Kriston Capps is a staff writer for CityLab covering housing, architecture, and politics. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine.
Destroy other players using your superior architecture. Leave none alive.
If you ask me, Bjarke Ingels is a blue wizard.
Any architect who uses that many puns, twists, and science-fiction call-outs in his work is clearly a blue user. Blue magic is shifty, scheming, subtle magic. It’s all about predicting and defying expectations—knowing and subverting your opponent’s next move. Blue magic is building a labyrinth inside a museum or arranging an architecture exhibit by climate zone.
So if you’re going up against the Bjarke Ingels Group in magical combat, you’re going to want aggressive, blunt architecture. You need the stabbing blades of Daniel Libeskind or the protean waves of Zaha Hadid—relentless, fast, emotional architecture. You need red magic.
Like so many of you, I was raised on Magic: The Gathering and contemporary architecture. So I share your sense of relief today: Finally, at long lost, these twin pursuits are now combined into one.
Magic: The Gathering (But for Buildings) is a thing.
The biggest decision you’ll face in Cinqpoints’s Iconic Architecture Card Game is not the building you choose to build. Please. It’s so much larger than that. You don’t put a Serra Angel in your deck because she looks cool and gives you a 4/4 flyer with Vigilance. You go with Serra Angels because you need to—because, for your particular deck, it would be wrong not to. Your deck would be incomplete without efficient, regal, high-cost creatures that set you up for mid- to late-game dominance offensively and defensively. (They’re, like, the Roger A.M. Stern of white-deck magic, am I right?)
The same goes for the Cinqpoints game. You use a variety of card types to populate the battlefield: Events, House, Tower, Culture, Religion, Housing, and Museum. These are the building blocks of the game, but moreover, as with Artifacts and Interrupts in M:TG, players express their building philosophy through the deck-building decisions they make. Presumably, the goal in Iconic Architecture is the same as that of Magic: The Gathering: Destroy all the other players using your superior architecture. Leave none alive.
Now, I’m a big fan of your classic control deck, but I respect a good aggro deck, too. I’m guessing a black deck would be filled with nothing but Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry. Thinking about how Lebbeus Woods fits into the game is fun for all of us, but I’m going to try to settle this debate once and for all: Black/Green Planeswalker. Odile Decq is your classic Vraska the Unseen.
In some crucial sense, architecture really is magic. Architects choose a building philosophy, then set out on a long path of apprenticeship, usually under some horrid sorcerer. They must build slowly, tapping whatever local resources are at hand. Over time, through theory, design, and master planning, architects shape civilizations. You can’t convince me that Oscar Niemeyer wasn’t a wizard.
Unfortunately, it might be a while before you’re able to tap a Guggenheim Museum to summon a Bilbao Effect. Demand for Iconic Architecture is evidently so high that the game is all sold out. Your Wall of Swords play will have to wait.