architecture of Ludwig II

1880s architecture of Ludwig II
1920s Pitcairn architecture at Bryn Athen
1954- Disneyland(s)

new set of ideas
Church of the New Jerusalem as reenactment architecture since it is a true "Gothic" masonry structure. I will note the reduced scale and the deliberate "design" to make nothing perfect, as if to say mortals cannot reenact God's perfection. I took pictures of the church 2000.03.06.
The architecture I was working on (the Clay Studio project) at the time of Otto's accident in 1980. Thinking back now, I could well say that I was reenacting Stirling's Marburg Bank design. I think I'm now going to construct a computer model of the bank as an important part of the "exhibit". Of course, this exhibit means I will have to put together a display of my clay studio drawings/designs.
Venturi reenactment at Princeton -- In taking pictures at Princeton yesterday, I saw a real contextual disparity between Wu Hall and the other Wu Hall like building next to the late-modern library. Should Venturi have reenacted the "white" formalist aesthetic of the library rather than easily (facile-ly?) repeat Wu Hall and the collegiate Gothic motifs? Regarding the two lab buildings, does the new lab reenact the older lab? (anyway, all the Venturi labs are variations on a theme.
Reenactments at U of P -- I see the MG parking garage reenacting Kahn's Richard's Medical Towers, and the large clerstory at the new Venturi lab reenacting the large (upper) clerstory of the Furness Library tower.

more reenactment ideas
There is a very interesting comparison reenactment between the buildings of Ludwig II of Bavaria and the Pitcairn buildings (houses and church) at Bryn Athyn. Both sets of buildings represent firm reenactments, very real theme parks albeit not fake.

The intentions of Ludwig II--to make his mark as a memorable European monarch via Gesamptkunstwerk, and in Ludwig's case it was a Gesamptkunst reenacting a battle against time. Through his buildings, Ludwig becomes most memorable because they enter every architectural imagination that perceives them. Ludwig was definitely a zeitgeist monarch as architectural patron.
"(chronosomaticly) Deconstructing the Kimbell --an osmotic and electromagnetic analysis. What it facilitates is what makes it a facilitator. Light and the equalizing exchange thereof.

2000.03.22 10:52
Re: Aesthetic Intentions
Ludwig II of Bavaria well understood the potential of absolute monarchy, and it seems architecturally evident that he intended to fulfill that potential. I doubt it escaped Ludwig's cognition that monarchs are rare, absolute monarchs even more rare, and mid-nineteenth century monarchs (like himself), absolute or otherwise, were an endangered species.
Ludwig II took the notion of (European) absolute monarchy to its final extreme, and each of his major buildings, Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchimsee, are Gesamptkunstwerks (architecture, decorative arts, music, theater, mythology) that reenact absolute monarchy, as much as they represent a race against time (specifically, the race of European monarchy against time). Ludwig and his younger brother Otto (the real mentally ill member of his immediate family) were literally the end of their family's line. Ludwig was an extreme European monarch in every sense, and his architecture is also extreme European royal architecture in every sense--consummate examples of Zeitgeist and its effects.
I believe Ludwig II achieved his intentions as far as he could take them. But I doubt even he was aware of manifesting an architecture that will forever spark architectural imaginations.

2000.03.23 12:30
teaching at its best
The notion of reenactment within architecture is indeed central to architectural aesthetics, especially in our time. With reenactment comes a clearer understanding of authenticity versus inauthenticity. Because of reenactment, what is most often deemed inauthentic, is more correctly an inversion of the authentic, and here Duchamp's urinal redux is a perfect example.
Even though Disney Land/World are enormous commercial/tourist successes, they nonetheless remain aesthetic quandaries, but they really should be understood aesthetically. Again, because of reenactment, I not only see answers to Disneyfication in the architecture of Ludwig II, but I also see in the architecture of Ludwig II the opportunity to study the "architecture of reenactment" at a scale and magnitude (and accessibility) quite uncommon. I want nothing more than to discuss architectural reenactment in a scholarly manner.

2000.03.24 15:26
subliminal (philosophical) reenactments
It just occurred to me that the notion of reenactment is an integral part of Western philosophy's very beginnings. Without being explicit about it, Plato nonetheless exercised reenactment in many of his texts. Of course, I'm referring to the Socratic dialogues first, the cave second.
Every ten years, the whole town of Oberammergau, Bavaria reenacts Christ's last week in Jerusalem, commonly known at the Passion Plays. This tradition has been an integral part of Oberammergau since the end of the Black Plague. Neuschwanstein and Linderhof are each just several miles from Oberammergau.
And how about all the reenacting the Pope's been passionately doing this week? What with reenacting Moses, Christ, and most interestingly, St. Helena.

2001.10.08 10:23
Re: reenactment and its [un]limits
The theory of reenactment is foremost a theory of history, specifically a theory of history espoused by Collingwood. I see relating this theory to architectural design more as ascribing a name to a practice within architecture design that continually [re]occurs, albeit a practice heretofore (conveniently?) unrecognized.
In all my writing on reenactment so far, I have never made the suggestion or issued a dictum whereby architects should design with reenactment in mind. My objective is to demonstrate how reenactment already works with many cases of design methodology.
Perhaps now I can answer your question. Taking the example of Ludwig II of Bavaria's palace Herrenchiemsee as a prime example of reenactionary architecture (a real reenactment of the Palace of Versailles), we have here a building that was built to be a royal palace, but was never actually lived in by any royals, and is now-a-days a prime tourist attraction within Bavaria--surely a building that manifests "permeable socially constructed use-value". This building is today largely considered kitsch by the architectural/aesthetic community, yet the quality of the craftsmanship within the building is of the highest standard. My guess is that the building is considered kitsch simply because it is not an 'original'. Yet the case can be made that Herrencheimsee is quite an original reenactment!
Like Ludwig II's other castles, Herrencheimsee was paid for by Ludwig himself (i.e., privy purse), and not by the Bavarian state treasury. Furthermore, the castles and palaces were built during the time of the Franco-Prussian War, a largely Prussian/Bismarkian objective which Bavarian Ludwig did not support--rather than send his subjects to war and probable death, Ludwig employed his people at home instead, particularly Bavaria's creative/artistic citizenry. What Ludwig indeed did was to spread his own wealth* into the Bavarian economy via fantastic building programs, buildings, moreover, that today still generate much 'wealth' for the Bavarian people. Was Ludwig II actually a very wise king rather than a mad king?
So, to answer your question, reenactionary architecture can indeed remain reenactionary overtime and throughout changes in use. What Herrencheimsee continues to reenact is Ludwig II's 'mad' fiscal generosity toward his realm. And in the case of Ludwig II's castle Neuschwanstein (which reenacts royal Germanic architecture from the days of Medieval knighthood), it is worth noting that it has become the foremost icon of contemporary tourism, both figuratively in travel posters, and 'literally' via its reenactments at all the Disney Lands.
Perhaps a better question is: why is it that reenactionary architecture is extremely capable of generating 'wealth' for those that build it?
* The Wittelsbach's were among the wealthiest royals in Europe, and, to this day, the Wittelsbach Royal Treasury within the Residenz in Munich, i.e., crowns, jewels and such, is still the most valuable in Europe.

2004.02.13 12:44
Re: of castles, fortifications, etc.
Great stuff. I never read any books on symbolism before; I will now, however.
Lots of things zipped through my mind while reading:
Castles, Ludwig II, reenactment, Otto in a Schloss (i.e., the German for either castle or lock), schizophrenia in a lock-box.
New Jerusalem, Bryn Athyn Cathedral (or Church of the New Jerusalem), Academy of the New Church, Glencairn, Cairnwood--all local (to me) architecture built with Pitcairn (the local 'Rockefellers') money--I can't readily go to Bavaria anytime I want, but that's not case with Bryn Athyn, for a few years now I call it "a little land of reenactment."
Bryn Athyn Cathedral is indeed a true Gothic construction in that all the stones are held together with mortar and gravity alone, perhaps the only true Gothic Cathedral built entirely in the 20th century. Although still large, it is nonetheless somewhat diminutive in that its scale is something like 2/3rds or 3/5ths the average Gothic Cathedral. The overriding symbolism of this Church goes un-noticed by most--nothing in the design is straight, level or exact; column spacing is always slightly off, all walls slightly bow, there is a slight curve to everything, especially to whatever looks straight. Only God is perfect.
The administration building of the Academy of the New Church is a very early Mitchell/Giurgola building, whose design somewhat reenacts the design of Kahn's unexecuted Goldenberg House, which was to be build on a site just a couple miles down from Bryn Athyn.]
Louis Kahn's unexecuted Domincan Motherhouse of St. Catherine de Ricci is chock full of symbolism--today, 13 February, is the feast of St. Catherine de Ricci. I guess I'll visit Elstowe (for the first time) today, and then maybe go take pictures of the castle at the quondam Beaver College.
The Egyptian walls of hieroglyphics and the Berlin Wall of graffiti.
The metabolic urbanism of contemporary Israel.
The secret symbols of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campi Martii.
It is a real joy to still see cedar trees growing in a place long ago called Cedar Grove.

2005.09.08 15:08
Hadrian was born in Spain
Ludwig was not an architect but he was more than a patron. He was a (very wealthy) King, and his actions were very much a studied reenactment of past kings/rulers. Ludwig set out to manifest culture via the arts (as opposed to manifesting wars). That Ludwig was very interested in manifesting architecture is without question.

2005.09.08 16:18
Hadrian was born in Spain
Ludwig II's architecture is no doubt aesthetically over the top, but in terms of craftsmanship, it is all top notch. It is fair to say that Ludwig's architecture inspired a lot of kitsch. Reenactionary Architecturism addresses the disticntion between popular sentimentality and reenactionary architecturism, and Ludwig II's architecture is a main point in that distinction.

2005.11.22 11:50
Your Ignorance is Inexcusable
pastiche 1 : a dramatic, literary, or musical piece openly imitating the previous works of other artists, often with satirical intent 2 : a pasticcio of incongruous parts; a hodgepodge
Reenactment and pastiche are not the same thing.
Reenactment, as a historiographic methodology, involves an imitation of the source event in order to better understand the source event and then learn from there. Reenactment as a design methodology works the same way.
Disney-fication is pastiche 1 without the satire.
Contemporary avant garde architecture in virtually any established setting unwittingly generates pastiche 2.




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