Architecture Being Bold
posted by October 13 at 12:48 PMon
About the remodel of New York City’s MAD building, which was designed by Brad Cloepfil, a principal of the Portland firm that designed the Seattle Art Museum expansion, Allied Works…
…New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote a week or so ago:
This is not the bold architectural statement that might have justified the destruction of an important piece of New York history. Poorly detailed and lacking in confidence, the project is a victory only for people who favor the safe and inoffensive and have always been squeamish about the frictions that give this city its vitality.
Nothing makes me more nervous than the confident call for bold architecture. Such a call has one meaning beneath (or sustaining) all other apparent and not apparent meanings: that a “bold architectural statement” is by nature (or in essence) alone good. But “bold” does not mean “good”; also, a building does not have to be controversial to be good; and finally, a building is not good just because it generates lots of talk. (Some buildings we need to pass over in silence.) And “safe and inoffensive” buildings can be good buildings.
An example of a “bold” building (or, better yet, an example of the commodification of the “bold architectural statement”) :
Much has been the talk about this building.