GREAT ARCHITECTURE AND BUDGETS. In the article I linked to today on Saarinen’s library Joel Henning says that some of the problems with the uncomfortable interior of the building resulted because “the structures had been compromised as the money ran out before completion, not unusual in ambitious architectural projects.” One of the talents that is valuable for an architect is the ability to obtain large budgets. I spent a great deal of time in the Harvard Graduate Center which was designed by Walter Gropius. I thought it was a great success, especially the centerpiece, Harkness Commons. The law students and graduate students who lived in it found it uncomfortable. I was told that Gropius was the only major architect who was willing to undertake the commission on the budget that was provided and that, after he accepted the commission, no allowance was made for post war inflation so that he had to cut corners to complete the project. People who live in and look at architecture do not usually allow for the cost constraints the architect faced.

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