Trump’s Office Calls Modern Buildings ‘Ugly,’ Not For New Federal Architecture
By Mikelle Leow, 10 Feb 2020
The San Francisco Federal Building. Image via Shutterstock
Trump’s administration isn’t a fan of Brutalist and contemporary architecture, a draft executive order reveals.
The now-controversial document, obtained by Architectural Record, is titled Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again and calls for federal construction projects to honor classical architecture as “the preferred and default style.”
Meanwhile, Brutalist and modern architecture, especially those in Washington, DC, apparently “fail to satisfy these requirements and shall not be used” in upcoming constructions.
The General Services Administration has been asked to prioritize “the feasibility of redesign in a preferred architectural style” for forthcoming architectural projects.
The draft, which can be read in full here, claims that members of the public have denounced Brutalist institutions like the Hubert H. Humphrey Department of Health and Human Services Building, the Robert C. Weaver Department of Housing and Urban Development Building, and the Frances Perkins Department of Labor Building as “undistinguished,” “uninspiring,” and “just plain ugly.”
The board additionally mentions that such “aesthetic failures, including ugliness,” neglect to reflect the “stability of the American Government.”
It also describes “deconstructivist” buildings as establishments that stray from “traditional values of architecture” and create “the appearance of instability.”
Alongside these buildings, the document criticizes contemporary federal structures like the San Francisco Federal Building, Austin US Courthouse, and Miami’s Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Courthouse.
In place of these aesthetics, the administration recommends designs derived from “Classical Greek and Roman architecture” adopted by “Renaissance architects as Michelangelo and Palladio; such Enlightenment masters as Christoper Wren and Robert Adam; such 19th-century architects as Charles F. McKim, Robert Mills, and Richard Morris Hunt; and such 20th-century practitioners as John Russell Pope and the firm of Delano and Aldrich.”
Scroll down to see which buildings made it to the “plain ugly” and “uninspiring” list.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Darren Bradley (@modarchitecture) on
View this post on Instagram
Sustainable architecture of San Francisco designed by Thom Mayne from @morphosisarchitects _ #sanfrancisco #morphosis #morphosisarchitects #thommayne #federalbuilding #sf #greenarchitecture #sustainablearchitecture #modernarchitecture #archdaily #architecture #telesniuk #urban #modernstructure #archilovers #future #sf #deconstructivism #leed #visitcalifornia
A post shared by telesniuk (@telesniuk) on
[via Fast Company, images via various sources]
More related news