WHAT DO YOU THINK IF XANADU'S COLOR SCHEME?

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The billion-dollar-plus Xanadu project in the Meadowlandshas caused a good deal of controversy since it was first announced.The most recent uproar was over its somewhat…ahem…exuberant colorscheme. The public backlash against it was so extreme that lastweek the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority called on theproject's architects to defend their color and pattern choices.Like many New Jersey residents, the majority of our pollrespondents (64%) think Xanadu is an eyesore. Slightly less than aquarter (21%) believe the controversy is much ado about nothing. Amere 14% support the color choice. Seth Leeb, an architect with hisown practice in Morris County and current president of the NewJersey branch of the American Institute of Architects, thinks it'stoo soon for us to be passing judgment at all. Here is what he hadto say:

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"As president and therefore a representative of AIA New Jersey,I can't render an opinion on whether a particular design or colorscheme is good or bad. We can't do that as an organization. It canbe an unfair thing to do, anyway.

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"I'll give you an example. I love Frank Lloyd Wright's work.However, at the time it was built, a lot of people didn't like someof his architecture. Now, some of it has become iconic. It'sbeautiful work. Design is subjective; it's not black or white, goodor bad. Speaking as president of an organization, we can walk intoa room with 30 people in it and get 30 different opinions of aproject. So for me to share an opinion wouldn't be fair to theorganization behind the project.

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"A lot of input goes into deciding on the design and colorscheme of a building. That input comes from the client, thearchitect, the design team and the community leaders. AIA certainlyencourages that process and community involvement in it. It'simportant that people get involved in the design of buildings thatwill be part of their neighborhoods."

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