new not there city

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In many ways, Le Corbusier's International Planning Competition for Berlin precurses Stirling's contribution to Roma Interrotta. The Berlin plan manifests a distribution of many of Le Corbusier's previous buildings and designs, both built and unbuilt, and, moreover, the placements throughout the plan appear to be done with "contextual, associational, prototypical, typological, symbological and iconographical considerations."

Le Corbusier, International Planning Competition for Berlin (Berlin: 1958).
Competition for the reconstruction of the center of Berlin which was destroyed by the war.
There had been no hesitation: no need to pull down masterworks of the past in order to rebuild. The demolition had been performed by aeroplanes and nothing was left standing in the center of Berlin. The German government had invited Le Corbusier to participate in the competition. In Berlin Le Corbusier found himself faced with the problems which he had already studied for the center Paris forty years earlier.
In Berlin it was not practicable to take the city on a ride into the countryside or the forests of Brandenburg. The program had been very well prepared by the authorities. The planning study was made in the atelier at 35 Rue se Sèvres with extreme care, a total realism. The time had come to take advantage of forty years of study and experimentation in architecture and planning.
But the feat of planning in three dimensions was considered a crime. Of 86 projects thirteen were retained; the thirteenth was that of Le Corbusier. It was eliminated. The report of the jury declared that the project had completely resolved the problems of circulation in large cities such as Berlin, but that a certain building, which was quite high, hid a municipal administration building located on the other bank of the Spree. Before the bombardment and the destruction this latter building was, as all the buildings of this height, visible only from its immediately adjacent surroundings. This excellent design conforming with the principles advocated by CIAM for thirty years (1928-1958), a modern exercise in three dimensional planning, was rejected. Walter Gropius was to have been a member of the Jury and it was for this reason that Le Corbusier had agreed to participate. Walter Gropius remained in America because of his health. However, also on the Jury were Alvar Aalto, Van Eesteren and Pierre Vago! ...
The Crime?
Le Corbusier had provided in his plan that the Avenue "Unter den Linden" be reserved exclusively for pedestrians. Automobile traffic was channeled across at intervals by means of elevated highways leading down to parking places tight in front of the buildings--multi-level parking. The Avenue "Unter den Linden" would have become a grand promenade, modern this time. In previous times it had been the avenue for walkers (before the automobile). But the Jury decreed that the "Linden" be covered with automobiles as in all the rest of the world.
Le Corbusier had previously lived for nearly a year in Berlin and thoroughly knew the center of the city. His plan therefore was made in full knowledge of what was involved.
Le Corbusier et al, Oeuvre complète 1957-1965 (Zurich: 1965), pp. 230-7.

Amid this gamut of responses, that of Stirling stood out for its refusal to enter into any kind of utopian urbanism and in the distance it took from the other entries. And, despite Stirling's own reference to Rowe's "Collage City" model, his approach was anything but collagist, and owed as little to Rowe as it did to Krier[?]. Indeed, if an analogue might be found it would still be that of Rossi, with his belief in articulated typologies.
Anthony Vidler, James Frazer Stirling: Notes from the Archive (New Haven: 2010), p. 213.

James Stirling + Partner, Roma Interrotta: Sector IV (1978).
Megalomania is the privilege of a chosen few. Piranesi who made his plan in 1761 was surely a megalomaniac frustrated architect (MFA), as also Boullee, Vanbrugh, Soane, Sant'Elia, Le Corbusier, etc., and it is within this distinguished company as an MFA architect that we make our proposal. The megalomaniac architect is most frustrated with regard to projects designed but not built, so the initial decision was to revise Nolli's plan incorporating all our unbuilt works. Soon we were trying to incorporate the entire oeuvre, and in order to sustain a momentum a rigorous method was necessary. Therefore the selection of projects, is limited to those appropriate to aspects of context and association either to the circumstances of 1748, or to JS projects at the time they were designed--sometimes to both. ....
A selection had to be made of existing buildings and places essential to preserve/integrate/intensify, and this, along with contextual, associational, topographical, prototypical, typological, symbological, iconographical and archaeological considerations, has helped integrate JS projects.
This 'contextual - associational' way of planning is somewhat akin to the historic process (albeit timeless) by which the creation of built form is directly influenced by the visual setting and is a confirmation and a complement to that which exists. This process may be similar to that of 'Collage City' (and the teaching of Colin Rowe), and the working method of a few architects (e.g.: O M Ungers), and stands in comparison to the irrationality of most post-war planning--supposedly 'rational', but frequently achieving a reversal of natural priorities.
James Stirling, "Nolli Sector IV - James Stirling," Architectural Design (vol. 49, no. 3-4, 1979).
It is obvious that Stirling cared deeply for his unbuilt works, and he was no doubt well aware of the unfortunate dormancy of architectural designs destined to exist only as drawings. It is quite natural to ponder a "what if" world when looking at the plans and elevations of buildings that were never built. Similar to Michel Foucault's "archeological" methodology, which penetrates into the past seeking thoughts that are no more but perhaps once were, Stirling unearthed a "virtual city/museum" of his own architecture within the context of eighteenth-century Rome. The scheme is like a temporal inversion of Piranesi's Ichnographia of the Campo Marzio where, instead of a past Rome that never was, the plan presents a future Rome that will never be.
Stephen Lauf, Precedent XII (Quondam: seeking precedents... ...finding inspiration exhibit, 1997.03.20).



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