March 14 2007 will go down in history as the day everyone decided they love LA-based Thom Mayne. First, Nicolai Ourousssssoffffff writes a valentine to his favorite living architect. Well, he plays it coy and doesn't come right out and say Mayne is his favorite living architect but we assume he is after last week's love note and today's big, wet sloppy kiss. Behold, upon describing Mayne's newly finished San Francisco Federal Building, Ouroussoff can barely contain his adoration:
The sense of airiness is magical. Protected by the perforated steel screen, the windows can be operated from inside, and when they are open, a cool breeze drifts through the space. Beautiful undulating concrete ceilings help channel the air from north to south, sensitizing us to the natural world waiting outside. (Unfortunately, some of this effect has been lost by the erection of a crude system of partitions and office cubicles.) Aside from the compositional inspiration, what the architect is clearly seeking to retrieve from Modernist forebears like Le Corbusier is an unflinching optimism. In a world where commercialism regularly trumps public service, Mr. Mayne seems to be telling us that the values of Old-World Modernism may not be so bad. Rather than obliterate this architectural past, he aims to imbue it with the human element that Modernism forgot, the quirks and odd delights that can root a building in personal and emotional territory.Oh, those annoying office cubicles, filled with people actually meant to spend 8-10 working hours a day in Mayne's unfettered optimism! Damn them! Not to be outdone, Forbes just released its Tastemakers issues, including Tastemakers in Architecture. And guess who's reprazentin' the left coast, yo? That's right, none other than our Mayne man. If Villaraigosa doesn't declare today an official Thom Mayne holiday, we at Curbed will. There is clearly only one way to honor the man who designed the Death Star. Blow up Naboo.
· Thom Mayne As The Voice Of Reason [Previously on Curbed LA]
· Tastemakers: Architecture [Forbes.com]
· More Openness in Government (Offices, That Is) [NYTimes]