Is modern architecture too tiresome?
Recently, heralded film critic Roger Ebert wrote an editorial for the Chicago Sun-Times titled, “The image of a man you do not see” in which he discusses modern architecture. The article has drawn the ire of many in the architecture field due to its incendiary tone. In it, Ebert argues that modern architecture “has grown tiresome”.
| It was not always so. My first girlfriend when I moved to Chicago was Tal Gilat, an architect from Israel. She was an admirer of Mies. Together we explored his campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. She showed me his four adjacent apartment buildings on Lake Shore Drive and said they looked as new today as when they were built. It is now 40 years later, and they still look that new.
Then I was impressed. Now, I think of it as the problem. They will never grow old. They will never speak of history. No naive eye will look at them and think they represent the past. They seem helplessly captive of the present...
He goes on later to admit his own infancy in the field:
|In architecture I am a reactionary. This isn't ideological with me; it's visceral. When I look at a building and conclude it's "beautiful," I'm not looking at the work of the children of Mies. Having spent a lifetime wandering when I could in London, Paris, Stockholm, Cape Town, Kyoto, my feet linger on the old streets but avoid the new. Venice will never be eaten by modern architecture; although the most threatened of cities, it is also the safest.|
Regardless of his caveats, Ebert has still drawn a lot of criticism for his statements. What are your thoughts? What do you think is the state of current hospital architecture?