Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Posturing poseur alert

I do love it when posturing poseurs are skewered. One leading practitioner of what I call neutron-bomb architecture (ie, architecture to kill the spirit of human beings) has been exposed by a client as a pretentious fraud. Speaking to a gathering to celebrate the completion of $15.8 million of repairs to Peter Eisenman's decade-old Wexner Art Centre,
director Sherri Geldin took the opportunity to list, to the obvious chagrin of an increasingly crimson Peter, exactly why the building sucks: lost patrons, damaging sunlight, useless spaces, etc. "It would have been easier to start from scratch," she said, and not in a nice way. Eisenman fled mid-speech. [Report by The Gutter. Hat tip to Ruth]
I look forward to clients of Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid expressing themselves in similarly articulate fashion.

Good architecture is not about building pretentious manifestoes in the sky, or ideological prisons for the soul. It is about enhancing human life, and as Frank Lloyd Wright used to say, "putting man in possession of his earth." I explain what this means and explode a few myths abut architecture in an article I wrote a few years ago, What is Architecture?

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