Yesterday, as we were wielding a Maglite and, at one low point, muddling through at 33.6 kbps per minute, we learned of the death of visionary architect Lebbeus Woods. He died Tuesday morning at the age of 72. Word came via a tweet from Michael Kimmelman of The New York Times. “Woods had been fading for some months, sadly, but he kept teaching to the end,” added Kimmelman in a follow-up message. “Died in his loft in his sleep.” Steven Holl confirmed the report late yesterday.
Born in Lansing, Michigan, Woods worked with Kevin Roche at Eero Saarinen and Associates before turning to independent, conceptual work that took the form of drawings, models, and installations. Earlier this year, Woods announced that he would no longer be blogging on a regular basis. In a final mid-August post entitled “GOODBYE [sort of],” he mentioned a new book project that was then “soak[ing] up” his time and energy. “It is not a compendium or collection of earlier work, but rather a new piece of work in itself, having to do with how World War Two shaped the architecture of the later 20th century,” wrote Woods. “The ideas are fresh and the writing brand-new. Oh, and it’s not a picture book. I’ve never done anything like it.”