Tag Archives: Modern Architecture

The vapidity of the modern

You know you are being targeted when your clickbait stories include video of a 2001 panel led by Charlie Rose (transcript included) discussing Ludwig Mies van der Rohe with Paul Goldberger, Phyllis Lambert (a liquor distributor’s daughter who hired Mies … Continue reading

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Greenberg’s independence

In the temporal orbit of Independence Day, we have seen the passing of classicist Thomas Gordon Smith and the trashing of all the values he respected and that we celebrate on the Fourth of July. Leaving aside the latter, I … Continue reading

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Thos. Gordon Smith, R.I.P.

Classical architect Thomas Gordon Smith died peacefully in his sleep near the South Bend, Ind., campus of the University of Notre Dame, age 73. His many admirers have adorned pages with encomiums to his commitment to classical architecture, to its … Continue reading

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Max building fail in Miami

Aside from expressing sorrow and dismay, it is too early to say anything definitive about the beachfront building collapse in Surfside, Fla., north of Miami. The 12-story Champlain Towers condominiums opened in 1981 with 136 apartments. About half of the … Continue reading

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An architectural reawakening

Architect David Rau gave a lecture called “Reawakening” last week, sponsored by the New Vitruvians, the youth wing of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. He tracks four “awakenings” in the world today, involving … Continue reading

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Pop the “historicist” bugaboo

The architectural theorist Nikos Salingaros recently urged me to bar the use of the words historicist and pastiche, which modernists use to criticize architecture by traditionalists. “The modernists are forewarned that their favorite terms of insult are now off-limits,” quoth … Continue reading

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How architecture evolves

Here is a quotation about the evolution of architecture from “The Biological Fallacy” of Geoffrey Scott’s The Architecture of Humanism (1924): Decadence is a biological metaphor. Within the field of biology it holds true as a fact, and is subject … Continue reading

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Driehaus for Treese of Mainz

Perhaps it makes sense that Europeans have received the four of the last five Driehaus prizes. One went to a Thai. At the risk of appearing nativist, the last American laureate was the Florida architect Scott Merrill (2016). This year’s … Continue reading

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Russia’s artful classicist – Da!

Historian James Stevens Curl, the author of Making Dystopia (2018), the most comprehensive critical history of modern architecture, has sent me a marvelous video of the classical work of the Russian architect Mikhail Filippov. His work has been described as … Continue reading

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Don’t trifle with this building

Opened in 1823 to a design by Thomas Hamilton, Edinburgh’s Old Royal High School has a stern and foreboding look. But surely a grin can be detected among its colonnades: It has recently dodged the bullet of redevelopment as an … Continue reading

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