Do Architecture Competitions Work?

Witold Rybczynski writes in The Atlantic Monthly that public architecture competitions don't always produce the best buildings.

"I am skeptical that designing in the full glare of public competitions encourages architects to produce better buildings. The charged atmosphere promotes flamboyance rather than careful thought, and favors the glib and obvious over the subtle and nuanced. Architects have always entered competitions, but they have usually seasoned their talents first by doing commissioned work. Libeskind, Nouvel, Koolhaas, and other young architects of today have built their reputations almost entirely by participating in competitions; a friend of mine calls them 'competition show dogs.'"

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