus of SUNY (State University of New York) in Albany, and the architecture made me think of Future World:

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I'd actually say that these areas of the SUNY Albany campus are more dynamic, aesthetic, and creative than CommuniCore. The same goes (even more) for many contemporary airports, train stations, and other modern public spaces (including the Anaheim ARTIC train station that I pass by on the way to Disneyland - look it up if you're unfamiliar!).

Anyway, the point is... If they end up replacing half (or all) of the CommuniCore buildings with green space, ponds, and fountains, it might not be a disaster. In fact, we might learn to like the new aesthetic.

Just my very humble two cents.
 

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marni1971

Park History nut
Premium Member
Anyway, the point is... If they end up replacing half (or all) of the CommuniCore buildings with green space, ponds, and fountains, it might not be a disaster.
Yes It would. But Thankfully the even worse plan of removing the whole thing didn’t make it. Half is a disaster. All is a travesty.

The buildings weren’t brutalist - their curves softened them no end. Add the curtain glazing and split level interiors and they were timeless. And could and should be again.
 
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Disney Analyst

Well-Known Member
Yes It would. But Thankfully the even worse plan of removing the whole thing didn’t make it. Half is a disaster. All is a travesty.

The buildings weren’t brutalist - their curves softened them no end. Add the curtain glazing and split level interiors and they were timeless. And could and should be again.

I actually agree with the OP you quoted on this one. Different tastes I guess.
 

tparris

Well-Known Member
I honestly never liked those buildings very much, but I know that’s mostly because I don’t clearly remember what they were like before the awful 2014 paint job. I’ve been going to the parks for about 18 years now (albeit I don’t remember much from before the age of 4 or 5), and EPCOT has always been my favorite. Then I discovered Martin’s YouTube channel when I was around 13, and that started my dream of becoming an Imagineer. Then you bring in the incredible remade EC tributes from about 2-3 years ago, and you’ve got a kid that would do almost anything to get even one day in the park in its heyday. I’m open to change, but I would be very happy if they brought back Communicore to its former glory. Just thought I’d let you know, Martin, that you sparked some inspiration in at least some of today’s youth, and I know at least one other person here that would agree with me. Thanks for everything you do, Martin!
 

marni1971

Park History nut
Premium Member
I honestly never liked those buildings very much, but I know that’s mostly because I don’t clearly remember what they were like before the awful 2014 paint job. I’ve been going to the parks for about 18 years now (albeit I don’t remember much from before the age of 4 or 5), and EPCOT has always been my favorite. Then I discovered Martin’s YouTube channel when I was around 13, and that started my dream of becoming an Imagineer. Then you bring in the incredible remade EC tributes from about 2-3 years ago, and you’ve got a kid that would do almost anything to get even one day in the park in its heyday. I’m open to change, but I would be very happy if they brought back Communicore to its former glory. Just thought I’d let you know, Martin, that you sparked some inspiration in at least some of today’s youth, and I know at least one other person here that would agree with me. Thanks for everything you do, Martin!
Wow. Thank you ☺️
 

skimbob

Well-Known Member
I think the whole of future world needs a do over. I really like the new entrance and the fountain as well as Spaceship Earth. Beyond that point it has always seemed kind of ho hum to me except for the fountain of nations. I love world showcase and its layout and feel. I think adding in more green space in future world like the original artwork shows will make the opening act even better.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I realize that many of us - including some of WDWMagic's most valued members - have great nostalgic attachment to the CommuniCore buildings. But, if I may offer my humble opinion, their brutalist architecture did not age well. I realize that the trees and pond made them work a lot better, but I still don't think it made them timeless.

Here are some images, courtesy of RetroWDW.com, to give you a sense/reminder of what CommuniCore was like in the early days, shown to display it at its absolute best:
View attachment 492361
View attachment 492362
View attachment 492359
View attachment 492358

It's a lot better than what it was later turned into, that's for sure.

But, absent nostalgia, I don't think it was really a classic accomplishment of imagineering. It wasn't World Showcase or Spaceship Earth. I think that if Disney built this today, people would say it was plain, boring, and generic.

For instance, I recently happened to be on the campus of SUNY (State University of New York) in Albany, and the architecture made me think of Future World:

View attachment 492363
View attachment 492364
View attachment 492365
View attachment 492366

I'd actually say that these areas of the SUNY Albany campus are more dynamic, aesthetic, and creative than CommuniCore. The same goes (even more) for many contemporary airports, train stations, and other modern public spaces (including the Anaheim ARTIC train station that I pass by on the way to Disneyland - look it up if you're unfamiliar!).

Anyway, the point is... If they end up replacing half (or all) of the CommuniCore buildings with green space, ponds, and fountains, it might not be a disaster. In fact, we might learn to like the new aesthetic.

Just my very humble two cents.

As much as I loved Future World, I don't really have much memory of or nostalgia for CommuniCore or Innoventions.

With that said, I think all those old photos look fantastic. The trees, ponds, etc. are a big help, but they also seem to fit in well with the buildings. I would love to have that look back; it's beautiful.

On the other hand I'm not a big fan of those SUNY photos. The fountains are nice, but the tall, thin columns and other aspects look very dated to me.
 
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lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I realize that many of us - including some of WDWMagic's most valued members - have great nostalgic attachment to the CommuniCore buildings. But, if I may offer my humble opinion, their brutalist architecture did not age well. I realize that the trees and pond made them work a lot better, but I still don't think it made them timeless.

Here are some images, courtesy of RetroWDW.com, to give you a sense/reminder of what CommuniCore was like in the early days, shown to display it at its absolute best:
View attachment 492361
View attachment 492362
View attachment 492359
View attachment 492358

It's a lot better than what it was later turned into, that's for sure.

But, absent nostalgia, I don't think it was really a classic accomplishment of imagineering. It wasn't World Showcase or Spaceship Earth. I think that if Disney built this today, people would say it was plain, boring, and generic.

For instance, I recently happened to be on the campus of SUNY (State University of New York) in Albany, and the architecture made me think of Future World:

View attachment 492363
View attachment 492364
View attachment 492365
View attachment 492366

I'd actually say that these areas of the SUNY Albany campus are more dynamic, aesthetic, and creative than CommuniCore. The same goes (even more) for many contemporary airports, train stations, and other modern public spaces (including the Anaheim ARTIC train station that I pass by on the way to Disneyland - look it up if you're unfamiliar!).

Anyway, the point is... If they end up replacing half (or all) of the CommuniCore buildings with green space, ponds, and fountains, it might not be a disaster. In fact, we might learn to like the new aesthetic.

Just my very humble two cents.
The CommuniCore is not an example of Brutalism. There is almost no structural or tectonic expression which are hallmarks of the style. There are massive elements but the size of the columns is an aesthetic choice to match the depth of the long span trusses and not an accurate reflection of the structural steel columns.

As stand alone structures the CommuniCore buildings may not be the most engaging and striking works, but that is actually what makes them good design. The big loss with the CommuniCore demolition is not the buildings themselves but the spatial organization they provide. They were key components in a larger design. Future World had a hierarchy. They did not grab attention because they were not the focus, that belonged to the theme pavilions.

One of the major ways EPCOT Center differed from the Disneyland model is in its use of space. At Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, buildings are arranged as space making objects but in EPCOT Center the pavilions exist as objects in space. Think of how an actual Main Street feels different than a strip mall even though they are both retail and dining aligned in a row. Objects in space easily become a disorienting mess of design because their is no order, no underlying system of design. EPCOT Center handled this by giving its objects an underlying organization, World Showcase rings the lagoon and Future World radiates out from the CommuniCore. Without labels or foreknowledge, a person looking at a map or aerial could understand that Future World and World Showcase are two distinct areas.

That clarity of design is what was being lost for the neighborhoods and the Festival Center. The Festival Center is/was a big flashy showpiece intended for similar programmatic uses as the CommuniCore was or could easily handle due to its open, adaptable design. The walkways wrapping over each other don’t serve a purpose beyond levels being cool, they don’t activate a vertically layered place. The neighborhoods are now three collections of buildings. There is no no underlying organization to any of them, with a hierarchy of movement and space. The content of the pavilions may be related by varying degrees but that is not expressed in the built environment and themed entertainment is storytelling through a built environment.
 
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aladdin2007

Well-Known Member
I have to agree. I never particularly thought of these buildings as timeless. If anything, they always felt stuck.

But I wouldnt Care if they stayed or disappeared tbh.

The felt stuck in recent years because Disney didnt take care of them and ravaged the insides down to stupidity nothingness and let them all go. But before that in their heyday, they were excellently designed pavilions and made use of their grand space.
 

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