The Mercedes-Benz 280 SL ‘Pagoda’ was shaped by function and form
“One of the cool elements of the ‘Pagoda’ is the top,” says Daniel Monti. “One of the things I read in the design brief: they wanted to make sure that the journalists who’d came out to a race day, parked their 280SL at the side of the track, climb on top of the roof, get their camera out, and take pictures of the race that day.”
As an architect, Monti has a unique perspective on his beloved family heirloom, a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL. In the family for 30 years, you’d be safe in assuming its crisp lines and form-follows-function details have influenced his take on buildings.
Monti leads Modal Design, and part of this film is set in one of the firm’s newer projects, the Walnut House. (http://www.modal-design.com/projects/walnut/)
“Our architecture tries to be straightforward, with basic principles that you can appreciate in the future,” Monti says, “…basic ideas that are timeless in their nature, and that’s how we hopefully create architecture that’s pushing boundaries but not outdated in five years.”
Still attractive and “crisp” today, that sentiment could apply to the 280 SL, a grand tourer that, Monti says, is very reliable and most at home on a scenic drive.
Monti says: “Functional requirements often generate a beauty from something you wouldn’t expect.” When examining the 280 SL and the Walnut House together, it’s clear function is what unites these two beautiful subjects—designed more than 50 years apart.