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Lecture 7

ARC132 - Lecture 7

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Architecture Studies
Zeynep Celik

Lecture 7 – Architecture as Space III: Ornament  Recall:  Tectonics – ARC transfers its load to ground --> structure (ex: TD Bank)  Transparency - SANAA, Glass Pavilion, Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, USA, 2006  modernism --> modern ARC clear about its tectonics, structure --> has transparency + self-evidence of structure, program, use, spatial organization, etc --> get what you see  corollary argument about transparency ▪ modernism in ARC comments on what = right + wrong ▪ moralizing rhetoric about modern ARC ▪ modern ARC = about deep space + not just about surface  concept of space didn't exist in ARC until recently ◦ architects didn't explicitly talk about space --> talked about building in terms of order, harmony, proportion, etc ▪ @ end of 19 C, conflict of space became objective term in ARC discourses --> came with moralizing attitude that space = more important than surface  b/c of its clarity, transparency, legibility, self-evidence, modern ARC --> functionalism  utopian aspect of modern ARC – claims to be bettering society ▪ BUT also controlling desire by architect --> architect wants to tell inhabitants what to do  * Functionalism – the claim that the design of an object should be determined by its function rather than by aesthetic considerations, and that anything practically designed will be inherently beautiful  Structure  Program  Use  Spatial Organization, etc ▪ Functional ARC ▪ Function comes first and beauty after th ▪ Claim comes froth(early 20 C) historians, critics, etc writing about modern movement (also criticisms in late 20 C)  Which chair is more functional? th  Chair, late 19 C ▪ intricate carvings ▪ Marcel Breuer, Wassily Chair, 1925  Breuer taught @ Bauhaus  Wassily Chair designed with steel ◦ less ornamental ◦ promoting good posture (not functionally) ◦ skeleton of chair, only has necessary parts ◦ complicated frame  mass production of object = important  NB – no clear what function is  idea of function not simple  ornaments – anything falling out of rhetoric of functionality in modern ARC – i.e., anything that is unnecessary (any excess)  no functional explanation why Breuer bent angles in chair  modernism: function before beauty --> doesn't really hold  Wassily chair = functional design  * Tectonics  How does a building stand up? Vs. How does a building APPEAR to stand up?  How does it come together? Vs. How does it APPEAR to come together?  What is its structural logic? Vs. How does it EXPRESS its structural logic?  ACTUAL structure – APPARENT structure  BEING – APPEARANCE  How structure IS – How structure APPEARS  * Fiction of Function  Being – Appearance  Claim that objects before modernism aren’t functional compared to modern objects  * Mies van der Rohe, Seagram Building, New York City, 1958  * Herzog and de Meuron, Beijing Olympic Stadium, Beijing, China, 2008  look @ sections of plan ▪ concave (top section on slide), convex (bottom section) ▪ 2 separate, but interconnected structures  inside = bowl made of reinforced concrete  outside structure made of steel mesh ▪ programs in between 2 structures ▪ building initially supposed to have retractable roof --> too chere ▪ structure --> “bird's nest”  structure of building = most necessary part of building --> tectonics (in structure) = how load of building = carried/transported + how architects choose to express structure  bowl + steel mesh --> need to pay attention to tell them apart (need models) ▪ steel lattice + ghost structure inside  tries to look light --> ~ weightless  light effects --> structure appears to be disappearing  produces ephemeral, atmospheric effects --> material effects to immaterial effects  building inspired by Chinese pottery  no discernible pattern, no grid ▪ pattern may look random, but is symmetrical  building = simultaneously what modern ARC says it's doing, but also negating logic  no pursuit of clarity, legibility, transparency, self-evidence, etc ▪ going for ambiguity  H +dM buildings – erotic allure of their buildings due to their ambiguity (selon Kitness) --> structure + ornaments presented as straightforward things in modern ARC  idea of function + ornament = on sliding scale  * Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime, 1908  Ornament was wasteful, it put a burden on the national economy  Ornament didn’t fit into Loos’s scheme of cultural evolution, it was what the primitive and the barbarians did ▪ Wasn’t okay for modern man to have tattoos on body, but okay for barbarians from distant land  what is okay for barbarians, not okay for modern man  What is appropriate for one culture, not okay in another  Sometimes most modern is identified with most ancient (primitive/babaric)  Ornament added nothing to the use value ▪ Drawing distinction between exchange and use value  Use value – value getting out of using object  Exchange value – value object finds most in market  Loos says: most ornamental things are expensive  Le Corbusier says: least ornamental things are expensive  Ornament was not hygienic ▪ Details of ornament lends itself to dirt  Le Corbusier: white-wash everything  * Parthenon, Athens, 447 – 432 BCE  function + ornament = present ▪ metapese + pediments, etc = covered with figural structure  ornaments = important part of ceremonies for which building was used  lots of colour --> Greek temples ~ always considered coloured (painted)  ornaments contained in parts/elements  * Cathedral of Amiens, 1220 – 1269 (Ribbed Vaulting)  ornament becomes part of structure, ARC  symbolic role of ornament = important ▪ iconography part of liturgy in Amiens + other churches  * Marc Antoine Laugier, frontispiece of the second edition of Essai sur l’architecture (Essay on Architecture), 1755 (image), (original book 1753)  once get into enlightenment + 18 C – something changes in ARC discourse + public starts thinking about ornament + structure -->
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