This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Arquitectonica has refuted Koolhaas’ accusation that “Modern architecture had never achieved the promised alchemy of quantity and quality,” and Alistair Gordon’s enormous compendium of the firm’s work certainly disproves it.
But what of Rossi’s backhanded praise: “In America … quantity is quality!”? Although absolutely deserving of praise, the quantity of the work is not the basis for Arquitectonica’s achievement—even when associated with the virtuosity of design. The importance of Arquitectonica derives from certain specific contributions to modern architecture in the United States.