Posted by Albert on July 22, 2010 · 4 Comments
Filed under Archi Polls
This poll reminds me of a comment I heard at a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ. My wife & I must have booked the tour on an off day because it was just the two of us. The tour guide essentially said that FLW’s architecture wasn’t necessarily the best or most innovative of his time (which is kind of odd to hear from a FLW tour guide!), but conceded that FLW was one of the best self-promoting architects in history. Perhaps the same can be said of modern starchitects.
Paradoxically, this marketing prowess was not matched with good business sense as FLW was in debt for much of his career.
Quite a parallel with Frank Lloyd Wright. Most of the modern Starchitects, with all due respect, obviously do not deserve such comparison…
This a hard question and not so easily answered. Most artists, and I think of architects as artists, are not terribly good at marketing. So anyone who gets to STARchitect status did not get there on his talents alone; he had to be good at business. Also, most of the work by the stars is so new that no one has been told how to look at it, making the rating process take time. And in the trial of making fresh work, you dont know what is going to work, so it’s not always going to be good. Some projects will be deemed great and some will loose value as the “new car smell” wears off. In Philly, our newest skyscraper is Stern’s Comcast Center, and I remember after it was first completed, not many could give a defiant answer on whether or not they liked it with its odd top. I think now though most like its form, at least I do. Conversely I shot a project by a star earlier this summer who really liked pillars. I think pillars are nice, but not when it takes up space in the middle of a living room.
I think stars do receive credit for business and taking the chance of producing fresh work. In terms of who is or is not a great architect, we have to let time answer that.
“The question of time” (nice track from Depeche Mode by the way) has been already raised in one of the earlier discussions on “Hideous Architecture” article.
Sorry, but I might repeat myself… Here’s a project from Starchitect: http://bit.ly/cAeoFN
Do you think that projects like this one will ever be as beautiful as Gaudi’s Sagrada?
Do you think Sagrada Familia needs more time to be appreciated?
Don’t you think that most of the modern starchitects’ jobs are much more PR and narcissism rather than professional unpretentious approach?
(I do respect business way of thinking and aggressive marketing strategies, but only if the final product is really perfect.)
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