Sad news, and a loss of a meaningful critical voice. Architecture critic Herbert Muschamp is dead of lung cancer at age 59.
As the architecture critic for The [New York] Times from 1992 to 2004, Mr. Muschamp seized on a moment when the repetitive battles between Modernists and Post-Modernists had given way to a surge of exuberance that put architecture back in the public spotlight. His openness to new talent was reflected in the architects he championed, from Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel, now major figures on the world stage, to younger architects like Greg Lynn, Lindy Roy and Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto.
He also paid close attention to architects who were recognized for their theoretical writings. Mr. Muschamp seemed as interested in the ideas that pushed architecture forward as he was in the successes and failures of buildings themselves.
His criticism stood out for the way he wove together seemingly unrelated themes in an arch, self-deprecating tone, a signature style that helped break down the image of the critic as an all-knowing figure who wrote from atop a pedestal.
His voice will be missed.
Full New York Times obituary can be read here.