Peter Eisenman:Trends in Architecture

The A+A interview with Peter Eisenman, whose “Palladio Virtuel” exhibit opens on Aug. 20 at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery, continues today:

Which architects do your students care about today?

Hadid stands out as someone who conquered the male world – as an Iraqi woman in London.  There are inhibitions about women being leaders.  She’s a very important architect – one of the two most influential architects in the world.  Koolhaas is the other.  Her work is quite exciting, especially as a woman in architecture.

If this were 1980, the role models would be Michael Graves, Leon Krier and all the postmodernists and the classicists.  Today, kids are plugged into the media, so dealing with Palladio is seen as retrograde.  He doesn’t make the news; he’s not satisfying someone’s hunger in the world.  They want Greg Lynn or the Japanese architects SANAA, which is led by a woman.  The media have an influence over how kids think and study and what they want to do.

I was in the MoMA deconstructivism show in 1988.  It killed postmodernism.  Gehry, Libeskind, myself and Zaha were in it.

People tend to fade out pretty quick.  Zaha is in vogue.

What is the typical reading of Palladio’s work?

First, in the 17th century Inigo Jones brought his work to England, which was a great success.  Then the Baroque came to England, and Palladio replaced it in the late 17th century.  Then there was Lord Burlington and Robert Adams and Vitruvius Brittanicus – ten books, a new Palladio.  Those are the books that Jefferson had.  Not from the first revival, but from the second revival.  The world has had a second and third Palladianism.

Jefferson was a cross between an English reading and a French reading.  He was a radical architect – a radical interpretation of Palladio.  Palladio would never have done windows not related to the floor as Jefferson did at Monticello.  It’s a radical reading of Palladio, not typical.

How does this exhibit differ from that typical reading?

What we’re trying to do in the exhibition is pick up on the American reading of Palladio, and to go back to the notion of the ideal villa.

Tomorrow: Deconstructing Palladio.

For more on the exhibition, go to

For more on Peter Eisenman, go to

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