Shoe slips on other foot

villasavexpMichael Rouchell sends to TradArch a wonderful sketch of the new addition to the Villa Savoye, Le Corbusier’s pathbreaking modernist house of 1931 in suburban Paris. As intended, the addition raises interesting questions. Modernists are wary of additions to their work in contrasting styles. When the Dulles International Airport terminal by Eero Saarinen was doubled in size, the additions (extending the building at each end) were identical to the original style – verboten for traditional buildings. But when a compatible addition to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum on New York City’s Fifth Avenue was proposed, modernists went nutso.

Real-world solutions to design problems inevitably paint modernists into an uncomfortable corner. In the case of the Villa Savoye, the concern, as one TradArcher pointed out, is that the uninitiated might imagine that the Villa has been added recently to the original traditional house.

So, here’s mud in your eye!

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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