Andrew Todd, the rising-star protege of already-risen Jean Nouvel, isn’t trying to win any friends. Such is what we infer from this interview wherein he calls out both Frank Gehry and Daniel Libeskind, saying they “don’t add anything to a city” and referring to them as “airport architects,” in that they fly in, shake some hands, do a quick trademarked job, and then get out as fast at they can. It’s refreshingly honest and sort of like hearing from a non-crazy version of Philippe Starck. He’s angry about architecture across the world, finding it a little too cookie-cutter for comfort and stopping just short of “the arrogant model of Dubai.” Personally, we hope to continue to hear more from Todd, assuming he hasn’t burnt too many bridges in the coming months. Here’s a bit:
Today, you can find today any item of clothing you want in the neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, but try finding something to eat: it’s impossible. Europe’s urban context is now becoming just an excuse, a tourist trap for those who are presented with an unreal, synthetic city. It’s the story of the container gobbling up the contents. If the kings of Europe are more naked than ever, the same can be said for their kingdoms. It’s decidedly a logic based on property: we look more and more for retinal architecture, one which has great visual impact on the eye, whilst there is primarily a great need to give room to live.