Tag Archives: Style Wars

Bring diversity to fed design

A provocative debate has broken out over a draft proposal to return classical design to the heart of federal architecture, especially in our nation’s capital. The title of the draft executive order, “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again,” leads with its … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Comments on the style wars

My last post “Modern architecture as spin” drew a reply from architect Daniel Morales that, paired with my reply, deserves to be front and center on this blog, rather than stuck in the comment section. Dan and I have gone … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The apology to Sir Roger

The New Statesman magazine, a British rag, has apologized at last for using monkeyed quotes from an interview in April to defame Sir Roger Scruton, who lost an important government post as a result. Who knows whether Scruton would like … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Flèche of Viollet-le-Duc

The lost spire of Notre-Dame must be rebuilt, but how? An international design competition has been announced to decide how to rebuild it, whether as it was or as “adapted to techniques and challenges of our times.” These last are … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Preservation | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

M. Laugier’s pilasterphobia

An Essay on Architecture was published anonymously in 1753 by the Abbé Marc-Antoine Laugier, who soon after quit the Jesuitical order, enabling his name to appear on the next edition. It’s the most amazing book. In Chapter 1, “General Principles … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Trad and not so trad, cont.

Classicism over thousands of years has developed an architectural language that modernism has not even sought to construct. A language would suggest a reliance on precedent. Among those who have criticized my admiration for Stan Weiss’s interior decor, Eric Daum … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Aware now of its dullness”

Early in Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Duvalier’s novel set in 17th century Holland, is a passage that launched several thoughts about architecture and design. The teenage girl has just become a maid in the household of the successful … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Among ye olde Victorians

Victorian architecture, seen as the architecture of the long reign of Queen Victoria, shows the absurdity of those who claim that Victorian styles fell out of favor during the 1950s and ’60s, as many observers attest, modernist and otherwise. My … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Architecture History | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The cat and the bunny

I shot this brief video earlier today in a state of astonishment. I had just returned home and saw our cat, Gato, sitting out on our front stoop with a strange bunny. They sat as I approached. I hoped to … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Humor, Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Architecture into politics

In his Dezeen essay “To confront populism, all architects should become classicists,” Phineas Harper suggests that the architectural profession should compromise its aesthetics and embrace classicism in order to build social housing that is often blocked by NIMBY forces when … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Urbanism and planning, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments