Thursday, January 15, 2009
Giambattista Piranessi (1720-78) The Canceri 1745, Collage city
Piranessi didn't see Rome as a wounded city. Through the process of addition and desconstruction he creates a new vision of rome. I can imagine how parts of buildings can be abandoned or in ruins and other parts teeming with human activity. This could create chaotic layers of infrastructure and architecture. Architectural coherence or a systematic development is not what connects the city together. The human activities that casually develop in the streets of this city is what would maintaing this chaos from splitting appart.
Archigram: Peter Cook. Plug in city 1945-1966. Instant city 1965.
this is a quote from Peter Cook that I have found: "architecture must remain flexible, mobile. Flexible elements are simply plugged in and provided with all utilities from supply tower as they would by a socket.". The idea of architecture plugging into a mega structure is always very seductive. Cook describes his structure as a loose-memeshed grid of diagonal tubes that provide support for the many cell elements. Another fascinating element that he introduces to his city is the permanent crane. He says: "...because it will never be finished, like a living city". awesome.I can only imagine how this crane is used in every instance of the life of this city: a social event, a city celebration that is catered or constructed by a fixed crane.
Eckhard Schulze-Fielitz. Space City 1960-65
This is another architect that evnsioned a city that is bound by its structure, but the development that happens within is not bound to any regulations other than being structurally sound. He says: "The constructed space, that is, the basic structure, and the non constructed space, improvisation or individual adaptation, are coordinated by the modular system. But in a free society perfect planning is neither possible nor desirable. That means unpredictable development, tailored to the needs of the residents." I would like to think of this structure not as a binding space, but as a fertile space where spontaneous architecture can grow out of within set paramenters.
Engelbert Zobl, Helmut C. Schulitz, and Dale Dashiell. The caravan city in the Mojave Desert. 1967
This is another group of architects that think of a modular city. The interesting theme of this city is not its modularity. Much like the other cities mentioned above, they are mediating economical city and infrastructure and the needs of people to have personalized experiences and spaces. "A perfected computer system indicates which positions in the spatial lattice are still available." This indicates to a catalogue or means to document typology and dimensions. "What we are interested in is a self-regulating structure, as it were, an undefined agglomeration of urban components that not only satisfies the needs of modern consumers but can also be adapted to the requirements of an unforeseeable future." Not only are the models modfiable, in this scheme the framework is also mutable. "the only facilities whose locations is fixed are those requiring extensive technological equipment..." This last quote brings me back to wondering what elements in architecture have to be static and what can have the ability to change over time.
James Wines of the group SITE (Sculpture in the environment). The highrise of homes, 1981. The greening of Manhattan, 1979.
The scale of this project allows one to imagine its feasibility more so than in the other projects. Similar elemnts are still present in this one. The framework that consisted of steel tubes of more than 65cm are replaced by the steelwork that normally goes on a highrise. The idea of putting suburban houses on top of each other on a high rise is comical. However, the potential of vertical movement and the creation of small communities are what make this project elegant. "We simply built a huge shelf with top soil in lieu of floors, open on two sides. Then people came, each with their little house, finished, already built, in they style preferred!"
Coop Himmelb(l)au. Melin-senart (Paris). 1987.
I find myself becoming more interested in deconstructivism after reading this quote: "High and low, compact and empty, loud and soft, heat and cold, tenderness and hardness, confusion and clarity, captured in potential structures." The existance of contrasting elements captured in a building, a city, or in the landscape makes for interesting experiential qualities.
I have started my research looking at cities, but i will narrow the scope of my investigation as i find relevant material on public spaces, private spaces. As of now i am very interested in reading up on lifecyles in the city and how it transforms the built and natural environment.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
An inhabitable space is never static. With the passing of time it may bear different individuals, activities, and stresses. The constant flow and variation of forces in a given space will bring about physical manifestations of its memory. Architecture can prevent or create a fertile ground for changes to partake in the shaping and reshaping of spaces.
The desire to change a space to meet one’s needs is analogous to the behavior of architecture under pressure, contracting and expanding to bear it. The permanence and the sustainability of a human activity are analogous to a construction material’s resilience and disposability.
A space may have many different functions throughout its lifecycle. Degradation, addition, and flexibility in architecture reveal the latent potential of a space in separate periods of its life. The continuous maintaining of a mutable space in a building is preservative of the history of a landscape, of a block, and of a city.
transformation in architecture is sometimes undesirable. Through rigid programing architecture becomes efficient and hard edged. is it possible to create a program, a structure that is as flexible and changing as the people that inhabit it?