Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

No joke

  • Comment
astragal at the urban summit

New urbanism was not something close to the heart of that doyen of American, and in some senses world, architecture Philip Johnson, who died last week aged 98. For him architecture was object building, particularly if the object had been designed by himself. Though showered with honours in the US, his attempts to work in Britain were a failure.

As Deyan Sudjic recalled in The Observer, his only major London proposal involved a recreation of the Palace of Westminster on the Thames east of London Bridge. Louis Hellman famously demolished this idea with an AJ cartoon showing Johnson excreting his silly design on to the site. MPs were not amused either.

Johnson was a combination of Don Corleone and Noel Coward, to whom the tasteless witticism came easily. Asked about 9/11 three days after the event, he commented: 'Wasn't that great television?'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs