Architecture criticism is the critique of architecture. Everyday criticism relates to published or broadcast critiques of buildings, whether completed or not, both in terms of news and other criteria. In many cases, criticism amounts to an assessment of the architect's success in meeting his or her own aims and objectives and those of others. The assessment may consider the subject from the perspective of some wider context, which may involve planning, social or aesthetic issues. It may also take a polemical position reflecting the critic's own values. At the most accessible extreme, architectural criticism is a branch of lifestyle journalism, especially in the case of high-end residential projects.
Most major national newspapers in developed countries cover the arts in some form. Architectural criticism may be included as a part of their arts coverage, in a real estate section or a Home & Style supplement. In the USA, reviews are published in specialist magazines ranging from the popular (e.g. Architectural Digest, Wallpaper) to specialist magazines for design professionals (e.g. Architectural Review, Detail). As with other forms of criticism, technical language is used to a varying extent to convey impressions and views precisely.
Lewis Mumford wrote extensively on architecture in the nineteen thirties, forties and fifties at The New Yorker. Ada Louise Huxtable was the first full-time architecture critic working for an American daily newspaper when the New York Times gave her the role in 1963. John Betjeman, a co-founder of the Victorian Society, wrote and broadcast from the 1950s to 1970s, principally covering historical rather than new buildings, but contributing to a trend for criticism to expand into radio and then television. Charles, Prince of Wales, is outspoken in his criticism of modern architecture, memorably describing a proposed extension to the National Gallery in London as a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved friend".
The critic's task is to assess how successful the architect and others involved with the project have been in meeting both the criteria the project set out to meet and those that the critic himself feels to be important. Specific criteria include:
Contemporary critics working for major newspapers include:
Goldberger, Paul (2003-11-12). "Architecture Criticism: Does It Matter". Paul Goldberger. Retrieved 2008-07-10.