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Archicritics

There are signs that architectural collaboration is supplanting starchitecture, that functionality and longevity are giving the boot to flash and dash. Blair Kamin calls it the "New Sobriety", and it's how he chooses to frame his review of SoNo East & West. Designed by different firms at different times, the perpendicular arrangement and minimalist box aesthetic clearly recall Mies' 860 and 880 LSD duo, and are probably a conscious ode to those icons. But it took the stylistic cooperation of different architects, with a degree of divergence, to pull it off. Otherwise the orientation would've turned out differently and the heights and massing would've been even (and undoubtedly dull). There are some miscues for sure, like blocked views and a raised plaza with poor access and cluttered landscaping. But by-and-large, Kamin issues an approving verdict. [Cityscapes, photo: Kevin Dickert, previously]