Preamble: this essay about architecture isn’t just about architecture, neither is architecture just about architecture.
I generally don’t like saying “no” to reality but in this case I’ll break my own pattern and resist a trend. But before I get in the way of this pendulum swing, some context. The ouroboros snake of architecture, that’s been chasing form with function and function with form, is once again shedding its skin. In Cathleen McGuigan’s Newsweek article “Starchitecture: A Modest Proposal” we learn, from the mouth of Rob Rogers, a partner at Rogers Marvel in New York, that the profession of architecture is on an economic diet and “has to cut back, regrow, and reimagine what it is we’re all supposed to do.”
McQuigan explains that “the Bilbao Effect,” the trend of building “extravagant, eye-popping” trophy buildings, is over. The pendulum of architectural change appears to be swinging from form to function, from iconic, identity-building architecture towards more functional, more sustainable building. In sum, “In: clean and green. Out: all those pointless pointy tops.”