The Real Deal Miami

The starchitects ‘short list’

December 03, 2010 11:18AM

Ever notice that many of the most successful skyscraper architects are short in stature? Slate’s Witold Rybczynski rattles off several examples of starchitects who always seem to be shorter than the developers they’re posing next to: I.M. Pei, Robert A.M. Stern, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster. Daniel Libeskind, he said, is 5 feet 4 inches. In the 1920s, designers Raymond Hood, of 30 Rock, Ely Jacques Kahn, of 2 Park Avenue, and Ralph Walker, of 1 Wall Street, were apparently often referred to as the “Three Little Napoleons of Architecture.” As Rybcynski put it, “it’s hard not to see a psychological compulsion at work when short people design tall…buildings.” [Slate]