2015 World’s Worst Architect Bracket

libeskind

2015 Prickster Prize Laureate: Daniel Libeskind



*The Championship Round Has Concluded!*



BRACKET5

Championship Roundup:
  • The opposing geometries of pointy vs. curvy faced off. With Daniel Libeskind‘s pointy crystal shards piercing Frank Gehry‘s curvaceous metal panels [Final Score: 84-55]


*The Championship Round Has Concluded!*



 
An esteemed panel of architectural experts analyzed the world’s worst architects, and have narrowed the field to 12 architects who perpetuate poor design.

While many architects continually produce work worthy of emulation, several “starchitects” have trivialized the profession by their recent architectural atrocities.

The selection committee chose 12 of the “worst” architects, to be awarded the 2015 Prickster Prize, using the following guidelines:
  • The architect must be currently living.
  • The architect has several high-profile buildings that might be a backdrop for a car commercial (Thereby ruling out all the actually bad architects that provide a modest living re-using the same details for IHop Franchises without investing any resources into improving the built environment).
  • The architect has a large portion of their projects that are environmentally irresponsible, economically unsustainable, degrading to the quality of life, or are aesthetically repugnant.

2015 Prickster Prize Nominations


calatrava_square

SANTIAGO
CALATRAVA


Committee Ranking:

1


Committee Comments:

Besides over-budget, and crumbling buildings; architecture is not a metaphor for eyeballs and birdwings.
 

gehry_square

FRANK
GEHRY


Committee Ranking:

1


Committee Comments:

His exterior forms do not create intriguing interior spaces. While his early work was transcendent, he now seems to produce redundant similar projects. See Architect Arithmetic.
 

safdie

MOSHE
SAFDIE


Committee Ranking:

1


Committee Comments:

Similar to Maya Lin, he has never transcended his initial seminal work. (Habitat ’67) And I’m fairly certain that was in 1867.
 

libeskind2

DANIEL
LIBESKIND


Committee Ranking:

1


Committee Comments:

Pointy Architecture is all fun and games, until someone loses an eye.
 

bjarke_square

BJARKE
INGELS


Committee Ranking:

2


Committee Comments:

Architecture’s current “It Boy” produces cool neon colored graphics, yet every building still resembles either a hill, or a skate park.
 

zaha_square

ZAHA
HADID


Committee Ranking:

2


Committee Comments:

Curvy spaces are enjoyable. Unfortunately, architecture built in relation to human proportions is also enjoyable.
 

meier

RICHARD
MEIER


Committee Ranking:

2


Committee Comments:

Richard Meier is the opposite of color blind. He only senses light which contains all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum. WHITE.
 

nouvel

JEAN
NOUVEL


Committee Ranking:

2


Committee Comments:

Just because he looks like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers he shouldn’t automatically qualify for this list. But he did.
 

davidmschwarz (1)

DAVID M.
SCHWARZ


Committee Ranking:

3


Committee Comments:

I just think it’s absurd the Driehaus Award (that honors the “contributions to traditional, classical architecture”) has prize money DOUBLE the prize money for the Pritzker. Therefore, the newest Driehaus Laureate makes this list.
 

robertstern

ROBERT A.M.
STERN


Committee Ranking:

3


Committee Comments:

Ho Hummmm…. Just got bored trying to find anything interesting he’s ever done. I like people with two middle initials, but he is also a previous Driehaus Award winner.
 

farrell

TERRY
FARRELL


Committee Ranking:

3


Committee Comments:

I must admit that his architecture has steadily improved since his horrible M16 building. Unfortunately, his eyebrows have steadily worsened.
 

davidchilds

SOM –
(DAVID CHILDS)


Committee Ranking:

3


Committee Comments:

SOM hasn’t been influential since 1940. David Childs has emerged as the current face of SOM; just like the new One World Trade Center has emerged as the newest face of marginal skyscraper design.
 


 

2015 Prickster Prize Selection Committee


brady_reg

BRADY
ERNST


Profession:

Baby
Architect


Architectural Qualifications:

Although not a licensed architect, yet, he does write a blog with the word architect in the domain name.
 

brady_chef

CHEF
BRADY


Profession:

Amateur Sandwich
Artisan


Architectural Qualifications:

Owns a Michael Graves Designs apple slicer; even though it takes up a lot of space, it works “OK”.
 

brady_photog

PHOTOGRAPHER
BRADY


Profession:

Amateur Pet
Photographer


Architectural Qualifications:

Has an unphotogenic cat, thus sometimes takes picture of buildings instead.
 

bambi

BAMBI
DANGER


Profession:

Intermittent
Napper


Architectural Qualifications:

None

5 Comments

  1. Ictinus

    Meier and Calatrava’s buildings are at least structurally logical and systematic. The self-indulgent work of Gehry and Libeskind is structurally inefficient, illogical and, of course, exceedingly ugly. Nice to see this pair exposed for the frauds they are. Looking forward to seeing which of them get the title.

    • brady ernst

      Good points. I hate how Gehry’s crazy facades have hidden structure; while his curvilinear forms often do not even carry into the interiors. But I think you could also incorporate Calatrava into this narrative.

      Even Calatrava’s coprofessionals remain skeptical to his tendency to create flamboyant designs while obscuring the underlying structure.

      Architect and Berkeley teacher, Marc Treib, once commented, “With Calatrava there is the bridge, and then there is the real bridge.”

  2. CravenD

    In terms od credentials for the title, Libeskind has a decided edge, particularly as the creator of his intellectually ludicrous and aesthetically abysmal Royal Ontario Museum. Daniel’s visual assault on Toronto was described by the Washington Post as “The Worst Building of the Decade”, And VirtualTourist.com included it in their list of the World’s Top Ten Ugliest Buildings. – I hope you’ll be sending Daniel (or Frank) a certificate or trophy of some sort to mark their deserved ignominy .

    • brady ernst

      You have some serious pent-up angst against Libeskind. I am not a fan of his work either, but I believe that Libeskind, and many other deconstructivist architects, expand architectural thought and (for good or bad) broaden the scope of what architecture can become.

      Deconstruction was a response to generic architecture rooted in Vitruvian Principles. I don’t think this museum should be deemed “ugly.” It is not attempting to be comfortable, and if you hate Libeskind I would imagine you do not like the architecture of Coop Himmelb(l)au or many other deconstructivist architects.

      Coop Himmelb(l)au once stated, “[W]e don’t want architecture to exclude everything that is disquieting. We want architecture to have more … Architecture should be cavernous, fiery, smooth, hard, angular, brutal, round, delicate, colorful, obscene, voluptuous, dreamy, alluring, repelling, wet, dry and throbbing.”

      Perhaps Libeskind’s crystal shards with violent juxtapositions are discomforting, but it contradicts/complements the existing historical buildings and is not intending to be “beautiful” for everyone.

      And I seriously considered making a trophy for the “winner.” But architects are so narcissistic they would probably take it as a complement, only further inflating their helium-filled egos.

  3. Rickster

    Agree Gehry is worst. Agree Libeskind is a strong runner up. Both are worthy “Pricksters”. Keep up the good work, my good man, you and the Carbuncle Award and Carbuncle Cup guys are doing God’s work (ha ha).

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