And I thought I was tough on Gehry!

Experience Music Project, in Seattle. (

Experience Music Project, in Seattle. (

Kristen Richards, who applies exquisite snark in describing some of the columns of mine that she posts on her stellar website, has sent me this amazing diatribe against Frank Gehry, by Geoff Manaugh, posted on, called “Frank Gehry Is Still the World’s Worst Living Architect.” His piece is definitely for the younger crowd, but you don’t need to understand all the pop cultural references to grok* the depth of his angst over Gehry’s continued sway in the world!

* Dated cutting-edge ’70s reference: “grok” – to understand; Spockspeak … um, right? [No, I am reliably informed that it’s from Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land.]

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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4 Responses to And I thought I was tough on Gehry!

  1. Lewis Dana says:

    Pastiche is definitely the wrong word. This thing doesn’t take something from her and from there and whip them into a structure. It takes a bunch of bricks and oversize windows and doors and assembles them as a child does with Legos. Into a shapeless mass.

    Vast blank walls, mismatched windows and doors assembled with no sense of order or balance. Make it match Independence Hall by clapping a cupola on it.

    I can see RAMS saying at the last stroke of his CAD system save/get button (where he keeps “cupola” “pilaster” “Georgian” “federal” “Palladian arched window”), “There! That cupola makes it colonial Philadelphia.”

    At least Brown had a cupola lying around so they could just cobble up a typical colonial era gym to go under it.


  2. He has the godlike power to crush used toilet paper together and make a…. convention center, urrr I a mean it’s a winery, oh wait no, it’s an office building! Such talent… we bow to you! (please note tongue firmly implanted in cheek.)

    Stop celebrating the architect, stop celebrating the architecture, we must celebrate the process of doing architecture. Sculpture filled with program is destroying the fabric around us.


  3. It looks like a lawn mower that’s been in a terrible accident.


  4. This looks like something that may have been expelled from something. Does it have purpose? Is it done?


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