not an easy book

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In the Baroque church the inside is different from the outside, but the back is also different from the front. American architecture, and especially Modern architecture with its antipathy to the "false front," has emphasized the free-standing, independent building even in the city--the building which is an isolated pavilion rather than one which reinforces the street line has become the norm. Johnson has called this the American tradition of "plop architecture." Aalto's dormitory at M.I.T. is exceptional. The curving front along the river and its fenestration and materials contrast with the rectangularity and other characteristics of the rear: exterior as well as interior forces of use and space and structure vary back and front.
Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), p. 88.

And the P.S.F.S. building, which is a tower, has four different sides because it recognizes its specific urban setting: party walls, street facades--backs, fronts and corner. Here the freestanding building becomes a fragment of a greater exterior spatial whole, but the typical freestanding building of Modern architecture, except for some surface treatment and screens, which act to de-emphasize the spatial enclosure or to recognize orientation differences, seldom changes front and back for exterior spatial reasons.
Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), p. 88.




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