dossier

continuum

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1984.12.01
Neue Staatsgalerie
Finally, there is the theme of stylistic eclecticism. Here there is neither frivolity now regression. The simultaneous references to various vocabularies does not interfere with the unity of the composition. This is because each allusion applies only to isolated elements that do not intervene in the general concept of the work, and because these references become ironical because of the contradictions between vocabulary and technological executions.
It is difficult to find another building that conveys, with such perfection, a linguistic coherence and faithfulness to the syntax of the most radical avante garde of the Modern Movement, and this despite the use of various historical quotations. These quotations--Neo-Classical, Baroque, Corbusian, Constructivist or Loosian--have another important progrommatic value: they demonstrate how electicism can use recent traditions, and thus, how the Modern Movement can be included in the continuum of history.
--Oriol Bohigas


1995.07.24
The Timepiece of Humanity
The present moves in only one direction, a direction wherein the future becomes the past. As the present animates time, it simultaneously transforms an inert future into an inert past. In this sense, the past and the future are the same; one becomes the other, and they both share an inert existence. Time is, therefore, one huge continuum, consisting almost entirely of an inert past and an inert future. The past and future coexist in time, and it is only the present that brings time out of inertia.


1999.02.23 19:08
Re: irrational architecture
You raise an interesting point which suggests a paradigm shift in how we perceive (and I use that term loosely) space-architecture, however, I don't think such an operational shift is all that "simple," nor does the notion of "space moving through us" necessarily eliminate architecture. To your idea, I'd like to add a complementary idea (not entirely mine) regarding the continuum of time.
It is common to perceive time as moving, specifically in a linear fashion--past, present, future. Time, as Einstein suggests, is a continuum, and therefore past and present coexist, and thus, relatively speaking, past and future do not move. It is the present that moves through the continuum of time and, much like a radio, picks up "signals" relative to its position within the continuum band. Within such a continuum paradigm, both we AND space move through time. In terms of endurance of presence, however, much great architecture clearly holds its own in terms of the span of time (and here the Great Pyramids of Egypt getting close to 5000 years old are the prime example). Perhaps what we today are experiencing more than anything in our present "built environment" or "space" is its (almost patented) premature obsolescence.

2000.02.03 15:08
austerity = extreme assimilation?
Perhaps one of the drawbacks of the 'being-there-right-as-it-happens-history' of today's culture is that the sense of continuum is no longer as evident as it was in former times. With everything "new(s)' being automatically understood as 'of this very moment', the sight of 'events' being part of a much larger continuum is easily lost. I have a feeling that a 'style' like Purism(/New Austerity) is going to be part of 'international' architecture (and culture) for a few more centuries. It's already proved itself durable for almost a century, hasn't it?


2003.12.13 16:42
which Acropolis do you prefer?
The Acropolis as used by the ancient Greeks?
The Acropolis as used by the ancient Romans?
The Acropolis when the Parthenon was used as a Christian Church dedicated to Mary?
The Acropolis when the Turks used the Parthenon as a munitions magazine (hence the 17th century explosion that pretty much wrecked the place)?
The Acropolis as mass tourist destination with the Parthenon ruins slowly being further destroyed by air-pollution?
Multiple choice, I'm sure.


2003.12.14 17:42
Re: which Acropolis do you prefer?
The explosion of the Parthenon occurred 26 September 1687. It would be interesting to know how many people on Earth 316 years from now will know the date of the attack on the World Trade Center off the top of their head.
Collective memory is a lot more selective than criticism.
For how long did the 'ideal' design of the Acropolis actually exist? Moreover, do we even fully understand what the Acropolis was really like while it manifest it's most ideal existence. For example, how was it all painted? Did a fair amount of the ideal design actually fade as soon as the colors did?


2004.03.16 10:20
Re: before or after the Viking invasion ?
...excerpt from the cover notes of Prehistoric Architecture in the Eastern United States:
"It is the first overview of prehistoric earth architecture in the Eastern United States, from about 2200 BC to AD 1500, and presents 82 sites which provide examples of how, thousands of years before Columbus, aboriginal architects used earth to shape their environments and landscapes from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Plains."
...the formations of the earth architecture(s) is most times very geometric, often with groupings of stunted pyramidal mounds, and the arrangements sometimes resemble the patterns one associates with crop circles.

2004. 05.04 10:28
Re: the design of incarceration
It's always interesting and useful to know how things happen, and it's just as interesting and useful to know how things un-happen.


2004.05.18 10:26
REPORTAGE- Rhythm & Gender
I like the list; like chapters, like lessons, like evolutionary stages, like different floors of a building I'd love to design, like a row of restaurants while you're perpetually hungry.
Le Corbusier is very high on my list. Go to Harvard's Loeb Library to see my analysis of his unexecuted Palais des Congrès--they were the only ones to purchase both the slides and drawings published in 1991.
Early Mies still intrigues.
Gropius never really inspired me at all.
What I find historically interesting is a comparison and contrast of Freud's first visit to Rome (gen Italia) and Le Corbusier's first visit to the Acropolis.
I'm not sure the Romans ever built in the Doric order. Composite was indeed their order of choice.
Seutonius relates how a delegtion from India came to Rome during the reign of Augustus. This makes me really wonder why the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome and the Great Stupa in India are virtually identical in size and design.
Why do you think Piranesi first delineated all the circuses of the first printing of the Ichnographia Campus Martius in a stylized manner, and then (unnoticed for over 200 years) changed all the circuses into copies of the Circus of Maxentius in the second printing of the Ichnographia Campus Martiis? Piranesi sure knew how to paint a quaestio abstrusa!
You know how Eutropia confessed that (her son) Maxentius was a bastard soon after Maxentius died in battle against Constantine? Well, I hear Eutropia recently made another confession as to how Maxentius' real father was Diocletian!


2004.06.30 22:55
Modern Trajectory
Perhaps it's the line from Gordon Matta-Clark to Frank Gehry that should be more recognized.


2004.07.01 14:57
Modern Trajectory
Why not compose a modern trajectory based on individual buildings/designs and events (such as building expositions, publications, schools, symposiums, etc.) entwined with historical events, instead of dealing with architects themselves as a datum?
Is the course on architecture or is it on architects?
A Venturi and Rauch building of the 1960s, for example, is not the same as a Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates building of now-a-days. The same goes for Gehry's career trajectory. An early Mies building is not the same as a late Mies building (although most late Mies buildings are just like each other). Note what building design Kahn was working on while Wright was designing Beth Sholom Synagogue.
A chronological trajectory of buildings/designs will be much more informative than a more or less speculative list of what architect may have succeeded or followed what other architect.

2004.07.01 15:59
Modern Trajectory
MoMA also had a Japanese Design exhibition in 1954.
The Language of Post-Modern Architecture was first published in 1977.
1966: Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture - Venturi
1966: Architecture of the City - Rossi
Not only were Le Corbusier's executed works always news-worthy, but each consecutive publication of his Complete Works lead to widespread (i.e., global) emulation throughout the field of architecture.
The necessity of rebuilding Europe after W.W.II lead to an enormous proliferation of modern design.
1925: Towards a New Architecture - Le Corbusier.
The coeval-ness of Art Deco and Esprit Nouveau.
The works of Stirling and Gowen as the ultimate manifestation of Russian Constructivism.
Stalinist Architecture as the ultimate manifestation of Piranesi's Ancient Roman fantasies.


2005.03.04 15:54
Re: base maps

Note some of the street names. Stotesbury and Trumbauer, obviously. Cromwell was Eva's first husband (before Ned Stotesbury). Eva's daughter (from the first marriage) married Douglas MacArthur. (Eva's son, James(?) Cromwell, married Doris Duke.) Duveen, the aesthete and fine art dealer told Eva she should build a palace (with a good chunk of Ned's money going into Duveen's pockets). And the Wideners had Trumbauer build Lynnewood Hall which is stylistically the older sister of Whitemarsh Hall.
Remember when we wrote about place names. I was looking for cedar trees in what used to be Cedar Grove, and you noted the birthplace of Oakland "without an oak tree in sight."
Is this all indicative of how 'modern oblivion' operates?

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