Do Architects Have A Napoleon Complex?

I.M. Pei, Robert A.M. Stern, Daniel Libeskind, Louis Kahn, Frank Gehry - all of these architects were height-challenged. Witold Rybczynski writes in Slate about why great architects are usually short and what that means for the built environment.

1 minute read

December 4, 2010, 1:00 PM PST

By Tim Halbur


In short (pun intended), Rybczynski thinks that architects tend to be introverted and insecure, and tall people usually aren't.

"Julia Morgan, another celebrated Bay Area architect, was only 5 feet tall. Raymond Hood, Ely Jacques Kahn, and Ralph Walker dominated New York high-rise architecture in the 1920s-Hood designed 30 Rock, Kahn was responsible for the wonderful 2 Park Avenue, and Walker produced the Art Deco tower at 1 Wall Street. They were so short they were popularly known as the "Three Little Napoleons of Architecture." (Napoleon was 5 feet 6½ inches.) "

Friday, December 3, 2010 in Slate

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