“The problem has never been too much starchitecture, but too little.”

Or so argues Toronto architecture critic Christopher Hume in the Toronto Star earlier this week. It's not an argument that's been heard much over the coming months. Says Hume:

"They say we should be careful what we wish for, and for good reason. In the case of all those nasty architecture critics gleefully cheering as the Great Recession brings the Age of Starchitecture to an end, that's doubly true."

For those arguing that fees are too high, Hume notes the reasoning must then follow that "If it's wrong to hire the best architects (too expensive, too spectacular), then it must be right to hire the mediocre (cheaper and less iconic). If it's bad to aspire to architecture with a capital A, then it must be good to settle for the strictly ordinary, the second-rate." In contrast, he argues, "In a city such as Toronto, where architectural excellence cannot be taken for granted, the presence of Frank Gehry, Will Alsop, Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava, Stephan Behnisch and, yes, even Daniel Libeskind, has raised the architectural stakes immeasurably."

What are your thoughts on the future of starchitecture? Will it survive the global recession? Should it survive?

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