Line in the Sand | Kate Wagner
The twelve architecture firms that have been revealed as participating in this stupid, brutal, and improbable vanity project are in no way marginal players. They include some of the biggest in the field, including the I.M.-Pei-less ghost of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; 2000s darlings Coop Himmelb(l)au; stark, high-style Tom Wiscombe Architecture; Thom Mayne’s showy and often disappointing firm Morphosis; the designer of the acclaimed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), Adjaye Associates; and Peter Cook’s speculative firm CHAP, among others. (...)
Participation in The Line—an indoor, climate controlled mall only conceivable in a state absolutely drunk off oil money that will almost certainly never get built and, if it does get built, will come at the cost of massive human suffering—is not just an embarrassment; it should be nullify the progressive reputations of all firms involved. For a very long time, architecture firms have talked out of both sides of their mouths, espousing reverence for resiliency, egalitarianism, and environmentalism all while working for some of the most despotic regimes on the planet.