Laughing at Goff


Anything that Charles Jenks writes is probably worth a look. But when he joyously points to the fun in Bruce Goff’s work, any serious student of play in architecture has to stop and consider what’s going on:

Looking, learning and laughing with Bruce Goff

It is impossible not to smile and laugh appreciatively when one visits a good Goff house, smile at the bad jokes and chuckle with an inward appreciation that Bruce Alonso Goff (1904-82) often gets the better of those architects who are invoked to justify his work. These paragons used to be Frank Lloyd Wright and Andrea Palladio, but today, in the Age of the Iconic Arms Race (as it is called), the names are Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid.

Just as Marcel Duchamp made the art world revalue the readymade and reconsider pop and conceptual art, so has Bruce Goff forced us to reconsider the preoccupations that exercise today’s architecture.

The playful house, and the fun in architecture, it seems, can produce important contemplation about design.

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