Message - Re: 300 Windows on the World

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Posted by  Paul Malo on September 16, 2002 at 06:02:48:

In Reply to:  Re: 300 Windows on the World posted by d on September 15, 2002 at 19:34:45:

Ed Stone is an interesting case. He was an orthodox modernist (the original MOMA) who in later years really presaged postmodernism. The Hartford seemed regressive (especially as sequel to the MOMA) to those who still carried the Modern banner--as did Stone's much publicized embassies and world's fair pavilions clad in decorative lace. Stone in his old age gravitated to symmetry and delicacy--hardly in step with the Brutalist inclinations of the time.

The similarity that I see with Yamasaki (as distinct from Mies--an architect of different calibre) was the way both Yamasaki and Stone apparently saw the external form of the building as an independent, discrete issue that might be addressed as costuming--a tasteful decision about what sort of cladding to apply. Yama's small-scaled elevations of the WTC towers recalled Stones filagree fašades. Both were were homogenous, little-articulated sheets, wrapped around a form without revealing any internal reality.

Of course the external skin of the WTC was not mere costume. It was in truth structural, in a way that Stone's fašades were not. In this important sense the WTC was still more "honest" in its modernist intent than the Stone works that we decried for their fatuous decorative quality.

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