Here is a piece from The Spectator (of Britain) by Taki, the London socialite of Greek extraction who has written the magazine’s “High Life” column since 1977. In this essay he ruminates filmographically about New York and how it has changed in his time. The subhead is “The Fountainhead was a great movie but lousy architecture. Now all we have is the architecture.” The headline itself is “My New York is gone forever. The internet has seen to that,” but the essay doesn’t have much to do with the internet, except right at the end. It’s more about the movies, particularly that made of Ayn Rand’s book, which has much to do with architecture. Bad architecture. The entire essay’s worth reading, but here is a key passage:
Modernism, especially in architecture, is bleak and sterile and incomprehensible, and a panacea for the talentless and the phoney. Urban architecture that draws on the decorative style of previous eras is beauty personified, whereas functionalism, as the gimmick is called nowadays, is the very stuff that has made architects and city planners turn their backs on what makes a city beautiful and livable.
But you’ll have to read the essay itself for the paragraph leading into the above. It is a gas and a half. Take that, “Sir” Norman Foster!