The GSA Dislikes Modernism Too

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Really interesting, behind the scenes story from Roger K. Lewis over at the Washington Post this weekend. He talks about a conference he attended this summer with the US government’s General Services Administration to have ” a national conversation on federal courthouse design.” Apparently, although there wasn’t much heated debate, many of the architects invited to the conference were a little taken aback by the anti-modernism stance. Here’s some:

But to the surprise of many modernist architects in the audience, there seemed to be a hidden agenda. A couple of architects on the program unexpectedly suggested that abstractly composed federal courthouses built by the GSA in recent years lack gravitas, order and authority. The speakers stated that such design attributes can be achieved only through classicism, the style of hundreds of traditional American courthouses.

And here I was thinking that the battle of the styles pitting “trads” against “rads” was long over.