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OMA/Koolhaas

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2013.07.22 15:59
National Art Museum of China Entry by Gehry Partners
touchstone 2 : a test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing


I fail to see how Schinkel's Altes Museum determines the quality or genuineness of Gehry Partner's National Art Museum of China. For a more realistic test of the genuineness of the museum's exterior, look at OMA's Beijing Book Building, 2003.



We see the application of "Gehry wavyiness" and an inversion of the individual apurtures into the frames themselves. From what is discernable here of the museum's interior plans, however, there is no real relationship to the Altes Museum nor to the Beijing Books Building.

2013.07.25 08:16
Traditional/Classical Architecture- Part 2
There's a very interesting relationship between the architecture of Strickland and Schinkel. For example, compare the (space-time) of the Neue Wache and the Second Bank of the United States. Did they know of each other's work? I have no idea, but the space-time similarities are sometimes uncanny. Did they just happen to have access to (and devour) the same books and 'magazines'?
Koolhaas/OMA has been steadily building upon the components of architecture's tradition of the last 100 years or so.
The more traditions stay the more they change the same?


2013.08.15 16:36
Art vs. architecture
Yet Duchamp Inn is fully intended as architecture. Just like the intention here...

...is architecture.

2013.09.23 09:37
23 September
Take a look at Le Corbusier's Palais des Congrès à Strasbourg (1964), and then look at OMA's Hotel at Agadir, the Library at Jussieu, the Educatorium, and then MVRDV's VPRO--a trail of design reenactments. Maas worked on the OMA projects. Right now it looks like the novel begins at the Hotel of the Palais des Congrès. All the architects are registered there for the "Turning the Labyrinth Inside-Out" conference. None of them is confident, however, that the 'Buildings Present Themselves' portion will proceed without a variety of embarassing technical glitches.


2014.01.02 17:26
1 January
I know where my uncertainty comes from. Tafuri's argument against operative criticism is against architectural historians that (operatively) used history (incorrectly according to Tafuri) to set a (correct according to the historians) agenda for architecture's future. Your two answers have architects utilizing current operative socio-political 'histories' (not operative architectural histories) to form their respective agendas for architecture's present/future. That's not to say your answers are thus incorrect, just that there is a slight disconnect between your answers and where my question(s) came from.
Tafuri ultimately becomes clear as to how architectural historians should utilize history (the past) in their criticism of architecture's present/future, but he does not come to the same clarity as to how architects should utilize history (the past) in their architectural projects.
Koolhaas's and Schmacher's texts do comprise fairly pervasive (architectural) historiographic currents, so their respective architectural projects are not completely rely on (outside) socio-political operative histories.
Regarding sustainability/localization/critical regionalism it seems that those "projects" would naturally benefit from a critical focus on architecture's history (the past).


2014.01.02 19:01   t a m m u z
1 January
Quondam, wouldn't you agree that Koolhaas does utilize historical architectural themes critically (for instance, tower/podium typology)? If so, would that not imply an operative utilization of architectural history as well as socio-cultural one in his espousal of a 'realpolitik' apropos neoliberalism? His research projects bridge, or at least attempt to do so, the architectural to the socio-economic/cultural. No? I understand Tafuri's cautioning and I understand that your concern lies within architectural history/historiography rather than practice...but as you point out, Koolhaas does take that task of a rationalizing history for himself to place himself within it (as an architectural and socio-economic/cultural practice) and eventually, he is, for many, a sieve (as he himself operatively constitutes a sieve) for certain historical readings, retroactive and acquiescent. I'm just wondering whether I truly understand the area of your uncertainty; would appreciate clarification otherwise. Is it in what you suggest is lacking in Tafuri and is furnished in the aforementioned architects' works: a prescriptive feedback into architectural practice? I'm not sure that is necessarily a lack . . . perhaps the world is too just wrong to put to right :-) and criticism is, on its own, valid and valuable?
Please correct me/forgive my assumption but I think you admire Gehry's work partially for the avoidance of positing altogether such questions and, therefore, for mustering up a (therefore needless) challenge? It would allow him to be, as you very pertinently describe it, pliable, non-resistant, open, non-rhetorical and free of history's burden (clearly in contrast to Eisenman)- not free of history, free of its burden. His does not invite the anxiety underlying the Eurocentric sensibilities of Koolhaas and Schumacher, who are not only architects but also intellectuals with an old world sensibility of history.
I was very happy to visit the OMA Seattle Library a couple of days ago. I really enjoyed it. Now I wonder whether we can't call it a piece of critical regionalism...

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