novel architecturale


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Ichnographia Quondam   2392
Circle Squared Museum   2393
    Villa Rotunda
    Goldenberg House
    Parliament Building for West Pakistan
    Hurva Synagogue
    Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters
Palais House 10: Museum   2394
    Palais des Congrès
    House 10: Museum
Wave Wall House   2395
    Wall House 2
Ichnographia Ink Blot   2396
Headquarters of D.A.T.A.   2397
    Villa Savoye
    Maison l'Homme
Villa Plus Ultra   2398
    Villa Savoye
    Wall House 2
Courthouse Plus Ultra   2399
    Courthouse with Garage
    House 15

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2008.01.20 13:06
I want to write about architecture....How?
"I better stop before I start writing a reenactment novel here."
I read Remainder this past Friday; the episodes between Ludwig II and Josef Kainz came to mind--truth is stranger than fiction. Ludwig, too, was a very, very wealthy young man.
"Hey, did you hear the one about another Colonial Williamsburg in Arabia?"
"Gosh, that'd be like reenactment cubed."
"I know, and then they'll start slipping into the fourth dimension."
"Here a Versailles, There a Versailles, Everywhere a Versailles, sigh."

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2008.03.09 15:23
The Discreet HARM of The Bourgeosie...
Shock the architects themselves; that's where the real creative fun is. An over-flowing fount of inspirations, even.

2008.03.09 15:49
The Discreet HARM of The Bourgeosie...
struggle = yawn, then snooze
easy = shock

2008.03.09 16:26
The Discreet HARM of The Bourgeosie...
No, seriously, a struggle results in feeling tired, where as, something spontaneous and quick, wakes you up.

2008.03.09 16:34
The Discreet HARM of The Bourgeosie...
Virtually all architects are highly proficient at generating sticker-shock architecture.

2008.03.10 16:40
The Discreet HARM of The Bourgeosie...
"It would be more appropriate for us architects to shock the senses first - worry about style later."
Ah yes,

the Horse Radish House.

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2008.03.22 10:54
taking sexy back
multiple choice:
seminating imagination
ovulating imagination
fertilized imagination
conceptual imagination
pregnant imagination
pre-natal imagination
imagination of embryonic development
all of the above

2008.03.22 14:53
Eisenman vs Zumthor theoretical approach
assimilation: absorption
extreme assimilation: purge
metabolic: creative/destructive duality
pre-natal: synaptical
all-frequency: synapses
still-born: delivery and that's it
pregnant: delivery forthcoming

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2008.04.02 17:02
what is gothic that is not ornament? what is baroque, if not ornament?
Gothic is a passion play, whereas Baroque is a double theater.

2008.04.02 17:02
what is gothic that is not ornament? what is baroque, if not ornament?
Gothic is a passion play, whereas Baroque is a double theater.

2008.04.04 13:56
I can't answer for others, but lately my architectural theories involve a conjunction of Erlebnis und Erfahrung.

2008.04.05 10:32
Page 68 of Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media is loaded, and the dyslexical error therein provides a spark capable of igniting an explosion. More truth may in fact lie with the notion that the attributes of memory and remembrance are indeed interchangably fluid rather than strictly opposed. Le Corbusier's 'doctoring' of photography (as discussed in the chapter after page 68) even seems to be a perfect example of the interchangable fluidity of memory and remembrance.
--Balloon and Prick: Modern Reading as Virtual Architecture, (forthcoming).
currently on my 'book table':
Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media
The Limits of Interpretation
The Changing Light at Sandover
The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste
The Fifties
The Rise of Scientific Philosophy
Promises, Promises: Essays on Psychoanalysis and Literature
Difference & Repetition
Man and Time
The Anaesthetics of Architecture
The Diaries of Paul Klee
Edmund Husserl's Origin of Geometry: An Introduction
"The Boudoir in The Expanded Field"
The Production of Space
Art in America,
April 2008
Artforum, April 2008
51N4E space producers
Shrinking Cities
Festival Architecture
Future City: Experiment and Utopia in Architecture
Yves Brunier, Landscape Architect

...perhaps a sign of being neither student nor architect; sondern etwas anderes.

2008.04.05 16:49
S,M,L,XL is indeed a kind of "browsable" book that predates the internet in its breadth, and, for me at least, has stimulated publishing via the internet.
As far as I'm concerned, the internet makes "creating a fixed/fluid, massive, all-encapsulating text" even more possible.

2008.04.09 11:22
to clarify, when I wrote...
It may be well worth noting that the publication of S,M,L,XL closely coincides with the dawn of the easily-browsable/easily-publishable hypersized Internet. Ends and beginnings are both extreme situations was in response to:
I don't think there's been a book [since S,M,L,XL] with such broad influence since. What do you think?
...meaning that, since S,M,L,XL, it's from the Internet that broad influence now emanates.

2008.04.09 14:23
You know, for me (like for most architects), architecture has always been a sort of tourist site.

2008.04.14 17:20
Architecture & intellectual property
I'm still not sure whether "Patent Office" within Content is legally serious or not, but it is a very good documentation of OMA/AMO's 'intellectual property'.
It's also strange how authorship is now-a-days sometimes seen as something negative, although 'intellectual property' is all about legal 'authorship'.

2008.04.15 18:10
Floor Plans

Institute of Indigestion
You R what U eat Department

2008.04.16 10:08
Iconography, or the problem of representation

Lately I've been into Rorschach Ink Blot Test Architecture. Makes things a lot easier, like no more concerns over iconography, representation, indexicality, etc. It's whatever the beholder thinks it is.

2008.04.16 11:28
Iconography, or the problem of representation
...what came to my mind was the fluid associational glue that bonds icons and representation, hence the idea of Rorschach Ink Blot Test architecture. Yes, iconography is somehow always going to be there, but just maybe the associational glue could remain forever elastic as well. Or is it that the iconography remains forever elastic and the associational glue is somehow always going to be there?
What's next? Yikes Architecture!?

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2008.04.26 17:52
the state of drawing in education
I've been using CAD to draw architecture for 25 years now, and it hasn't been data input, rather data generation. Architectural drawing with a pencil or pen also amounts to data generation. The greatest advantage of CAD drawing over 'hand' drawing is the fluidity of CAD architectural drawing data.
I haven't printed any drawing of mine in years, yet almost all my drawings are viewable virtually anywhere on the planet, and maybe even in outer space.
In the midst of all this, I now see 'drawing' as a mental state just slightly prior to the data state. Perhaps, then, the mental state of drawing is also at an advantage when fluid.

2008.04.27 12:00
the state of drawing in education
...there is abundant room for messiness and experimentation and discovery within CAD.

2008.04.28 10:28
the state of drawing in education
"The third phase is distinguished from the second only because in the later period the number of partial images is increased as much as possible to create the effect of infinitely more images."
Frankl, Principles of Architectural History, p. 152.

2008.05.01 10:07
the state of drawing in education
In terms of drawing tool evolution then:
CAD offers an abundance of drawing tools and drawing capabilities.
The (so-called) inbuilt tendencies of CAD drawing tools are abundantly customizable.
The drawing field within CAD is also abundantly customizable.
CAD drawing data is fluid, easily manipulated, easily reproduced (thus making changes easily recordable, etc.).
It probably helps to have a fluid drawing/designing mindset to then optimally utilize the abundant capabilities of computer aided design/drawing.
Is it yet an inbuilt tendency for educators to instruct customization?
filling in the blanks:
1. draw series of spline lines on the xy plane
2. randomly move some of the spline points to arbitrary point +/- z
3. use the rotate-extrude command with extrusion rotation set to 15 degrees and the axis around which to extrude set by two arbitrary points somewhere on the spline lines
4. view the resultant extrusion at an arbitrary axonometric angle
5. do a hidden-line removal
The manual explains the rotate-extrude command by showing a straight vertical line as the axis of rotation and the half profile of a vase as the line data to be extruded during rotation(--this is the so-called inbuilt tendency, but really the social conditioning of the use of the command). The command itself, however, is programmed to accept any two points as an axis of rotation, and accept any set of drawn data to extrude while rotating.

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2008.05.12 12:03
Palace 2.0 Mixes History, Consumerism
Is Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye still a real house, or is it now more like a fake shrine?

2008.05.14 07:59
True discussion/argument among classmates
Humans are perfectly capable of knowing the truth, however, humans that are openly truthful remain a rarity.
If real truthfulness didn't exist, then there wouldn't be anything to lie about.

2008.05.15 07:49
Eisenman's six point plan
Eisenman's points/arguments here are either flawed in logic, sentimental, academic, or self-serving. For example, "students are passive," yet the students described here are actually protesting. In terms of practice, deconstruction is one of architecture's most obscure styles and 'post-modernism' is still what the vast majority of architects do. Part of what's historically playing out now is Le Corbusier's late style and Kahn's early 'planning' style.
Anyone else love watching Boston Legal. Now there's a style architecture would do well to emulate.

2008.05.15 08:17
Now try taking it to court.
For the record:
"The duck is the special building that is a symbol; the decorated shed is the conventional shelter that applies symbols. We maintain that both types of architecture are valid--Chartres is a duck (although it is a decorated shed as well), and the Palazzo Farnese is a decorated shed--but we think that the duck is seldom relevant today, although it pervades Modern architecture."
--Learning from Las Vegas, four years after 1968.
Perhaps the case today is that the duck has become (via media) more relevant (to society), and the decorated shed has become more (true to form) ephemeral. I maintain that both these types of architecture are valid.

2008.05.16 08:16
Now try taking it to court.
Point one begins with "Media has invaded every aspect of our lives." and ends with "Just think of any architectural magazine today devoted, supposedly, to the environment, and instead one finds media."
More to the point: Advertising has invaded every aspect of our lives, and just think of any architectural magazine today devoted, supposedly, to the environment, and instead one finds advertising.
"In the future, everything will be an advertisement." --Rita Novel
The Guggenheim has very successfully, via architecture, become an advertisement of itself [via free press even]. The Guggenheim's architecture as advertisement has even become an aspect of the Guggenheim's sustainability. The image of Guggenheim buildings are trademarked even.
Architecture as delivery of content = architecture as delivery of "advertising space" = lucrative sustainability. (We already know this is how a lot of virtual architecture works.)
Point one in the middle reads, "This leads today to a corruption of what we think of as communication, with a lessening of the capacity to read or write correct sentences." Ikea began their 1985 campaign in the United States with many billboards all over Philadelphia simply communicating--
+ + AH!
--months before the one store even opened.
I've lately come to wonder whether Ikea picked Philadelphia first because it is the largest city in what in the mid-seventeenth century was indeed New Sweden. Post-colonialism Swedish style I suppose.
Architecture in a media culture indeed!

2008.05.16 07:37
The Official Paradigm Shift thread
One easy way to conceptualize a new paradigm is to invert the "set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality". Such a conceptualization, however, does not then necessarily render a shift in paradigm.
New paradigms are easy to conceptualize, but getting "the community" to share (shift to) a new paradigm requires a lot more work.
War almost always renders a paradigm shift.

2008.05.16 11:09
The Official Paradigm Shift thread
"For example there were reasons in the late 19th century for architecture to change. These included changes in psychology introduced by Freud; in physics by Einstein; in mathematics with Heisenberg; and in flight with the Wright brothers. These changes caused a reaction against the Victorian and imperial styles of the period and articulated a new paradigm: modernism."
What the physics of Einstein, the mathematics of Heisenberg and the flight of the Wright brothers changed much more than architecture was warfare. [Freud basically applied the Christian notion of divine trinity being to the human psyche, thus helping humans to see themselves (and even Freud himself) as more Christian god-like.]
"With each new paradigm, whether it is the French revolution or the Renaissance, there is an early phase, which in modernism was from 1914-1939; a high phase, which in modernism occurred 1954-1968 when it was consumed by liberal capital after the war; and a period of opposition. The year 1968 saw an internal, implosive revolution, one that reacted against institutions representing the cultural past of many of the western societies. This was followed by post modernism's eclectic return to a language that seemed to have meaning. The Deconstructivist exhibition at the MoMA in 1988 put an end to this cliché and kitsch style."
First off, I wonder what the early, high and post-modern phases of the French Revolution are.
Note how modernism (as described here) does not have a phase between 1939 and 1954, i.e., during WWII and its aftermath. It looks like WWI and WWII and even the Vietnam War had a far greater effect on modernism than anything else.
So what does "war" look like in the world of architecture? Maybe, just maybe, it looks like a complete inversion of all of the above. (Like I said already, paradigm shifts require a lot of work.)

2008.05.16 13:58
The Official Paradigm Shift thread
Just paged through Le Corbusier's Oeuvre Complete 1938-46 and Oeuvre Complete 1946-52 and saw a lot of precursiveness. Like a whole magazine of paradigm-shifting bombs.

2008.05.17 16:06
The Official Paradigm Shift thread
"But here is my attempt at a definition of mannerism in architecture appropriate to now:
Mannerism as Convention Tweaked--or as Modified Cnvention Acknowledging Ambiguity. Mannerism for architecture of our time that acknowledges conventional order rather than original expression but breaks the conventional order to accomodate complexity and contradiction and thereby engages ambiguity unambiguously. Mannerism as complexity and contradiction applied to convention--as acknowledging a conventional order that is then modified or broken to accomodate valid exceptions and acknowledge unambiguous ambiguities for an evolving era of complexity and contradiction--rather than acknowledge no order or acknowledging a totality of exceptions or acknowledging a new order so as to be original."
--Robert Venturi, Architecture as Signs and Systems, pp. 74-5.
"...I would add that you break the rules because you can't follow all the rules of all the systems all the time, or at the same time. For one thing, some will be in conflict.
So conflict between systems is a condition that evokes Mannerism."
--Denise Scott Brown, Architecture as Signs and Systems, p. 212.
(I'll have to admit limited knowledge/experience on this, but...)
Is not a primary aspect of designing via algorithmic diagramming one where "tweaks" to the program are continually accomodated throughout the entire program, thus the endproduct never exhibits stand-out exceptions, but rather exceptions that are "massaged-in", thus the endproduct is a continuum overall, and ambiguity in never even present?
Is "ambiguous algorithm" an oxymoron?
How might a mannered algorithm function?
Can algorithms treat ambiguity unambiguously?
What (mostly) Venturi describes as mannerism in architecture may well be that aspect of designing that artificial intelligence can never quite achieve.

2008.05.19 18:28
Now try taking it to court.
Regarding Charles Sanders Peirce, see Anthony Vidler's "What is a Diagram anyway?" in Peter Eisenman: Feints.
"Perhaps the most penetrating examination of the nature and role of diagrams was undertaken by Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), in context of his general theory of signs, his semiology. For Peirce, all thinking took place with signs, things which served "to convey knowledge of some other thing", which they were "said to stand for, or represent."

2008.05.20 08:49
The Official Paradigm Shift thread

Department of Architectural Theory Annexation
"Hey, do you mind taking a picture of me in front of a paradigm shift on top of a paradigm shift."

2008.05.20 11:50
The Official Paradigm Shift thread
Many OMA and MVRDV projects owe a debt to Le Corbusier's Palais des Congrès (1964, shown here with the exterior walls of the upper box removed). A generic stacked grid filled with a wide variety of program. Le Corbusier's 'baroque' reenactment of Villa Savoye, even.
The Heidi Weber Pavilion is a composite of (at least) two earlier (1949-50) design ideas: Le Brevet 226x226x226 and Porte Maillot 50. The various designs leading up to and the early designs of the Pavilion itself make for an interesting study in 'paradigm' development.
Sous les Paves la Plage, indeed.

2008.05.31 08:37
An Amatuer
Content is a product of the moment.
Inspired by ceaseless fluctuations of the early 21st Century, it bears the marks of globalism and the market, ideological siblings that, over the past twenty years, have undercut the stability of contemporary life.
This book is born of that instability. It is not timeless: it’s almost out of date already. It uses volatility as a license to be immediate, informal, blunt: it embraces instability as a source of freedom.
Content is a follow-up to SMLXL, an inventory of seven years of OMA’s tireless labor. In many ways it is structured according to what its predecessor is not – dense, cheap, disposable….
The relentless internal logic that propelled SMLXL is here counteracted by the incorporation of critical, external voices. Subjects are not arranged according to size but by geographical proximity: the trajectory moves ever eastward, beginning in San Francisco, ending in Tokyo.
Content is dominated by a single theme – “Go East” – at once a response to 9-11’s mounting wreckage and an acknowledgement of the eastward momentum that has, through AMO’s political involvement with the EU and an increasing density of Chinese projects, redirected the office’s energy. It is an attempt to illustrate the architect’s ambiguous relations with the forces of globalization, an account of seven years spent scouring the earth--not as business traveler or backpacker, but as vagabond – roving, searching for an opportunity to realize the visions that make remaining at home torturous. Content is, beyond all, a tribute to what are perhaps OMA/AMO’s greatest virtues--its courage, its dogged, almost existential pursuit of discomfort, its commitment to engaging the world by inviting itself to places where it has no authority, places where it doesn’t ‘belong’.

2008.06.01 11:07
Can you say canonical?
"In this painstaking analysis of an apparent architectural syntax, the author offers a fresh interpretation of one of the canonical works of the Brutalist movement--the Stirling and Gowan Leicester Engineering Building, completed in 1963. Responding independently to one aspect of a theme broached by Manfredo Tafuri in Oppositions 3, Eisenman attempts to uncover the precise manner in which Stirling has rewritten the "words" of modern architecture."
--Kenneth Frampton, an introduction to "Real and English: The Destruction of the Box. I." (1974).
The article was first presented in lecture form at Cooper Union in the spring of 1973 and again at Yale during the spring of 1974.
"The thrust of the argument below will be that the Leicester Engineering Building invokes a similar critical and thus, polemical, intention as Venturi, but does so in a different and perhaps less traditional manner--by distorting the form of the iconic structure as opposed to perverting the form of the iconic content, as in the case with Venturi."
"Much of the work of Louis Kahn, which proposes a classical alternative to a modern eclecticism, can surely be seen..."
"...and more recently in the wall decompositions of John Hejduk, destroys it conceptually."
"Real and English: The Destruction of the Box. I" was a (personal) inspirational motivator for a fourth year design (taken through to working drawings) project, Fall 1979. None of the faculty "got" the design--it was like Leicester Engineering meets Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Hyper Avant. Very distorted iconic structure fucks with perverted iconic content. Then during "working drawings", Spring 1980, witnessed schizophrenic survival of horrific expressway accident, emergency room lobotomy, subsequent two-week drug-inducted coma, and the commencement of a whole new history (where all that remains canonical is a sense of humor).

2008.06.01 11:14
The Official Paradigm Shift thread
"On the one side was Nature: the curves of the waves, the line of the unfolding leaf, the pattern of the crystal. All these might be studied, and in some way architecturally employed--no matter how--so long as the knowledge and the love of them were evident."
--Geoffrey Scott, The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste, (1914), p. 68.

2008.06.28 09:21
the miller house (should be more famous)
Looks like late Le Corbusier style as Composite Order--Villa Shodham meets Heidi Weber Pavilion meets Chandigarh tapestries.
What was the year of construction?
Evokes some memories of Graves' Snyderman House.

2008.06.30 15:24
the miller house (should be more famous)
"Ah, Detailotheca, the nimiety of detail museum."
"If only all architecture were so self-evident."
"I know. It never really was a house, was it?"
"True, but it's actually two museums."
"Ah yes, the Reenactment of Late Le Corbusier Style Museum as well."

2008.07.05 11:44
architecture, technology, magic & war
The point of the great pyramids today is exactly that they make no sense; we don't even know how they were built. And, unless you believe in magic, the pyramid builders used a 'technology' that is somehow beyond us right now.
Just kill the notion of "how things were always done" because that's the real myth of your argument. "How things are done" has always been a very non-homogeneous set of situations. If you look closely, computers have (already) greatly enabled an even more vast proliferation of non-homogeneous ways of doing things.
There is a detectable magic in true non-homogeneous visionariness.
Historiography is now paradoxically caught up with writing predictions of the future, and that's because a true (magical) historian actually can simultaneously write about past, present and future events.

2008.07.06 11:15
How "futuristic" really is SCI_arc?
Is there a way to photoshop not by HAND?
Drawing and collaging by WORD OF MOUTH, now that's futuristic!

2008.07.09 18:24
Help on Wall label or object label in a museum
"The paradox is that architects work so hard at not working, sacrificing evenings, weekends, retirement, and even old age. The architect is a piece of equipment that is always on, with a screen saver of routine activities that represents action when nothing is happening. Every casual look when walking down the street or into a room is turned into an analytical, dissecting gaze."
You often find such topical caricatures of architects within the essays of Wigley from the last decade or so.

2008.07.14 10:06
bored with modern & contemporary, yet?
"Then I thought, might it not be interesting if homes were treated/designed like BIG BOX stores."
It could well be argued that the Villa Savoye is a fitting representation or acme even of the paradigm shift in residential architecture toward overall minimalism. The skeleton of a minimalist building is even more minimal (or see Farnsworth House). Then came the decorated shed with minimalist decoration. And in the virtual present gemmating decorated sheds infringing upon minimalist remains.

2008.07.15 16:16
bored with modern & contemporary, yet?
...there really is no evidence that Michelangelo knew the rules so well that he thus also knew best how to break them. That logic is more indicative of a latter-day, wishful-thinking, pedagogical explanation.
Michelangelo was more of a reluctant architect; architectural commissions were generally not something he sought. Sculpture was his real passion, and I suspect it was his sculptor's eye that really led him to use/design architectural moulding the way he did.

2008.07.15 21:12
bored with modern & contemporary, yet?

Picasso wasn't necessarily breaking any rules here, but he was being somewhat improper. What this work tells me is that Picasso recognized a sculptural potential in a bicycle seat and handle that when combined (improperly, in a way not done before) generated a masterpiece. I get the same sense when I look at Michelangelo's architectural detailing. Rather than simply breaking the rules, he saw potential in architectural details that others before him hadn't seen before, and he produced many improper combinations and many unprecedented details.
e.g., Porta Pia
Perhaps Michelangelo didn't even see classical architecture as a set of rules, rather a set of potentials. (And perhaps language/grammer too might not be seen as a set of rules, but rather a set of potentials).

2008.07.21 09:02
bored with modern & contemporary, yet?
"What Stein discovered was a writing style that celebrated its grammatical mistakes. In her most radical prose, she managed to make us conscious of all the linguistic work that is normally done unconsciously. We notice the way verbs instantly get conjugated (even irregular verbs), the way nouns naturally become plural, and the way we amend articles to fit their subjects. Stein always said that the only way to read her writing was to proofread it, to pay acute attention to all the rules she violates. Her errors trace the syntactical structures we can't see, as our "inside becomes outside."* Stein showed us what we put into language by leaving it out."
* This isn't as strange a method as it might seem. Ludwig Wittgenstein hit upon a similar method for his philosophy, which, like Stein's writing, was interested in the uses of language to the exclusion of almost everything else. Wittgenstein once said that he worked by "mak[ing] a tracing of the physiognomy of every [philosophical] error." Only by mapping out mistakes could he see how best to proceed. Samuel Beckett also subscribed to Stein's literary approach. "Let us hope that a time will come," Beckett wrote, "when language is most efficiently used where it is being misused. To bore one hole after another in it, until what lurks behind it--be it something or nothing--begins to seep through; I cannot imagine a higher goal for a writer today."
Jonah Lehrer, Proust was a Neuroscientist (2007), p. 164.
Here we have 'modernist' thinking.
Alberti's thinking appears more Platonic.
Michelangelo's thinking appears more Aristotelian.

2008.07.26 09:18
I smell a Vorläufer
"A further study of the main house resulted in two radical options: a vertical and horizontal house, both based on the same configuration. ... By turning our initial proposal 90 degrees a vast potential was discovered in which each space can have its own personal relationship with the landscape. What used to be a conventional patio becomes a centrally located multi-level living space which gives the inhabitants an unprecedented special experience and at the same time fits the very specific demands of the program."
--description of OMA's Ascot Residence (2003).

Wonder what would happen (if anything) when the above "nine plans" are flipped up 90 degrees. For example, a flipped-up 21st Century Museum of Art...
...looks almost like this...

One easy way to conceptualize a new paradigm is to invert the "set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality".
...or just practice the twist in front of the mirror[-copy plan].
2008.05.19: "I'm secretly working on Plan Atypical"

2008.07.27 15:48
Making Plans
Ease versus difficulty is hardly a sufficient gauge here.
I learn from the history of all the plans that are ignored, along with the schematics behind the ignorance. Architecture Not Now indeed!

2008.07.31 15:29
...if you do intern at Eisenman, bone up on the I Ching before you get there, and then let it be known that the I Ching is one of your avocations via demonstrations of your meaningful chancyness. You'll have a blast!

2008.08.02 09:22
I smell a Vorläufer
There's no argument as to the existence of architectural precedents, rather that the precedents themselves manifest a nimiety of diversity.
more from Oresko...
"But probably the most important and wide-reaching effect Piranesi had upon his friend was the transmission of his notion of artistic licence. The concept of abstracting the elements of classical culture and then rearranging them into a pattern of one's own was developed and expounded largely by Piranesi. As with Inigo Jones, it is obvious that Robert Adam cast his intellectual net widely and borrowed from a staggeringly rich variety of classical, Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary sources. But, again with Jones, his scholarly tabulation of a seemingly inexhaustible number of architectural details and the concomitant reliance upon earlier modes for inspiration did not result in Adam's being a mere copyist or pasticheur. Elaborating upon Piranesi's doctrine of artistic licence and relying upon what he saw as the authentically classical approvel of the individual artist's genius, Adam blended his elements, what ever their source, into his own personal manner, and the compound which resulted was always pure Adam."
Is Unarrested Architecture written by otherness?
"Rather is it a matter of destabilizing the current assumptions by admitting otherness in a way that disturbs the very concept of architecture and the architect. It is time for expanded architects to publicly explore the enigmas and destabilizing elements of all buildings rather than repress them, allowing the mystery or instability of the built object that attracted them in the first place to come to the surface, and admitting mystery into their own stories."
--Wigley, 2006.
You know, Wigley actually told me it was indeed fate that I was there (in Brussels, 1999), because I had already manifest what was the point of the closing address he was to deliver the next day. I guess he smelled a Vorläufer.

I smell a Vorläufer
2008.08.07 08:44
I smell a Vorläufer
"The errors that Robert Adam detected in Palladio's drawings for the reconstruction of the 'Baths', published in 1730 as Fabbriche antiche disegate da Andrea Palladio, encouraged a dismissive attitude to Palladio and led him to question the accuracy of the renaissance as a reliable recorder of classical architecture. It became easy for the brothers to delude themselves into thinking that they alone possessed a deep insight into the antique and had the knowledge necessary to correct the errors of renaissance draughtsmen. But such an arrogant stance was more a public one, which did not stand in the way of their serious study of the renaissance or their need to borrow directly from it, from time to time. The enormous variety found there appealed to them as much as the inventive classicism of the antique."
Just as an aside, Fabbriche antiche disegate da Andrea Palladio was used in the formation of Roma Interrotta Sector VI.
Authorship Architects: A Work in Progress
1. Piranesi
2. Piranesi
3. Piranesi
4. Adam & Adam
5. Durand
6. Durand
7. Seroux d'Agincourt
8. Schinkel
9. Schinkel
Coda: Hejduk

08080901   Circle Squared Museum plans models   2206i15   b

2008.08.13 15:38
has the sun finally set on oma?
This appeals to me. The overlay of generative elements and the resultant hyper-figure/hyper-ground.

I like this too.

2008.08.13 15:57
has the sun finally set on oma?
As to what's next, maybe this, or this, or this, or this. And there's always hope.

2008.08.17 12:03
has the sun finally set on oma?
I just looked up trend spotting on google because that's what current architectural theory/history wants to be good at but isn't, and followed a link and then another link, and there it was, the conceptual model of my next building...

I too want to be a risky architect.

2008.08.22 16:31
If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it.

Campus Theatrics Times Two, SagaCity

2008.08.22 22:05
Peter's canon
Just did a side by side chronological overview of the work of Gehry and Eisenman, and in terms of architectonic, geometrical experimentation, Gehry manifests a greater and more mature repertoire.
Eisenman goes through a lot of intellectual and theoretical rigor to ultimately arrive at his geometry, but Gehry simply demonstrates that the intellectual and theoretical rigor isn't even necessary when it come to unprecedented architectonic geometries.
The only reason Eisenman's approach gets respect is because it fits well into 'higher' education. To have students pay large amounts of money to then learn that, "Hey, just look at Gehry, you can design pretty much anyway you want these days." just wouldn't go over well.

2008.08.23 00:03
If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it.
Perhaps the sordid love quadrilateral between Costanza (the art collector and dealer), her husband Bernini's assistant, Bernini, and Bernini's brother was something of an inspiration for the Due Teatri

Portrait of Costanza Bonarelli, c. 1636-37.
Due Teatri, 1637.

2008.08.23 21:06
Peter's canon
Personally, I like seeing all the study models of various projects by various architects. I like it because it clearly demonstrates just how pliant architectural designing can be. And I seriously consider the notion that it may well be Gehry that best introduced architectonic pliancy to the profession.
Is architectonic pliancy in somewhat sharp contrast to Eisenman's method? Up to a certain point (in time) I'd say yes. And when Eisenman's work started exhibiting some measure of pliancy, that's where I start to see Gehry's influence.
Have Gehry's designs of late become somewhat predictable and/or seemingly uninspired? Perhaps the pliability metaphor applies here too; perhaps the pliancy has been lost for being stretched too much and too far.
Another thing I like about all the study models is that so often almost any one of the models looks to be an exciting and/or interesting building. And often too it is within the collection of study models that one finds the riskier designs. "Getting it right" isn't the only operation going on. There's also a having-to-let-go of good designs.

2008.08.24 08:43
peter's canon
I am quite surprised by the many who have not recognized Gehry's influence. If anything, he joined and most clearly built a unity of modernist architecture as self referential practice of structure and the same as a flexible practice of hyper-noumena; that is to say a compound of the mineral tectonics of here-and-now and the sating buffet of architectonic plasma.
Modern architecture is fully present and wide awake, and all the quondam dreams and nightmares now manifest reality itself. Is not then a prescriptive therapeutic and/or pharmaceutical architecture surely to be marketed as well?

2008.08.26 16:50
"wildly influential" or really only virtually influential?
But is what Woods produces really anything more than an aesthetic?

2008.08.26 20:17
"wildly influential" or really only virtually influential?
It's not a throwing out of the critical position, it's looking at the manifestations of the critical position and finding not much more than an aesthetic.

2008.08.29 08:04
Theory needed: contextualism/transparency
"Tafuri opposes the notion of operative criticism with that of historical criticism: in his view, criticism and history are identical--in other words, architectural criticism should always be historical criticism; what is more, there is a hiatus between architectural criticism on the one hand and architectural practice on the other. Architectural criticism (architectural criticism, that is) cannot be expected to offer any ready-made solutions for the problems that occur in the practice of the profession. All that history and criticism can do is clarify the context--in the broadest sense of the word--within which architectural production is carried out; they cannot provide any guidelines for its future development."
--the person who drove me back to my hotel after dinner at the Zenghelis/Gigantes residence.
Context used to be more real and is now more virtual.
Transparency used to be more virtual and is now more real.
I find that virtual criticism and virtual history are forward looking and trailblazing.

2008.08.29 16:16
Theory needed: contextualism/transparency
Keeping the criticism and the history in play keeps them virtual.

2008.08.29 16:29
Theory needed: contextualism/transparency
Also, Hejduk's oeuvre manifests an example of virtual criticism and virtual history.

2008.09:02 07:25
Theory needed: contextualism/transparency
Palais des Abuse Ridiculous
Cut & Paste Museum

ichnographia non-virtual non-context
3 black holes in the Michelin Misguide
atemporarily under deconstruction

virtue2vicegrip machine4living
you say: theory is only a textually generated infill (because the domineering cultures of this planet are text-based) in the gap between shelter and architecture.
I say: kaleidoscopic lacunae

1. working title: All Within Hadrian's Limits. A narrative non-fiction story of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius. The idea is to start writing with all the Hadrian related material: mother/son, Antoninus, Bustum, etc.
2. cut & paste museum: create a model of all the complete models; a "riff" off Gehry's so far unpublished (PMA) design.
3. create a Hejduk House 15 model using the pieces of Wall House 2.

2008.09.04 23:44
MVRDV masterplan in Tirana

design development like 8 years ago

"Hey, you're blocking my view!"

2008.09.05 08:43
MVRDV masterplan in Tirana
It's not geo-mimicry, it's jury-mimicry!

"Hey, let's design a reenactment of this painting."
"Yeah, we'll do it like abstractly, and when other architects see the scheme they'll start reenacting a design jury."
--excerpt from "Scalping Double Theater Tickets" in The Further Adventures of the Broke Baroque Style.

2008.09.05 09:38
MVRDV masterplan in Tirana
the next design...

08090604   IQ041 new ICM plans   2392i75

08090701   IQ041 new ICM plans   2392i76

2008.09.13 08:20
the concept of surface
thinking of the separate surface...

...and the contiguous surface...

...and again
the concept of surfing

2008.09.18 21:03
H & deM in TriBeCa: 56 Leonard
and talking about trusting opinion...
mirror, mirror on the wall

08092401   Villa Plus Ultra plans elevation   2398i01
08092402   Villa Plus Ultra model   2398i02

08092502   Courthouse Plus Ultra plan development   2399i01

2008.09.28 16:35
On Formalism and Reenactment
Place the following items in chronological order from oldest to youngest.
a. something original
b. reenactment
c. meme
d. tautology
e. all of the above as something original

2008.10.02 08:52
Resisting Formalism
[architectural] Pliancy, apt.
[using] Formalism [as criticism], inapt.
[architectural] Formalism is not altogether inept, however.

2008.10.05 11:20
Mixing Design Elements of Different Style Homes-Your Opinion
There's really nothing stopping you from mixing whatever you want. Unless, of course, you wear your education like a Playtex girdle.
I try to go into eclectic shock/therapy at least once a week. Recently 2398 and 2399.
And I've been going into eclectic shock/therapy for 25 years now.

2008.10.06 10:39
Mixing Design Elements of Different Style Homes-Your Opinion
forget utopian and go ottopian

2008.10.06 14:10
Mixing Design Elements of Different Style Homes-Your Opinion
This week I'm designing a pre-quondam and post-quondam mix residence.

2008.10.07 17:07
"I'd say, socially, economically and geographically responsive architecture will trump 'all' and be the movement."
And has architecture really become more about spectacle than building? And, if so, are architects blameless?

Surgical Double Theater   4706

2008.10.13 23:45
beach reads
"Hey, did you hear the one about another Colonial Williamsburg in Arabia?"

2008.10.13 23:59
the trajectory of the abstract animal in thirds
"All the world's a next stage."

2008.10.14 20:35
Learning from Las Vegas (ad infinitum): An Interview With Charlie Kaufman
"If you extrapolate [the] current situation and current trends and the way architecture is evolving, it's maybe slightly too strong to say that ultimately everything will be embedded in a casino."
--Rem Koolhaas on The Charlie Rose Show March 25, 2002 42 minutes into the show.

chapters of Architecture in Critical Condition
"Bilocation Syndrome" could be about Ichnographia Quondam and how it operates. Perhaps including thoughts on virtual and real and how there can be two places where things occur simultaneously.   2392

2008.10.20 17:24
Tripartite cantilevering Cloverfield of a stair: "Live Wire" by Oyler Wu Collaborative
...make that elaborated to excess appearance.
" essence the Baroque involved: a) a bifurcation of reality and illusion, b) pervasive mirroring (figuratively and literally), and c) reality reenacting its own illusory mirror."
Good design often amounts to a honing-in process.
Simply being overwrought doesn't get you to baroque, but an overwroughtness honed-in might just be the ticket.

2008.10.21 08:58
Did Ruskin really say something like 'there would be no memory without architecture'?

2008.10.23 12:26
PhD advice
Ultimately, though, it is the accomplishment of giving architecture something it didn't have before that actually matters most. No?

2008.10.23 13:07
PhD advice
I'm not really sure why I do what I do right now, especially since the rewards are practically non-existent. I do continually read, draw, create archives, and investigate unbuilt buildings and unbuilt neighborhoods, however. Think, write and talk about it all, not so much lately though.

2008.10.25 11:20
front-line ideas + regional tradition = potential for a design culture of thinking/making?
"Eternal Wrest" is mostly about "reenactment with a twist".

2008.10.25 12:26
front-line ideas + regional tradition = potential for a design culture of thinking/making?
Regarding Jarzombek's "Un-Messy Realism", what's important comes at the end:
"We have to realize that our discipline is undergoing an inner transformation of historical import and that sooner or later it will yield an educational system far different from the one we grew up with in the last twenty years. But whether this is for better or worse is difficult to ascertain since there is also a collusion of silence in academe about where the ghost ship is heading."
The "collusion of silence", like a law of silence (utilized by various emperors) is an effective form of control.
More likely it is an outer transformation that is bringing about the inner transformation.
A "collusion of silence" can also breed ignorance via ignoring.
"Official art culture is much more effective in its control of history than Republican strategists, for it knows that the best way to treat contradictory material is not to rail against it, but simply to pretend it didn't happen."
--Mike Kelley, 1992
Be watchful of the inner and the outer to see the full picture.

2008.10.29 11:05
books on design strategy
and for ultimate fiction, autoarchiography!

2008.11.03 08:18
Stab one: a thesis declaration
Judging by the subtext of each of the five paragraphs you just posted above, it looks like "conditioning" is what really permeates your thesis.
Wondering, will the critical conditioning of a new ideology of space for the 21st century happen more naturally or more artificially?
Speaking of hospitals, currently reading Le Corbusier's Venice Hospital (Hashim Sarkis, editor). It too touches on the notion of a "new ideology of space".

2008.11.07 13:37
New MVRDV high Rise in Copenhagen

School of Intemperate Cantileverage

Home Depot Home Kit?

2008.11.13 11:19
I Love Architecture
coincidentally read last night...
"Novelists and philosophers are both obsessed with language, and make themselves up out of concepts. Both, in a way, create worlds. World? But the worlds of the novelist, I hear you say, do not exist. As for that--they exist more often than the philosophers'. Then, too--how seldom does it seem to matter. Who honestly cares? They are divine games. Both play at gods..."

2008.12.03 01:50
where is the good new architecture?
I prefer to watch architecture history as it actually unfolds, and not through the aperture of somewhat artificial markers.

2008.12.03 11:23
where is the good new architecture?
There may be well be a lot of recent built architecture that is uninteresting (to you), but, nonetheless, there is a lot of recent designed architecture that is interesting. I can hear you say that designed, i.e. unexecuted, architecture does not count on this list. Yet I can also hear you say that St. Pierre does not count because it was designed in 1962. That is to say I sense your evaluation process unfortunately includes a double standard. Not all architecture has to be built in order for it to be historically significant.

2008.12.03 08:00
pragmatists turning political?
I listened to most of the lecture while doing other work. Interesting, and likely even fruitful, typological analysis in terms of forms and how they may relate to programs and usage, but there remains the hint of force-fit and an even horizontal shift from 'iconic' analysis/design to 'political' analysis/design. As to this work's place within the continuum, I like how this is now being reenacted.

2008.12.14 10:40
Shape and Form
Louis Sullivan's form follows function argued against architecture's form having become too removed from its function--banks shouldn't look like ancient temples; bankers don't wear togas. When Sullivan was in Philadelphia working at Frank Furness' office, 1872-73, it was on the same block as, if not right across the street from, William Strickland's Second Bank of the United States, with very severe Doric temple fronts, 1819-24. Strickland's Philadelphia architecture was meant to represent the United States as the new democracy, thus emulating (reenacting) the architecture of the old democracy of ancient Greece. Note, however, the similarity of the contemporaneous works of Strickland and Schinkel point to other factors also being present within the formulation of Strickland's style, likely the influence of the "Grand Durand".

more Olivetti reenacted
Herzog & de Meuron's BBVA Headquaters design is the latest reenactment of Le Corbusier's Electronic Calculation Center Olivetti.

Plus, the design clearly manifests Alejandro Zaera-Polo's (reenactionary) proposal of a new politics of the envelope.

2008.12.23 20:29
pragmatists turning political?
I'm using "reenactionary" more in terms of how ZP's designs 'reenact' the mat/box/blob paradigm of Le Corbusier's Electronic Calculation Center Olivetti at Rho-Milan. Although intrigued by ZP's 'new politics of the envelope' I'm not sure 'politics' is the right word to describe what it's really about, but it might just be right.
ZP notes how in the past it was in the plan where 'politics' was found, whereas he now see the politics in the envelope, and there seems to be something to that. Just recently I looked closely at the plan of the Palace of Versailles (when I was also reading ZP's essay in Log), and besides the political implication of the King's Bedroom on axis in the center, the similarity in plan of the Chapel and the Opera off to the side respectively got me thinking not just of their relative marginal positions, but how both plans represent 'theaters'. Anyway, if ZP's politics of the envelope can operate/communicate in the same type of way, it seems that would make for a novel/fecund design methodology.

2008.12.24 10:29
pragmatists turning political?
"Instead of a revolutionary architecture, an architecture of explicitation would imply more complex political directionalities as it transforms the space and the material organization of the built environment, even if those transformations cannot be inscribed in a holistic political program. For architecture to express the domestication of density and high-rise life through specific massing strategies in tall buildings, to convey that tendencies in the articulation of the building envelope capture the new political affects, to communicate that certain manipulations of the ground and the roof indicate the politicization of nature, or to explain the breakdown of the correlation between interior and exterior and private and public, are legitimate political performances."
That is what I assume to be the gist of the so-called general theory of the building envelope as expressed within 'The Political Agency of Dimension' within "The Politics of the Envelope".
Because I see all this relating to Le Corbusier's late Olivetti project first, I looked again at UN Studio's Intramural Centre (project, 1994) as presented within the "Effects" book of MOVE (1999), since this project too reenacts the Le Corbusier paradigm. And then, as I looked through the rest of MOVE, I began to see that the 'envelope' was already often taken into a kind of 4th dimension, a kind of hyper-envelope. Somewhat ironically, UN Studio's proposal for the Yokohama Port Terminal already portends what AZP is now espousing.

2008.12.25 19:05
pragmatists turning political?
When AZP writes "or to explain the breakdown of the correlation between interior and exterior and private and public, are legitimate poltical performances," it only seems fair to include UN Studio's work.
I mentioned UN Studio's Yokohama terminal project because "the organizing principle of the terminal is the structural association of architecture to infrastructure and landscape; garden-like voids are absorbed into the architecture and then proceed to transform it" and one of the section drawings calls out a 'climatic facade system'. Further reading reveals some strangeness, however. "This design-by-section represents one of our first, incomplete, experiments with 4-D architecture. The building itself was never designed, but 30 sections were worked out, after which 3-D Studio was used to fill in what was left." "Finally a photo-shopped skin was wrapped around the resulting composition in order to simulate the appearance of a building." Politics of the envelope indeed?
from Webster's Third International Dictionary:
politics 1 a : the art or science of government : a science dealing with the regulation and control of men living in society (as nations or states) in both internal and external affairs : the art of adjusting and ordering relationships between individuals and groups in a political community
Electronic Calculation Center Olivetti at Rho-Milan
The huge development is divided into three construction stages:
First stage: main entrance with restaurants, library and other social facilities, then the first sguare workshop block measuring 350 ft. x 350 ft. Above this block are ten storeys of research laboratories. The assembly shops are at ground level. The entrances, however, are located at roof level. By means of an entrance ramp the employees reach the connecting corridors which lead to the three [amoebae]-shaped locker and washroom blocks. One enters the various shops at ground level by means of stairways. The workrooms receive well-distributed daylight from above; there is also a plantation on the roof and a sprinkler system which provides cooling during hot weather.
Again AZP: "...certain manipulations of the ground and the roof indicate the politicization of nature."

2008.12.26 12:37
pragmatists turning political?

AZP from the Berlage lecture top: flat horizontal, permeable, social mobility, handling flows, movement

UN Studio, Yokohama Port Terminal, 1994
I'm wondering whether a hyper-envelope can deliver a hyper-politicization.
some coincidental reading from earlier this morning...
"Vico's own approach to this new science was by way of a new theory of knowledge. The first clear trace of this appears in his inaugural oration of 1708 comparing ancient and modern methods of study. The moderns have instituted great improvements in the physical sciences, but have unduly depreciated those studies whose matter depends on the human will and therefore involves vicissitude and probability--languages, poetry, eloquence, history, jurisprudence, politics."
AZP's language does slide easily (to other projects), and that is because much of it is at base a typological analysis.
AZP's language also slides easily from (historical) formal analysis to prescriptive methodology.

2008.12.30 09:00
pragmatists turning political?
Pier Vittorio Aureli's "Toward the Archipelago: Defining the Political and the Formal in Architecture" (in Log 11, Winter 2008) lays out the context of Alejandro Zaera-Polo's "The Politics of the Envelope" (in Log 13/14, Fall 2008).
within Toward the Archipelago:
Urbs vs. Civitas
Infinity and Enclaves of Urbanization
The Enclave and the Landmark
The Political
The Formal
The Archipelago
passages from The Political:
"Politics arises between men, and it is established as a relationship." (Arendt)
The space in-between can only materialize as a space of confrontation between parts. Its existence can only be decided by the parts that form its edges.
In the dual terms of Carl Schmitt, the space in-between is formed by the decision of who is a friend and who is an enemy. This decision does not exist "as found" in between the parts, but arises from the position taken by the parts that form this space.
...the notion of agonism--the counterpositing of parts--functions as a critical mirroring of oneself via the other to the extent that it is possible to say that to make a collective claim of political autonomy, one must first declare one's counterpoint.
The enemy, on the other hand, estranges us from our familiar self-perception and gives us back the sharp contour of our own figure, of our own position. What counters us inevitably constitutes the knowledge of our own limit.
The political cannot be reduced to conflict per se; it indicates the possibility of conflict and as such calls for its resolution. Even if it means slightly confounding the terms of Hegel's dialectic, the political realizes the resolution of conflict not by a synthesis of confronting parts, but by recognizing the opposition as a composition of parts. This suggests that it is possible to theorize a phenomenological and symbolic coincidence between political action and the form of an object.
[This is the space of the politics of the envelope.]
Both deal with the fundamental question of defining the limits that constitute related but different parts. From this vantage point--the question of a composition of parts, the question of limits posed through the knowledge of the other--I propose to redefine the concept of the formal.
aggregate base

2008.12.31 09:38
pragmatists turning political?
The concluding 'Architecture' section of Aureli's "Toward the Archipelago" begins with:
"Let's immediately state that today's iconic building--the building that affirms its own singular presence through the appearance of its image, and that today constitutes one of the primary expressions of architectural culture at the scale of the city--cannot be a valid part of the city. Putting aside moral problems, issues of taste, and the gratuitous character of their forms, the iconic building cannot be considered an exemplary part of the city because its economic principle is to be unique and nonrepeatable."
This may well be what spurred Zaera-Polo's "The Politics of the Envelope".
[What works for me is...] Mixing Aureli's "The political ... indicates the possibility of conflict and as such calls for its resolution" and Zaera-Polo's "For architecture ... to convey that tendencies in the articulation of the building envelope capture the new political affects, to communicate that certain manipulations of the ground and the roof indicate the politicization of nature, or to explain the breakdown of the correlation between interior and exterior and private and public, are legitimate political performances."
Are ZP's categories of the envelope an attempt at repeatable icons?
brise-soleil: the politics of sun breaking
--Le Corbusier
--Kahn at Philadelphia Psychiatric
--Venturi at Frankfurt Arts & Crafts
houses under a common/detached roof
-- Plecnik
-- Le Corbusier
-- Krier at La Villette
osmotic architecture
-- Pantheon
--Versailles Hall of Mirrors
-- Altes Museum
-- Kimball Art Museum
hyper envelopes of UN Studio
--Arnheim Central
--Architecture Faculty Venice
--Music Faculty Graz



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