Design: Brilliant Or Cursed By Apollo?

Architect James Stirling's new buildings ignite controversies

Harvard University buildings are designed by some of the most renowned and idiosyncratic individuals of our time. That is their trouble. An assembly of soloists has produced what British Architect James Stirling calls "an architectural zoo." Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts bullies its neighbors with masses of streaked concrete. The nearby Gund Hall by Australian John Andrews is a glass ziggurat housing the Graduate School of Design. It, in turn, clashes with Memorial Hall, a colorful Victorian Gothic fantasy across the street.

Now Stirling is adding what a Cambridge, Mass., guidebook calls "another strange beast" to this menagerie....

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