MODERN ARCHITECTURE a critical history
Questions for books:
- what is the standard to which ‘successful architecture’ or ‘successful
movement’ may be gauged against? (586 SG – le corb)
o Where is the juice— KF- in the conflict, struggle , SG in-depth
description of spatial achievement Le Corb
^TONAL: mask opinion with rhetoric of objectivity (343 KF)--- /
optimism due to investment of self – in format itself… sense of
syntactical thrift vs. an a sense of abundance of time to revel in an idea…
perhaps due to the length of book, due to size of text… who knows.
o What are the most important variables (constituent fact) which tie
architecture together through time? Constituent fact vs transitory fact
SG – (19)-“ to make the not always obvious distinction between
transitory and constituent facts is his [ the historian’s] --- own
personal responsibility” – historian more interested in the links than
the differences between periods ( which is to say, architecture as an
organism) – spatial conception
o TIME difference in scale of comparison--- proximity and time –`
- What is the most important legacy of a piece of architecture---- the intent,
voice of the architect… or the ends to which it lead? … SG (27) “there are
some individual artists whom we shall also scrutinize at close range, men in
whom the spirit of an age crystallizes. In each case we shall examine only
those of their works which are most helpful in understanding the period.”
o ^ the inevitability of the solution to arise, generated by problem of the
times…. Vs. the architect predestined to generate solutions to many
problems……incidentally provided by the times FLW (26 SG) the
fixation is on the problem.., also with paris… inevitability of Paris
transformation under Haussmann, how much reported.. (24 KF—
practical, health-oriented reasons for transformations, while SG – talks
about Napoleon’s reasons…
o Chicago through Auditorium building.. (2/27)
o Interest in town planning and construction vs. the Building ? (25 SG) ..
what is the key to understanding an epoch (SG – 28 the common, vs.
- “Chicagoans who did not like the Robie house, who were offended by the
novelty of its appearance and its long stretched-out horizontal lines, sought to
deride it by comparing it to a steamship, just as later Le Corbusier’s critics
were to refer similarly to his buildings. Without knowing it, they were
implying that the house was built in the spirit of the age out of which it
Ch.23 italian rationalism
- defining the mov’t USING parts of other mov’ts..
- (204) opposition---the classicists Piacentini..
- The responsibility/burden of an architect to convince people of his work… a
- extraction of pure formal issues from ideology… (205) - -“there is… an aspect
of this work which transcends these ideological considerations… the creation
of metaphysical spatial effects… the buildling is treated as though it were a
continuous spatial matrix…..” (for KF, how much is ideology a means to an
end…. , how important are these basic formal derivatives?) … and then the
goal of architecture to symbolize and ideology. (206)
- the architects which are most important to a topic are those who maintain
- there is the ideology , and then there is everything which it is at odds with ----
- CIAM – SG Collaborator vs. KF dismissal of group
Kenneth Frampton , 1992
- importance of the informed client, vs. bureaucracy
- global urbanization… criticism still vital
- expanded biblio
- high tech importance
- general practice vs. the star
- storm of progress
- the search for objective basis
- technology---- extraordinary change, split, challenge of vitruvius
- interpretive stance varies…. Reflected in mosaic format.
- History is important regarding consciousness /polemical intent.
- Influence by Marxist and Frankfurt School.
- Enlightenment—alienation of man from how production, as from nature.
- Divide of modernity --- utopian avant garde (machine), anti-rational Christian
- City--- under spell of consumer economy, limited significance whollistically
(freeway , suburb, supermarket)
- Hiding or stripping down to empirical fact.. classical vs. functionalism
- Rise of metaphor and irony..
- Creative contract between the invisible and visible
- Begin each chapter with quote
PART I: Ch1-3 (set up.. 3 part framework for more specific events)
Ch1/3 – Cultural Transformations: Neo-Classical architecture 1750-1900
- relationship of man and nature..\
- technology enabled man to control nature
- human consciousn32eess… shift due to social change.
- historicism… due to awareness of instability of age, look for true style
- checking of fact archaeologically, extend beyond Rome
- extensive Bibliography… cite drawings, writings, sociology…
- trend… popularization… national trend.
- Cultural relativity…. Individual questionings
- Complexity , divergence of thought
- “so-called” visionaries…. KF retains some skepticism.
- KF - Personal preoccupations
- KF focus on who is asking for buildings
- KF – Influences important… … cite buildings, describe specifically
- Competing forces….. romanticism… nationalism.
- Nationalism Classicism.
- KF- (connection to future through elipses, eg. ‘an arrangement which would
be remembered by Mies van der Rohe” 17)
- KF - Concentration of people’s interpretations
- KF - A transfer of principles
- KF -Theoretical juxtapositions…
Ch2/3 – Territorial transformations: urban developments 1800-1909
- compression of SPACE due to increasing speed of transport and
- technology—end of finite city..
- generalize technology into categories—
- invention --- new industry , or reorganization – new architecture
- note population and life standards
- health problems… reform of law… re-planning of city
- list of legislation sequence
- more writings… unbuilt cities
- … occasional brief previews into future… e.g. Le Corb (22)
- Importance of the client--- Napoleon III
- Relate ‘regularization’ of cities to one another..
- Theories- “general theory of urbanization”..
- Again.. technology…
- Importance of movement…
- “fundamental difference in schemes….. due to attitudes towards rail transit
- See failures ( of linear city)… legacies of these failures.
Ch3/3 – Technical transformations: structural engineering 1775-1939
- steam power and iron frame…
- give credit to the inventors, many people
- tight chain of events in usage.. derivations… many linked projects
- division between architect and constructor
- importance of those who Document things… their focus on means vs. focus
- influence of cost/economy, demands for resourcefulness
- impressed by speed of progress.
- Focus on PROCESSes of production
- Note “packaged” strctures… cast iron fronts.
- Note duties, taxes, effect on material use, availability
- New conceptual issue of representation… station as gateway to the city.
- Importance of building achievements (aka crystal palace) not due to form but
due to construction process- kit of parts, conception, trans-shipment… a total
- Predicament of so much glass- climactic.
- Hesitancy of building so “objectively”
- Take-over by French
- Verified modulus of elasticity through building
- Exhibition importance
- Reliance of one technique /building (lift) on another (Viaduct)
- Futuristic affinity towards… vertical.. aerial traversion… relate to future once
again (tatlin’s monument)
- Concrete reinfment… doc. KF Of experimentation, verification of methods.
- The multiplicity in innovation in concrete.
- Span #’s…
PART II: A Critical History 1836-1967
Ch. 1/27 – News from Nowhere: England 1836-1924
- failure of gothic revival due to changing society living life “of mechanical
- socio-cultural origins… political affiliation of pugin and Ruskin
- painting.. Pre-Raphaelitism… poets, painters.
- Sacredness of vernacular and local building structural tradition….
- Extensive webb and morris biographic account
- Utopian dream of “nowhere” disappaearance of state/….. work based on guild
- Importance of economic system in garden city mov’t
- Many other biographic snippets
- Shortlivedness of a&c with lutyens
- Effect of war on a&c mov’t
Ch. 2/27 – Adler and Sullivan: the Auditorium and the high rise 1886-95
- ornament.. shift away
- Chicago through the auditorium building
- Adler’s own regret about bleakness of building
- Emphasis on influence of Richardson
- Sullivan… evolution of correct “syntax” for high rise building
- Sullivan’s philosophic entrenchment… guarenty building “form follow’s
- Sullivan… insistence upon new civilization….. his downfall. More Sullivan
Ch. 3/27 – FLW and the myth of the Prairie 1890-1916
Exoticism , monumentality
Form appropriate to new world
Reconciling all of influences into one style… sponge
Prairie style as a syntax, but 2 strands of expression
Structural integrity of imperial hotel
Ch. 4/27 – Structural Rationalism and the influence of Viollet-le-Duc: Gaudí, Horta,
Guimard, and Berlage 1880-1910
- (just note title/…… individuals)
-viollet-le-duc… regionalism… structural rationalism
- writings… influence on gaudi, structural/spatial , using drawings
- departing from violet-le-duc… raw material transformation… emotive force…
- accm. Of Flemish industrial wealth….. magazines declaration
- through manifestos…
- material use…. Horta : iron…. “dialogue between…iron..and stone”
- Guimard’s evolution…
- Berlage… theoretical… simplification… the city… street as outdoor
room…conflict with CIAM, anti-street…..
Ch.5 – Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School
-celtic otherworldliness and pragmatic art and crafts approach to form… MASS
- gothic revival tradition of…. Loose-fitting envelope
- bio … decline..
- influence on Hoffmann… in organization, plain surface with occasional
Ch. 6. –The Sacred Spring: Wagner, Olbrich, and Hoffmann (1886-1912)
- comparison to the social situation of England and France… as a determinant
of form (quote)
- wagner… attitude determined by polytechnical education, radicalness of his
- Importance of klimt- prime mover of revolt
- Monumentalization of successionist themes
- Behrens.. cryto-classical
- Abstract form in design…
- Periodical, garden city---- undesired adoption by Austrian national socialist
- Denial of structure and mass
- Behren’s… classicism -third reich
- Wagner’s formal austerity.. elegantly proportioned villa
Ch. 7 – Antonio Sant-Elia and Futurist architecture
- who his opposition was
Ch. 8 – Loos and the Crisis of Culture
- slight satirical tone
- public opinion of him
- who he opposed
- raumplan… continued by Le Corb
Ch. 9 – Henry van de Velde
- biggest contribution is energetic serpentine line
- eng. Arts and craft’s influence
- socialist , while putting faith in the power of form.. fight against “ugliness” to
- his ups and downs—times of doubt
- control over surging masses
- werkbund’s effort vain and a misdiagnosis of society in war..
Ch. 10 – Tony Garnier and the Industrial City 1899-1918
- significance of Lyon’s, his progressive industrial home town
- not a proven model… each city autonomous, expandable due to heavy
Ch. 11 – Auguste Perret: the evolution of Classical Rationalism 1899-1925
- articulation of structural frame
- take over of van de velde
- his limit was through obsession with ‘national-classical’ style
- divergence of le corb from perret theoretically…
Ch. 12 – The Deutsche Werkbund 1898 – 1927
-effects of war
Ch. 15 every other paragraph is quotation
- Individual, in RESPONSE to movements.. Duiker?
KF - “all these buildings seem to symbolize this duality of architectural creation….”
Searching for own thesis ... (201)
To define a group by its architects – a mov’t
the failure of a movement is traceable to a personal issue--- “nerve”, “security” (211)
- Lutyens and Wright?