Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

T-Square in Red Square: Architects without Borders

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

T-Square in Red Square: Architects without Borders

Article excerpt

"The world's autocrats have developed a taste for modern architecture," Time architecture critic Richard Lacayo writes in Foreign Policy (May-June 2008). Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas have designed buildings in the United Arab Emirates; Koolhaas has worked in China, too. Norman Foster designed Beijing Capital International Airport as well as Moscow's "Crystal Island" which will be the biggest building in the world when it opens in 2014.

Lacayo acknowledges that autocrats keep the cranes running on time: "The new Terminal 5 of Londons Heathrow Airport, designed by the firm of architect Richard Rogers, was subjected to a public inquiry in Britain that lasted nearly four years. That's about the same time it took for Foster's new airport terminal in Beijing to go from conception to completion. There was a feng shui consultant who needed to be satisfied, but no messy court challenges."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

But, as the autocrats of the 1930s showed, efficiency isn't everything. …

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