Saturday, December 03, 2011
My Comment on Curbed & Northattan
IN THE ARCHITECTURAL CIRCLES David Adjaye* travels in, context and fitting in are much less important than creating an iconic, "unprecedented" object. That's in contrast with traditional architecture and urbanism, where the architect's first job was to contribute to a greater whole - the street, the neighborhood and the city.
In a recent article in New York magazine, a partner at one of the most fashionable New York offices, SHoP, talked about contemporary architecture and said, "Like other kinds of art, great buildings contradict everything else." His former Dean at Columbia, Bernard Tschumi, said in response, "Maybe that’s what a city is: confrontation and complication. In New York, the name of the game is to have one’s own envelope."
BTW, it's one thing to screw up the city for tenants or buyers who choose to pay outrageous sums to live in these places. But this is social housing, and Pruitt Igoe was supposed to teach us to stop experimenting on the poor, who have to take what they are given.
* The designer of Sugar Hill Housing.