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August 10, 2011

The Wexner Center

The Wexner Center at Ohio State is “a building waiting to be a building.”  Outside there’s incomplete towers, half-formed arches, mounds of broken glass and what appears to be permanent scaffolding as if the building —  that’s been open for years — is still under construction.

Inside gets stranger. Uneven flooring, crossbeams that don’t reach the wall, and pillars that either don’t each the floor or the ceiling. There’s even a staircase that runs into a brick wall.

What’s behind this place? The tastes of architect Peter Eisenman, who’s committed to postmodernism and the idea that truth and reality are unknowable, that we’re trapped inside our own interpretations, constructing our own reality. So, his building was designed to look unstable, and always under construction.

But it’s a gimmick. His building requires real pillars and crossbeams and staircases like every other building. Reality is what it is. And truth exists even if we deny it.

Further Reading

Ideas Have Histories
John Stonestreet | | September 8, 2009

Ideas Have Consequences
John Stonestreet | | October 30, 2009

Postmodernism 1
John Stonestreet | | November 17, 2009

Postmodern Architecture
Gene Edward Veith | ArtWay

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