lunes, 13 de julio de 2009

The Pleasure of Architecture (Bernard Tschumi)

Fragment 1: A Double Pleasure (Reminder)

The pleasure of space. This cannot be put into words, it is unspoken. Approximately: it is a form of experience - the "presence of absence"; exhilarating differences between the plane and the cavern, between the street and your living room; symmetries and dissymetries emphasizing the spatial properties of my body: right and left, up and down. Taken to this extreme, the pleasure of space leans toward the poetics of the unconscious, to the edge of madness.

The pleasure of geometry and, by extension, the pleasure of order - that is, the pleasure of concepts: Typical statements on architecture often read like the one in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1773: "architecture, being governed by proportion, requires to be guided by rule and compass." That is, architecture is a "thing of the mind," a geometrical rather than a pictorial or experiential art, so the problem of architecture becomes a problem of ordinance - Doric or Corinthian order, axes or hierarchies, grids or regulating lines, types or models, walls or slabs, and, of course, the grammar and syntax of the architecture's sign become pretexts for sophisticated and pleasurable manipulation. Taken to its extreme, such manipulation leans toward a poetic of frozen signs, detached from reality, into a subtle and frozen pleasure of the mind.

Neither the pleasure of space nor the pleasure of geometry is (on its own) the pleasure of architecture.

Bernard Tschumi (1977): Architectural Design 47, no. 3: 214-218.

domingo, 12 de julio de 2009

Architecture Must Blaze (Coop Himmelb(l)au)

We want architecture to have more. Architecture that bleeds, that exhaust, that whirls and even breaks. Architecture that lights up, that stings, that rips, and under stress, tears. Architecture should be cavernous, fiery, smooth, hard, angular, brutal, round, delicate, colourful, obscene, voluptuous, dreamy, alluring, repelling, wet, dry and throbbing. Alive or dead. Cold - then cold is a block of ice. Hot - then hot is a blazing wing.

Architecture must blaze.

Coop Himmelb(l)au: Text accompanying the Blazing Wing Action Object (Graz) 1980.
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