The Museum of Modern Art’s announcement on January 8 that it will indeed tear down Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building of 1997–2001 felt like hearing that a relative or close friend had finally succumbed to an incurable disease. Even though the outcome had been expected, it was a shock nonetheless.
That news seemed all the more terrible coming three weeks after the opening only few miles away of Williams and Tsien’s latest work, their Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside, in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, a public ice skating rink that won immediate raves as an exemplar of contemporary civic architecture. The new facility offers further proof that its creators—who, like their most salient precursor, Louis Kahn, have eschewed commercial work in favor of cultural and educational commissions—are among the most thoughtful exponents of the building art today. Martin Filler, nybooks.
Nella foto: Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's American Folk Art Museum.