Renzo Piano: “Find a Solution Quickly”

The architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center, Renzo Piano, is in town for a few days to work on the expansion of the Kimbell in Fort Worth. I caught him on the phone this morning, and though he was dogged by a guy wielding a leaf blower, making it difficult to hear him at times, I could tell that he’s pissed. Or what passes for pissed when it comes to Piano. He’s a soft-spoken, gentle fellow. That said, he can’t understand what the heck is happening here in Dallas. Why hasn’t a solution been implemented yet? Why is Museum Tower still cooking the Nasher? In Piano’s own words:

“They just have to find a solution very quickly. The trouble is getting more and more serious, and those people don’t do any action. I don’t know why. … It is already now more than nine months. Since then, only discussion, and nobody understands how bad what is happening for the museum and for the garden. Yesterday I went around, and you can see, even if you are not a botanist, you can see the damage of the double radiation on the trees and the grass. It is slowly killing the garden. I don’t understand how you can do that. I don’t understand what the city is doing, by the way. …

“It is very urgent. They have to move fast. In two months, it will be August, and August will be killing. There is a solution. We all know there is a solution. They have to put a mesh on that building [Musuem Tower], on the south facade. That is for sure. And before August, what they can do is hang some banners, something temporary. This is something that is quite usual. We do it all the time. But of course they try not to do that — I don’t know why. Probably because if they do that, they accept the responsibility.

“By the way, I don’t understand how they go without solving the problem. They will never sell the flats. Are you ready to buy a flat where you can enjoy life, knowing that you are making all this trouble to the museum? Of course it’s ridiculous. How can you live happily in a flat when you see that you are killing the museum? The entire thing is absurd. It is completely absurd. …

“I don’t know what the mediation is going to do. When you have somebody who is so clearly the victim, what do you have to mediate? [laughs] Even the child in the street will understand that one is the victim and one is the aggressor. It is so evident.”

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