Tragic Architecture: A History of the World Trade Center and the Unluckiest Architect You’ve Never Heard Of
This Week from the Radio Open Source Podcast
Open Source is the world’s longest-running podcast. Christopher Lydon circles the big ideas in culture, the arts and politics with the smartest people in the world. It’s the kind of curious, critical, high-energy conversation we’re all missing nowadays.
The architect Minoru Yamasaki’s life included intense productivity along with tragedy, and the tragedy and productivity merged in the buildings for which he’s best known: the World Trade Center and St. Louis’s Pruitt-Igoe housing projects, both of which were destroyed (Pruitt-Igoe was demolished in 1972).
Sandfuture, the new book from the writer and artist Justin Beal, tells the story of Yamasaki as part of a reflection on art, architecture, and money in the United States.
From the episode:
Justin Beal: One of the many tragic traits of his story is that the two buildings for which he’s the best known, the Pruitt-Igoe apartments and the World Trade Center, are really outliers in terms of his larger style. They’re not characteristic of what he was trying to do in the rest of his practice, which was really to humanize modernism. I think he was really very much a modernist, if for no other reason than he had that idealistic belief that architecture could make the world a better place, which probably is the single most modernist trait that anyone could possess.
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