What Does It Take for an Architect to Disown a Project?

Given the inordinate amount of time and energy that architects pour into their work, they typically take great pride in the finished product. When it comes to professional commitment and devotion to the architectural cause, the phrase “labor of love” couldn’t be more fitting — for the most part. However, every so often, an architect ends up in the less-than-ideal position of having no recourse but to turn his or her back on a project, invariably bringing more attention to the situation. A particularly spiky instance of dissent occurred earlier two years ago in Paris, when French architect Jean Nouvel spoke publicly of his dissatisfaction with the bureaucracy hampering the construction of the city’s new Philharmonie concert hall. The Philharmonie, Paris. Via The Guardian The designer of the landmark complex filed a court order to have his name and image completely disassociated from the project, complaining that the building remains unfinished and “non-compliant” with his original design. In an editorial in Le Monde, Nouvel broadly decried the behavior of both the French Minister of Culture and the Philharmonie Director, which had led him to boycott the concert hall’s opening performance: "The contempt shown over the past ...
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