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Trump makes classic style the default for federal buildings

President Trump on Monday signed an executive order that establishes classical architecture as the preferred style for new federal buildings, but stops before banning new designs.

The decree, titled “Promoting Beautiful Federal Municipal Architecture”, requires federal buildings to be “beautiful” and praises the characteristics of Greco-Roman architecture; in contrast, recent modernist conceptions are described in the text as “ugly and incoherent”.

“Classical and traditional architecture, as practiced both historically and by architects today, has proven its ability to meet these design criteria and more than satisfy functional, technical and sustainable today, ”the order reads. “Their use should be encouraged rather than discouraged.”

Signed in the dying days of the Trump administration, the executive order represents a victory for traditionalists who view contemporary architecture as degraded and dehumanizing.

But many in the architectural community have criticized the imposition of a privileged style on federal construction projects. Earlier this year, groups such as the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation opposed a draft executive order that would have banned Modernist design.

The new rule was supported by the National Civic Art Society, a nonprofit group.

“President Trump is to be applauded for ushering in a literally magnificent new era in federal architecture,” said Justin Shubow, president of the nonprofit. “Reversing the modernist hegemony that has given us dismal government buildings for over 60 years, Order gives the American people what they want in the federal design.

But architects have criticized the order, although some have described it as relatively toothless.

“While we are appalled by the administration’s decision to go ahead with the design mandate, we are pleased that the order is not as ambitious as previously thought,” said Robert Ivy, chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects, in a statement. promising that his organization would never prioritize one type of architectural design over another. The group said it would ask the incoming Biden administration to reverse the order.

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman condemned the measure last February. “Just having this argument is humiliating,” he wrote.

Some saw order as more than an architectural style.

“The decree does not make sense,” said Reinhold Martin, professor of architecture at Columbia University. “This is an effort to use culture to send coded messages about white supremacy and political hegemony.”

The order will also update the General Service Administration selection process by requiring input from the general public and future building staff. Further updates will be recommended by a new committee of officials called the President’s Council on Improving Federal Civic Architecture.

The new rules will apply to the construction of federal courthouses and agency headquarters, government buildings in Washington, and projects over $ 50 million.

Representatives of the new Biden administration did not immediately respond to emails asking if the president-elect plans to abide by the executive order after taking office next month.

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James Bond actors say Sean Connery ‘defined an era and a style’

Sean Connery was recalled on Saturday by other actors and producers of the James Bond franchise as “one of the real greats of cinema” who most embodied the fictional spy character James Bond.

For James Bond fans and those who knew him, Mr. Connery, who died at the age of 90, was considered one of the best actors to embrace the role of “Dr. Non ”(1962),“ From Russia With Love ”(1963),“ Goldfinger ”(1964),“ Thunderball ”(1965),“ You Only Live Twice ”(1967),“ Diamonds Are Forever ”(1971) and“ Never say never again ”(1983).

Only four actors who played James Bond – also known as Agent 007 – in the movies are alive today: George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

David Niven, who played James Bond in the satirical spy film “Casino Royale” (1967), died in 1983. Roger Moore, who played James Bond for over a decade, beginning with “Live and Let Die ”(1973) and ending with“ A View to a Kill ”(1985), died in 2017.

Mr Craig, who has played James Bond since 2006, said in a statement on website 007 on Saturday that Mr Connery “sets an era and a style” with his films.

Credit…Carlo Allegri / Reuters

“The spirit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts; he helped create the modern blockbuster, ”Mr. Craig said. “He will continue to influence actors and filmmakers for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever it is, I hope there is a golf course.

Mr. Lazenby, who played James Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969), said on Instagram Saturday that Mr. Connery had inspired him.

“I have met Sean a few times and I was happy that he gave my Bond film, ‘To Her Majesty’s Secret Service,’ his seal of approval,” said Mr Lazenby.

“But, for me, the most important thing was that his job went far beyond Bond: in charity, in family, in politics and in golf,” added Mr Lazenby. “A man after my own heart. A great actor, a great man and an underrated artist has passed away.

Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Lazenby wished Mr. Connery “all the best” on his 90th birthday, calling him “the greatest Leap of all time”.

“Sean, to me, has always been the man,” Mr Lazenby wrote. “I walked in his footsteps – I had to look and dress like Sean Connery – I went to his barber and tailors. I wasn’t scared when I got on the part – he’s the one who inspired me never to hesitate.

Mr. Dalton, whose first James Bond film was “The Living Daylights” (1987), said in a statement: “Sean was a wonderful presence. A great leading man.

On Twitter Saturday, Robert carlyle, the villain of James Bond Renard in “The world is not enough” (1999), called Mr. Connery “A pioneer, a true legend and a gentleman.”

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli told website 007 that Mr. Connery revolutionized the world “with his cruel and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.”

“He was and will always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entry into film history began when he announced those unforgettable words -” The name of Bond … James Bond “, they said. stated in the press release.

Mr Connery’s death is the third James Bond franchise death since September.

Diana Rigg, 82, played the daughter of a crime boss in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only James Bond film to play Mr. Lazenby. In October, “Goldfinger” actress Margaret Nolan died at age 76.