Essay on Proper Classicism

Submitted By pumpkinescobar
Words: 433
Pages: 2

In reviewing the article “Proper Classicism”, the article’s lofty tone is well summarized in the second paragraphs opening statement “...the Howard Building at Downing College has been seen as a key monument in the current Classical Revival, which is being energetically promoted in certain quarters—especially as it has been designed by the self-appointed doyen of living Classical architects, Quinlan Terry. “Self-appointed” really seems to be the undeniable overture of the critique. As the writer drones on regarding academic architectural perspective, the reader is left rearing through a tidal wave of self-important ramblings regarding “etiolated Classicism... and Renaissance Greek inspiration. This article seems to embody the antiquated and elitist philosophies that often shroud academically embellished “peer” reviews. As every architectural detail of this college campus’s structure is analyzed, the review jumps from “Neo-Classical character ignored”, to Indictable Classicism, to a mention of the “Disappointing Interior”. Oddly enough, the interior is not “disappointing” because of its lack of innovation in use of efficient material, or design, according to the critic, it is disappointing “because of a lack of correlation with the exterior design and the essential crudeness of detail”. From the summary of this review, one is led to believe that the sole purpose of the development is to properly mimic a historic style and conform to a stylized concept. From a utilitarian perspective, this seems utterly ridiculous. Rambling on about the architects accuracy of a stylized perspective seems better suited for a lecture in art history than an architectural review. How are we to understand the ingenuity of the architecture or innovation of technical design, if all that is scrutinized is…