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  • Krier takes on Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial

    Leon Krier takes the opportunities provided by Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial project to produce a scathingly succint criticism of Modernism.

    Eisenhower Memorial, Washington, D.C.

    By Leon Krier
    Tuesday, February 14, 2012 1:30 pm

    "Looking at his work and reading his justifications I conclude that Mr. Gehry is a great but greatly confused artist, who was appointed by a commission who shares his intellectual confusion and distaste of a classical Washington, D.C.

    They form a powerful fraternity, believing in the exclusive legitimacy of Modernism, a theory that has been brain-dead for half a century but keeps dominating positions in academia and its dependent culture industry."

    "Mr. Gehry is well-known for buildings whose forms suggest not the “frozen music” of Classicism, but frozen melt-down and explosion, paralyzed tremor and arrested collapse. Indeed the remnants of the World Trade Center were eerily reminiscent of Gehry’s style. "

    "Why should the Eisenhower memorial be over twice the size of WWII Memorial? Why should it be so vast as to comfortably house two Lincoln Memorials, two Washington Monuments, and two Jefferson Memorials all six at once? The fact that these three memorials can be fitted on site, leaving an ample piazza between them, demonstrates that, to put it mildly, the organizers are unconscious of the sheer size of the undertaking they are embarked on. "
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Alternative competition winners:
    First prize
    Second prize
    Third prize -a
    Third prize -b mentioned by Krier

    I like the concept of the Third prize -a by Rob Fermin and Bruce Wolfe. The results of this competition talk by themselves, as the product of the return to a Classical style mostly fail when they need to be shaped into real projects. On the other hand, Modernist projects tend to fail in urban terms, such as in the case of Gehry's project.
    Last edited by franjayo; 30-03-2012, 11:19.


    • #3
      Very conservative all of them. The man deserves more than a conservative memorial even as he may well be accused contemporaneously of such a position. His role in saving the world from totalitarianism is fraught with the political contradictions of that mid century era but it is undoubted and worthy of humanities gratitude. An overtly conservative memorial is a nod to those contradictions and not to the man himself. Being a subject beyond ones own time and being memorialised by those objectively in a position to know better, is no excuse for those objectifying in hindsight. He organised the Western Front and thus the defeat of Nazism. His other failings may not be glossed over but a conservative backward looking memorial does not acknowledge anything beyond his august stature in his own age. A real memorial from us would give thanks from this generation to his, because without him we may not have had anything to thank anyone for.
      Last edited by simon seasons; 30-03-2012, 14:43.


      • #4
        'Modernism, a theory that has been brain-dead for half a century'....
        OK, the Classicist proposals may be better than Gehry's, hard to judge from the presentations, but realy!
        To say (at least the way I hear Krier say it) that architecture should have been frozen in time with the Beaux Arts is gooofy.
        I mean, Maya Ying Lin's Vietnam Memorial is so much better than a McKim Mead and White Post Office...(.Actually the Post Office at Madison Square Garden is preety good!)


        • #5
          Farley Post Office, Manhattan


          Attached Files