Dude, Eisenman's design has always only been self-serving ( I mean not even serving his client, but just serving his own idea at that very moment in time) and worse still he doesn't even have good ideas....If he was any nicer he would be completely obscure
I don't think I would join Scott Cohen in with the post-critical crowd. The drawings at his exhibition of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art at Gund Hall would sit more than comfortably next to Eisenman's drawings of Wexner, DAAP, or the House series.
I can understand how one might reach that conclusion after reading Sylvia Lavin's review of the museum, but she can do that to committed-Critical Diller + Scofidio, too.
Finally, I like where you've gone with the 'Ugly' here, but I don't think this building offers the best example. Nothing about Wexner is viscerally repellant, abhorrent or disgusting. Everything is too clean, too precise, too clinical, too withdrawn, too intentional to be grotesque. The 'Uncanny' might be a more accurate descriptor and be more in line with Eisenman's own position (see, for example, his comments on Moneo's Town Hall in Logroño in discussion with Christopher Alexander)
Well noted, Arnaud. As one who respects and likes Eisenman's work allow me to say however, in my thorough preparedness to engage in such polemicism, that Maymind (if that really is his name and not a clever aptronym) is not ready for a cage match with Eisenman.
Looking back at the destruction of the armory, it looks as a mistake if one is to consider the value of that architecture per se. Seems clear that although the armory was a recreation of historic architecture taken away from context and function (as medieval defensive architecture), Eisenman's architecture doesn't seem to be a better building than the former (in terms of architectural style and historical coherence at least). It probably holds more space and technology for educational purposes, but the references to the absent (the towers), seem more like a purposed act of culp than a meaningful object in the context of the whole new architecture. Probably the ugliness derives from this problematic relationship to the negative and the disjunction which allegedlly were values during the post-modern and de-constructive era of architecture. If one is to see through the new value of architecture (as stated, for instance, by Patrik Schumacher in "Form follows Performance"), the obsoletness of this architecture seems even greater. If we consider this movement (from theoretical concerns to productivity in terms of ecology and sustainability) there is a matter of study for History and the evolution of Architecture.
the only problem I have ever had with the design of the Wexner, besides the non-accessible entrance issue at the Southeast doors, was his having to "glue" the fake fragments of the Armory on it to sell it to the farmers. Aside from that aspect I have always enjoyed the complex. It was a shame that the skylights failed so soon in the life cycle and had to be repaired. I wish I had a Wexner center across the street from me now in San Francisco. If OH wants to ship it out this way that is OK with me...except for the cost part. ( I still haven't read your text, but nice pictures (again).
An "act of culp" is a nice sounding phrase. I think I'll use it, too...
"It probably holds more space and technology for educational purposes" is a good working definition of 'better' when it comes to architecture. As for the "culpiness" of the towers, I'm with DC in his 5/28 post.