James Stirling, Michael Wilford

Neue Staatsgalerie     Stuttgart


Stirling's Muses Part 1   5753

Neue Staatsgalerie
Finally, there is the theme of stylistic eclecticism. Here there is neither frivolity now regression. The simultaneous references to various vocabularies does not interfere with the unity of the composition. This is because each allusion applies only to isolated elements that do not intervene in the general concept of the work, and because these references become ironical because of the contradictions between vocabulary and technological executions.
It is difficult to find another building that conveys, with such perfection, a linguistic coherence and faithfulness to the syntax of the most radical avante garde of the Modern Movement, and this despite the use of various historical quotations. These quotations--Neo-Classical, Baroque, Corbusian, Constructivist or Loosian--have another important progrommatic value: they demonstrate how electicism can use recent traditions, and thus, how the Modern Movement can be included in the continuum of history.
--Oriol Bohigas

S/AM: notes on Vidler's "Losing Face"
...reference to Rowe's notion of a "faceless" Staatsgalerie which Rowe writes about in the Rizzoli Stirling book (pp. 2-24).
...someone else's criticism of the Staatsgalerie as not having a face (e.g. Portoghesi or Zevi), but I haven't yet found the reference, if it in fact exists.
V. finds possible reference to the regret of facelessness going back to the notion of an "'architectural humanism' [and] its direct analogies, in theory and physical presence, to the human body." "...an echo of Wölfflin's conclusion that "we judge every object by analogy with our own bodies." - Wölfflin, Renaissance & Baroque, p. 77, Scott, The Architecture of Humanism, p. 177. I don't know how much I will refer to this notion in the S/AM essay, but I will use it in Body, Imagination, Architecture. Actually, I should make a note that I am not here trying to comment or add to the body connection, but rather going to make the point that Stirling was making reference to architecture's analogousness to nature--more Laugier that the physiognomical analysis within the projects of Ledoux and Lequeu.
"Rowe insists on the face as an indication of the 'internal animation' of a building, at once 'both opaque and revealing'"
Rowe himself expresses doubt--"great diffidence"(p.24)--and he also mentions the trees (p.23): "...Stuttgart is a building with no face. And it is not a question that no face could be seen--because of a screen of trees."
I just realized that while the screen of trees is the row of Columns, the "slightly crumbly" (Rowe) and casual disclosure (Rowe) of the Staatsgallerie is the "narrative history of culture" displayed as a "narrative history of not exactly architecture, but at least some of Stirling's thoughts on architecture." This realization now gives me two new points along with R. Carter's suggestion that the actual sky replaces the traditional dome of a rotunda.
V. speaks of Stirling completing "a series begun with Schinkel and continued with Le Corbusier" and I think this should be illustrated, including the Mondiale...
V. goes on to "recognize that Schinkel's museum had itself already begun to suppress what, traditionally at least, might be termed a face". Here I have to add Boullèe's project for the remodeling of the Royal Library, Paris, 1785.
...a careful deconstruction of Vidler's argument (p.91, paragraph 2) that Stirling "stripped away not one but two faces, in order to reveal the drum of the central space not now internal but as exterior surface." V. here also makes note that "[t]he true face of Schinkel's building, indeed, is set behind the colonnade, a wall paneled..." "The face, however veiled."
...it is wrong to call the Stirling rotunda dead, but rather much more alive than the traditional interior dome. ...the outside and the inside having to be different, yet some of the best buildings in architectural history achieve their greatness by bringing the outside inside. The Pantheon is the foremost example and Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum will be the second example, and along with the skylight slit, there is also the "unnecessary" porches which are also a non-facade. The "dome" of Stuttgart is placed by the actual dome of the sky itself.
...find exact reference in Laugier to the "natural" ancestry of architectural elements, particularly columns, but also of domes (if such references actually exists). ...the general text there pertains to the rustic hut... ...Stirling himself put the rustic hut (albeit in steel framing) at the very entrance behind the colonnade of trees.

Stirling's Muses - specific reference to the metabolic operation underlying all the work presented and analyzed.

architectural promenade
A good portion of the architectural promenade formula can also be found in the entry sequence of Schinkel's Altes Museum. The facade/colonnade is the forest, and again the pilotis holding up the box. The dark portal under the stairs is the journey into hell. The ascension of the stairs is the inside/outside experience of purgatory, the middle level. And the museum's central pantheon is paradise, heaven, and the solarium. This interpretation of the Altes Museum, furthermore, sheds new light on Stirling's Museum for Nordrhein Westfalen and Neue Staatsgalerie.

From: Stirling's Inheritance To: Stirling's Legacy Re: Stirling's Muses Part I     5753

...the metabolic process within Stirling's museum designs... ...could introduce the Frascari text/analysis of the Neue Staatsgalerie.

2001.02 11
Reenactionary Architecturism
"Stirling's Muses"

2008.06.01 11:07
Can you say canonical?
"Real and English: The Destruction of the Box. I" was a (personal) motivational inspiration 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 Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart. Hyper Avant. Very distorted iconic structure fucks with perverted iconic content.

2010.12.08 11:07
"On Criticism" an aggregate thread
From: Stirling's Inheritance
To: Stirling's Legacy
Re: Stirling's Muses
Part I

From: Stirling's Inheritance
To: Stirling's Legacy
Re: Stirling's Muses
Part II

to see that reenactment and novelty within architectural design are not mutually exclusive. Nor does reenactment inhibit possibilities, rather, it engenders possibilities--much like a "second chance" where you can choose to do things differently. I wonder, is that what Repetition and Difference is really all about, subsequent chances?

2011.01.03 07:19
"On Criticism" an aggregate thread
Perhaps "facelessness" and the possible meaning of "facelessness" is not the real issue, and, rather than looking at the Neue Staatsgalerie from an anthropomorphic viewpoint, a better judgment of the Stuttgart museum and its relationship to the Altes Museum might come from taking an architectonic viewpoint, that is, looking at what actually is there.

2012.08.31 17:34
"The Objectification of the Deterritorialized Whole[nesses]"
Great Pyramid
extreme wholeness
Villa Savoye
assimilating wholeness
Medici Chapel
Neue Staatsgalerie
metabolic wholeness
Dominican Motherhouse
pregnant wholeness
Kimbell Art Museum
osmotic wholeness




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