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Intelligencer: Nov. 29, 2004 - Dec. 6, 2004

Is Yoshio Taniguchi unhappy with the MoMA?, Steve Dunleavy abandons Langan's, William Safire's replacement at the Times, and more.

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Illustration by Vault 49  

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My MoMA, He Moaned
Is Taniguchi unhappy with his creation?
Yoshio Taniguchi’s new MoMA has earned extravagant praise from many quarters—but some say the architect himself has been one of the new building’s severest critics. “Things are done very differently in Japan, and this was his first project out of that little obsessive island,” notes one prominent city architect. “What seems to have happened was that from an early stage they were nickel-and-diming him on materials,” says a person who’d spoken to Taniguchi. As a consequence, says another insider, “he behaved in a very passive-aggressive way, delaying things. That’s how he got his aggression out.” He is said to have threatened to quit the project on several occasions, though a MoMA insider insisted it never got that far. Architecture anal-retentives can easily pick out flaws that might rile Taniguchi’s Zen calm. “Go over there and put a level on the Sheetrock,” says one. Further, the grid of stone panels inside the lobby doesn’t quite match up with the grid outside—and a few of the garden flagstones are already broken. MoMA declined to comment.
—Carl Swanson


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