Before almost all architects, the late William D. Warner resisted the sterilization and corporatization that have stunted architecture in America and around the world.
This is clear from the recent exhibit of his life’s work at the downtown Providence headquarters of the American Institute of Architects’ Rhode Island chapter.
These features of his work predate his profession’s revolt, in the 1970s and ’80s, against the founding modernists’ bland “International Style” and glass boxes. The resulting postmodernism split into neo-modernism — virulently unnatural and anti-traditional forms, often by “starchitects” — but also into neo-classicism, an un-ironic revival of traditional forms. Warner was already heading in that direction.