not an easy book
Lewis Mumford, in a seminar at the University of Pennsylvania in 1963, compared the exceptional window positions in the south facade of the Doges' Palace with Eero Saarinen's windowed facade of the American Embassy in London. The dominant consistent rhythms in the Embassy building tend to deny the circumstantial complexities within its modern program and to express the dry purity of a civic bureaucracy.
The chapel wing at Versailles is an eventful exception beyond the scale of columns or windows. Through its position, form, and height it contributes a vitality and validity to the dominant symmetrical order of the whole, a vitality conspicuously lacking at Caserta, for example, where the exterior order of the enormous and complex palace is entirely consistent.
Quondam © 2019.10.17