3 February

1544 discovery of the tomb of Maria
1548 Sansovino was restored to his position at Venice
1590 death of Germain Pilon

1994 death of Manfredo Tafuri

an answer to "Now what?"
2000.02.03 11:43     2060 206g 2092 2210 3716c 3744 3745r 3749b 3773b 3775c 3784e 4401b 4413 4600 4706 5007

austerity = extreme assimilation?
2000.02.03 15:08     3702b 3715 3716d 3747 3749b 4015u

Hatfield House     1835
Church of the Gesù     1888
Keystone National Bank Building     1890
Girard Avenue
District Health Center #1     1959
Calcutta House     1996

appositional art
2002.02.03     3703 7702

2003.02.03     3787c

ideas - Odds of Ottopia
2004.02.03     2070

Thesis Semester [blog] 25 years ago
2006.02.03 12:29     9006s

Avenue North

I snapshoot Prada, Beverly Hills
2007.02.03 15:54

This Your Father's License
2014.02.03 09:47     3771l 3773o 4614f 4614g

3 February
2014.02.03 13:48     3307t 3703l 3718 3792i

Session 14: His bjark is BIGger than his bjite – A chat with Bjarke Ingels at the opening of BIG's "Hot to Cold" exhibition
2015.02.03 14:43     3310c

2015.02.03 15:14     3310c 3775w 3792j

JDS   Gateway

2000.02.03 11:43
an answer to "Now what?"
Hugh Pearman states and asks:
Such being the case, we can conclude that Decon has run out of steam as a manifesto-led movement, and we must look to its successor. Ideas, anyone?
Steve Lauf replies:
Is Decon the only thing to have run out of steam? Has the now pervasive and generally accepted way of looking at and being critical of architecture also run out of steam? For example, does moving from seeing Decon as reactionary to now (maybe) seeing the New Austerity as the latest reaction really convey a sense of meaning beyond the oscillations of fashion and trend? Has each new "critical" building become nothing more than the latest "creation" of the now global fashion show? Likewise, has the element of shock become ingrained within the (elite) architectural profession, the same way shock has become "stock-in-trade" in a good deal of high fashion? [I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the architecture that receives attention and the industry surrounding it being akin to the fashion industry, but I do think there is something wrong about not recognizing the phenomenon as such.]
Here's how I now look critically at architecture (and urban design) both currently and historically:
What architecture is extreme?
What architecture is fertile?
What architecture is pregnant?
What architecture is assimilating?
What architecture is metabolic?
What architecture is osmotic?
What architecture is electromagnetic?
What architecture manifests the highest frequencies?
What I've found so far is that some architectures fall straight into some of the categories above while some architectures are categorical hybrids. Here are some examples:
the Pyramids, Stonehenge, St. Peter's (Vatican), Bilbao(?)--extreme, extreme architectures.
the Pantheon, Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, entry sequence of Schinkel's Altes Museum, Kimbell Art Gallery -- examples of the best osmotic architecture there is.
Classical Greek and Roman Architecture--pure architecture of fertility.
the Hindu Templ --the ultimate transcendence from an architecture of fertility to an architecture of pregnancy, whereas the Gothic Cathedral is an architecture of pregnancy, albeit virginal.
all of 20th century Berlin--the metabolic (create and destroy and create and destroy and ...)
To understand architecture of assimilation, look at the Renaissance, but also look to early 20th century Purism to understand assimilation in the extreme, i.e., purge.
Today's architectures are by and large assimilating and/or metabolic (contextual and/or 'deconstructivist'?).
You're very lucky if you ever see pure examples of electromagnetic or frequency architectures today because they are almost entirely architectures of the far off future.
There are many more examples to offer, but that's all for now.
In general, I see all architectures as reenactionary (as opposed to reactionary).
Architecture reenacts human imagination, and human imagination reenacts the way the human body is and operates. The human body and the design thereof is THE enactment. The human imagination then reenacts corporal morphology and physiology, and architecture then reenacts our reenacting imaginations.

2000.02.03 15:08
austerity = extreme assimilation?
In Hugh Pearman's piece on the New Art Gallery in Walsall, he begins with:
"If you could distill the essence of pure modern architecture, and remove all traces of the usual compromises and cut corners and clumsy details and flash populist moves, then you would get a strange, unsettling, austere, but rather beautiful building."
This sentence well describes what I mean by an architecture of extreme assimilation. Assimilation in physiological terms means the absorption of nutrients, and this corporal operation occurs primarily within the intestines. The final stage of assimilation is then in the large intestines where all moisture is absorbed, and them comes the purge.
Modernist Purism and now the New Austerity seem to work toward manifesting an architecture where all the essentials have been absorbed to the extreme, i.e., to the purge of anything extraneous.
Hugh (in his last post) also mentions possible forthcoming architectural 'revivals'. Could not the New Austerity be a Purism revival? (Seeing the interior shot of the Walsall gallery also reminded me of the interior court of Kahn's Mellon Art Gallery, New Haven. I see that building, as well as many other Kahn buildings, as 'embodiments' of a 'new' austerity, of an assimilating purge.)
Perhaps one of the drawbacks of the 'being-there-right-as-it-happens-history' of today's culture is that the sense of continuum is no longer as evident as it was in former times. With everything "new(s)' being automatically understood as 'of this very moment', the sight of 'events' being part of a much larger continuum is easily lost. I have a feeling that a 'style' like Purism(/New Austerity) is going to be part of 'international' architecture (and culture) for a few more centuries. It's already proved itself durable for almost a century, hasn't it?

2. Mod Architecture
3. buildings that move(d)

2006.02.03 12:29
Thesis Semester [blog] 25 years ago
...while we were in MoMA's Sculpture Garden, Spring Break 1977. After that some of us went to Wittenborn Art Books, and I bought several back issues of A+U. Hal Guida told me about Wittenborn after I told him a bunch of us were going to New York City for Spring Break.

2007.02.03 15:54
I snapshoot Prada, Beverly Hills
I was taking pictures this morning along the longest straight city street in the world. I've learned it's better if I don't listen to any suggestions that enter my mind.

11020301 Santa Maria Novella facade with Museum of Architecture   2078i00   b

14020301 Danteum plan modern/ancient context IQ11   206bi12
14020302 Danteum plans model modern/ancient context IQ11   206bi13
14020303 Danteum axonometrics (4 x -60,0,40) modern/ancient context   2165i11   b

15020301 Bldg 9593b @ GAUA 1100x550   2429i36
15020302 Bldg 9593c @ GAUA 1100x550   2429i37
15020303 Bldg 9593d @ GAUA 1100x550   2429i38
15020304 Bldg 9593e @ GAUA 1100x550   2429i39

17020301 Atheneum dtm forms plans models   2231i07   b

17020301   JDS   Gateway

20020301   Victims site plan work images   225ki05
20020302   Victims site plan work images   225ki06

21020301   Hameau de la Reine site plan plus plan elevation section working data   2113i02
21020302   Hameau de la Reine site plan in situ image plan   2113i02

Hatfield is a transplant house. In 1930 Major Henry Reed rescued his house from the encroaching factories of Nicetown and moved it here from Hunting Park Avenue near Nineteenth Street.

This new setting for Hatfield House is still within the "Northern Liberties" of William Penn's original plan. Plots of plans in the Liberties were part of Penn's plan to settle the countryside with property owners who also held land in town. Penn presented a 100-acre lot in the Liberties and two lots in town to each purchaser of 5,000 acres in the country. In this way he hoped to give early Philadelphians a sound political base as well as a sound economic base, since voting power was based on land tenure.

Built in 1760, the original house was a small, simple frame farmhouse until William J. Hay bought it in 1831. Although Hay took up permanent residence there, he furnished the house as though it were a country summer home.

The house became noteworthy in 1835 when Hay added rooms and a Greek Revival portico to one end of the house. He then built a new front door and sheathed the house in flush board siding to hide the joints.

Hatfield is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in Fairmount Park. Greek temple motifs for public building have been popular through the ages, but in the 1830s American homeowners began dressing up their houses with columns and pediments copied from architects' design books.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has installed the interior of Hatfield according to Hay's own 1836 inventory of his furnishings. These include authentic American Empire pieces made in the Philadelphia area between 1815 and 1840.

Restored in 1976 by the City of Philadelphia and the Fairmount Park Commission, Hatfield and its furnishing suggest a style of life which has long since vanished in America.




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