Friday, January 11, 2013

Death of an Architecture Critic

"It is a world of corridors by Kafka and rampant mediocrity."

Need conversational fodder for cocktail parties this weekend? Consider the contributions of Ada Louise Huxtable. The architecture critic died at 91 on Monday, ending an era of caustic criticism that seemed to find special joy in lacerating the Nation's Capital (this editor's hometown). For example:
On the Kennedy Center: "Albert Speer would have approved.... What it has in size, it lacks in distinction.... The building is a national tragedy. It is a cross between a concrete candy box and a marble sarcophagus in which the art of architecture lies buried."
Kennedy Center, via Flickr user Kyle Rush
On federal buildings: "If you think of a Federal office building as a place where architecture and offices have been raised, or lowered, to an environment of consummate ennui, you are right. It is a world of corridors by Kafka and rampant mediocrity."
Probably a good thing Huxtable didn't deign to publicly criticize residential remodeling. Or remuddling, as she might have called it.

Here's her New York Times obituary.

Also in today's d5R Update:

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