Altruism infiltrates architecture

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After last week’s Newark City Planning Board approval of a four-block-long middle- and low-income mixed-use project, architect Richard Meier, a society mainstay in New York City, is ditching his moneyed environment and taking on a more altruistic development, an increasingly popular move in the architecture world, according to the New York Times. Meier, who will be helping lead the $120 million project, has plenty of company in his less-than-glamorous goals: Annabelle Selldorf, who spearheaded the Oak Room redesign at the Plaza, is extending her efforts to a Brooklyn recycling plant, while Michael Maltzan, who designed MoMA’s temporary home in Queens, has turned his attention in recent years toward homeless housing. While unlikely, the movement has some in the industry hopeful for a Lyndon Johnson-era architectural revival, when the former president’s war on poverty led to a birth of modernist design. [NYT]

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