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2008.06.01 11:07
Can you say canonical?
"In this painstaking analysis of an apparent architectural syntax, the author offers a fresh interpretation of one of the canonical works of the Brutalist movement--the Stirling and Gowan Leicester Engineering Building, completed in 1963. Responding independently to one aspect of a theme broached by Manfredo Tafuri in Oppositions 3, Eisenman attempts to uncover the precise manner in which Stirling has rewritten the "words" of modern architecture."
--Kenneth Frampton, an introduction to "Real and English: The Destruction of the Box. I." (1974).
The article was first presented in lecture form at Cooper Union in the spring of 1973 and again at Yale during the spring of 1974.
"The thrust of the argument below will be that the Leicester Engineering Building invokes a similar critical and thus, polemical, intention as Venturi, but does so in a different and perhaps less traditional manner--by distorting the form of the iconic structure as opposed to perverting the form of the iconic content, as in the case with Venturi."
"Much of the work of Louis Kahn, which proposes a classical alternative to a modern eclecticism, can surely be seen..."
"...and more recently in the wall decompositions of John Hejduk, destroys it conceptually."
"Real and English: The Destruction of the Box. I" was a (personal) inspirational motivator for a fourth year design (taken through to working drawings) project, Fall 1979. None of the faculty "got" the design--it was like Leicester Engineering meets Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Hyper Avant. Very distorted iconic structure fucks with perverted iconic content. Then during "working drawings", Spring 1980, witnessed schizophrenic survival of horrific expressway accident, emergency room lobotomy, subsequent two-week drug-inducted coma, and the commencement of a whole new history (where all that remains canonical is a sense of humor).



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