Those Libeskinds sure are funny caricatures, er, characters. Last month, just before it was revealed that the Freedom Tower would need yet another redesign, we listened to Daniel Libeskind with accustomed disbelief as he spoke at House Beautiful's Giants of Design dinner, where he was being honored along with Karim Rashid, Barbara Barry, and others. Referring to himself as wee?wife Nina was in the audienceehe went into his boilerplate shtick about life, liberty, the American Way and how everything at Ground Zero was going to be just peachy. Of course, we'd heard it all before, but had no idea just how well-rehearsed it was: One fellow attendee saw Nina mouthing Libeskind's words along with him. Wife, partner, or stage mom? You be the judgeeA few days earlier, one of our professional partygoers was stunned to see Richard Meier at the Arthur Ross Awards, hosted by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America. The awards were given to the likes of a Gothic Revival architect, the management of the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and a serif-face traditionalist stone carverrall under the University Club's coffered ceilings,, our colleague reports, whereas Meier never met an ornament he didn't want to bite off.. Has Meier discovered an appreciation for scrollwork and putti? He's friends with Mr. Ross, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's why he was there,, his rep told us.
VIIOLY'S CLASS STRUGGLES
Try to do some good and look what happens. Rafael Viioly has inspired some eye-rolling with his announcement that, this fall, his firm will offer a 14-week, tuition-free series of master classes,, as well as research fellowships of up to $60,000. All are billed as an effort to further the profession, and any architect, architecture student or instructor can apply by the July 1 deadline. However, the response from some quarters has been less than supportive. The ego of that guy!! huffed a prominent architect and academic, implying that it's all a vanity project. Some Viioly employees are also unhappy. We could quit our jobs and get a pay raise by doing the research fellowship,, one gripes. Why have a school when there are a hundred people already here who could benefit?? At deadline, Viioly's office reported receiving numerous inquiries, many from Latin America, though no applications had yet arrived. If things don't pick up, we'd suggest that he do like everyone else and just start his own magazine.
This is one of those instances in which we are truly too scared to name names. Which widely known architect, who also fancies herself an artist, is more of a dragon lady than we ever imagined? A source tells us that staff members have been forced to call up problematic contractors and, under her watchful eye, verbally assault them with words like assholee and shithead.. Uncomfortable with such tactics, we're told the involuntary minions have resorted to calling their home answering machines and pretending they're screaming at the intended targets until more civil contact can be made once Mommy Dearest has left the office.