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Where Is Mark Lamster When You Need Him?

Mark Lamster, the new architecture critic at the Dallas Morning News, doesn’t start his gig until next month. Shame. Because I’d like to know what he thinks of this nasty Los Angeles Times review of the Perot. As Eric Nicholson has pointed out on Unfair Park, most everyone has had nice things to say about the Thom Mayne-designed building. Then comes the LAT:

It is a thoroughly cynical piece of work, a building that uses a frenzy of architectural forms to endorse the idea that architecture, in the end, is mere decoration. Mayne’s design appears to put innovative architecture on a literal pedestal — or a plinth, to be exact — while actually allowing it to become peripheral, noticeably separate from the heart of the museum and its galleries.

The building’s apparent radicalism is tacked on, its braggadocio paper-thin. Like many of Mayne’s recent buildings, it is a work of architecture without the courage of its convictions — convictions that are shouted, naturally, at top volume.

From there, it doesn’t get better. Maybe Lamster can be convinced to throw us one for free, before he’s on the clock. Eh, buddy?

2 comments on “Where Is Mark Lamster When You Need Him?

  1. He made very brief observations via Twitter on March 19. “the idea that the perot is ‘a brilliant match for its site’ is beyond comprehension.” And: “2 blocks from the new deck park, to which it turns its back. artificially raised from the grid, behind giant parking lot….”

  2. The Perot is certainly a bizarre piece of work. But is it “mere decoration” and what is the proper role of decoration in architecture?
    The form the “decoration” takes is not unrelated to the museum’s function and purpose, which is in part to call attention to natural environment. Is the concrete “strata” less legitimate as decoration than, say, the kind of frieze of carved animals and plants that adorned the exterior of so many early 20th century museums? Is the rolling rooftop landscape less pleasing to the eye or less instructive than a tidy little courtyard of native plants?
    It’s certain;y an omygosh building, somewhat in the way Wright’s Guggenheim (which, by the way, is also “noticeably separate” from the art displayed inside). The Perot is no Guggenheim. But it’s not th Infomart, either.It’s likedy fate in time is to become a lovable eccentric, not beautiful but always full of surprises.