Maybe it’s just because we’re dense around here, or because we get up super early in the morning so you can have your design-y news piping hot and fresh, but we didn’t make the connection, in our numerous stories about him over the years, between Yale‘s resident starchitect, Robert A.M. Stern, and Harvard until we read the Boston Globe‘s piece “Solving An Identity Crisis” about Stern’s plans to build a new building for the Harvard Law School. As far as we know, this writer having attended a state school for the dimwitted, aren’t Harvard and Yale big rivals? Just seems weird to us that this is the third massive project on Harvard’s campus built by the Dean of Yale’s architecture school. What’s next? The Whiffenpoofs writing new songs for the Krokodiloes to perform? It boggles the mind. Anyway, back on track, here’s a bit from the article about Stern’s thoughts on the project:
Stern in the past has offered a standard rap on Harvard. He says Harvard began with the buildings of the Yard, 18th-century structures in the Georgian or Colonial style (those are synonymous terms), handsome but simple, usually red brick, often with white or pale trim, sometimes with a cupola. He says that’s Harvard’s brand image. He argues Harvard wisely continued the Georgian brand in the river dorms – the so-called “houses” – and in the original Business School of the 1920s, but then foolishly departed from it in the modernist buildings, often made of concrete, of more recent decades.
In the two large projects he’s done for the Harvard Business School, the Spangler Center and Baker Library, both neo-Georgian, Stern considers that he’s restored Harvard’s proper and memorable brand.