Embarrassing screen shot

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 11.54.18 PMAbove is a screen shot part way down into the online print version of an NPR interview with Renzo Piano, “The Future of Europe’s Cities Is In Their Suburbs.” In it, the interviewer says that “Piano believes it’s the architect’s civic duty to seize even the tiniest fragment of beauty and nourish it.” Then, over to the right, is Piano’s Centre Pompidou, designed along with Richard Rogers. They took punkster Le Corbusier’s advice and tore down a big hunk of a beautiful neighborhood in Paris to erect something hideously ugly and stupid. Civic duty to nourish even the tiniest fragment of beauty, eh? So the question must be: was the photo placement accidental or did NPR set out to sandbag Piano with the truth? I’m afraid the question answers itself.

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. 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. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and 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 invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, 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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One Response to Embarrassing screen shot

  1. barry says:

    Right on about the Pompidou Center, not only is it ugly but its ugliness has seeped over into the spirit of some of the surrounding neighborhood that now I won’t even go to.
    But Piano is right that something must be done about the periphery of Italian cities (a dreadful image if which is often even in the Zen police novels) and French cities too, and probably much of the rest of Europe. They are indeed ugly and can engender bad spirits in the people who live or go there. Any examples of good retrofits?

    Like

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