Sunday, November 22, 2009
From Bauhaus to Our House
87. From Bauhaus to Our House, by Tom Wolfe
Nearly thirty years ago, Tom Wolfe put the architectural world in a tizzy when he published this essay attacking modern architecture.
Now, I'm not a big fan of glass & steel & concrete office buildings, but Wolfe is absolutely virulent on the subject. And therein lies the rub. He detests Bauhaus-inspired work so much that he has no perspective. He is guilty of the same pretentiousness and arrogance of which he accuses the architects whom he dislikes.
There is a great deal to be said against architects who prefer form over function, theory over practice. But any legitimate criticism is lost in this diatribe. Saying over and over again "it's ugly and I don't like the architects' politics" is not particularly persuasive.