Monticello is home renovation run amok. Thomas Jefferson was as passionate about building his house as he was about founding the United States; he designed Monticello to the fraction of an inch and never stopped changing it. Yet Monticello was also a plantation worked by slaves, some of them Jefferson’s own children. Today his white and black descendants still battle over who can be buried at Monticello. It was trashed by college students, saved by a Jewish family, and celebrated by FDR. — Studio 360
Star architects such as Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, and Daniel Leibiskind have created sensations with singular, unconventional designs that look (and sometimes are) unbuildable. John Silber thinks that’s a problem. He’d like to see our buildings showing less individualism, more standards. Silber is the former president of Boston University and the author of Architecture of the Absurd: How “Genius” Disfigured a Practical Art. — studio360.org
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