Cynthia Davidson

SEVEN YEARS AGO, WHEN YOSHIO TANIGUCHI was named winner of the MoMA architectural design competition, the museum rejected the more dynamic and experimental forms proposed by Herzog & de Meuron and Bernard Tschumi (having rejected Rem Koolhaas’s daring proposal at an earlier stage). In choosing Taniguchi, MoMA not only appeared to take sides in the current debate on architectural form, it also seemed to turn its back on the very ideology of the modern that was its founding core. The popular and critical success of recent museum projects by Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Daniel Libeskind can arguably be traced back to MoMA’s 1988 “Deconstructivist Architecture” exhibition, which shut the door on the historical pastiche of postmodernism and opened the way to irregular, if not expressionist, forms. Taniguchi rejects architectural expressionism, but only to offer a seamless continuity with MoMA’s

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