Why does Stirling loom so large in modern architecture Showing others the consequences of their logic
|Published in:||arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, December 2010, n. 4, v. 14|
If we ask ourselves the question, ‘why does Jim Stirling loom so large in the landscape of British and continental architecture?’, the answer does not come easily. We will begin by saying that Leicester alone – its clarity, its curious fragility, its wit and inventiveness – earned him a singular place in modern architectural history. It seemed to have arrived just at the moment when modern architecture had reached its expiry date. Next we will probably remember the straightforward intelligence of his essays on Le Corbusier's post-war work. But we will just as quickly disown one or another of the later buildings: the Tate, the Fogg, or most often, the elephantine competition entry for the Bibliothèque Nationale. We will ignore the fine restraint of the architecture building at Rice University and instead bemoan the cartoonish (but astonishing) facades of the Berlin Wissenschaftszentrum. We will uneasily ponder his lifelong love of quotation and self-quotation, recognising the wit but wondering about the line where quotation becomes laziness or theft.
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