Learning from Irony


Among all living American architects, only two – Frank Gehry and Robert Venturi – now seem unquestionably assured of a permanent place in the history of their art form. Yet the question remains: What will they be remembered for? Gehry’s idiosyncratic handling of eccentric sculptural form distinguishes him as one of the few architects to have devised a convincing alternative to the rectilinear rule that has prevailed in the Classical and Modernist building traditions alike. But Gehry is not a theorist or teacher, and despite a younger generation’s attempted emulation of his schemes, his highly personal approach offers little in the way of an adaptable vocabulary for less gifted architects to follow...

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