Herbert Muschamp often griped
that New York was allergic to "serious architecture," a refrain frequently aped
by his successor, Nicolai Ourousoff. This was and is both unfair and inaccurate, and one of the buildings that demonstrates as much is Raimund Abraham's 2002 Austrian Cultural Forum, which opened in 2002. Only 25 feet wide, it slices down from the sky, a kind of Easter Island guillotine. It's a great building, a building with a spine [both literal and figurative], and a series of controlled, smartly crafted spaces. Abraham was killed earlier this week in a Los Angeles car accident
, awful news. He had just given a lecture at Sci-Arc. A loss for architecture.