Yes, that’s right! On the front page!! (Though below the fold.)
It was this review of a new housing project in the Bronx by Michael Kimmelman, the new Times architecture critic. The good news? It was on the front page and Kimmelman is at least reasonably adept at reviewing architecture. The bad news? He resorts to some seriously unnecessary ‘starchitect’ bashing — “The profession, or in any case much talk about it, has been fixated for too long on brand-name luxury objects and buildings as sculptures instead of attending to the richer, broader, more urgent vein of public policy and community engagement, in which aesthetics play a part,” he writes.
That sort of self-righteous talk certainly makes people feel good about themselves for ‘addressing social issues.’ But the truth is that things are not as simple as that. Though certain high-profile architects have gone too far in their separation from social issues, in general that is a non-issue. He should know better. Good old Nicolai sure did when he wrote this article a couple of years ago.
Well anyway, it was good to see architecture on the front page.