Renzo Piano, constrained

Architecture Here and There

New work by Renzo Piano in Paris. (Foundation Jerome Seydoux/Pathe) New work by Renzo Piano in Paris. (Foundation Jerome Seydoux/Pathe)

A friend sent me from HuffPost this image of a new “building” in Paris by starchitect Renzo Piano (what a name!), sure that it would raise my dander sky high. But while the structure certainly confirms the stupidity of modern architecture, as if any such confirmation were needed by now, it has gracefully penned itself in the center of the block, and cannot be seen much by passersby. It does not disrupt the street, and yet through the front portico you can get a hint of its monstrosity yearning to escape – maybe generating a sigh of relief or two, perhaps even some pity. I’d say that if all modernism were equally constrained, or equally modest in its aspiration to destroy beautiful city settings, then modernism would not have raised the worldwide uproar it has. (Huh? … Only kidding.)

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