I agree with you completely -- in theory. As long as the urban pattern is pedestrian-friendly, why shouldn't modernist styles perform equally well as traditional ones? If the urbanism (the street network and geometry, the block sizes, the frontages, the diversity of building types and uses, etc.) is handled well, then it seems reasonable that any style at all would be suitable to create a good place.
In practice, however, I am less than entirely convinced.
And I agree. Why is that that "modernist," architecturally cutting-edge buildings are extremely rarely "good urban buildings?"
I have no answer.
Glibly I commented that cool architects like Hadid, Koolhaas, Gehry (and endless numbers of cool-architect wannabes ad infinitum) ' "do it for the kicks" and to get attention simply by being different; I think it's no more profound than that.'
But seriously, is the whole of cutting-edge contemporary architecture merely a means --- as every graduating class at architecture school is supposed to be told --- to distinguish oneself and "get the job"?
But it is sad that they are so rarely "of the city" and so grudgingly contribute to the sidewalk.