Review of “From Bauhaus to Our House”

Paul Goldberger, New York Times, October 11, 1981.

There is almost no one who is not bewildered by the events of the last two decades in architecture. Sleek modern buildings go up, covering more and more of the landscape with glass and aluminum and steel and concrete, as ornate buildings of stone go down to make way for them. And while some of the new buildings excite the public imagination, as a group they are not nearly so popular as the old ones. This public disaffection may be due to the great size of the new buildings as much as to anything else. But they continue to rise, lately taking stranger and stranger shapes.

Architects themselves – at least the advance guard among them, who talk and theorize as much as they build – seem to like to denounce the whole business, and promise to rescue us from the grip of modern architecture. Meanwhile, instead of any real and total change, we get a wild skyline in which one building looks like a Chippendale highboy, another like a glass box sliced off at random angles and still another like a granite ski slope. And out where the trees grow, we get one house that looks like a Mondrian in glass and wood, another that looks like an exploded version of a classical temple, and yet another that seems very much intended to make us think that it has been there since our grandmother’s day.

New York Times