Rafael Viñoly: Everything But the Kimmel

Via ArchNewsNow comes this interview on Artinfo.com with architect Rafael Viñoly, a propos the new (well, it opened Oct. 1) Nasher art museum at Duke University.

From the intro:

Viñoly offers a bold challenge to the kind of architectural sensibility that sees restrictions as limitations to the work of the architect, reaching for that rare synthesis of great design and purpose that defines his singular vision.

Ahem. Moving along, he is cited as the architect of several major projects including

the new home for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, and the Leiscester City Perfoming Arts Center in the UK, as well as several university projects. Among his other museum projects are the Tampa Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, scheduled to be completed in 2011.

Oh, and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, where his work was yesterday acclaimed as

a stunning, state-of-the-art concert hall that attracts world-class artists. It is one of the most beautiful and unique buildings of its kind in the world, a world-class performing arts center, a wonderful civic space and an economic engine for the entire area. As one of the best facilities of its kind anywhere, it has achieved its goal of becoming a cultural center for all tastes.

That high praise comes in the settlement documents relating to the Kimmel Center’s $23 million lawsuit against the architect.

Not long ago, as you may remember, the Kimmel had a different view of the architect, if not of the building they ended up with. Viñoly, they said in court documents, is

an architect who had a grand vision but was unable to convert that vision into reality, causing the owner to incur significant additional expenses to correct and overcome the architect’s errors and delays.

Viñoly wasn’t commenting on the settlement yesterday, which is why this from today’s Artinfo.com interview is interesting if bewildering:

INTERVIEWER: Is that why you might be drawn to the civic function of a museum, as opposed to more corporate architecture?

VINOLY: No, it has nothing to do with corporate…it has to do with the use of funds that have to be within logic, and that logic to me is what defines the capacity of an architect to produce a great idea, with less rather than more.

- Tom McGeveran