Michael Graves died yesterday according to his Princeton NJ office.
Graves embraced post modernism and gave the style one of its most well known icons which also helped accelerate the downfall of this most recent attempt of defining another style for architecture. Since then, no cohesive architectural style has emerged.
“For those of us who had the opportunity to work closely with Michael, we knew him as an extraordinary designer, teacher, mentor and friend,” his firm said in a statement. “For the countless students that he taught for more than 40 years, Michael was an inspiring professor who encouraged everyone to find their unique design voice.”
He actually also has a connection to Baltimore that goes back to 2000 when Graves tried to build a project in Baltimore, the Ritz Carlton. The SUN described the design review as follows:
The single-tower plan presented to the DAP has a proposed height of roughly 270 feet. The restrictions limit development to 71 feet, so as not to block views from historic Federal Hill, which rises 82 feet.
But the protest of residents over the tall building continued and Graves was taken off the project and replaced with a local architect who designed what we see along Key Highway today.
Sun architectural critic described the demise of Graves as the architect and Baltimore's loss thus:
Klaus Philipsen, FAIA
|The Portland Municipal Building, an early PoMo landmark|
Michael Graves, Postmodernist Architect Who Designed Towers and Teakettles, Dies at 80
(for full article see link. These are snippets only):
Mr. Graves became a household name not for his buildings but for designing more than 2,000 everyday consumer products for companies like Target, Alessi, Steuben and Disney.
When he was awarded the American Institute of Architects’ gold medal in 2000, the institute’s Eugene C. Hopkins said Mr. Graves had “brought quality designed products within reach of everyone in the country.” (He also received the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton the previous year.)
This utilitarian direction arguably lost Mr. Graves some ground in his profession. “He chose to go populist and commercial,” the architect Peter Eisenman, a good friend of Mr. Graves, said in a telephone interview. “I think you pay a price for those kinds of things.”
Mr. Graves persevered nonetheless, with unabashed pride. Asked by The Times in 2011 whether he worried about injuring his reputation, he said: “Just the opposite. It was my hope to do that.”
After he began using a wheelchair, Mr. Graves became internationally recognized as an advocate of health care design. In a 2011 interview, he explained why he tended to use color in designing hospital rooms.
“It’s not there to get you well,” he said, “but make you smile and make you think life is not as bad as that operation you had.”
Mr. Eisenman said he and Mr. Meier had both seen Mr. Graves recently, at a luncheon at the American Academy of Arts, and noted that the declining numbers of the New York Five (Mr. Hejduk died in 2000, Mr. Gwathmey in 2009) had made him think about his own mortality.
“We had a lot of good times,” Mr. Eisenman said. “As I said to Richard Meier, ‘And then there were two.’ ”
|Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times|