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Lecture 10

ARC132 - Lecture 10

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Architecture Studies
Zeynep Celik

1 Lecture 10 – Architecture as Utopia I: House / Housing - Recall – module 2: tectonics, transparency, ornament, machine aesthetics o Rhetoric of functionalism = myth in ARC o Mod. ARC = complex, sophisticated endeavour o Reyner Banham – idea of machine aesthetics (promoted by ARC of mod. movement) = JUST aesthetics  Most mod. buildings LOOK like machines, but DON‟T WORK like machines - Social projects of mod. ARC o ARC can be used to change society for the better - * Utopia - an imaginary and indefinitely remote place; a place of ideal perfection - * Dystopia – an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives o Used to describe metropolis o Mod. ARC tried to make ideal society in which social relations = more harmonious  BUT created dystopia (inequality + control) o Modernist projects to improve life of lower-income groups  Created dystopia - The Separate World of Pruitt-Igoe - Tension btwn mod. architects to make dreams + nightmares - Le Corbusier, Unite d’Habitation, Marseille, 1947-52 vs. Yamasaki, Pruitt-Igoe, St. Louis, 1955, destroyed in 1972 o Housing (great # of units being accommodated in one complex) + Houses (single unit)  Plans:  Richard Boyle, Chiswick House, Middlesex, England, begun 1725 o To go from oneroom to next, need to pass thru all rooms  Robert Kerr, Bearwood, 1864 o Emergence of corridors  new sensibility of privacy  Rooms = lined up  accessed by corridor  Type – a particular spatial arrangement - * Robin Evans, ―Figures, Doors, and Passages‖, 1978 o ―If anything is described by an architectural plan, it is the nature of human relationships, since the elements whose trace it records—walls, doors, windows and stairs—are employed first to divide and then selectively re-unite inhabited space.‖ o Assumption:  Social relations (interactions btwn ppl) in houses = inscribed into plan  read plan + conclude life of inhabitants = living (mod. assumption)  Argument – can change social relations by changing spatial arrangement o Assumption since enlightenment - 2 houses: o 1) Adolf Loos, Mueller House, Prague, 1930 vs. 2) Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, 1928 – 1929 2 o Ornaments migrated into materials  material‟s richness  for Le Corbusier: ornaments migrated into white wall o Both houses make inhabitants move + live in particular ways (by virtue of plans)  1) more introverted life  2) forces inhabitants to move thru layers o ∴ changing plan/section  can change lives of ppl living there  Argument:  Most utopian aspect of ARC  attempts to change society for the better  Most dystopian aspect of ARC  instrument of control - * Le Corbusier, Towards an Architecture, 1923 o Architecture or Revolution  Revolution can be avoided  If use ARC as tool to help + improve society, revolutions can be avoided 1) Chaux Saltworks – by Ledoux - Utopian aspect has always coexisted w/ dystopian aspect - * Ledoux, Royal Saltworks of Chaux, original commission 1771, built between 1774-78 o Ledoux  Worked in old regime  Interested in idea of character  building should always reflect inhabitant‟s character o Ledoux tried to ease present tensions in manufacturing complex (on eve of revolution) thru ARC  Understood project as part of global network (of commodities, labour + capital) o Housing of complex arranged according to skill of workers o Plan:  Left – no clear geometry (represents spatial + social order of complex)  Right – clear geometry  Buildings = self-sufficient  Center of plan: church  changed to director‟s house  Desire to reform society thru form by imposing geometry on typology that = haphazard o Ledoux looking for ARC‟cal order  geological order o Director‟s house – peculiar order  Desire to create order closer to origins of Earth o Ledoux rearranged living quarters of workers  Streamlined it, spatial logic, communal space, improved living conditions o Argument:  On one hand – architect takes active role in imposing form upon a type of spatial arrangement + having an active hand in improving worker‟s living conditions  ∴ easing tension btwn workers + director  Other hand – complex = like panopticon (prison) (* Jeremy Bentham, The Penitentiary Panopticon, section, elevation, and half-plan, 1791)  Panopticon: based on (internalized) discipline + control, etc. @ center of prison  Ideal city + social order 3  BUT effective use of control o Director sees everything going on 2) The Housing Question (19 C)th th - 19 C tenement housing o City emerged as dystopia o Question of housing + metropolis = linked  Housing constituted great percentage of urban fabric of city - “Back to Back Houses” Plan o Idea of profit - Tenement housing in Vienna o Loos: façade of city heavily ornamented  Horrible living conditions th - 19 C – trying to reform housing position of the masses th - real estate – rent seen as unethical (19 C) o Piece of real estate becomes valuable only by virtue of ppl deciding to live there  More ppl, high rent  Less ppl, low rent o Rent = unearned increments  Solution: buy land outside of city - Ebenezer Howard, Garden Cities of To-Morrow, 1902 o Satellite city o Not pastoral idea  mathematical account of how land (+ housing) can be purchased outside city + how it could be realized  Avoiding speculative real estate o Buy cheap land outside city + build low-rise buildings - Plan of Pullman, Illinois, 1885 o Idea: provide ideal city for workers of Pullman factory - * Le Corbusier, Contemporary City for Three Million Inhabitants, 1922 o ↑ density of inner city o Center = high-rise buildings  for businesses o Low-rise buildings  for houses - * Le Corbusier, Plan Voisin, 1925 - Ideas of hygiene + sanitation  importance of air, light, etc. o Drawings presented by architect Augustin-Rey to the 1905 International Tuberculosis Congress in Paris  Height of building ≠ exceed distance btwn 2 buildings 4  Idea = that traditional city‟s layout w/ streets  most hygienic/feasible solution for housing/dissolve idea of city‟s traditional city of streets + come up w/ open space to provide diff housing
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