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BU President John Silber Thinks Architecture Has Gotten Absurd


Currently making the rounds on a few sites here and there on this slow post-holiday Friday, is talk of Boston University President John Silber‘s new book, Architecture of the Absurd, wherein he joins in the showy architecture bashing by saying we’ve gone too far in the direction of putting flashy design above function. And while he doesn’t want to turn everything into Soviet blocks of apartment buildings, he thinks we’ve lost our way a bit and need to get back on track before everything becomes beautifully unusable. Here’s some from his own university’s paper:

“I used to say that there would never be an architecture of the absurd,” he said. “With architecture, no one was going to pay for something absurd…Over time I came to realize how wrong I was.

“The absurd occurs because there is a confusion between architecture and fine art, and architecture and sculpture,” he continued. “You don’t live in a sculpture.”

Tackling buildings closer to home, Silber discusses the dysfunctional nature of Mugar Memorial Library’s old entrance and its constant ventilation and temperature problems, as well as inaccessible windows in the School of Law building, which he said was poorly designed by Harvard University architect Josep Sert

Funny coincidence that the book’s cover features Gehry‘s troublesome Stata Center, no?

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