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2003.01.23
developments
Campo Marzio and Philadelphia at Hadrian's Tomb / Logan Circle true north.


2003.01.23
ideas
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.


2003.01.23
ideas
3. reenact Kahn's Philadelphia via (enlarged) Campo Marzio. Kahn's City Hall + surfaces.
5. Warhol / Kahn at Furness.


2003.02.06
ideas
11. ...a distinct similarity between the plan of Whitemarsh Hall and the plan of the final House for Schinkel.


2003.02.26
Philadelphia Museum of Art


2003.03.05
working on Reenactionary Architecturism
...the Campo Marzio axis of life comparison with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The areas of the two plans now blank are going to be creatively filled in with creative plan designs, and with plans from Quondam's collection, especially the museums. ...museums because this will lead to Museum Collecting Point One, but that project might incorporate the whole Ichnographia Quondam. ...utilize the spliced together plans as tableaux, even as double theaters or stage sets. The "existing" architecture of both realms will be called out relative to its relation to reenactment.
...documentation will center around "Mnemonically Delineating Veracity," plus selected notes and letters will also be integral parts of the projects. Parkway Interpolation is also a major aspect of the project, thus using the (proto) thesis notes again.
Reenactionary Architecturism 2003.1 centers on the notion that the Campo Marzio axis of life and Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway are the same scale, beginning with the similarity in size of Hardian's Tomb and Logan Circle.


2003.04.16
5233


2003.05.12 14:01
Koolhaas the reenactor
A good look at very early Kahn, particularly his projects for Philadelphia, will shed interesting light on architecture of the 90s and the 00s.

2003.02.08 12:16
aesthetics preferences
Paul wrote:
Architects don't generally proceed from philosophical premises, but rather rationalize their aesthetic preferences after the fact.
Steve wonders:
If this is true (and perhaps Paul can verify this himself), then is it because of the way architects are taught?
My own architectural education began in 1970, when, as a freshman in high school, I used to read Fletcher's A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method during free study hall periods. Repeated visits to the decrepit Whitemarsh Hall during the same time added 'hands-on' lessons--Whitemarsh Hall allowed me to better envision the distant Kedleston Hall, my favorite building (plan) back then (as illustrated in Fletcher--English Renaissance rocked, in my opinion). By my senior year in high school (1974) I had read Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. The summer before going to 'architecture school' (1975), I read The Fountainhead and The Architecture of Humanism, thus my aesthetic preferences were pretty well informed before my 'official' architectural education.
In retrospect, I'd say it isn't so much personal good taste that leads to good design(ing), rather it's a knowledge of (the history of) good taste that leads to good design(ing).
Strange, odd, and even funny how now, more than anything, it has, for me at least, all become virtual.


2003.04.20
Liberty Bell Pavilion     1976
Independence Hall


2003.04.25 12:12
Re: liberty architecture moving to ground zero?
4. What do the first Stock Exchange of the USA and the Grosse Neugierde have very much in common?
They both reenact the choragic monument of Lysicrates from ancient Athens.
The Merchant Exchange is designed by William Strickland, 1832, and the Grosse Neugierde is designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1835-37. Both designs represent an 'international style' of architecture at the time, specifically a style of architecture "learning from" the then recent French documentation of ancient Greek architectures/sites, and hence seen as symbolic of democracy. The Grosse Neugierde now stands at the quondam West Berlin end of the famous Glienicke Bridge where spies were exchanged during the Cold War. The Merchant Exchange, all clad in what looks like and probably is King of Prussia marble, first stood as a beacon for the early commerce of the USA, and today houses the National Park Service's offices of Independence National Historic Park.
5. There are a few other examples were Strickland/Philadelphia architecture coincides with Schinkel/Berlin architecture.


2003.04.27 18:13
Re: Deshler Morris House in Germantown
...a 3d computer model of Center City Philadelphia, and I see the opportunity to use this model to 're-construct' past Philadelphias. It would be interesting to re-build the Independence National Historic Park area in its various prior conditions.

2003.06.06
Philadelphia Museum of Art


2003.06.10
Philadelphia Museum of Art


2003.07.24 22:35
Re: news from [Old] York
...the Benjamin Franklin Parkway matches exactly the long axis of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art at one end matching the Nymphaeum Neronis, Logan Circle at the middle of the Parkway matches Hadrian's Tomb, and the tiny intercourse building at the other end matches the location of the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture at the entrance to JFK Plaza [aka Love Park].
Since it's inception in the early 1920s, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was seriously considered a reenactment of the Champ Elysees from the Tuileries to the Arc de Triomphe. The Free Library and the Court House on Logan Circle even reenact the Palaces at the Place de la Concorde. I have never come across any reference comparing the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Piranesi's Campo Marzio, but, who knows, maybe the Champs Elysees was somehow inspired by Piranesi's plan.


2003.08.15 11:26
Re: berlin wall reenactment
... so I'm now wondering if the Iron Curtain was the last prior "biggest construction project in the world." Then, also, was/is the Great Wall of China the biggest construction project ever?
A rebuilding of the Berlin Wall in Berlin in plastic would not be much different than, for example, a reenactment of a Civil War battle.
The Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia appears to be reenacting both Third Empire Paris as well as Piranesi's virtual Campo Marzio.
It will (probably) still take some time before Las Vegas loses it's 'status' as reenactment capital of the world, however.
It's interesting to see all the various directions that "degrees of separation" can go when it comes to reenactment.


2003.08.19
Center City Philadelphia
Philadelphia City Hall   1901


2003.09.01 14:09
Re: Evolutionary theory and architecture
Regarding paradigm, the dictionary definition is that of being a model, which is not exactly the same as a "meme". For example, the shift in antique Roman culture from Paganism to Christianity is a paradigm shift that occurred largely because of the legalizing of Christianity and the outlawing of Paganism. One could say that Christianity spread within the antique world via "meme", which in modern terms would be called evangelism, but the cultural shift from Paganism to Christian is very much based on legal paradigms.
I forgot to mention in my last post the close relation between "meme" and reenactment (and what I have occasionally referred to as reenactionary architecturism). Reenactment as a pure function precedes "meme" in that the function of (human/individual) memory itself is a mental reenactment, thus "memes", more than anything are the spreading of mental reenactments, just like viruses replicate/reenact themselves.
When it come to "style", one could ask "What (if anything) is the style reenacting?" In Meaning In Western Architecture, without specifying reenactment, Norberg-Schulz nonetheless explains the axiality of Egyptian temples as analogous to the axiality of the Nile, etc. Likewise, the cardo and decumanus of Roman town plans represent (reenact) the axis of the Earth and the motion of the sun respectively. One could even ask what (if anything) does symmetry in design reenact? [Does symmetry in design stem largely from the overwhelming symmetrical design of the human body?]
If one takes the design of the human body as a paradigm, can one then say that corporAl symmetry was then reenacted corporEAlly, and thereafter symmetry in design was spread as paradigm via meme?
Is it fair to say that A. is (or appears to be) taking the theory of evolution as a paradigm and via meme applying it to the history of architecture? Or is a theory of evolution already manifest as a paradigm within the history of architecture, and A. is (the first?) detecting it? [Oddly, if A. is successful in his pursuits, the answer to both questions will be yes.]
All of the above regarding reenactment stem from the logical hypothesis that a reenactment can never be as original as that which it reenacts, and that reenactment come with degrees of separation between the reenactment and that which is being reenacted. Thus (I see) paradigm as closer in degrees to something original and meme as closer in degrees to reenactment.
[Here's one of my favorite examples of reenactionary architecturism:] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution originated, but the design of the city itself is very much a reenactment--there are other historical cities named Philadelphia (today's Amman, Jordan, for example), and Holme's survey/plan reenacts a Roman camp town precisely, even to the point where the cardo here today, Broad Street, is the longest straight urban street in the world. After the American Revolution, Philadelphia became the first, albeit interim, capital of the USA, and it's architecture then began to reenact the architecture of ancient Greece, which was used as a paradigm of "democratic" design.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the design of Philadelphia's new Benjamin Franklin Parkway set out to reenact the Champs Elysees of Paris, and there indeed are replicas of the palaces of the Place de la Concorde at Logan Circle, the centerpiece of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The design of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as reenactment becomes even more compounding when it is recognized that its design, as unwittingly manifest today, matches exactly Piranesi's design of an axis of life within the Ichnographia Campus Martius

2003.09.02
Philadelphia Museum of Art


2003.09.10
United Way Headquarters Building     1971
Site of the Free Library of Philadelphia expansion and site of the forthcoming Barnes Foundation Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Logan Circle
Free Library of Philadelphia at Logan Circle
Erected by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Honor of Her Colored Soldiers
Logan Circle
The Holocaust on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Love Park
Love
John F. Kennedy Plaza
Kopernik Monument
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul     1851
Philadelphia Museum of Art


2003.09.12 10:40
Re: more news from Philadelphia's Logan Circle
I returned to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to continue virtually walking along the Campo Marzio long axis from Hadrian's Tomb to the tiny 'intercourse' building along the banks of the Tiber.
The most thought/memory provoking Memorial around Logan Circle is the one dedicated to the "Colored Soldiers" who fought in World War I. Remember, the Parkway was executed between the two World Wars. There it is, literally etched in stone, the description of "Colored". Otherwise, it is a very handsome memorial, and evokes an enormous amount of respect.
I am somewhat surprised at the predominate amount of military/soldier memorials within/along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and I can't help but see how this all relates perfectly to the Campo Marzio, since the original Field of Mars is exactly were ancient Roman soldiers used to exercise. I [re]read the other night, in Building The City Beautiful: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, how the site of the Parkway, after demolition of the many previously occupied city blocks but before ultimate construction, was used briefly by troops before going to battle in Europe.
Lots of pictures were taken at and around Logan Circle before walking the rest of the axis toward the LOVE sculpture at JFK Plaza (now popularly referred to as "Love Park"). This part of the Parkway is integral to the city proper, thus tall buildings and regular pedestrians (half using cell phones) are in abundance--this contrasts with the Parkway north of Logan Circle, which is several large blocks of mostly open lawn. Just before reaching JFK Plaza, there is the Memorial dedicated to Holocaust Victims, on the Parkway since 1964. In the warmer months, the whole length of the Parkway (on both sides) is lined with the flags of the all the nations of the world--I believe this was started in the late 1970s. The nations are presented in alphabetical order, except the flag of Israel is next to the Holocaust Memorial, just like the flag of the Vatican is next to the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.
John F. Kennedy Plaza/Love Park is one of Philadelphia's 'living rooms', and the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture has been there (I believe) since the Bicentennial/1976. At first just a temporary installation signifying the meaning of Philadelphia--City of Brotherly Love, the sculpture became an endeared feature of the city and was thus made permanent. When I first took pictures of LOVE in October 2001, a newly engaged couple asked me to take a picture of them in front of the sculpture--the resultant picture was to be part of their Engagement Announcement. During the 1990s, Love Park became notorious as a preferred venue for skateboaders [indeed actually famous in overall skateboarding folklore]. Lots of damage was done, and skateboarding here is now prohibited--although I think special/official skateboarding competitions are still conducted here.


2003.10.19 13:17
Re: The Disney, inside
Wright's Beth Sholom synagogue (1954) has a very symmetrical sanctuary (if that is the right word) inside, and a very symmetrical entry/front facade.


2003.10.19 15:05
Re: The Disney, inside
Looked at a picture of the Unitarian Temple interior, and its layout reminds me of the many smaller Lutheran Churches designed by Schinkel, and of the Quaker Meeting House at 4th and Race Streets here in Philadelphia. I wonder if these (symmetrical) layouts are the result of trying to give form to beliefs of tolerance and consensus.


2003.10.19 17:25
Re: The Disney, inside
The tiered seating on either side of Wright's Unity Temple is exactly what made me recall Schinkel's many Lutheran church designs (c. 1830-40), where the layouts often have double tiers of seating on either side facing the central seating space, and there is at least one design where there are triple tiers.
It is also interesting to see the seating layout of the Friends Meeting House (on Arch Street, not Race Street, 1803-11), and then compare it to the seating layout of the two chambers in Congress Hall (next to Independence Hall, a couple blocks over from the Meeting House), where the US Senate and House of Representatives first convened, 1790-1800. The Senate chamber is upstairs, and somewhat formal, though also smaller and even intimate, while the House chamber downstairs is large, and has a public feel to it, especially with the doors that go directly outside. There is a distinct similarity between the layout of the Friends Meeting House and the layout of the first House of Representatives.
Although the Friends Meeting House on Race Street was built after 1800, the fact that Philadelphia was founded by William Penn, a Quaker, in 1683 suggests that there where other Quaker Meeting Houses in Philadelphia prior to Philadelphia being the nation's capital.

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