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Entries : Bruce Graham on Modernism
Bruce Graham on Modernism

Bruce Graham on Modernism

Graham, an architect, designed both the John Hancock Center (1970) and the Sears Tower (1974).

[Y]ou do modern architecture ... in search of a vocabulary for your country, your city and the architecture you're doing. ... Most people don't understand architecture. Architecture is the design of space, both interior and exterior. So it's much more closely related to dance than it is to painting or sculpture. Most New York buildings are sculpture. They don't have any sense of space. And it's the idea, of course, in modern architecture ... to express that space so the people understand it rather than imperial palaces and imperial avenues. To look for the character of Chicago, for example. This is what I would call a democratic formed city. The grid ... means all spaces are equal. That's not true in Paris. Not true in Berlin. It's not true in any of the imperial cities. [A]nd that search for creating as I call a dance is what tells you what's a good architect and what's a bad architect. They don't have the sense of movement of spacing. ... For example, I'll never forget when the taxi drivers loved the Hancock Building best. And I said that's exactly what I want. I want them to understand it; not the people in Wilmette.

Graham, Bruce. Interview with Timothy J. Gilfoyle, Loyola University, on the occasion of the 1999 Making History Awards, Chicago Historical Society.