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Greener Than Thou: Thom Mayne, Starchitect

Greener Than Thou is our report on San Francisco’s obsession with all things green, calling bullshit in the poseurs and lavishing praise on those who have secured their place in environmental paradise. Use solar panels to heat your fish tank? Tell us about it!

"It's completely hysterical that I and my firm would be representing this topic" . . . "The green guys, their moralism and do-gooderness - phew. Horrible. There has to be joy in architecture" . . . "I have no interest in being a 'green architect.'" This is San Francisco Federal Building designer and Morphosis architecture firm principal Thom Mayne's recent take on his rising status within the green building movement and one that we, frankly, find refreshing. Its rare to find a designer or architect— of the greener persuasion, no less— who will make light of themselves and their profession even as they strive toward addressing the very problems they make light of. Mayne, after all, is designing with sustainability in mind, even if his work just as much aesthetically driven. When speaking about the perforated steel panels that snake up and over the Federal Building, for instance, Mayne recently proclaimed "I'm interested in skin as a sculptural idea." Uh, about our earlier assessment. . . Chron critic John King is interested in the Federal Building as a "starting point," regardless of its triumphs and failures. As for Mayne, here's to a new breed (hybrid?) of starchitect— the greenchitect. Ecotecht? Sustainitect?
·Sustainability and aesthetics in one building? [Chron]