quondam museum

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nimiety of ideas
Looked at Vittorio De Feo again; saw where inspiration for the House in Laguna stairs came from; is the current architectural revival of the '50s and the '60s going to be followed by a digital redux of the '70s?
Begin an interpretive overlay of Kahn's Center City Philadelphia plans upon Quondam's Philadelphia model; this could produce a next wave of Koolhaas architecture, or will it also be a new wave of Piranesi / Kahn / Lauf.


The unreal architecture of [Quondam] and other aliases.

retrospective exhibitions
wqc/1999, wqc/2001 - retrospective exhibitions. Through notes, Q pages, letters, photography, reading and scan activity a whole treasury of material can now be appropriated (and purposefully displayed). ...some real diverse stuff in these years

Learning from Girard Avenue

88 houses of ill-repute

2002.03.27 10:50
Re: (quondam) tallest buildings
The illustrated buildings at tallest of their time are from my own research done in 1995-6. I did reasonable research then, and the hardest part was finding the buildings earlier than the Washington Monument. Yes, the list of world's tallest building title holders does appear quite short, but I don't think any other building(s) can be added prior to the Eiffel Tower. (For the record, the spire of Beauvais illustrated is just an 'imaginative' reconstruction by myself.) R. may be correct about some NYC building competing with the Chrysler Building during construction.
The Asian towers do belong on the list, but Quondam doesn't have such a drawing(s) in its collection...
What I think would be also interesting is to add scale drawings of the type of jet planes that crashed into the WTC Towers, and at the same time mark the elevation of impact of each tower. Has the "exact" elevation of each plane impact ever been published?

2002.05.26 15:27
Re: Virtual Architecture and Art?
Computers seem to have a lot to do with virtual architecture, most likely because of the new drawing dexterity that computers provide architects. Beyond that, however, computers/CAD enable whole new visualizations of architecture. I am not so much interested in creating virtual environments, as much as environments parallel to real-time/place reality. For example, designing and (virtually) building an addition to Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, or imagining oneself as an architect-as-squatter within Louis Kahn's Hurva Synagogue. In the sense of creating a whole other history of architecture parallel to the real present.

2002.09.11 13:26
if it's not there, it's here
I believe the following sentence nicely explains the pattern of certain absent things.
The Spire of the Cathedral of Beauvais is the first world's tallest building to collapse after a brief existence, and the World Trade Center Towers are the second world's tallest buildings to collapse after a brief existence.
ps 11 September 2002 There is an article in today's New Yorker magazine entitled THE "HOLY GROUND" which is about "the early history of the World Trade Center site." Atop the title are the words "THAT WAS NEW YORK."
According to my notes, on 18 August 1996 I was still referring to the virtual museum of architecture I was then planning to 'create' as Non Ici, and by 2 October 1996 the virtual museum was being referred to as Quondam. What happen in-between these two dates was a phone conversation with Susan M. Dixon, a friend from our mutual architecture school days and now an Art Historian whose PhD word was on Piranesi's archaeological publications. Sue and I had many conversations back then regarding a virtual museum of architecture and Piranesi's Campo Marzio. It was Sue that suggested the name "quondam" for the virtual museum of architecture. She had once heard reference to a Professor Quondam in Rome, and the name/word since stuck in her mind. I liked the name immediately.
Quondam used to have an online journal entitled NOT THERE, and here's its first editorial dated 13 December 1997:
Don't let anyone ever tell you that anti-matter doesn't matter.
Credit for naming the first virtual museum of architecture Quondam goes to Susan M. Dixon. She made the suggestion when the museum's working name, Non Ici, proved unsuitable. NON ICI is a literal translation into Latin of the phrase "not there," however, in Latin, saying that something is not there is the same as saying that that something is here. This obscure bit of linguistic information is good for a laugh, but not good for the naming of a virtual museum of architecture intending to display significant unbuilt architectural designs. Fortunately, the word Quondam, with its meaning rich in temporal ambiguity, immediately struck a chord, and, hopefully, the name Quondam and the virtual museum it stands for will eventually take a place within some small corner of architectural history.
It's Latin meaning notwithstanding, the notion of things not there still lies at the conceptual core of Quondam's virtual existence, and thus, NOT THERE is the name of Quondam's electronic journal.
The mission of Not There is sincerely direct. As the electronic journal of the first virtual museum of architecture, Not There will strive to continually investigate aspects of architectural design and history that would remain unseen were it not for the aid of computers and CAD. Furthermore, Not There plans to present the wide array of new "tools" and options that computers now make available to architects and designer.
In terms of delivery, the publication of Not There will not follow the tradition of periodic renewal. Rather than come out in monthly or quarterly issues, Not There will simply provide the framework for an ongoing presentation of essays and articles, which will appear as soon as they are prepared and written.
Perhaps the Romans were right after all, because if it's not there, it's here!

Reenact Kahn's Philadelphia via (enlarged) Campo Marzio. Kahn's City Hall + surfaces.
Hyper Size: virtually small, virtually medium, virtually large, virtually extra large; a virtual bigness book. This is where scale in architecture goes.

The introduction to The Museum as Muse is very good and I should write my own long essay as to how I too have been actively "artistic" with regard to museums... This essay is perfect for Unthinking an Architecture. The Hubert Damisch "A Very Special Museum" also needs to be addressed in terms of a/my museum of architecture.

Reconstruction of Whitemarsh Hall; Altes Museum columns; marble slabs in place; baluster in place. The whole exercise can be a Piranesian reenactment (presently a "scenographia;" redo the current housing as well via Quondam's domestic models.
New idea of expansive picture field via virtually infinite cad drawing field.

2003.02.13 10:25
mixed things up more
I wish museums mixed things up more. For example, I'd like to see Poons in a French period room, or Duchamp in a Ladies Room. Brancusi next to armour, why not? Museum as future-shock, sorta. Pick your destiny.
Hold me! Thrill me! Kiss me! You're my pride and joy, etc. Now rearrange me.

slapdash architectural publications

2003.08.28 12:50
Re: FW: Evolutionary theory and architecture
Regarding "evolutionary theory and architecture," there are some precedents that should be considered. For example, the works of J. N. L. Durand and Seroux 'Agincourt, both from the early 19th century, offer 'histories' of (art and) architecture that are (up until then) unique in their application, indeed a more 'evolutionary' approach towards classification.
Durand, in his Recueil et Parallele des Edifices de tout Genre - Anciens et Moderns, specifically categorizes the history of architecture (including non-Western examples) by type, but he also presents all examples drawn at the same scale, thus simultaneously rendering a history of architecture via comparative size.
Seroux 'Agincourt, in his Histoire de l'art par les monuments depuis sa decadence au IV siecle jusqu'a son renouvellement au XVI (The History of Art through its Monuments from Its Decadence in the Fourth Century to Its Renewal in the Sixteenth), attempts to document how (mostly Western) architectural style became decadent between the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, as if displaying all the mutations (Western) architecture went through until it again became 'classical'.
Both Durand's and Seroux 'Agincourt's tomes are not exactly easy reference books (to find/utilize) these days, and (at least to my knowledge) neither of the texts that accompanied the drawing plates have been translated into English. Durand's Recueil et Parallele was republished by Princeton Architectural Press in 1982 (or 1983), but without any text, and English translations of some of Seroux 'Agincourt's text(s) are available within Vidler's Writing of the Walls.
Quondam's collection holds a late 19th century German edition of Seroux 'Agincourt's architectural engraved plates, and the Princeton Architectural Press 1982 edition of Recueil et Parallele, and recently acquired (last month via ebay) a 1823 3 volume Italian edition of Recueil et Parallele, which is combined with work by Legrande and has Italian text (which I assume is in part a translation of Durand's original text).
Perhaps one could study/document the evolution of "evolutionary theory and architecture" itself. See an architecthetics post.

2003.10.06 14:11
Re: CongressCATH 2004: Philosophy of Architecture/Architecture of Philosophy
From the call for papers:
In particular the conference will examine contemporary architecture (so-called postmodern or deconstructive architecture), which as a practice seems to perform the insights of postmodern theory, and the architecture of the museum and the museum of architecture and the Architectural Archive. Here the conference would like to explore debates around the creation of museum spaces and the relationship between collections, interpretation, meaning and space.
from the back cover of Lotus International 35 (1982):
The museum of architecture
It's no longer possible for a contemporary architect to resolve the complex thematic of the museum in the typological conception of a building. Museum architecture, on deeper investigation, is transformed into a reflection on the museum-making of architecture itself.
We can find the prototypes of this phenomenon in the first collections, in the house-museum, in the first archaeological excavations, limited phenomenon which gradually spread until they became a program of exhibition organization throughout the world with the great exhibitions of the start of the century.
Today, in fact, they look to us as a colossal project of museum-making, even if with the aim of instructing. But the world which is given back to us like a still life in the museums, all of the works, the image, the production of varied ages and places is only a universe of melange, a metaphor of the living world the disorder of which is brought back to mind in the "magnificent chaos of the museum."
The entire issue of Lotus International 35 is devoted to "the museum of architecture" theme.

Philadelphia model development
First off, place the Mikvah Israel Synagogue redux into the model. This type of redux design is then inspiration for more design interpolation of Center City sites and buildings. For example, Independence Mall, Penn's Landing, Vine Street Corridor, Market East and Kahn's plans could all be "developed". At least the model should be the venue for all kinds of 3d design development, be it trees, paving, facades, new buildings/ideas--always a virtual museum of architecture.

2004.11.23 12:58
does anyone model some famous architect's works?
The point of this thread is learning about building designs via model building, and yes one does learn a great deal about a building's design via building a model of it. Whether constructing a physical model or generating a computer model, both processes force one to look very carefully at the (available) drawings, and that is where the bulk of the learning occurs--trust me, after having done all the models at Quondam I know what I'm talking about. Of course, the learning continues once the model takes shape.
I was a professional (physical) model builder while an architectural student in the 1970s, and a professional computer model builder during the 1980s. Quondam's model collection was generated during the 1990s, and, for the most part, represents building designs that were never built.

2004.11.23 13:29
does anyone model some famous architect's works?
Quondam's collection is the result of a personal project, one of wanting to "experience" buildings that otherwise do not exist.
Quondam's model collection is not exactly consistent: a few buldings are complete inside and out, some buildings are within their immediate context, many are fragmentary. The over-riding goal of virtually all the model building was indeed to continue learning architecture.

2004.11.24 09:50
does anyone model some famous architect's works?
I disagree with the notion that the (only possible) actualization of a computer model is an image. For me (at least) the actualization is the model (and model building) itself, and further actualization occurs each time the model is again utilized and/or manipulated. The (relatively infinite) number/type of images subsequently available because of a computer model are first more a by-product of the model, and potentially an end-product (all its own) as well. Moreover, actualization of computer models comes into play in the incredible ease with which they can be (digitally) replicated, something not at all easy with a physical model. And yet another aspect where actualization of computer models comes into play is the incredible ease with which they can be continually manipulated, where each manipulation manifests the actualization of a whole new/other model (without eliminating the original model).

2004.11.24 11:45
does anyone model some famous architect's works?
I chose ARRIS in 1987 because it was the only CAD software with fully integrated 2d and 3d drawing on a PC. I still use ARRIS because I can play it like a concert piano. [What can I say, we all have limited talents.]
I understand your point, and yes you more demonstrate the limitations of how computer models are most often used. Misplaced expectations?
When I was doing all the model building in the early 1990s it did occur to me that I was generating a kind-of museum of architecture, but back then I never expected the Internet/www and the eventual 'creation' of Quondam - A Virtual Museum of Architecture online 21 November 1996. And what Quondam displayed in its initial years did have an impact (and the potential for impact still exists).
The difference (for me at least) between a computer model and computer image(s) is that they are distinct actualized data files.
(It seems) digital data is never really an end-product because it so easily generates more and more digital data. Computer models facilitate the production of more and more digital data. Architecturally, perhaps only an actual building is an end-product (of the model/drawing).
Yet, for me, the 'end-product' architecture became a virtual building, specifically a virtual museum of architecture.

2004.12.17 18:58
afternoon field trip
Took pictures of soon to be quondam building, visited museum exhibit without the museum building there yet, entered room that moved from inside one Trumbauer building to inside another Trumbauer building. Where do I get my best ideas?



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