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"The problem is many architects think of themselves as contemporary artists do: the message or the meaning is the focus and the means of conveyance, i.e. the piece of art or a building, is totally secondary. Whereas classical art and architects have as a primary goal creating something beautiful and cohesive that, secondary but important, perhaps has something to say. Stern does some beautiful, highly contextual, subtle work that is pleasant and generally high-quality and avoids many of the tropes and missteps of lesser architects seeking to imitate the old (see: Giselle and Tom Brady's house in Architectural Digest as an example of a gross failure). This is also sort of like the difference between high fashion and high-quality clothing. One exists primarily to say something, and to do so often loudly, and brashly. It seeks newness. Another is something practical and useful, that can also be beautiful and exquisitely made. I will take the latter."?anon [Robert A.M. Stern: Dissed By Peers, But He Designs Nice Stuff]