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Charles Gwathmey: A Great Mentor and Friend
Posted August 12, 2009 01:49 PM
by Christopher Coe, AIA
CEO of COE Architecture International
I first met Charles Gwathmey when I was selected as the AIAS student representative on the 1983 National AIA Honor Awards Jury that he chaired. Of course I knew his work well, Five Architects was my primer in school. Three weeks later I moved to New York and started my architectural career at Gwathmey Siegel, even before finishing architecture school. It was the greatest education I could have received.
With Charles there was always great certainty about the approach to the work, that Modernism still had much to offer and that it could accept change and invention without losing its inherent power or meaning. In art, certainty this is hard to come by, but Charles was unrelenting in his beliefs about how he approached the work. There was certainly investigation and exploration, but always within that strict framework of belief. For a young architect beginning his career and looking for his “way” in the world, this was obviously appealing and inspiring.
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