Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thom Mayne's alleged gentler side
Don't let the New York Times headline fool you ("A Defiant Architect's Gentler Side"), Thom Mayne of Morphosis in California is still combative. This article begins with a description of Mann's lovely design for Phare Tower in Paris, calling it "an elegant silhouette draped in a diaphanous skin." And then we're off to stories of Mann cooperating with federal clients in designs for the U.S. General Services Administration (courthouses, etc.). But by the end of this piece, the outspoken Mann reemerges: "I fought violently for the autonomy of architecture. It's a very passive, weak profession where people deliver a service. You want a blue door, you get a blue door. You want it to look neo-Spanish, you get neo-Spanish."

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