novel architecturale



Stirling's Muses Part II   5606
    Altes Museum
    Museum for Nordrhein Westfalen

Stirling's Muses Part III
    Wallraf-Richartz Museum
    Palais des Congrès

Vice Grip House
    Wall House 2

Pull Stretched Danteum

Was Wagner 001  
    Wagner House

Was Wagner 002  
    Wagner House

Was Wagner 003  
    Wagner House

Danteum x5

notation of existing Campo Marzio texts - Tafuri 2
Here are more Tafuri descriptions of the Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio as found in The Sphere and the Labyrinth:
a. a fully developed and articulated metaphor of the machine-universe.
b. polemical and self-critical.
c. a formless heap of fragments colliding one against another.
d. a formless tangle of spurious organism.
e. a homogeneous magnetic field jammed with objects having nothing to do with each other.
f. a kind of typological negation.
g. an "architectural banquet of nausea."
h. a semantic void created by an excess of visual noise.
i. a virtual catalogue
j. a typological sample book.   19051702

more texts from Tafuri 2
"And thus the cause of the "decline and fall" is one alone--the loss of republican freedoms and the advent of a laxist aristocracy. The Piranesian "labyrinth" begins to give itself a political significance, cleverly disguised.
The ambiguity of the Campo Marzio now becomes evident; it is at once a "project" and a denunciation. As a disenchanted documentation of the impossibility of an unambiguous definition of language, it--projecting this situation into the past--sounds like a merciless satire of the infinite capacity of late-baroque typology to reproduce itself metamorphically. (The fact that in the Campo Marzio the allusion to baroque typologies is filtered through a classicist geometrism fools no one; it is simply a means of rendering metahistorical and universal the polemic already begun.) Inasmuch as it is--despite everything--an affirmation of a world of forms, the Campo Marzio, precisely because of the absurdity of its horror vacui, becomes a demand for language, a paradoxical revelation of its absence.
Negation and affirmation cannot split apart. The "naïve dialectic" of the Enlightenment is already superseded.
The "great absentee" from the Campo Marzio, then, is language.
The absolute disintegration of formal order, of what remained of the huminist Stimmung, of its sacred and symbolic values--and, above all, of perspective as a symbolic instrument for the quantitative control of space--logically also affects the subject of Piranesi's work: the relationship between history and the present. On one side, there is painstaking , scientific study of archeological findings; on the other, the most absolute arbitrariness in their resolution. (In this respect, after all, the Campo Marzio is anything but an exception in Piranesi's work.) History no longer offers values as such. Subjected to a merciless inspection, it is revealed as a new principle of authority, which as such must be disputed. It is the experience of the subject that establishes values; in this, already lies all the aspiration to the negative polemic of romanticism. Is Piranesi the "archeologist" interested in caves, underground passages, and substructures purely by chance, then? Rather, cannot this interest in "what is hidden" in ancient architecture be interpreted as a metaphor for the search for a place in which the exploration of the "roots" of the monuments meets with the exploration of the depths of the subject?
Manfredo Tafuri, The Sphere and the Labyrinth - Avant-Gardes and Architecture from Piranesi to the 1970s (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1987), p. 38.

extruding in Arris
I just found out today that I can place a window around any set of lines and they will extrude -- I no longer have to trace the lines first. This is a tremendous function that I always wanted, and now I have to consider all the instances where I can now use this function. Of course, this has major implications in all kinds of areas, because I can now also rotate by window.
The first place I see this now being used is to generate a base 3-D model of the Ichnographia Campus Martius. I can extrude any and all the walls and stairs, as well as rotate any and all curved elements, including stairs. The only thing I can't do automatically is give closure to the elements (but I still have to do some research on that). If I started to do just one hour of Ichnographia extrusion and closure work a day, I would very quickly have a 3-D model (and that would be almost unbelievable). All I have to do is play around a bit until I see a good working process develop.
The second use for this is to get an opaque railing for the Altes Museum. This function actually solves everything, and I will no longer have to worry about not having the railings present in the opaque views. Overall, I am excited about the time that this function is going to save me. Also, this means that any plan data that I currently have is automatically extrudable, e.g., the Mayor's House. If nothing else, this function may lead me into a design methodology whereby I design specifically with the quickness of this function in mind. I should go through all my plans and see what I can just start extruding.

satirically reenacting the misadventures of Messalena
Piranesi places the fictitious horti Luciliani where the horti Lucullani ought to be, and places the horti Lucullani at a location further north.   2726


e2917 e3044

Vice Grip House

a typological sample book



Virtually all things virtual, included the virtual house, are hot architectural topics in the very late 20th century.
Eisenman, Jean Nouvel, and all the other recent virtual experimenting architects, have thus far failed to recognize their true 20th century patriarch on this count. Even Rajchman falls short of making the right "new connections" here.

First Virtual House of the 20th Century

Jean Nouvel, Virtual House (ANY Competition: 1997) . . . Peter Eisenman, Virtual House (ANY Competition: 1997) . . . Daniel Libeskind, Virtual House (ANY Competition: 1997)
The problem can be put in this way: the virtual house is the one which, through its plan, space, construction, and intelligence, generates the most new connections, the one so arranged or disposed as to permit the greatest power for unforeseen relations. But what is this idea of the virtual as multiple potentials for new connections or unseen relations?
...the principle of selection of the virtual house: the one that keeps our possibilities, our hopes from salvationism, and our impossibilities, our despair from resignation.
These are some senses in which the virtual house may be said to be the house that in its plan, space, construction, and intelligence gives the greatest number of "new connections." But of course there is a problem. It has yet to be designed.
John Rajchman, "The Virtual House" in Constructions (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1998), pp. 115-21.

1972-76 - Franklin Court - Venturi and Rauch:
the ghost frame of Benjamin Franklin's long gone original home -- it's a pure wireframe, it's "built" and still "not there," almost all the "connections" are purely in the mind -- it's the quintessential virtual house.

November 15, 1998
Anyone that is not convinced that Venturi and Rauch's Franklin Count is the foremost virtual house of this century (if not of all architectural history) need only be reminded that Benjamin Franklin (whose "house" is being discussed here) became famous for writing Experiments and Observations on Electricity (1751), and, moreover, don't they teach in grade schools that Benjamin Franklin actually DISCOVERED ELECTRICITY!

Lao-Tzu say: if the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten.

21 November, 1998
The Director of Quondam - A Virtual Museum of Architecture quietly celebrated Quondam's second online anniversary with a visit to the first virtual house of the 20th century. After capturing digital images of Franklin's "house" in the courtyard, the Director entered Franklin Court's Underground Museum and subsequently found himself in a room (actually a virtual environment) dedicated to Franklin - Man of Infinite Dimensions.

See also:

2002.12.09 10:45
unreal phone call about a virtual house
Ring! Ring!
Hi. It's me. Guess what.
A couple of weeks ago BC wrote/asked "has anyone ever taken works from a catalogue or various artifacts as you're doing Steve, and put them up in their own exhibit, each a reproduction, and possibly visibly so (as in, not a forgery/fake) and had this be the artwork to be viewed in a gallery?"
You know, it's worth noting that an answer to BC's question is, yes, the gallery of paintings and artifacts one first encounters at the Underground Museum of Franklin Court contains paintings that are all reproductions. I remember being disappointed when I first learned this via reading the labels describing the paintings, but now I see this situation as being quite rightly appropriate given this is indeed the painting gallery of a truly virtual house. Virtual paintings, as in being as close to real without actually being real, in a virtual house--it seems only 'natural,' doesn't it?
When you leave the virtual picture gallery, you then enter the reflective virtual environment entitled "Franklin: Man of Unlimited Dimensions." And after immersion in reflection you encounter the Franklin Exchange, a large bank of telephones where one can make virtual phone calls. On a large screen facing the telephone bank is a directory of names and telephone numbers of people Franklin knew--you didn't know Franklin had a roll-a-dex, did you? So let your fingers do the walking to hear the virtual talking.

most modern building of the 20th century.



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