not an easy book
In contrast, one exceptional Modern building, the P.S.F.S., gives positive expression to the variety and complexity of its program. It integrates a shop on the first floor and a big bank on the second with offices above and special rooms at the top. These varieties of functions and scales (including the enormous advertising sign at the top) work within a compact whole. Its curving facade, which contrasts with the rectangularity of the rest of the building, is not just a cliche of the '30's, because it has an urban function. At the lower pedestrian level it directs space around the corner.
The multifunctioning building in its extreme form becomes the Ponte Vecchio or Chenonceaux or the Futurist projects of Sant' Elia. Each contains within the whole contrasting scales of movement besides complex functions.
Le Corbusier's Algerian project, which is an apartment house and a highway, and Wright's late projects for Pittsburgh Point and Baghdad, correspond to Kahn's viaduct architecture and Fumihiko Maki's "collective form." All of these have complex and contradictory hierarchies of scale and movement, structure, and space within a whole. These buildings are buildings and bridges at once.
Quondam © 2019.09.30