Charles Jencks, guest editor, Architectural Design (London: Academy Editions, vol. 52 no. 1/2, 1982).
Presents of the Past: Revisiting the 1980 Venice Biennale
The Strade Novissima
Is Post-Modernism Architecture Serious?
AD PROFILE 39: Free-Style Classicism: the Wider Tradition
Free Style Classicism: The Wider tradition
Schinkel's Free-Style Pavilion
O. M. Ungers:
Five Lessons from Schinkel
The Ledoux Connection
Chicago Post-Modern Classicism
Andrew Batey and Mark Mack
Robert Mangurian and Craig Hodgetts
Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown
Hanns Kainz and Associates
Moore, Grover, Harper
Dan Digerud and Jon Lundberg
James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates
A French Order: Ribart de Chamoust
Demetri Porphyrios, guest editor, Architectural Design (London: Academy Editions, vol. 52 no. 5/6, 1982).
Agrest and Gandelsonas
AD PROFILE 41: Classicism is not a Style
Manfredo Tafuri and Georges Teyssot:
The Greek Order
Miguel Garay and José-Ignacio Linazasoro:
Architecture and Discipline
Classical Architecture and Vernacular Building
The Limits of Architecture
Classicism is not a Style
Manuel Iñiguez and Alberto Ustarroz
Miguel Garay and José-Ignacio Linazasoro
Manuel Iñiquez and Alberto Ustarroz
Polytechnic of Central London
Alexander and Charis Calligas
Kenneth Frampton, guest editor, Architectural Design (London: Academy Editions, vol. 52 no. 7/8, 1982).
Architecture and the City
Le Corbusier Sketchbooks
AD PROFILE 42: Modern Architecture and the Critical Present
The Status of Man and the Status of his Objects
Avant-Garde and Continuity
Place, Production and Architecture
The Isma of Contemporary Architecture
Modern Architecture and the Liberal Conscience
Maid in USA
On Modern Architecture
The Contradictions of Architecture as Art
Carlos Perez Gomez:
The Potential of Architecture as Art
Architecture and 'Poverty'
How Old the Modern Is!
The Resistance of Architecture: An Anthological Postscript
Gwathmey Siegel & Associates
Henri E. Ciriani
Josef P. Kleihues
Doug Clelland, guest editor, Architectural Design (London: Academy Editions, vol. 52 no. 11/12, 1982).
Iakov Chernikhov: what lies behind the Fantasies?
Rob Krier: 10 Theses on Architecture
The Forest Edge by Robert Geddes
AD PROFILE 44: Post-War Berlin
The City Centre 'Forum' of East berlin
Residential Buildings in Stalinallee
From Ideology to Disenchantment
From Ideology to Scepticism
Demolition in Berlin
The Characteristics of Modernism
Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani:
The Origin of Truth
Josef Paul Kleihues:
New Approaches to Life in the Inner City
Liselotte & Oswald Mathias Ungers:
The Humanist City
Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani:
The Berliner Stadtreinigung
Berlin: The Distributed City
The Acceptance of a Divided City
Klaus Pascal Schöning:
Places of Enigmatic Quality in West Berlin
Stephen Lauf, Mayor's House (virtual realm: 1982).
Aldo Rossi The Architecture of the City 1982
Introduction: Urban Artifacts and a Theory of the City
The city, which is the subject, is to be understood here as architecture. By architecture I don't mean only the visible image of the city and the sum of Urban Artifacts and its different architectures, but architecture as construction, the construction of the Theory of the City, the city over time. I believe that this point of view, objectively speaking, constitutes the most comprehensive way of analyzing the city; it addresses the ultimate and definitive fact in the life of the collective, the creation of the environment in which it lives. I use the term architecture in a positive and pragmatic sense, as a creation inseparable from civilized life and the society in which it is manifested. By nature it is collective. As the first men built houses to provide more favorable surroundings for their life, fashioning an artificial climate for themselves, so they built with aesthetic intention. Architecture came into being along with the first traces of the city; it is deeply rooted in the formation of civilization and is a permanent, universal, and necessary artifact.
Aesthetic intention and the creation of better surroundings for life are the two permanent characteristics of architecture. These aspects emerge from any significant attempt to explain the city as a human creation. But because architecture gives concrete form to society and is intimately connected with it and with its nature, it differs fundamentally from every other art and science. This is the oasis for an empirical study of the city as it has evolved from the earliest settlements. With time, the city grows upon itself; it acquires a consciousness and memory .In the course of its construction, its original themes persist, but at the same time it modifies and renders these themes of its own development more specific. Thus, while Florence is a real city, its memory and form come to have values that also are true and representative of other experiences. At the same time, the universality of these experiences is not sufficient to explain the precise form, the type of object, which is Florence.
The contrast between particular and universal, between individual and collective, emerges from the city and from its construction, its architecture. This con- trast is one of the principal viewpoints from which the city will be studied in this book. It manifests itself in different ways: in the relationship between the public and private sphere, between public and private buildings, between the rational design of urban architecture and the values of locus or place.
At the same time, my interest in quantitative problems and their relationship to qualitative ones was one of the reasons this book came into being. My studies of the city have always underscored the difficulties of establishing an overall synthesis and of proceeding readily to produce a quantitative evaluation of analytic material. In fact, while each urban intervention seems fated to rely on general criteria of planning, each part of the city seems to be a singular place, a locus solus. Although it is impossible to make decisions about such interventions in any rational manner solely on the basis of local situations, one must realize that their singularity is still what characterizes them.
Urban studies never attribute sufficient importance to research dealing with singular urban artifacts. By ignoring them -precisely those aspects of reality that are most individual, particular, irregular, and also most interesting- we end up constructing theories as artificial as they are useless. With this in mind, I have sought to establish an analytical method susceptible to quantitative evaluation and capable of collecting the material to be studied under unified criteria. This method, presented as a theory of urban artifacts, stems from the identification of the city itself as an artifact and from its division into individual buildings and dwelling areas. While the division of the city along these lines has been French faite urbaine. Neither the Italian proposed many times it has never been placed in this particular context.
Architecture, attesting to the tastes and attitudes of generations, to public Forms, adequately events and private tragedies, to new and old facts, is the fixed stage for human renders the full meaning of the original, events. The collective and the private, society and the individual, balance and which implies not just a physical thing in confront one another in the city. The city is composed of many people seeking a the City, but all of its historical geography, general order that is consistent with their own particular environment.
The changes in housing and in the land on which houses leave their imprint become signs of this daily life. One need only look at the layers of the city that archaeologists show us; they appear as a primordial and eternal fabric of life, an immutable pattern. Anyone who remembers European cities after the bombings of the last war retains an image of disemboweled houses where, amid the rubble, fragments of familiar places remained standing, with their colors of faded wallpaper, laundry hanging suspended in the air, barking dogs--the untidy intimacy of places. And always we could see the house of our childhood, strangely aged, present in the flux of the city.
Images, engravings, and photographs of these disemboweled cities, record this vision. Destruction and demolition, expropriation and rapid changes in use and as a result of speculation and obsolescence, are the most recognizable signs of urban dynamics. But beyond all else, the images suggest the interrupted destiny of the individual, of his often sad and difficult participation in the destiny of the collective. This vision in its entirety seems to be reflected with a quality of permanence in urban monuments. Monuments, signs of the collective will as ex- pressed through the principles of architecture, offer themselves as primary elements, fixed points in the urban dynamic.
The laws of reality and their modifications thus constitute the structure of human creation. It is the purpose of this study to organize and order these principal problems ofurban science. The study of these problems in their totality , with all their implications, returns urban science to the broader complex of human sciences; but it is in such a framework that I believe that urban science has its own autonomy (even though in the course of this study will often question the nature of that autonomy and its limits as a science). We can study the city from a number of points of view, but it emerges as autonomous only when we take it as a fundamental given, as a construction and as architecture; only when we analyze urban artifacts for what they are, the final constructed result of a complex opera- tion, taking into account all of the facts of this operation which cannot be em- braced by the history of architecture, by sociology, or by other sciences. Urban science, understood in this way, can be seen in its comprehensiveness to constitute one of the principal chapters in the history of culture.
Among the various methods employed in this study of the city, the most important is the comparative one. Because the city will be seen comparatively, I lay particular emphasis on the importance of the historical method; but I also maintain that we cannot study the city simply from a historical point of view. Instead we must carefully elaborate a city's enduring elements or permanences so as to avoid seeing the history of the city solely as a function of them. I believe that permanent elements can even be considered pathological at times. The significance of permanent elements in the study of the city can be compared to that which fixed structures have in linguistics; this is especially evident as the study of the city presents analogies with that of linguistics, above all in terms of the complexity of its processes of transformation and permanence.
The points specified by Ferdinand de Saussure for the development of linguistics can be translated into a program for the development of an urban science: description and history of existing cities; research on the forces that are at play in a permanent and universal way in all urban artifacts; and naturally, delimitation and definition of the field of study. Bypassing a systematic development of a program of this type, however, I have instead sought to dwell particularly on historical problems and methods of describing urban artifacts, on the relationships between local factors and the construction of urban artifacts, and on the identification of the principal forces at play in the city-that is, the forces that are at play in a permanent and universal way.
The last part of this book attempts to set forth the political problem of the city; here the political problem is understood as a problem of choice by which a city realizes itself through its own idea of city. In fact, I am convinced that there should be many more studies devoted to the history of the idea of the city, that is, to the history of ideal cities and urban utopias. To my knowledge, undertakings in this area are scarce and fragmentary, although some partial studies exist in the fields of architectural history and the history of political ideas. In effect, there is a continuous process of influence, exchange, and often opposition among urban artifacts, and the city and ideal proposals make this process concrete. I maintain that the history of architecture and built urban artifacts is always the history of the architecture of the ruling classes; it remains to be seen within what limits and with what concrete success eras of revolution have imposed their own alternative proposals for organizing the city.
In beginning a study of the city, we find ourselves confronted with two very different positions. These are best exemplified in the Greek city, where the Aristotelian analysis of urban reality is counterposed to that of Plato's Republic. This opposition raises important methodological questions. I am inclined to believe hat Aristotelian planning, insofar it was a study of artifacts, decisively, opened the road to the study of the City and also to urban geography and urban architecture. Yet doubtless we cannot explain certain experiences without avail- tooting ourselves of both these levels of analysis. Certainly ideas of a purely spatial type have at times notably modified, in form and through direct or indirect interventions, the times and modes of the urban dynamic.
There exists a mass of impressive studies to refer to in the elaboration of an urban theory, but it is necessary to gather these studies from the most disparate places, then to avail ourselves of what they suggest about the construction of a general frame of reference, and finally to apply this knowledge to a specific urban theory. Without here outlining such an overall frame of reference for the history of the study of the city, we can note that two major systems exist: one that considers the city as the product of the generative-functional systems of its architecture and thus of urban space, and one that considers it as a spatial structure. In the first, the city is derived from an analysis of political, social, arid economic systems and is treated from the viewpoint of these disciplines; the second belongs more to architecture and geography. Although I begin with this second view-point, I also draw on those facts from the first which raise significant questions.
In this work, then, I will refer to writers from diverse fields who have elaborated theses that I consider fundamental (not, of course, without certain qualifications). However, there are not a great many works which I find valuable, considering the mass of material available; and in any case let me observe generally that if an author or a book does not play an important part in an analysis, or if a point of view does not constitute an essential contribution to a work of research, it is meaningless to cite it. Therefore I prefer to discuss only the works of those authors who seem to be fundamental for a study of this kind. The theories of some of these scholars, in fact, constitute the hypotheses of my study. Wherever one chooses to lay the groundwork for an autonomous urban theory, it is impossible to avoid their contributions.
There are also certain fundamental contributions that I would have liked to con- sider except that they are naturally beyond the scope of this discussion, for example the profound intuitions of Fustel de Coulanges and Theodor Mommsen. In the case of the first of these writers I refer in particular to the importance he ascribes to institutions as truly constant elements of historical life and to the relationship between myth and institution. Myths come and go, passing slowly from one place to another; every generation recounts them differently and adds new elements to the patrimony received from the past; but be- hind this changing reality, there is a permanent reality that in some way man- ages to elude the action of time. We must recognize the true foundation of this reality in religious tradition. The relationships which man found with the gods in the ancient city, the cults that he consecrated to them, the names under which he invoked them, the gifts and the sacrifices made to them were all tied to inviolable laws. The individual man had no power over them.
I believe that the importance of ritual in its collective nature and its essential character as an element for preserving myth constitutes a key to understanding the meaning of monuments and, moreover, the implications of the founding of the city and of the transmission of ideas in an urban context. I attribute an especial importance to monuments, although their significance in the urban dynamic may at times be elusive. This work must be carried forward; I am convinced that in order to do so, it will be necessary to probe into the relationship between monument, ritual, and mythological elements along the lines indicated by Fustel de Coulanges. For if the ritual is the permanent and conserving element of myth, then so too is the monument, since, in the very moment that it testifies to myth, it renders ritual forms possible.
Such a study should, once again, begin with the Greek city, which offers many significant insights concerning the meaning of the urban structure, and which at its origins had an inseparable relationship with the mode of being and behavior of human beings. The researches of modern anthropology on the social structure of primitive villages also raise new issues relative to the study of urban planning; they demand a study of urban artifacts according to their essential themes. The existence of such essential themes implies a foundation for the study of urban artifacts, and requires a knowledge of a larger number of artifacts and an integration of these artifacts in time and space-more precisely, a clarifying of those forces that are at work in a permanent and universal way in all urban artifacts.
Let us consider the relationship between an actual urban artifact and the utopian idea of the city. Generally this relationship is studied within a limited period of history, within a modest framework, and with results that are usually questionable. What are the limits within which we can integrate such limited analyses into the larger framework of the permanent and universal forces at play in the city? I am convinced that the polemics that arose between utopian socialism and scientific socialism during the second half of the nineteenth century constitute important scholarly material, but we cannot consider only their purely political aspects; these must be measured against the reality of urban artifacts or else we will perpetuate serious distortions. And this must be done for the full range of urban artifacts. What we see in actuality are the application and extension of only partial conclusions to the history of the city. Generally, the most difficult historical problems of the city are resolved by dividing history into periods and hence ignoring or misunderstanding the universal and permanent character of the forces of the urban dynamic; and here the importance of a comparative of method becomes evident.
Thus, in their obsession with certain sociological characteristics of the industrial - city, urban scholars have obscured a series of extremely important artifacts which can enrich urban science with a contribution as original as it is necessary. I am thinking, for example, of the settlements and colonial cities founded by Europeans particularly after the discovery of America. Little exists on this topic; Gilberto Freyre, for example, discusses the influence of certain urban and building typologies that the Portuguese brought to Brazil and how these were structurally linked to the type of society established in Brazil. The relationship between the rural and latifundist families in the Portuguese colonization of Brazil was associated with the theocracy conceived by the Jesuits and, together with the Spanish and French influence, was enormously important in the formation of the South American city. I consider such research to be very important for the study of urban utopias and the construction of the city.
This book (The Architecture of the City) is divided into four parts: in the first I will consider problems of description and classification and thus of typology; in the second, the structure of the city in terms of its different elements; in the third, the architecture of the city and the locus on which it is imprinted and thus urban history; and in the fourth, the basic questions of urban dynamics and the problem of politics as choice.
The urban image, its architecture, pervades all of these problems and invests all of man's inhabited and constructed realm with value. It arises inevitably be- cause it is so deeply rooted in the human condition. As Pierre Vidal de la Blache wrote, "the heath, the woods, the cultivated fields, the uncultivated zones, are related in an inseparable whole, the memory of which man carries with him." This inseparable whole is at once the natural and the artificial homeland of man, and suggests a definition of natural which also applies to architecture. I am thinking of Francesco Milizia's definition of the essence of architecture as the imitation of nature: "Although architecture in reality lacks a model in nature, it has another model derived from man's natural labor in constructing his first house.
With this definition in mind, I believe that the urban theoretical scheme presented in this book can give rise to many kinds of development, and that these developments can in turn take unexpected emphases and directions. For I am convinced that progress concerning knowledge of the city can be real and efficacious only if we do not try to reduce the city to anyone of its partial aspects, thereby losing sight of its broader significance. My outline for the establishment of an urban theory should be evaluated within this framework. It is the result of long research and is intended to initiate a discourse on its own development and research rather than simply to act as a confirmation of results.
The Structure of Urban Artifacts
The Individuality of Urban Artifacts
Our description of the city will be concerned primarily with its form. This form depends on real facts, which in turn refer to real experiences: Athens, Rome, Paris. The architecture of the city summarizes the city's form, and from this form we can consider the city's problems.
By architecture of the city we mean two different things: first, the city seen as a gigantic man-made object, a work of engineering and architecture that is large and complex and growing over time; second, certain more limited but still crucial aspects of the city, namely urban artifacts, which like the city itself are characterized by their own history and thus by their own form. In both cases architeciture clearly represents only one aspect of a more complex reality, of a larger structure; but at the same time, as the ultimate verifiable fact of this reality, it econstitutes the moste concret possible position from which to adress the problem.
We can understand this more readily by looking at specific urban artifacts, for immediately a series of obvious problems opens up for us. We are also able to perceive certain problems that are less obvious these involve the quality and the uniqueness of each urban artifact.
In almost all European cities there are large palaces, building complexes, or, agglomerations that constitute whole pieces of the city and whose function now is no longer the original one. When one visits a monument of this type, for example the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua, one is always surprised by a series of questions intimately associated with it. In particular, one is struck by the multiplicity of functions that a building of this type can contain over time and how these functions are entirely independent of the form. At the same time, it is precisely the form that impresses us; we live it and experience it, and in turn it in structures the city.
Where does the individuality of such a building begin and on what does it depend? Clearly it depends more on its form than on its material, even if the latter plays a substantial role; but it also depends on being a complicated entity which it has developed in both space and time. We realize, for example, that if the architectural construction we are examining had been built recently, it would not have the same value. In that case the architecture in itself would be subject to judgment, and we could discuss its style and its form; but it would not yet present us with that richness of its own history which is characteristic of an urban artifact.
In an urban artifact, certain original values and functions remain, others are totally altered; about some stylistic aspects of the form we are certain, others are less obvious. We contemplate the values that remain--I am also referring to spiritual values- and try to ascertain whether they have some connection with the building's materiality, and whether they constitute the only empirical facts that pertain to the problem. At this point, we might discuss what our idea of the building is, our most general memory of it as a product of the collective, and what relationship it affords us with this collective.
It also happens that when we visit a palazzo like the one in Padua or travel through a particular city, we are subjected to different experiences, different impressions. There are people who do not like a place because it is associated with some ominous moment in their lives; others attribute an auspicious character to a place. All these experiences, their sum, constitute the city. It is in this i sense that we must judge the quality of a space--a notion that may be extremely difficult for our modern sensibility. This was the sense in which the ancients consecrated a place, and it presupposes a type of analysis far more profound than the simplistic sort offered by certain psychological interpretations that rely only on the legibility of form.
We need, as I have said, only consider one specific urban artifact for a whole string of questions to present themselves; for it is a general characteristic of urban artifacts that they return us to certain major themes: individuality, locus, design, memory. A particular type of knowledge is delineated along with each artifact, a knowledge that is more complete and different from that with which we are familiar. It remains for us to investigate how much is real in this complex of knowledge.
I repeat that the reality I am concerned with here is that of the architecture of the city--that is, its form, which seems to summarize the total character of urban artifacts, including their origins. Moreover, a description of form takes into account all of the empirical facts we have already alluded to and can be quantified through rigorous observation. This is in part what we mean by urban morphology: a description of the forms of an urban artifact. On the other hand, this description is nothing but one moment, one instrument. It draws us closer to a knowledge of structure, but it is not identical with it.
Although all of the students of the city have stopped short of a consideration of the structure of urban artifacts, many have recognized that beyond the elements they had enumerated there remained the âme de la cité, in other words, the quality of urban artifacts. French geographers, for example, concentrated on the development of an important descriptive system, but they failed to exploit it to conquer this ultimate stronghold; thus, after indicating that the city is constituted as a totality and that this totality is its raison d'être, they left the significance of the structure they had glimpsed unexamined. N or could they do otherwise with the premises from which they had set out: all of these studies failed to make an analysis of the actual quality of specific urban artifacts.
The Urban Artifact as a Work of Art
I will later examine the main outlines of these studies, but first it is necessary to introduce one fundamental consideration and several authors whose work guides this investigation.
As soon as we address questions about the individuality and structure of a specific urban artifact, a series of issues is raised which, in its totality, seems to constitute a system that enables us to analyze a work of art. As the present investigation is intended to establish and identify the nature of urban artifacts, we should initially state that there is something in the nature of urban artifacts that renders them very similar--and not only metaphorically--to a work of art. They are material constructions, but notwithstanding the material, something different: although they are conditioned, they also condition.
This aspect of "art" in urban artifacts is closely linked to their quality, their uniqueness, and thus also to their analysis and definition. This is an extremely complex subject, for even beyond their psychological aspects, urban artifacts are complex in themselves, and while it may be possible to analyze them, it is difficult to define them. The nature of this problem has always been of particular interest to me, and I am convinced that it directly concerns the architecture of the city.
If one takes any urban artifact--a building, a street, a district--and attempts to describe it, the same difficulties arise which we encountered earlier with respect to the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua. Some of these difficulties derive from the ambiguity of language, and in part these difficulties can be overcome, but there will always be a type of experience recognizable only to those who have walked through the particular building, street, or district.
Thus, the concept that one person has of an urban artifact will always differ from that of someone who "lives" that same artifact. These considerations, however, can delimit our task; it is possible that our task consists principally in defining an urban artifact from the standpoint of its manufacture: In other words, to define and classify a street, a city, a street in a city; then the location of this street, its function, its architecture; then the street systems possible in the city and many other things.
We must therefore concern ourselves with urban geography, urban topography, architecture, and several other disciplines. The problem is far from easy, but not impossible, and in the following paragraphs we will attempt an analysis along these lines. This means that, in a very general way, we can establish a logical geography of any city; this logical geography will be applied essentially to the problems of language, description, and classification. Thus, we can address such fundamental questions as those of typology , which have not yet been the object of serious systematic work in the domain of the urban sciences. At the base of the existing classifications there are too many unverified hypotheses, which necessarily lead to meaningless generalizations.
By using those disciplines to which I have just referred, we are working tow-ard a broader, more concrete, and more complete analysis of urban artifacts. The city is seen as the human achievement par excellence; perhaps, too, it has to do with those things that can only be grasped by actually experiencing a given urban artifact. This conception of the city, or better, urban artifacts, as a work of art has, in fact, always appeared in studies of the city; we can also discover it in the form of greatly varying intuitions and descriptions in artists of all eras and in many manifestations of social and religious life. In the latter case it has always been tied to a specific place, event, and form in the city.
The question of the city as a work of art, however, presents itself explicitly and scientifically above all in relation to the conception of the nature of collective artifacts, and I maintain that no urban research can ignore this aspect of the problem. How are collective urban artifacts related to works of art? All great manifestations of social life have in common with the work of art the fact that they are born in unconscious life. This life is collective in the former, individual in the latter; but this is only a secondary difference because one is a product of the public and the other is for the public: the public provides the common denominator.
Setting forth the problem in this manner, Claude Levi-Strauss brought the study of the city into a realm rich with unexpected developments. He noted how, more than other works of art, the city achieves a balance between natural and artificial elements; it is an object of nature and a subject of culture. Maurice Halbwachs advanced this analysis further when he postulated that imagination and collective memory are the typical characteristics of urban artifacts.
These studies of the city which embrace its structural complexity have an unexpected and little-known precedent in the work of Carlo Cattaneo. Cattaneo never explicitly considered the question of the artistic nature of urban artifacts, but the close connection in his thinking between art and science as two concrete aspects of the development of the human mind anticipates this approach. Later I will discuss how his concept of the city as the ideal principle of history, the connection between country and city, and other issues that he raised relate to urban artifacts. While at this point I am mostly interested in how he approaches the city, in fact Cattaneo never makes any distinctjon between city and country since he considers that all inhabited places are the work of man: "...every region is distinguished from the wilderness in this respect: that it is an immense repository of labor .... This land is thus not a work of nature; it is the work of our hands, our artificial homeland."
City and region, agricultural land and forest become human works because they are an immense repository of the labor of our hands. But to the extent that they are our "artificial homeland" and objects that have been constructed, they also testify to values; they constitute memory and permanence. The city is in its history. Hence, the relationship between place and man and the work of art--which is the ultimate, decisive fact shaping and directing urban evolution according to an aesthetic finality--affords us a complex mode of studying the city.
Naturally we must also take into account how people orient themselves within the city, the evolution and formation of their sense of space. This aspect constitutes, in my opinion, the most important feature of some recent American work, notably that of Kevin Lynch. It relates to the conceptualization of space, and can be based in large measure on anthropological studies and urban characteristics. Observations of this type were also made by Maximilien Sorre using such i material, particularly the work of Marcel Mauss on the correspondence between group names and place names among Eskimos. For now, this argument will merely serve as an introduction to our study; it will be more useful to return to it after we have considered several other aspects of the urban artifact--of the city, that is, as a great, comprehensive representation of the human condition.
I will interpret this representation against the background of its most fixed and significant stage: architecture. Sometimes I ask myself why architecture is not analyzed in these terms, that is, in terms of its profound value as a human thing that shapes reality and adapts material according to an aesthetic conception. It is in this sense not only the place of the human condition, but itself a part of that condition, and is represented in the city and its monuments, in districts, dwell- j ings, and all urban artifacts that emerge from inhabited space. It is from this i point of view that a few theorists have tried to analyze the urban structure, to sense the fixed points, the true structural junctions of the city, those points from which the activity of reason proceeds.
I will now take up the hypothesis of the city as a man-made object, as a work of architecture or engineering that grows over time; this is one of the most substantial hypotheses from which to work.
It seems that useful answers to many ambiguities are still provided by the work I of Camillo Sitte, who in his search for laws of the construction of the city that were not limited to purely technical considerations took full account of the "beauty" of the urban scheme, of its form: "We have at our disposal three major methods of city planning, and several subsidiary types. The major ones are the gridiron system, the radial system, and the triangular system. The sub-types are mostly hybrids of these three. Artistically speaking, not one of them is of any interest, for in their veins pulses not a single drop of artistic blood. All three are concerned exclusively with the arrangement of street patterns, and hence their intention is from the start a purely technical one. A network of streets always serves only the purposes of communication, never of art, since it can never be, comprehended sensorily, can never be grasped as a whole except in a plan of it. In our discussions so far street networks have not been mentioned for just that reason; neither those of ancient Athens, of Rome, of Nuremberg, or of Venice. They are of no concern artistically, because they are inapprehensible in their entirety. Only that which a spectator can hold in view, what can be seen, is of artistic importance: for instance, the single street or the individual plaza.
Sitte's admonition is important for its empiricism, and it seems to me that this takes us back to certain American experiences which we mentioned above, " where artistic quality can be seen as a function of the ability to give concrete form to a symbol. Sitte's lesson beyond question helps to prevent many confusions. It refers us to the technique of urban construction, where there is still the actual moment of designing a square and then a principle which provides for its logical transmission, for the teaching of its design. But the models are always somehow, the single street, the specific square.
On the other hand, Sitte's lesson also contains a gross misconception in that it reduces the city as a work of art to one artistic episode having more or less legibility rather than to a concrete, overall experience. We believe the reverse to be true, that the whole is more important than the single parts, and that only the urban artifact in its totality, from street system and urban topography down to things that can be perceived in strolling. up and down a street, constitutes this totality. Naturally we must examin this total architecture in terms of its parts.
We must begin with a question that opens the way to the problem of classification--that of the typology of buildings and their relationship to the city. This relationship constitutes a basic hypothesis of this work, and one that I will analyze from various viewpoints, always considering buildings as moments and parts of the whole that is the city. This position was clear to the architectural theorists of the Enlightenment. In his lessons at the Ecole Polytechnique, Durand wrote, "Just as the walls, the columns, etc. are the elements which compose buildings, so buildings are the elements which compose cities."