Architect: Crunch Will Topple 'Wow Factor' Buildings

Architect believes financial meltdown will cause building 'mood shift'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2008 9:09 AM CST
Architect: Crunch Will Topple 'Wow Factor' Buildings
General view of the newly constructed staircase of the 'Neues Museum' in Berlin prior to the topping-out ceremony last year.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Attention-seeking skyscraper projects are likely to be early victims of the financial crisis, architect David Chipperfield predicts in a Bloomberg interview. "Wow-factor" buildings like London's "Shard of Glass" have proliferated during years when there's been plenty of money around, but a shift in mood is likely to see new projects taking a turn for the sensible, the architect argues.

The competition to create iconic buildings has been "liberating for the profession," but it also "produces a lot of rubbish," said Chipperfield, whose own work, including the recent transformation of Berlin's bombed-out Neues Museum, is often more low-key. At the Neues he's attracted some controversy by keeping some WWII damage visible rather than re-creating the original.
(Read more architecture stories.)

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