I have too wonder if opening this thread with the FAT house image caused the post-modern slant that followed. I questioned the FAT house as possibly sarcastic not because it's post-modern, but because it's more post post-modern.
...sarcasm to criticize style really isn't the issue here. To point to an architectural design and say it's sarcastic is not necessarily to say it is therefore bad design (or something). I'm interested in simply sharpening the "reading" of architecture (--at least that's the extent of my agenda) and not to place value judgments.
Putting a parochial school inside a bullfighting ring--is that like putting a Catholic church inside a synagogue?
765, you're misrepresenting when you say V, SB and Izenour were "excluded from the High Modernist cocktail party" and therefore bitter. Venturi a Rome Prize recipient, Complexity and Contradiction coming out of MoMA, V and SB teaching at Penn and Yale, Learming from Las Vegas coming out of Yale. I'd say they were definitely guests at the "cocktail" party. The exclusion, you could say, came after Learning from Las Vegas was published (thus no bitterness before the publication, as you imply).
I did begin to re-read Part II of Learning from Las Vegas last night, and I agree with kablakistan in that sarcasm isn't really the modus operandi. It may be too hard now-a-days to recognize the "Pop" sensibility of the critique--the whole mixture of high art and low art which was then something like sacrilege. Plus, the "in your face" stance (i.e., naming names rather than remaining cautiously abstract) was "just not supposed to be done."
For sure there is much taunting and ridicule within "the ugly and the ordinary," as there is always taunting and ridicule whenever an orthodoxy is questioned and critiqued, but the task was accomplished without much sarcasm at all.
765, you and others may well see sarcasm as an effect of "the ugly and the ordinary" critique, and I concur that that is one fair interpretation, but there is very little sarcasm within the actual text itself.
It's probably also fair to say that most people that saw Venturi and Rauch's entry at Roma Interrotta saw sarcasm as well. But was "Pop" sensibility too often just confused for sarcasm? Does "Andy W" suggest more Andy Warhol rather than Andy Williams? Does Lennon suggest more John Lennon than the Lennon Sisters?
Is sarcasm more of a dark comedy? (I always thought so.)
Is seminal post-modern pastiche also sarcastic? I suppose it did taunt establishment Modernism keenly (and perhaps even somewhat bitterly?). Although one could say establishment Modernism became much more embittered because of it.
The D+S example above intrigues me the most. It is indeed taunting and you can almost taste the bitterness. (Not exactly architecture though.)
Perhaps Rossi haunts more than taunts.
Does any sarcastic architecture wound feelings? The Eisenman West Avenue proposal (next to Ground Zero) seems to have that potential.
Has Koolhaas (subliminally?) made a whole career out of taunting and bitterness?
Is there maybe then some sarcasm to be found in some Rossi architecture?
Unwitting sarcasm in some early proposals for the Ground Zero area?