Monday, November 16, 2009


I am not Rauschenberg , but it's fun to be able to mash together a desire to blog (procrastinate) and a need to learn something half-new.

LeCorbusier's Villa Savoye in Poissy, France, 1928-30 — international style / broad flat planes, no frivolous ornamentation (form, shape and surface are important), streamlined appearances expressed building's function; his five points of what architecture should do included 1) raising all buildings on pilotis (pillars), to create a place to stash the motor nicely in an uncluttering way and to create a better view for inhabitants, who would be 2) looking out through their "ribbon windows," wrapping around the whole building, or enjoying their 3) rooftop garden space, a private sometimes green spot for social gatherings; the inhabitants also would benefit from 4) an open floor plan, which would be made possible by the 5) free-façade design (meaning the walls were not load-bearing and thus could be moved around to alter rooms as necessary) — functional, utopian "best use of space"

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe taught at Bauhaus, with its very modern, all-window, regular patterned space devoid of excessive detail (which at the time was supposed to inspire creativity), was an advocate of extreme clarity and simplicity in architecture, as well as a use of modern materials like industrial steel and plate glass, the skeleton of steel a minimal framework and the glass a skin covering it without ornamentation or concealment. His 1922 plan for a skyscraper was never built and was one of two models. This one proposed an all-glass sheathing, even around corners, which were curved, suspended from a central core; his version of International Style.

William van Alen, Chrysler Building,1046-ft., NYC, 1928-30, Art Deco: inspired by machine forms, a style spanning architecture, fine and applied arts; influenced by Cubism, Constructivism, Futurism, Blaue Reiter (abstraction, geometric forms, distortion, intense colors and a love of new technology); celebrate the rise of commerce, the machine age, technology and speed; the growing impact of the machine expressed by repeating and overlapping imagery — streamlined forms derived from principle of aerodynamics, elegant and ultra-modern). The building was supported by a steel skeletal frame, and the exterior was decorated by a stone façade to show patterning, especially at the top, where car symbols like hubcaps and chevron-shapes are celebrated into a pinnacle expressing the building's company's product.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater in Bear Run, PN, 1934-37, modern architecture derived from his own prairie style … cantilevers, native stone, water access, etc.

Wright, Guggenheim Museum, NYC, 1957-59, late Wright; molded concrete, great interior spiral, horizontality of exterior after 1982 renovations; presents ordered view of art / an experience that's not passive

Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, Pompidou Center, Paris, 1971-78, postmodern deconstruction: move away from rules that constrict (like form follows function, purity of form, truth to materials or the Modern idea of simplification or elimination of ornament — controlled chaos). PoMo coined in 1948 describe post-WW2 dissatisfaction with precepts of modern architecture; extends to many disciplines and is very diverse, complex, contradictory, ambiguous and interconnected — also debated. A building that is literally inside out; exterior escalators start visit at top of building; interior is basic and usual.

I.M. Pei, Grand Pyramid for Louvre, 1988 in Paris; entrance way in central courtyard, postmodern

Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, 1991-97; typical Gehry style incorporating sheets of metal for exterior, in this case shaped as a ship or to mimic the undulating waves of the river at the site. Combines classic modernism with organic whimsy of Expressionists; designed with CATIA

LaVerdiere and Myoda et al, Tribute in Light, NYC WTC, 2001-02 34 nights (a light installation in situ while rebuilding is funded). Replicate Yamasaki's 1972 towers, mile-high projection with 44 7000-watt bulbs


Hyperblogal said...

I did the Rauschenberg thingy but all I saw were ducks.

Applecart T. said...

using your blogs to bore us with study-facts is boring!