Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Architecture critic Ouroussoff leaving New York Times to write book about architecture, aiming for "social and political context"

According to the Architect's Newspaper, citing an in-house New York Times memo, Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff will leave at the end of this month to write a book that, in the words of his boss, "aspires to put a century of architecture into the kind of social and political context he always aimed for within the more limited constraints of newspaper writing."

Culture editor Jonathan Landman's laudatory memo cites Ouroussoff's "unfailing intelligence and integrity" and his "discernment, courage and skill" in critiquing the new Times Tower, designed by Renzo Piano and built in partnership with Forest City Ratner.

Julie Iovine of the Architect's Newspaper is a bit less laudatory:
The sporadic critic was known more for chasing down exotic locations and predictably championing all things Californian than analyzing local conditions and his even-handed voice sometimes had us all missing the impassioned harangues of his predecessor, Herbert Muschamp, but at least he was there writing about architecture for the general public, one of the last of a rare and rarer breed.
My comment

I posted a comment, noting that both Ouroussoff and Muschamp, alas, did a terrible job writing about Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn. (In other words, he missed a lot of social and political context.)

Given that the project is being developed by a firm that partnered with the New York Times Company on the Times Tower, you’d think Times critics might be careful in covering the Brooklyn project exactingly. That was not to be.

Here are some of my critiques:
Rereading Muschamp
Rereading Ouroussoff
Ouroussoff's two cheers for arena redesign
Ourousoff forgets what he wrote about AY

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