A week to the day in which Norwegian design firm Snøhetta released their ambitious designs to modernize Phillip Johnson's Postmodern icon — the AT&T building in New York — Norman Foster has come out and added his name and gravity in support of the building protests against the proposed modifications. In a short, precise and two-edged statement posted on Instagram no less, Norman Foster defends the project, not for its importance to him, or his interests per se but to Architecture's heritage at large — one that would be potentially soiled with Snøhetta's revamp.
‘I was never sympathetic to the short-lived Postmodern movement – and this building in particular. However, it is an important part of our heritage and should be respected as such.'
While no one would declare the building a masterpiece through and through, it has always stood as more than a building, it has come to signify so much more. Johnson's design radically shifted our view of Architecture; it turned history into a malleable object, ripe for intervention and playfulness. The building was never just a building; it was never solely an extruded cabinet of endless meanings — it was a statement, a declaration of style and change.