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TEN CANONICAL BUILDINGS 1950–2000
Foreword by Stan Allen Edited by Ariane Lourie
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First published in the United States of America in 2008 by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. 300 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10010 www.rizzoliusa.com ISBN-13: 978-0-8478-3048-0 LCCN: 2007921092 © 2008 Rizzoli International Publications © 2008 Peter Eisenman “Eisenman’s Canon: A Counter-Memory of the Modern” © Stan Allen All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior consent of the publisher. Distributed to the U.S. trade by Random House, New York This book was developed with the support and cooperation of the School of Architecture, Princeton University.
DESIGNER Andrew Heid Printed and bound in China 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Eisenman, Peter Ten Canonical Buildings ISBN-13: 978-0-8478-3048-0 (alk. paper) 1. Postmodern Architecture 2. Critical Architecture II. Title. NA2760. E45 2006 720.1--dc22 2007921092
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Acknowledgments Eisenman’s Canon: A Counter-Memory of the Modern Foreword by Stan Allen Introduction 1. Proﬁles of Text Luigi Moretti, Casa “Il Girasole,” 1947–50 2. The Umbrella Diagram Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Farnsworth House, 1946–51 3. Textual Heresies Le Corbusier, Palais des Congrès-Strasbourg, 1962–64 4. From Plaid Grid to Diachronic Space Louis I. Kahn, Adler House and DeVore House, 1954–55 5. The Nine-Square Diagram and its Contradictions Robert Venturi, Vanna Venturi House, 1959–64 6. Material Inversions James Stirling, Leicester Engineering Building, 1959–63 7. Texts of Analogy Aldo Rossi, Cemetery of San Cataldo, 1971–78 8. Strategies of the Void Rem Koolhaas, Jussieu Libraries, 1992–93 9. The Deconstruction of the Axis Daniel Libeskind, Jewish Museum, 1989–99 10. The Soft Umbrella Diagram Frank O. Gehry, Peter B. Lewis Building, 1997–2002 Bibliography 6 9
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The ideas and arguments presented in Ten Canonical Buildings were developed in seminars I gave over four years while a visiting lecturer at Princeton University’s School of Architecture. The school’s support, in particular the support of the dean, Stan Allen, made this book possible. I especially want to recognize the Princeton students who both participated in the seminars and spent summers producing drawings to illustrate these building analyses: John Bassett, Andrew Heid, Ajay Manthripragada, Michael Wang, Carolyn Yerkes and, later, Matthew Roman. Andrew Heid also stayed on to design this book. Clearly this book is the result of a team effort. Ariane Lourie endured numerous drafts and rewrites to help me bring this manuscript to its ﬁnal form—even editing and repairing drawings—and Cynthia Davidson reviewed it for clarity. Jeffrey Kipnis made insightful comments on drafts of the introduction. Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown helped to obtain the best historical images from the archives of Le Corbusier, Luigi Moretti, Mies van der Rohe, John Hejduk, Louis Kahn, Aldo Rossi, and James Stirling necessary to illustrate each building. I want to thank the architects who lent images from their ofﬁces: Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, OMA, Studio Daniel Libeskind, and Gehry Partners. Finally, I would also like to thank David Morton and the editorial staff at Rizzoli New York for their patience and for reproducing these drawings with such care. –P.E.
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Editorial Layout 02 08. there is something didactic about Eisenman’s canon. —Michel Foucault The title of Peter Eisenman’s new book. it is made for cutting. Indeed. and it will not permit itself to be transported by a voiceless obstinacy toward a millennial ending. a sly bit of misdirection to distract the reader while he palms another ace off the bottom of the deck. undeviating canon. suggests the construction of a new orthodoxy. This is because history is not made for understanding. His title.indd 9 4/9/2008 10:43:47 AM . Eisenman is operating on the basis of a rather unorthodox notion of the canonical. In the past Eisenman has often been criticized for his reliance on concepts from outside of architecture. which would have at its center the close reading of exemplary twentieth-century buildings. which places him much closer to Foucault’s idea of an “effective” history than to the conservative idea of maintaining a timeless.Eisenman’s Canon: A Counter-Memory of the Modern Stan Allen ‘Effective’ history deprives the self of the reassuring stability of life and nature. and it is important to remember that these meticulous formal readings were developed in the context of seminars taught at Princeton from 2003 to 2006. is something of a ruse. Ten Canonical Buildings. With this analytical work he declares explicitly that it is buildings themselves that are the source of ideas in architecture. At one level what is proposed here is nothing less than a new pedagogy. and not applied philosophical concepts from outside the discipline. I would suggest. It will uproot its traditional foundations and relentlessly disrupt its pretended continuity. But to leave it at that would be to miss the force of his argument.
a conceptual lever to open up the ﬁeld of modern and postmodern architecture. however. “is not to discover the roots of our identity. in other words. and the extension of that analysis as a more generalized proposition. The reference to Dom-ino here is then both to a method of analysis and to an exemplary modern- Editorial Layout 02 08. “is a hinge. Eisenman takes Rowe’s method of close formal readings and sets it to a distinct task: the identiﬁcation of breaks. To mention Rowe here (as Eisenman does in his own introduction) is both to acknowledge the intellectual debt that Eisenman owes to Rowe and to measure the distance between the two.” Eisenman’s starting point is the iconic perspective drawing of the Dom-ino system. Eisenman identiﬁes the idea of the self-referential sign as the aspect of Dom-ino that makes it “truly modernist.” Maison Domino is one of the key diagrams discussed in this book. a premonition. Eisenman’s canon is the opposite of an eternal canon: it is precisely bound to the historical moment of rupture. meaningless outside the horizon of possibilities that it opens up at that particular time. To disengage modern architecture from its humanist tradition it was necessary to construct an alternative genealogy. Like his mentor Rowe.10 Eisenman’s Canon It is the “liberating divergence” of architecture’s marginal or apparently insigniﬁcant moments that Eisenman has identiﬁed as canonical in this collection.” Eisenman writes here. indebted to Rowe for his analytical methodology: “Colin Rowe ﬁrst taught me how to see what was written into the building but was not thematic of seeing as opticality. For Eisenman. As in the previous articles. in which fragmentation and discontinuity would now take precedence. it is often taken as a diagram of the basic principles of the free plan.” Foucault writes. All of the elements of the Eisenman methodology are here: the ostentatious disregard of structure. site. Eisenman understands the modern condition as shot through with contradiction. In this sense. which is in turn manifested in formal discontinuity and historical rupture. teasing out a series of small but signiﬁcant formal moves that produce a kind of degreezero of architectural form: the minimum formal differentiation necessary to deﬁne the artifact as architecture. innovation occurs when the previously marginal is absorbed into the discipline. Rowe’s emphasis on continuity locked modern architecture into a humanist tradition. as opposed to mere structural diagram. and program in favor of a nuanced formal reading. Ostensibly the demonstration of a construction system. a rupture. Rowe had famously postulated an underlying geometrical continuity between the classical and the modern. He remains. of something that necessarily signals a change.” Eisenman takes Frank Stella’s famous literalist dictum—“What you see is what you see”—and turns it on its head. he is not interested in “what is literally there. To identify discontinuity as the primary analytical trope of this collection is also to take note of a conspicuous counterpoint to Eisenman’s mentor Colin Rowe.” “A canonical work. In other words.” For Eisenman (an attentive reader of Foucault) the task of history is to make contradiction and discontinuity visible. triggering internal adjustments to the logic of the discipline itself. and the essay that declared in the strongest possible terms his ideological distance from Rowe. which Eisenman calls a “diagram. “The purpose of history. He is searching for those moments when the ground of the discipline changes and the paradigm shifts. Eisenman reads the drawing against the grain. but what is implied by what is there. ruptures and divergent pathways. but to commit itself to its dissipation.” Perhaps the best known example of this method. it is a privileged point of departure.indd 10 4/9/2008 10:43:47 AM . is the article “Aspects of Modernism: Maison Dom-ino and the Self-Referential Sign.” In this essay (which opens with an epigraph from Foucault).
which makes it a better read. Colin Rowe. however. through the primary vehicle of the cut-away axonometric diagram. and serves to conﬁrm the idea that a complex work like Leicester will always exceed deﬁnitive explanation. Stirling stands in as Eisenman’s avatar in the intellectual tug-of-war with Rowe’s interpretive models: “In his need to clear a kind of ‘turf’ for himself. although written a decade earlier. for example. The drawings of Frank Gehry’s Case Western Reserve project. its direct (not to say “brutalist”) use of industrial materials.” Many of these same arguments are present in an earlier essay that preﬁgures the analytical method here: Eisenman’s brilliant. yield brilliant formal insights in the analysis of the Jussieu Libraries. seem inadequate to the sculptural effects of an architect who designs almost exclusively in model form. with added anecdotal background. formal deconstruction of James Stirling’s Leicester Engineering Building in “Real and English: The Destruction of the Box. While setting the structural support back from the edge of the horizontal plane of the slab emphasized the horizontal ﬂow of space (sponsoring the free plan). counterintuitive. Eisenman teases out the formal consequences of the Dom-ino diagram.indd 11 4/9/2008 10:43:48 AM . Stirling had to take on not only Le Corbusier but also the received interpretation of Le Corbusier provided by Stirling’s own tutor. and reminds us that Rem Koolhaas. in his patient explication of the changing plan strategies for Robert Venturi’s mother’s house. in the thrusting angle of the auditorium). although usually asso- Editorial Layout 02 08. At that time. It opens the work up to wider interpretation. and with a close attention to the experience of the building from street level. Leicester was interpreted almost exclusively in terms of the clarity of its functional arrangements. which make the argument clearer.” published in the ﬁrst issue of Oppositions (1974). as is still the case today. For Eisenman. it remains “a true and seminal break from the 400-year-old tradition of Western humanist architecture.Eisenman’s Canon 11 ist work. Eisenman reminds us that Venturi. After all.” In a key passage and a sequence of diagrams that anticipate the more fully developed argument of the Dom-ino essay. It is emblematic of the democratization of space under modernity and of postmodern architecture’s turn toward self-referentiality. and a series of quotations of canonical modernist precedents (the echo of Melnikov. and newly drawn diagrams. for all his engagement with architecture as social/cultural prop. To claim early Stirling instead for the camp of self-referentiality and formal innovation is provocatively counterintuitive. would we really be so interested in Koolhaas if he were simply using architecture as an instrument of social criticism? Similarly. To me. More important than chronology and precedence is the method itself: Eisenman’s dogged determination to read certain of these buildings against the grain of the received interpretation. while using a vocabulary which runs counter to the by-now traditional dematerialized cubist aesthetic.” The accuracy of this formal reading is perhaps less signiﬁcant than its methodological implication. This has its awkward moments. Eisenman locates Stirling’s formal innovation in an alternative proposition for the vertical surface that “implies the potential for presenting the vertical plane as a dominant spatial datum. the real force of the essay is to foreground the formal characteristics of Stirling’s architecture against the then-dominant interpretations of his work—as well as Stirling’s own explanatory framework. It does. is an architect of subtle and sophisticated formal invention. it also freed the vertical surface from its structural support and allowed a layering of space in the vertical dimension. which emphasize the roof geometries seen from above. The analysis of Leicester is reprised in the current volume.
it seems to me that Eisenman has internalized Harold Bloom’s idea that. For all that. It is also—in contradistinction to the notion of an anonymous canon handed down from on high—somewhat idiosyncratic. It is neither a universal canon nor an individual genealogy. Eisenman’s canon is instead anticipatory—it lays the groundwork for future monuments. To examine Louis Kahn’s Adler and DeVore Houses. In this case. or a crack to open up the ﬁeld. untouchable monuments. even if in a tentative and incomplete manner. Editorial Layout 02 08. These buildings are precisely where the possibility of the new becomes evident for the ﬁrst time. of architectural problems opened up and provisionally addressed. perhaps less immediately obvious. it is often the early work. and in the end. is similarly counterintuitive. A canon usually implies looking back to validate history’s great. and create a new break.12 Eisenman’s Canon ciated with the semiotic capacity of the vertical plane. but always leaving room for the next author to complete the work. future trajectories. rather than his better-known public buildings.indd 12 4/9/2008 10:43:48 AM . Koolhaas’s Jussieu Libraries confer a retrospective “canonical” status to this previously somewhat overlooked building. rather than confront a fully realized. But there is more here than a pursuit of the obscure for its own sake. Luigi Moretti is a less obvious choice. Eisenman’s canon is deﬁnitively not a new orthodoxy. and clear space for working. mature masterwork. While Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Stirling’s Leicester Engineering Building are inarguably central to postwar architectural history. A ﬁnal point of reference. highly personal. is a brilliant plan maker. We understand Le Corbusier’s Palais des Congrès in Strasbourg as canonical today primarily because it has sponsored several generations of work on the warped surface. whose buildings can stand up to extended formal analysis. It is both the record of one architect’s intellectual trajectory and a method that sug- gests other. it is surely not a teleology with “Eisenman” at its endpoint. Eisenman ﬁnds and zeros in on those moments—in well-known and in less well-known buildings—that still offer room for working. He presents here a collection of suggestive possibilities. This may be Eisenman’s most telling insight. that offer a kind of handhold. as an author takes on his predecessors. which will in turn open up new territory for generations of architects to follow. or the slightly marginal and unresolved aspects of the mature work.
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In science. While The Western Canon looks at what constitutes canon in Western literature. it is the distinction between the easy and the difﬁcult in terms of readings that will be made. in this book. however. canon has centers. In the context of this book. arbitrary and personal (75). which is useful in distinguishing canon from its use in religious. For Bloom. in the context of this book. no less an author than Michel Foucault rails against the idea of canon . which is to address the necessary evolution of close reading in architecture. a canonic pattern—such as canonical coordinates or canonical conjugates—contains an uncertainty. political correctness can be considered a polemic against difﬁcult art. canon refers to authors and their entire oeuvre. original. or which are vital. as opposed to artistic or scientiﬁc contexts. Bloom says in different contexts that canon refers to the experience of limits. The idea of canon would refer to an operative dogma in a religious context: an orthodoxy. as in canon law. repeating but also constantly changing. in this book. as Bloom suggests. the edges and cusps are of interest. I discovered that the term canon has more mobility than might have been at ﬁrst assumed. which are extended or broken (74). For Bloom. For Bloom. A canonical pattern in music is contrapuntal. If. Finally.Introduction In reading Harold Bloom’s book The Western Canon. canonical buildings are singular works without reference to their authorial provenance. some of Bloom’s various and perhaps subtle uses of the term help to clarify my thinking concerning this period of time. canon also has a heretical intensity (72). then the canonical is a combination of difﬁcult and popular (56). and that it could help to structure my thinking about the fundamental project of this book. the term canonical encompasses the potential heretical and transgressive nature of ways of close reading architecture.
etc. In fact. But as a group. Rowe wanted me to see what ideas were implied by what was physically present. the idea of the canonical begins to describe potential methods of analysis. Rather. Rowe did not want me to describe what I could actually see: for example. even though I have attempted a provisional deﬁnition here. solid/void. however loosely. Rather. But for our purposes here. Rather.” Each of the buildings discussed here requires one to see in a different way. less a concern for what the eye sees—the optical—and more for what the mind sees—the visual. increasingly less rustication in each of its upper stories. These concepts become canonical over time. these buildings become canonical in themselves. then its use here represents that possibility. at the same time. If the ﬁrst question posed in this book is: “close reading of what?” then one of the answers proposed in the following chapters involves the . they were chosen. ﬁgure/ground. particular to the building under consideration. Rather. Visuality does not refer to a prima facie response to image. each in turn organizes a different demand on visuality. the term canonical begins to deﬁne the history of architecture as a continual and unremitting assault on what has been thought to be the persistencies of architecture: subject/object. this is not the purpose of what follows. Perhaps most importantly. material. close reading also suggests that a building has been “written” in such a way as to demand such a reading. as well as different attitudes toward site. While this is a personal selection of architectural works. they also challenge our received idea of the canon of close reading. which derive from an interest in reading architecture in a more ﬂexible and less dogmatic way. theoretical. If part of the meaning of the term canon is to contravene its own accepted deﬁnition. and part-to-whole relationships. and program. *** Colin Rowe ﬁrst taught me how to see what was not present in a building. therefore. the ten buildings in this book do not represent my personal canon. these buildings not only challenge the canons of architecture. but rather to what is apparent and implied by aspects of the building’s formal organization. is at the core of a postmodern practice. and with ABCBA proportional harmonics across the facade. in retrospect. While these ten buildings may reduce the effects or thematic of opticality. I did not set out to deﬁne or co-opt the term canonical for architecture. What deﬁnes them. which reorganizes hierarchies. reiterate a demand for other forms of close reading. Each of these buildings requires close reading. from the formal to the textual and perhaps even the more phenomenal. More speciﬁcally. for two reasons: they represent both a necessary evolution in the terms of close reading and an evolution in the nature of that close reading. a three-story building with a rusticated base.16 Introduction and replaces it instead with the idea of the archive. Close reading can be said to deﬁne what has been known until now as the history of architecture. and stylistic points of view. and also explains the inclusion of each building in this book. Ultimately this will be seen to involve both a rethinking of the reading strategies which sustained modern architecture and. This book seeks to locate the core ideas that form the basis for their argumentation. which lays out their roles in deﬁning today’s particular historical moment in architecture. In other words. in my opinion. the buildings herein do not represent a canon. in their attack on the canon. as distinct from a modernist practice and from the current state of architectural practice. the idea of the canonical informs my interest in reading architecture. All of the architects discussed here represent different ideological. This latter idea of “seeing with the mind” is called here “close reading.
Introduction 17 close reading of critical architectural ideas. responds to the evolution of canonical in architecture. Modernism was perhaps best deﬁned by William Empson’s seven types of ambiguity. Canon in that sense requires a speciﬁc historical context. But the idea of a paradigm shift does not necessarily implicate the critical content latent in the idea of the canonical. The idea of undecidability makes it possible to look back and see changes in work which in turn demand a new kind of close reading. the term canonical initially provides a possible basis for an alternative reading of what today constitutes the critical in architecture. It is ﬁrst necessary to distinguish between a canonical period in history and the period from 1950 to 2000 covered here. as imbued with other powerful concepts.—the idea of canon in architecture also makes possible the recording of the changes in close reading. The purpose of distinguishing a canonical moment from a history is that while history provides a narrative ﬂow to the discipline of architecture. instead of using history as a narrative structure. Undecidability questions the very nature of the notion of ambiguity itself. used in this way by this architect. The use of the term undecidable in the context of this book is no mere wordplay between ambiguity. or a comparable historicizing imperative. indeterminate. It is in this context that Derrida’s work remains underexamined in today’s architectural culture. undecidability is an aspect of criticality. which. then such readings suggest that a critique of canon ultimately displaces this perimeter with a new canonic idea. more than ever. If canon establishes a perimeter to the center of the discipline. a Geist. a close reading comes to terms with undecidability. This speciﬁc canonical moment could serve to shed light on other such canonical moments in architecture’s history. Rather than focusing on history qua history—this building was built at this time. with the effect of Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology and the idea of the undecidability of any single reading invoked therein. which. For example. The differences between these terms are crucial. it is possible to take the period in northern Italy from 1520 to 1570 to describe a canonical moment in the history of architecture. but it is not necessarily an expression of such a moment. It could be argued that a canonical moment describes what could also be called a paradigm shift. it does not in itself provide a necessary basis for close reading and for opening the discipline to question its own history. . The idea of ambiguity lodges itself in a dialectical notion of either/or and determinate/indeterminate. to use the historical conditions of a particular period to stand for history per se. The readings proposed in this book would not have been possible before 1968. These readings are the wedge that allows postwar modernism to be seen. It may not be necessary therefore to study many such moments to understand what is meant by a canonical moment. as decidable characteristics. it will be argued. If since 1968. absent its former ideology and clichéd rhetoric. possess a supposed clarity which belies any need to examine their repressions. then today. in issues that range from the formal to the textual. and thus to alternative interpretations of that history. One way to study the discipline of architecture is to use a particular period in history as a master exemplar. Thus canon is a way of opening up a particular discourse to reading its own history as something other than a narrative of facts. or from the phenomenological to the performative. and since undecidability as opposed to ambiguity is perhaps more difﬁcult to tease out in architecture as opposed to say in literature. multiple and undecidable. As used here. It will be argued that the canonical will inevitably be a critique of what at any moment is termed the canon. which has gravitated toward the more facile interpretations of a Deleuzian schema of the multiple. etc.
each in their own way.18 Introduction 1. Farnsworth House. As will be seen here.” 2. Close readings that are other than formal or conceptual remain within and are at once canonical to a postmodernism and at the same time heretical to mainstream modernism. which requires a reading forward to what the building inspired. The idea of the canonical is often confused with the idea of a so-called great work. producing arguments which. requiring no more than an initial look that deﬁnes a single. These ten buildings do not so much describe a history as they deﬁne the evolution of canonical works that eventually became known as postmodernism. as well as backward to what the building denoted. often diffuse readings as a necessary condition of the critical. Casa “Il Girasole. deﬁne a series of canonical moments that loosely identify some of the transgressive concepts of the postmodern period. nor is it necessary for a canonical building to be a great work. canon and great work have little to do with each other. Postmodernism reﬂects an attitude concerning ideas about architecture which are articulated as a critique of modernism and particularly of abstraction. taken together. Luigi Moretti. Mies van der Rohe. a close reading of a great building is complete unto itself. through a different lens. In the context of this book. In one sense. Not all buildings in the years 1950 to 2000 describe this moment. A great building may be just that. directed reading. The ten buildings here are read. The term postmodernism is not used here to denote a style but rather refers to the period of time after modernism. modernism’s dominant mode of close reading. canon is not necessarily a list of great work. which requires little or no outside references in order to be read. This is not the case with a canonical building. . like JØrn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House or Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. while a canonical building presupposes in this context undecidable.
In this sense. while canonical buildings are identiﬁed with speciﬁc moments in time. great buildings are timeless. Yet in the twentieth century. Thus canon is intimately linked to and dependent on both the concept of close reading operative at a particular moment in time and on the speciﬁc works which at the time provoke such a close reading. it also problematizes the idea of a great building or masterwork as a historically sedimented concept. but also of architecture in general. Palladio’s Villa Rotunda was considered canonical because its close reading produced an interpretation of his Villa Malcontenta. and Malcontenta came to be called canonical because its close reading spawned an interpretation in Le Corbusier’s Villa Stein at Garches. why Case Western rather than Bilbao? . Lewis Building for the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve. but in terms of its capacity to reﬂect on its particular moment in time and its relation to buildings which both precede it and come after it.Introduction 19 3. works that in turn redeﬁne what is considered canonical. and it is certainly what can be called a great building or a masterpiece of its time. A canonical building requires study. DeVore House. Palais des Congrès-Strasbourg. The ﬁrst question is. while the canonical building requires close reading. not only of the individual work. Louis Kahn. Le Corbusier. In short. without the mobility and ﬂexibility that canonical implies. 4. For example. not in and of itself as an isolated object. The canonical both places in doubt previous work and demands new interpretations. in the eighteenth century. one of the buildings discussed here is Gehry’s Peter B. each canonical work impinges on those works created in its wake. which is neither as well known nor as great as his Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. In the study of the buildings collected here. For example. There can be little doubt that Bilbao changed the architectural face of the ensuing decade. then. Villa Rotunda was seen as a great work.
the houses represent a moment which articulated several possible directions for Kahn’s architecture. The Adler and DeVore Houses are an obscure pair of houses that were never built. in that it organizes a demand for a close reading of a different kind. Bilbao may be a great postmodern building. The Adler and DeVore Houses also contain the origins of his eventual career direction. even seminal projects such as the Indian School of Management at Ahmedabad. The . Leicester Engineering Building. The Lewis Building can be considered canonical in deﬁning more clearly its theoretical rupture with classic modernist readings than does Bilbao. because it refers back to the history of the discipline. as a progenitor of the modern. which preceded these houses. or the Yale University Art Gallery. and the Richards Medical Building. the Exeter Library. James Stirling. but it does not embody an argument about its relation to history in the critical terms that characterize the Lewis Building. They represent a moment in Kahn’s career between the Trenton Bathhouse. one that differs from the formal and conceptual readings that dominate architecture’s recent past. as opposed to a great building. evolves as a stylized Kahnian trope that is clearly derived from these two houses. Robert Venturi. yet they demonstrate certain of Kahn’s ideas in what was a crucial turning point in his career. and its quality establishes Gehry’s personal view of the object in the city.20 Introduction 5. espe- cially to the plan of Schinkel’s Altes Museum. Vanna Venturi House. albeit about the siting of a building in the city. in fact. While Bilbao is effectively the most well-known and popular of Gehry’s buildings. this building was not so much concerned with reading and producing a critical stance on modernism as it was the reﬂection of a personal sensibility. his next major project. Also discussed here are the Adler and DeVore Houses by Louis Kahn. 6. the Richards Medical Building at the University of Pennsylvania. The argument set forth in this book considers the Lewis Building to be a canonical. as opposed to his betterknown.
and type—its instrumentality—are not the criteria for understanding its importance in the discipline of architecture. Canonical buildings are not considered canonical because they have functioned well. a canonical work is a hinge as well as a rupture. but not all critical works are canonical. Of course. The difference between a canonical work. All canonical works are per se critical. in the form of a diagram. a break with the past. an internal critique or questioning of its own status as a narrative. as deﬁned here. because there is no plan for a museum. In this book. For example. Le Corbusier’s Palais des Congrès-Strasbourg both manifests his own critique of his earlier “Five Points. while a critical work can function principally as a break with its precedents. A canonical building also spawns subsequent interpretations by other architects as a commentary on that particular moment. critical is a concept that distances the object or subject from the terms of the analysis at the same time that the analysis is also part of the subject or object. There is no such thing as a good plan for a museum. Whether the mass could be heard or whether Easter service was crowded was not the issue for Borromini or for his patron. whether or not Borromini’s churches functioned well has not been a concern in history. and simultaneously a juncture with a possible future. Rather. these matters have never been the issues for the history of architecture. The critical can be considered a necessary but not sufﬁcient component of the canonical. looking back rather than looking at the present. an explanatory or analytical device aims to uncover . All buildings stand up. While individually these buildings may each be canonical. in fact. If canon is commonly associated with the critical as a reference to prior work. Canonical in this context refers to a rupture that helps to deﬁne a moment in history. and many great museums—the Louvre in Paris. In the sense that it is used here. make it contingent on external factors. Its outward references. the textual will also connect ideas—for example. because the functioning of the church was not necessarily its thematic. Second. some more obvious than others. the representation of those functions in the artifact was important. For example. forward and back. For the textual. a canonical work is time-bound: it depends on a particular moment in history in order for it to be seen as a hinge/rupture in either the architect’s career or the architectural discourse. While a great building perhaps is self-sufﬁcient. the Frick Museum in New York. a canonical building is not. all buildings enclose. canon is also commonly associated with the textual. and a critical work is more nuanced. I am referring to the Derridean idea that texts manifest the legible dimensions of ideas and objects while linking them with preexisting ideas and objects. that is. the term critical refers to the capacity to open up to questioning problems which are essentially architectural. a rupture can only be seen in hindsight. there is no intention in their collection here to deﬁne any socalled postmodern canon. very few people care whether Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao functions well or not. and others—were not designed as such.” and serves as a model for Rem Koolhaas’s Jussieu Libraries project. These qualities comprise neither the central characteristics nor the thematic of the buildings analyzed in this book. The important distinctions between critical and canonical are twofold: ﬁrst. structure. In the context of this book. Equally. Thus each project discussed here represents a moment in architecture in which there is an acknowledgment of the past. their instrumentality has never been the cause of their canonical role in the discipline. A building’s function.Introduction 21 same can be said for each building in this book. all buildings function. nor would these be considered aspects of its criticality. it is a constant reevaluation in the present as to what constitutes such a rupture.
the relationship between form and meaning. . Each of these ten buildings will be situated as the fulcrum of an argument that the building deﬁnes. it begins to introduce concerns such as historical references and materiality. San Cataldo Cemetery. which does not rely on the thematic of the optical. functions as a record or a trace. The textual becomes a tissue of marks that are no longer only representational as the three types of sign identiﬁed by the American pragmatist philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce: the icon. and the corner. 8. latent organizations. which later become known as postmodernism. Aldo Rossi. formal. and the sign. the relationship between the subject and the object. and conceptual strategies. the icon has a visual similitude to its object.22 Introduction 7. According to Peirce. OMA/Rem Koolhaas. Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. Jussieu Libraries. an argument that can be grasped through a close reading of textual. the symbol establishes a visual convention for the relationship of the symbol to some object. external surface. while continuing Mies’s investigation of the column grid in relation to interior space. The period from 1950 to 1968 could be characterized by a rethinking of modernist abstraction. but it also becomes a manifestation of Mies’s ﬁrst diagram. and the index. For example. each in its own way. while Luigi Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” demands a formalist close reading. is still the most abstract—if not the most overtly modernist—of the four buildings. deﬁne and critique previous invocations of close reading afﬁliated with modernism. the symbol. and between instrumentality and discourse come into sharp focus. but they will stand for a moment when the relationship between the sign and the signiﬁed. Thus the ﬁrst four buildings shown here. These will not always be the most well-known buildings.
type.” but more importantly because it introduces a centripetal energy as well as a centrifugal energy that moves attention away from the center to the periphery and thus away from any classical. which represent both a rejection of the modernist free plan but also deny traditional part-to-whole relationships. This pair of houses is thus a hinge in Kahn’s career. 10. Lewis Building. exhibit similar characteristics in orienting their critique of modernism toward a new realism. expressed in structure. the characteristics of these buildings have less in common with the pure materiality of Kahn’s Trenton Bathhouse than they do with each other in broaching the conceptual implications of organization. However. The last of the early projects is Kahn’s Adler and DeVore Houses. none of these buildings lapse into a simple phenomenology. In fact. The three buildings that characterize the second generation. Instead they introduce a play of readings. Daniel Libeskind. Jewish Museum. Peter B. Aldo Rossi’s San Cataldo Cemetery presents a critique involving surreal or superreal shifts. from 1968 to 1988. materiality. James Stirling’s Leicester Engineering Building reverses the conventional solid/void characteristics of material. Frank Gehry. not only require close reading but also mark sufﬁcient changes in what . The three projects in the last section of this book. but also a hinge between the ﬁrst phase of postwar building and the second.Introduction 23 9. and iconography. deep-space composition. and material. transitional postmodern phase in America. Le Corbusier’s Palais des Congrès-Strasbourg requires a reading beyond formalist close reading because at root it is a reversal of his own “Five Points. centric. and Robert Venturi’s Vanna Venturi House evokes the form of an American shingle style with European overtones. which ultimately are undecidable. from 1988 to 2000.
as opposed to type. This organizes the demand for a close reading of not only the traces within the building but also the traces of its own origins in a prior project. at least their sensibilities. subject/object. where the building marks a series of traces of its process of becoming. In the performative strategy. one that Jeffrey Kipnis deﬁnes as performative rather than conceptual. The idea of undecidability suggests that readings are no longer necessarily dialectical. these buildings of the postmodern period remain engaged in a challenge to opticality and the metaphysics of presence. Ultimately it is not buildings but their readings which are undecid- able. but also challenge what constitutes the persistencies of any architecture: part-to-whole. the object. the buildings herein disturb the complacency of the act of reading. Equally. Cartesian coordinates. and the site speciﬁcity of the work in the late 1960s and early 1970s. more than the other buildings assembled herein. it is perhaps too early in the architects’ respective careers. These buildings not only challenge the formal and conceptual conventions sedimented in the history of close reading. In each case. In suggesting that the challenge posed by one era becomes clichéd in the next. which included. and as such an idea of inﬁnite displacement. but rather presents a slice in time that is part of an endless cycle of becoming. although it is certainly possible to understand their effect on the idea of close reading. In Koolhaas’s Jussieu Libraries. These three projects. to assess which buildings in their oeuvre could be considered canonical. best describe the dilemma of close reading today. but to indexical ends. Daniel Libeskind. and in time. What links them is a concern for diagram. Libeskind’s Jewish Museum also invokes the diagram. It will be argued that Gehry’s Lewis Building for the Weatherhead School also relies on a diagram that invokes a shift in reading from the formal or conceptual to the phenomenological. but each architect employs the diagram in a different way. This period begins with the Deconstructivist Architecture exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. In attacking the clichés of modernism. and abstraction/modernism. the human subject becomes involved in the architectural object in a way similar to the minimalist sculptors’ involvement with the subject. and Frank Gehry discussed in this book.24 Introduction constitutes the idea of close reading. As such Koolhaas’s work begins to deﬁne another reading strategy. if not the speciﬁc projects of Rem Koolhaas. this book offers neither solutions nor instructions for contemporary architecture. . the diagram is an iconic device where the building displays a visual similitude to the animating diagram.
Casa “Il Girasole. Italy. .” Rome. 1947−50. Luigi Moretti.1.
in certain cases. If the label eclecticism has different connotations today. . Casa “Il Girasole. it was not possible to propose a textual reading of what appeared to Banham to be mere eclecticism. in 1953 it implied that Moretti’s work could be seen as a haphazard collection of classical tropes and architectural strategies lacking any single organizing principle other than having been assembled by Moretti in a single building.1. and the rethinking of the idea of a text proposed by Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology.” 1947–50 One of the first critical articles to appear in English on Luigi Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” was written by Peter Reyner Banham in 1953. Proﬁles of Text Luigi Moretti. a citation that would become physically manifest in Venturi’s own Vanna Venturi House (see chapter 5). Banham’s article. published in the February issue of Architectural Review. and thus he was able to cite Moretti as deviating from its formal and supposed social imperatives. these phenomena defy a clear reading altogether. and instead represent a condition of what can be now called undecidability. Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” would subsequently earn an important citation in Robert Venturi’s 1966 book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. Post-structuralism offered methods of analysis and composition as a new lens through which to understand complex phenomena. One important distinction between Banham’s conclusion and a possible present reading is that prior to 1968. In this sense Banham’s argument was prophetic. it will be argued here. though his use of the term eclecticism. was ﬂawed.” which was an eclecticism that Banham considered operated within the conﬁnes of the vestiges of modernism. Banham proposed that modern architecture had already become a style. It is interesting to note that as early as 1953. labeled Casa “Il Girasole” the deﬁning monument of “Roman eclecticism.
It is this condition of what can be termed undecidability that emerges in his Casa “Il Girasole” and will develop as one of the deﬁning themes of this book. The term textual can be deﬁned in relationship to one of post-structuralism’s key concepts in the Derridian idea of text. programmatic. the idea of a text. his work deﬁes any easy categorization. Formal analysis looks at architecture outside of its necessarily historical. Casa “Il Girasole. why Casa “Il Girasole” is the ﬁrst building in this book. This overture to history is not. . Casa “Il Girasole. It is here that an idea of what might be considered a text in architecture might be introduced. Completed in 1950. The term formal describes conditions in architecture that can be read not necessarily in terms of meaning or aesthetics. and nondirectional. even as one of the ﬁrst. the distinctions between the formal and the textual in what follows will be seen to be important. postmodern architects. Rather. These simultaneous yet seemingly antithetical positions are never resolved as a single narrative. however. a text is multivalent. it is the dialectical relationship between the two positions that is questioned in a postwar climate that challenged the innate value of such a dialectic. texture. Rather. In my work on Giuseppe Terragni. shape. but in terms of their own internal consistency. In this context. While a narrative is unitary. Furthermore. like the idea of a diagram. rather. Derrida suggests that a text is not a single linear narrative. and directional. In the context of this book. materiality) but rather have to do with the internal structure governing their interrelation. and symbolic context. it could be argued that Casa “Il Girasole” represents one of the ﬁrst buildings after World War II to embody the undecidable nature of truths in attempting the parallel use of both abstract and ﬁgured tropes. meaning. Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” incorporated the ﬁrst appearances of historical allusion in the wake of modernist abstraction. helps to initiate a change from the idea of reading a work as a unitary entity to understanding a work as an undecidable result of varying forces. it is because Casa “Il Girasole” represents one of the ﬁrst postwar buildings to manifest a hybrid condition of both abstraction and literal ﬁgured representation. color. for example. 3. but a web or a tissue of traces. the idea of a text reoriented my analysis of Casa Giuliani-Frigerio from essentially formalist interpretations to a more textual reading. or image.” north elevation.” south elevation. discontinuous. While the abstract and the ﬁgured refer to what is usually described as the formal. Moretti becomes neither an eclectic nor a modernist.28 Casa “Il Girasole” 2. if rarely acknowledged. continuous. This internal coherence involves strategies that have nothing to do with the primary optical aspects of the aesthetic (proportion.
and the G of Mies’s magazine stood for Gegenstand (object) and effectively addressed ideas about objecthood. Moretti’s Spazio made an important distinction between the objectthing and the object of containment as space or volume. the superposition of historical tropes creates this disturbance in presence that takes the building out of the category of the conventionally formal. It is this undecidability of relations with both historical and modernist tropes that Moretti invokes to produce an initial critique of modernism.” west elevation. 5. offering different modes of reading. or the underlying structures which govern its being. north-south. which also proposed a didactic view of architecture that now critiqued abstraction. The subtlety of Moretti’s critique of modernist abstraction was articulated in his now much sought-after magazine Spazio (Space) in the early 1950s. in 1923. then the textual suspends the narrative of presence. While Le Corbusier’s magazine referred to a new spirit. Casa “Il Girasole. in the case of Alberti’s Sant’Andrea. If the formal begins from a conception of presence that is both a linear narrative and what can be called ﬁxed or decidable. and offers instead undecidable relations rather than a single static condition. with Theo van Doesberg and El Lissitzky. Texts. which may challenge established architectural vocabularies. therefore. which began with Le Corbusier’s magazine L’Esprit Nouveau in 1920 and Mies van der Rohe’s magazine G. because this montage of architectural forms from different historical periods destabilizes a singular meaning. Alberti’s superposition of the Arch of Titus over the vernacular Greek temple-front at Sant’Andrea becomes textual. it is to Moretti’s credit that little of his ﬁrst postwar work can be considered neorealist. do not deploy the same internal consistency as in the formal. However. For example.” section. Neorealist ﬁlms like Open City and The Bicycle Thief were a form of empirical existentialism. in which a hierarchy is implicit. An object can be seen and analyzed as . Casa “Il Girasole. which ﬁrst took form in Italy through neorealist cinema and its unvarnished view of Italy and the detritus of ﬁve years of war. The abstract languages of cubism and futurism were subjected to a critique. Spazio followed in the tradition of architects’ little magazines. buildings can equally be read as textual. just as it cannot be dismissed as eclectic. evolved out of such a neorealist sensibility.Casa “Il Girasole” 29 4. The textual provokes a reading outside of the facts of an object’s physical presence. in that they represented attempts to move the language of abstraction toward a language more closely associated with what could be considered “the real. In addition to provoking formal reading.” Moretti’s postwar work.
its container is formal. a geometric abstraction. The article suggested that surface had the capacity to be modeled in such a way as to create a dialogue between volume and ﬂatness. Such a redeﬁnition of the modeling of space was among the issues Moretti broached in Spazio. this disassociation is not . which in turn produces shadows.” ground-ﬂoor plan. which is articulated through both hard edge and ﬁgured form. it is also either the edge of the containing surface or the edge of the exterior space in relationship to the containing surface of the interior. Casa “Il Girasole. It was Moretti’s article “Valori della Modanatura. and therefore that the modeled surface could engage the affective potential of light and shadow. will have some sort of proﬁle.” second-ﬂoor plan. Casa “Il Girasole. which was made thematic in the design. but rather can be disassociated from any shape or ﬁgure. proﬁle tends to be the result of ﬁgured form. 7. proﬁle is not a narrative device. Moretti made proﬁle thematic in his work by suggesting that proﬁle becomes more than just the edge of a three-dimensional volume and instead serves to question the clarity of boundaries between edge and volume. While in architecture a proﬁle is the edge of a plane or the edge of a surface. how a surface in architecture meets space: the edge of a volume seen against the sky is a literal proﬁle. The article challenged the boxlike abstractions of modern architecture by raising the issue of proﬁle. because it is three-dimensional. Moretti was not referring to a literal proﬁle per se but to a conceptual proﬁle. While space is a conceptual entity.” (The Value of Modeling) in Spazio 6 (1952) that challenged the modernist conception of space.30 Casa “Il Girasole” 6. revealing shape or ﬁgure. In either case. This means that all architecture. In Moretti’s terms. but space is difﬁcult to analyze as a physical entity because it is usually deﬁned by other things. Proﬁle is the edge of a ﬁgure—in other words.
The history of architecture has been largely deﬁned by this progression from object or geometry to space. In the history of architecture. The idea of space as volume was illustrated in Spazio by Moretti’s series of cast models of historical buildings.Casa “Il Girasole” 31 8. that which is contained within physical boundaries. On the one hand Moretti deals with the edge of the surface—its proﬁle—and on the other he engages volume without surface in these model studies. Rather. As hierarchy and singularity of meaning are made problematic. and villas. By calling attention to proﬁle in architecture.” third-ﬂoor plan. the rhetoric becomes textual rather than formal. merely a line but can be. facades. they embodied space itself. raises formal and conceptual issues that refuse resolution as a single narrative or meaning. Moretti suggests its role as a marker of undecidable relationships and engages space as an object for close reading. churches. structure. for example.” roof plan. Moretti broke with the conventions of architectural models by representing a building’s interior space as a solid volume and dispensing entirely with its exterior enclosure. or any other indications of an exterior skin. analysis usually begins from the geometric. as a starting point for analysis. rather than its enclosing surface. and from elements that can be touched and deﬁned physically—linear elements such as structure and walls—and subsequently broaches the spatial. the dark edge of cast shadows. as articulated in his volumetric models. Casa “Il Girasole. conceptualizing space by turning void into solid. These volumetric models seemed to deny a relationship to the exterior.” The ﬁrst impression of Casa “Il Girasole” is a dynamic tension between volume and edge. The cut in the center of the front facade is the . 9. Casa “Il Girasole. Moretti’s models inverted this convention by taking space. These models preﬁgure a radically new diagram of space that Moretti further developed in Casa “Il Girasole. Moretti’s notion of proﬁle and space.
because he uses historical motifs in a new way. This develops from the idea of proﬁle that Moretti put forward in Spazio. separated from the main volume of the building. One of the important theoretical propositions set into play at Casa “Il Girasole” is that the proﬁle does not equate to the shape of the building. then Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” uses elements of each while breaking with both traditions. though paired. whereby a spatial division occurs between two solids. Moretti’s use of the aedicule comes out of an historical tradition. If the corner was a dominant motif of the neoclassical. The corners of Casa “Il Girasole” are sites of fracture: both the front and rear facades overhang the main mass of the building as thin screens. Casa “Il Girasole” is no longer a building where proﬁle can be said to deﬁne a continuity.” northwest corner. The aedicule divides the planar surface of the facade of Casa “Il Girasole” into two volumetric pieces which. which nevertheless remain related across its void. as would be the case in classical architecture where proﬁle and shape were one and the same thing. Moretti’s facade cannot be considered a pastiche of history. and if the frontal picture plane was a dominant motif of the modern. yet the layered character of the facade creates a different understanding of proﬁle. The physicality of the facade is equally ambiguous. Casa “Il Girasole. ﬁrst postwar use of the aedicular motif. The corner is also shadowed by an undecidability as an assembly of concrete solids and voids. but when viewed obliquely. nor do their edges align across the void. resembling a screen.32 Casa “Il Girasole” 10. the facade becomes attenuated at the edges. in that it appears to be a cleft volume when viewed frontally. are not identical. from the Palladian window to Carlo Rainaldi’s Santa Maria in Campitelli. The tension between the facade seen as a screen and as a volume is further developed at the corners of the facade. . however.
It is something other. The paired volumes and paired sets of columns speak to a formal order that is different from an abstract or neutral column grid. woods. Material here is used rhetorically. In modern architecture’s free plan. and the nineteenth-century hôtel-de-ville. stone. void. glass. nor for its purely phenomenological value. Loos juxtaposed marbles. wood—that obeys no structural or compositional logic. Moretti’s plan critiques the uniformity of space in the free plan. In this. metals. to call attention to the possibility of material as text. similar to the manner in which Adolf Loos disarticulated the exterior envelope from inner volumes. Casa “Il Girasole. articulating difference in a manner reminiscent of Loos’s turn-of-the-century Viennese interiors. which for Moretti was the Renaissance villa. nor does it offer a frontal view as modern Roman space. At Casa “Il Girasole. The importance of these two forms of notation lies in the breaking down of historical continuity. as material in and of itself. signaling difference. changing shape and size as they move through the building. This is an evolution of the idea of the whole as a consistent relationship of parts. The use of material is both notational and didactic. Loos’s interiors are not about the richness of the materials but their juxtaposition. seen perspectively as Greek space. as in Peter 11. For Moretti.” the columns become ﬁgured. in their refusal to refer to any external systems . The pairing of the columns creates a play between symmetries in two different axes while at the same time disrupting an abstract nine-square grid and a plaid grid of servant and served spaces. The materiality of Casa “Il Girasole” lodges another critique of modernist abstraction. No dominant material system can be discerned. columns were usually the same size and shape as functional grounding elements. granites. Thus Casa “Il Girasole” is one of the ﬁrst didactic examples of the idea of the proﬁle as breaking up the regular outline of the modernist box: the modernist envelope is confronted by its opposite in the idea of contained volume. While this could be considered a form of neorealism in architecture. Zumthor’s use of stone or wood. The lobby of Casa “Il Girasole” is a riot of materials—metal.Casa “Il Girasole” 33 Another theoretical proposition resides in the problematic of the corner: Casa “Il Girasole” does not present a clearly subjective view of the object. yet they do not represent anything other than the mere fact of their existence. the play of solid. material functions here as notation. and stuccos to articulate their iconic value as individual materials.” front facade proﬁle. Material elements refer back and forth to one another. and edge are simultaneous conditions. the baroque palazzo. and makes an argument of its otherness. but not in the tradition of formal rhetoric. and there is no governing color palette. as would be the case with any idea of type to a condition no longer described by a dominant whole. Rather.
” base of west facade. whimsical. between heavy and paper-thin rustication. Moretti inverts the conventions of rustication by putting heavy stones on thin stones.” the “rusticated” base turns out to be a play on rustication. Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” uses historical motifs to make a critical commentary on the formal coherence of architecture. Countering this convention. The sculpted remnant of a human leg is incorporated into a window jamb as if a relic from an early classical sculpture had found its way into the fabric of Casa “Il Girasole. varied patterns. Casa “Il Girasole. and expressionism. questioning how the stone arch is structurally supported. The stonework of the base takes on a notational quality in its use of false rustication. as portrayed in neorealist ﬁlm. Rustication in a Florentine palazzo follows a logic of mass: heaviest at the base and increasingly thinner at upper levels. the rustication at Casa “Il Girasole” harkens back to Giulio Romano’s sixteenth-century Palazzo del Te in Mantua.34 Casa “Il Girasole” 12. incorporating stony blocks within window openings. whose paper-thin rustication does not look like stone and whose keystones seem to drop out of their holding positions. as if the arbitrariness of everyday life. Rather these sculptural elements are archaic and anarchic. Moretti’s calibrated arbitrariness calls attention to its own condition as arbitrary in an internal referencing that is textual rather than purely meaningful. and sculptural motifs. historicism. or cutting rusticated stone in chevron patterns that deny their structural logic. informs what Banham might consider the arbitrary. but it is not aimed at a nostalgic or adulatory remembrance. 13. The state of suspension between support and collapse. but this is an order of arbitrariness divorced from an expression of will. calls the materiality of stone into question. Historicizing .” entrance. Casa “Il Girasole. the materials function textually. In Casa “Il Girasole. and unsystematic use of materials. of material meaning. The sculptural leg has no meaning and could be considered purely arbitrary.” This historicizing motif triggers a thought about the past.
it proposes methods of close reading of a different kind. Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” rewrites the conditions that suggest architecture itself. then the textual in architecture suggests a breakdown in the notion of the meaningful organization of a single narrative. In Casa “Il Girasole” Moretti does not thematize proportions. Casa “Il Girasole” is the ﬁrst and perhaps the earliest exemplar of such a discourse. Casa “Il Girasole. if not random notations. Casa “Il Girasole” has many possible contingent readings as a textual work. and which this book argues.” rusticated base of west facade. and the masses of the building remain a series of juxtaposed volumes and screens. certain formal coherences are emphasized and simultaneously displaced. relate canonic buildings to close reading. yet at Casa “Il Girasole” these belong to a wholly different order. which may explain one reason why Moretti’s work has gone almost unnoticed in the intervening years. materials do not cohere into narrative. If the notion of a text posits the breakdown of a decidability leading to closure or synthesis. . While Moretti’s building transitions from the abstractions of modernism to a sensibility more closely related to neorealism. methods no longer tied to modernism’s formal lexicon but rather to an undecidability of the text. it does not sustain a single. Many of the possible readings are undercut by other readings. references such as the aedicular motif of the facade and the rusticated textures of the base point toward postmodern practices. dominant view of architecture. which replace the formal conventions of the plan. and therefore do not provide any synthesis. Such conditions make Casa “Il Girasole” both formal and textual.Casa “Il Girasole” 35 14.
Vi a le Br un o Bu oz zi a Vi Sc hi ap ar el li 16. the void registers as a vertical cut in the facade. thus deviating at a slight angle from the front facade. Casa “Il Girasole” in Rome sits on a nearly rectangular block bounded by two major streets. In addition to marking this destabilized symmetry. the rear facade of the building is parallel to its street. . but the implied symmetry is belied by the actual conﬁguration of the side blocks. essentially creating a U-shaped building condition. While the front facade is orthogonal to Viale Bruno Buozzi. Other disruptions of symmetry that occur in the building include the central north-south axis. The central void creates the initial appearance of an axial symmetry running through the building. the volumetric sidepieces are splayed from the central axis of the building. The mass of the building is cut in two through most of its center.36 Casa “Il Girasole” 15. Viale Bruno Buozzi to the south and Via Schiaparelli to the west. Rather. which is not a continuous axis and bends at the stairs. which are not parallel to each other.
18. revealing the corner and inboard edge at its center. this presumed mass becomes an attenuated screen. the building’s two long sides are fractured by three minor cuts. . The broken pediment is asymmetrical in that the right piece rises slightly higher than its corresponding segment on the left. The vertical division in the facade.Casa “Il Girasole” 37 17. The pediment is divided by a central cut that recalls a classical aedicule. Yet at the outer edges of the facade. produces a proﬁle. The vertical cut creates the idea that the facade is volumetric. as well as the facade’s extension beyond the body of the building. On the upper three residential ﬂoors. and an upper zone that resembles a pediment crowning the upper portions of the building. The massing of Casa “Il Girasole” alludes to certain classical ideas: its tripartite organization comprises a seemingly rusticated base. The building thus presents a series of conditions which literally and conceptually cut into the modernist box. a middle portion that is accentuated in the facade as a glazed zone.
Both facades are screenlike. Here proﬁle and shape are disjuncted from one another. In Casa “Il Girasole” proﬁle no longer deﬁnes a continuity. that is. where proﬁle and shape were conceptualized as one and the same thing. The analysis of the ground plan reveals that the front and rear facades extend beyond the building base. the proﬁle is not the shape of the building. Immediately apparent in the ground-ﬂoor plan are the two curved walls. while the rear facade hangs off an intermediate boxlike volume. . which disrupt the axis of symmetry and appear to displace the staircase. 20. but the front facade resembles a screen cleaved in two. this contrasts with classical architecture.38 Casa “Il Girasole” 19.
along with the deep cut in the front facade. further erodes the physical presence of these layers. since they ﬂuctuate between two volumes and a series of layered planes. a void slot between the screens. This layering. and a glazing layer. . An oblique view demonstrates that the facade is not just a thin plane but rather is composed of three layers: a screen as the outermost layer. and creates what could be considered a gasket space especially apparent in the side views of the building. The void between the screen and the building mass articulates the edge of the facade as a distinct element. The complex articulation of these layers is apparent at the corners. which are no longer legible as singular entities.Casa “Il Girasole” 39 21. The facade of Casa “Il Girasole” breaks down the unity of the modernist frontal plane into a series of compressed layers.
Columns are numbered 1 to 4. In column lines 2 and 3. from left to right. Other pairings involve columns in line 1 and line 4: columns 1A/1B and 4A/4B are thin rectangles. However.40 Casa “Il Girasole” 22. 3C is a freestanding slab. and A through K from front to back. Column line 1 initially appears reciprocal to column line 4. while column lines 1 and 2 are related because they remain on the orthogonal. column lines 3 and 4 relate to each other because they are skewed at the same angle from the orthogonal. the A column is a slab column. it is necessary to examine the columnar organization. In 2J and 3J there remains the slight trace of a column. and 2G-H and 3G-H are each small square paired columns. except for the additional column beside 2D. 2E-F and 3E-F. which alternately extend out into wall poché or bend into a splayed exterior plane. Columns 2C and 3C are different: 2C is a square column. Columns 2D and 3D. Columns 1C/1D and 4C/4D are square columns. In both cases they are attached in a way that makes them seem to bleed into an external wall poché. . Columns 2B and 3B are also slab columns that on three sides still read much as columns. For analytical purposes. and column line 2 reciprocal to column line 3. provided by a slight articulation in what is otherwise a seemingly solid wall. This sets up an initial symmetry. which are slightly smaller in column line 4. Column lines 1E/1F (4E/4F) and 1G/1H (4G/4H) consist of paired rectangles. 23.
As evidenced in the ground-ﬂoor plan. Rather. signaling their internal differences. Further pairings occur among square columns. it has little to do with the organization of the functional spaces. . 25. An organization of paired columns occurs from the front to the back. splaying.Casa “Il Girasole” 41 24. Columns 3A and 3B begin as a pair with 2A and 2B as orthogonal and freestanding. Here the columns have become ﬁgural. This column line serves not so much as a reading datum as a receiving datum. column line 3 is where much of the wracking. 3A is slipped toward the right while remaining the same distance from both exterior faces. columns were usually the same size and shape. This begins with the freestanding columns 1A and 4A. In modern architecture’s free plan. changing shape and size as they move through the building. There is no longer an orthogonal alignment between 2A and 3A. they were ground elements. The paired columns can be read as reinforcing the rhythmic progressions from the wider column groupings in A and B at the front of the building to the more tightly paired groupings at the rear of the building. not so much the static place where vectors originate as the dynamic place where vectors are recorded. and distorting is concentrated. While this progression can be read in plan.
Space is simultaneously positive and negative. but in a ﬂattened and distorted state. which carves away the solid to create a convex form. An erasing arc or force (A) seems to push against the mass deﬁned by column lines 3 and 4 until only column 3C remains. These forces suggest two different ideas of form: one as the product of a vector coming from the inside and causing a convex form. The two curves play against one another. which is also dislocated from its former linear position. Ground-ﬂoor vector analyses. This is purposeful. . An analysis of the interior volumes following the column subdivisions allows one to track several vectors. The bulging part of the ﬁgure seems to affect the alignment of the main staircase with the central axis. The play between the carved out and projecting space can be seen as two opposing ideas embodied in the same form.42 Casa “Il Girasole” 26. typical of Moretti’s articulation of the active nature of space as carved away or compressed by a solid. the other as produced by a vector originating outside of the space. This erasing arc (A) is joined by the partial S-curve of a second curved surface (B). as the result of these forces. This conjunction of forces creates a ﬁgure that seems to have been compressed to the rear and expanded outward to the center.
Casa “Il Girasole” 43 27. The organization of columns. Moretti’s idea was clearly a critique of the free plan. The columnar relationships are both partial orders and symmetries. where space was uniform. . The pairing of the columns also creates a play between two abstract nine-square grids and a plaid grid of servant and served spaces. creates an ABABA rhythm that suggests a compression at the back of the building and a sense of extension at the front. alternately paired and single.
28 a-d. deviations can be seen. Traditional rustication in a Florentine palazzo obeys a structural logic: heavy at the base. vertically tripartite. There is an articulated slot between the base and the main body. rusticated base. and solid cornice. for example. c. The stone base is rhetorical: it is not a Greek plinth. once this general type is accepted. This chevron pattern indicates that the rustication is not structural. Moretti exposes the actual structural elements between the rustication and the underside of the ﬂoor (c). nor is it in the modern idiom of piloti. d. in the facade (b) in which the middle zone actually sits on steel columns rather than on the base. However. and by adopting a vertical chevron pattern for the implied rustication (d). Certain conditions on the south or front facade on Viale Bruno Buozzi complicate a more traditional reading. with increasingly reﬁned rustication in the higher ﬂoors. Moretti confounds these conventions by placing heavy stones on thin stones.44 Casa “Il Girasole” a. which implies a datum. but iconic. fenestrated body. . b. The facade (a) can be read as a classical.
a. Moreover. b. echoing the patterning on the right front base element. The side elevation on Via Schiaparelli complicates the readings already established on the front elevation. The same paper-thin chevronlike stone pattern appears. the columns are again revealed.Casa “Il Girasole” 45 a. The diagonals of the chevron-shaped rustication reappear in the geometry of several textured blocks (a). the heavy rustication continues around the corner. at Casa “Il Girasole” deny a structural role for one that is notational. The various types of rustication. again marking the line of the structural columns behind. The windows in the back facade register the cut of the front facade. Second. First. . this time in the horizontal slot that runs across the top of the facade. the alignment of windows is partially determined by the implied line of columns running behind the screenlike plane of the facade. and seem to compress the space toward the center (b). both smooth and rough. 30 a-b. 29 a-b. b.
46 Casa “Il Girasole” 31.” second ﬂoor. . . Casa “Il Girasole. axonometric view.
Casa “Il Girasole. . axonometric view.Casa “Il Girasole” 47 32.” fourth ﬂoor.
.48 Casa “Il Girasole” 33. Casa “Il Girasole.” axonometric view.
1. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Farnsworth House. Plano, Illinois, 1951.
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2. The Umbrella Diagram Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Farnsworth House, 1946–51
According to Philip Johnson, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe lived by his aphorism “Less is more.” Some years later, Robert Venturi, in a reply to Mies, said, “Less is a bore.” While Venturi meant this as a pejorative comment, it resonates differently when read through Roland Barthes’s citation of “the boring” as a locus of resistance; the boring was a way to stand against the rampant consumption of art by a postwar consumerist culture. Mies’s “less is more” is a key statement for architecture; it makes its ﬁrst appearance in the Farnsworth House, where less is more in the sense that this is not an architecture of modernist abstraction, but one which provokes another kind of close reading. Of all the works in this book, the Farnsworth House is the most abstract, while seemingly retaining a modernist vocabulary and conception of space. But a close reading of the Farnsworth House reveals important deviations from the modernist conventions of the open plan and the expression of structure. Together these point toward what could be considered Mies van der Rohe’s ﬁrst diagram. All houses are traditionally thought of as a unity. The Farnsworth House is a tour de force that denies this idea. From its detached and oversized entry “portico” to its pervasive yet disrupted symmetries, the Farnsworth House marks one of the beginnings of the breakdown of the classical part-to-whole unity of the house. While for the early modernists the house was often a place for the study of radical innovation, from Le Corbusier’s two canonical diagrams—the Maison Dom-ino and the Maison Citrohan—to Gerrit Rietveld’s De Stijl Schroeder House, these were still single, deﬁnable entities. The early houses of Mies were no exceptions to this attitude.
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2. Farnsworth House, north elevation, 1946.
From his early Brick and Concrete Country Houses to the Lange House, Mies worked out many of his later large-scale projects at a residential scale. But the Farnsworth House disrupts this cycle; it is no longer a single, deﬁnable entity, and the little-mentioned detached entry platform produces the most poignant clue to this idea. Mies’s rejection of the part-to-whole unity is more subtle than Walter Gropius’s and Marcel Breuer’s obvious bi-nuclear houses, which are conceptually two-thirds of a palazzo type. The Farnsworth House does not function as a fragment, but proposes another type of reading altogether. Mies’s idea of building—and in particular, of building a house—can be contrasted with Heidegger’s idea of dwelling as an object in a speciﬁc place. Heidegger’s notion of dwelling concerned the rootedness to a place: site speciﬁcity, the grounding of the subject, and ultimately the presentness of presence. For Mies, dwelling is an abstract series of conditions and, in the case of the Farnsworth House, the “dwelling” itself offers the opportunity to enact a critical reading of modernity. The Farnsworth House can be seen as a transition from Mies’s earlier work to his later work; it is a hinge between what modernism was in Mies and what will appear postmodern in his work. The shift with the Farnsworth House also sets up the difference between a scenographic, or
postmodernist, use of architectural elements to create a visual illusion, and the alternative use of the column and wall to provoke a critical reading of modernity. This confrontation, from what had been containers in Mies’s early abstract building denying the idea of dwelling, to containers that were no longer only abstractions, produces a diagram of a different sort—one which is metaphorically ﬁgured—initiated at the Farnsworth House. It is the interplay between column, wall, and horizontal plane that marks the evolution of Mies’s thinking, beginning with his early houses, which emphasized the formal and organizational role of the vertical wall plane. The Brick Country House, for example, used vertical walls extending and pinwheeling out from a central vortex (à la De Stijl), while the later houses of the 1930s—such as the Tugendhat House in Brno and the prototypical courtyard houses—were composed of vertical planes which no longer extended out from the main volume, but rather deﬁned and enclosed space. The ﬁrst two houses, the Brick Country House and the Concrete Country House, were both load-bearing concepts without columns. These houses were essentially walls that did not enclose volumes in a boxlike rectangle; the space is fractured by the way the walls extended out into the landscape. Following from these two
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3. Barcelona Pavilion, 1929.
4. Tugendhat House, Brno, 1928-30.
houses, Mies’s Barcelona Pavilion introduced a new set of questions regarding the relationship of column, wall, and roof. The walls here are no longer load-bearing, rather the columns become the load-bearing elements; the enclosing elements are distinguished from the tectonic elements. The pavilion could be called an open plan, as opposed to a Raumplan or even a free plan, because the column in this space is conceived differently from Corbusian columns, which allowed for the free movement of enclosing walls. The Farnsworth House is a transitional point that moves Mies’s idea in several new directions. First, unlike Le Corbusier, Mies had no diagram until the Farnsworth House. This, it could be argued, is an important distinction between the two architects. The Farnsworth House, however, sets the groundwork for a diagram, and in this sense it functions as an incipient diagram. Second, at the Farnsworth House Mies is no longer dealing with the corner or the column in space; rather, at Farnsworth he introduces the use of outboard columns, which rethinks structure in proposing the idea of the sign of the column. Mies’s use of the column suggests a movement from the abstract to the real: the sign of the column is a real column, exposed on the outside of a real ﬂoor slab. Thus the Farnsworth House poses two questions: one, the question of the representation of structure as
opposed to structure itself; and two, the disassociation of the column from its use as a spatial integer. The Farnsworth House is the ﬁrst of Mies’s many projects to follow that questions the truth of what is seen as structure. Such use of the column can be related to Alberti’s critique of Vitruvius, which Alberti articulated in his De Re Aediﬁcatoria (Ten Books on Architecture), regarding Vitruvius’s three basic principles of architecture: commodity, ﬁrmness, and delight. Commodity was usefulness, ﬁrmness was structural utility, and delight was beauty. Alberti said that all architecture is ﬁrmitas because all architecture must stand up, and suggests that Vitruvius was stressing ﬁrmitas not in reference to standing up, but in reference to the appearance of standing up—in other words, as the sign of structure. Thus a column or a wall has two functions: it stands up, and it represents the idea of standing up. The three categories of signs proposed by C.S. Peirce are useful in characterizing Mies’s use of the column: the icon, which has a visual and formal similitude to its object; the symbol, which has a cultural and an agreed-upon conventional meaning in reference to its object; and the index, which describes a prior activity of the object. Peirce also is one of the ﬁrst to use the term diagram, which for him is an icon having a visual
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5. Le Corbusier, Maison Dom-ino, 1914.
6. Barcelona Pavillion, plan, 1929.
similitude with its object. As a sign of standing up, the column embodies a double condition: a column is an icon that looks like a column, and it also is the sign or index of being a column. In the Peircian triad of icon, symbol, and index, a column is both an icon and an index. This condition of simultaneity—the column used simultaneously as a critique and a representation of structure—disrupts a single reading and provokes both formal (as a representation of structure) and conceptual (as a critique of structure) readings. These simultaneous readings of the column informed what could be considered Mies’s incipient diagram. This diagram responds on several levels to two other preexisting diagrams in modern architecture: the Dom-ino and Citrohan diagrams proposed by Le Corbusier. The Maison Dom-ino illustrated Le Corbusier’s “Five Points” as well as instituted an idea of the possibility of a spatial continuum in the horizontal dimension. The Maison Dom-ino presents a diagram as a horizontal sandwich of space, in that the ﬂoor and the roof are conceptually equivalent integers. Mies’s architectural development is in one sense a sustained critique of the Dom-ino diagram’s notion of a horizontal continuum of space. The Farnsworth House proposes what could be considered Mies’s ﬁrst diagram: the umbrella, a critical diagram dis-
tinguished from those of Le Corbusier in that it makes a conceptual distinction between the horizontal ﬂoor plane and the horizontal roof plane while at the same time denying any horizontal continuum. Mies’s evolution of the column section can also be distinguished from Le Corbusier’s use of the column. In Le Corbusier’s work, the column was a didactic mark that punctuated space in the free plan. Usually these punctuations were round, allowing space to ﬂow freely around them. The Dom-ino diagram does not reveal much about structural intention, but expresses intentionality about the continuum of space, set up in part by the locations of columns, which are ﬂush from the ends and set back from the sides equally, implying a cut on both ends. Le Corbusier, for the most part, used round and square columns relative to their placement. If he wanted to stress the edge, he would use a square column ﬂush with the facade; if he set the column back from the glass plane, he would typically use a round column. Mies’s columns are set back from the wall plane in the Barcelona Pavilion, but are also cruciform in section. The cruciform column section illustrates Mies’s position between Adolf Loos’s Raumplan and Le Corbusier’s free plan: the cruciform stainless steel columns deﬁne a series of cubic volumes
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At the Farnsworth House. the column and the corner become one didactic model. Mies’s initial sketches for the Farnsworth House demonstrate his intention to use the columns in a different way. in which the horizontal members are hung from the outboard structural columns and the overhead roof beams. The real column in some sense becomes a virtual column. columns deﬁne and circumscribe spatial units. giving rise to what will become the Miesian umbrella diagram. for Le Corbusier. so the columns are no longer supporting the roof. It is possible to assume that the outboard columns are more of a structural expression. But this is not the case. This is the ﬁrst time that Mies places the columns outboard. sketch plan. The Farnsworth House is also perhaps the most didactic critique of the column and the wall as merely structural elements. For Mies.Farnsworth House 55 7. The metaphorical umbrella is a diagram in which the roof and its appended columns seem to be hovering above a podium base. Yet at the Farnsworth House. neither gridding space internally nor holding the outboard corners. The Farnsworth House is the ﬁrst realization of this umbrella diagram. in which the beams are articulated above and the roof hung from these beams. This building has often been misread as an articulation of the principles of Le Corbusier because of its seem- Mies Layout 02 08. The position in space and the sectional properties of the column at the corner frames a conceptual discourse for Mies. Farnsworth House. inverting conventional square columns: that which is typically solid—the actual corner of a space deﬁned by a real column—becomes a mirror or a reﬂection of the space and thus becomes a void. the horizontal ﬂoor slab and roof are framed between the columns. the corner would seem to be a nonthematic element: the columns are no longer at the corner. suggesting that another strategy is intended—one which occurs in many of the buildings that follow. in articulating the corners of each spatial unit. For Mies.indd 55 4/9/2008 10:53:02 AM . from the Barcelona Pavilion to the buildings at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He seems to suspend the roof between the columns. Mies’s postwar work represents a transition from the column as either load-bearing or marking a spatial quadrant to a condition where the column is the support of a suspension structure. The chrome plating on the columns serves as a mirror. columns allow space to pivot and act as a fulcrum rather than as corners. but rather the roof and ﬂoor are slung like hammocks between the columns. This will lead to a subsequent development. even while it continues to deﬁne a spatial unit. namely outboard of the ﬂoor slab. that the columns are functioning as structural elements.
Whereas Le Corbusier’s ground plane is separated from the ground conceptually and ﬂoats. This thematic in Mies’s postwar work engages structure that is the sign of structure. it still acts as a column. this allows the box-frame of the house to straddle and be suspended between the columnar structure. what is seen is not the actual column. Mies’s ground plane is tied to the ground while the roof ﬂoats free. If there are precedents for the differentiation of space between ground and roof at the Farnsworth House. For Le Corbusier it signals the inﬁnite horizontal extension of Mies Layout 02 08. though it actually spans a ravine and is anchored at both ends. The model of the Resor House is the ﬁrst indication of a new attitude in Mies’s work. 9. but rather engages the look of trabeation in bringing the columns outboard and suspending the ﬂoor and roof slabs between the columns. The plinth and the horizontal roof plane are again conceptually different in Mies’s space as opposed to Le Corbusier’s space. The house seems to ﬂoat above the ground. these attributions are problematic. In either case. 1947. ing evolution of the Dom-ino diagram. The Farnsworth House is not about trabeation. as in the case of directly countering vertical load. This lifting of the house has a different value than Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino diagram. and breaks with his use of the idea of the column as a clear indication of tectonics. or as the progenitor of Philip Johnson’s Glass House. like the roof plane. IIT Chicago. but not as straightforwardly. Alumni Memorial Hall. IIT Chicago. if not superﬁcial. where Mies adds I-sections and H-sections at the corner and on the facade to mask the actual structure. The Farnsworth House initiates this argumentation: when the column is placed outboard of the slabs. with its suspension a few feet off the ground. Because the slabs are being held up through the suspension of plates coming off the column. The idea of the sign of structure at the Farnsworth House is also a precursor of the column-over-column detail at the Seagram Building and also at IIT. The house itself is a virtual podium that reappears in the Farnsworth House. it is a radical idea for Mies. 1950–56. one would include the Resor House of 1937−8.indd 56 4/9/2008 10:53:03 AM . Crown Hall. Instead the column reads as both structure and the sign of its diagrammatic condition.56 Farnsworth House 8. This is a radical idea for the late 1940s and early 1950s. but a mask of the structure.
50 by 50 House. it sets out the ultimate distinction between the ground and the roof. Clearly the National Gallery in Berlin is the last. or use. Together. 1950-1951. in the line of progeny from the Farnsworth House. the roof line and single columns produce an image of an umbrella-like structure. plan 1946-51. plan. space. Similarly. one notices little on the iconic plane that involves its use as an architectural school: all of the ofﬁces and studios. Crown and Alumni Memorial Halls at IIT. Second. since Mies sinks the primary functions below ground. The 50 by 50 House also manifests the transition to the exposed steel truss running above the roof line at IIT’s Crown Hall and at Mannheim. On entering Crown Hall at IIT. the glass box sits on what seems to be a natural plinth. are placed below the plinth. the umbrella effect is ﬁnally presented as concept and not image. which is clearly distinguished from the pristine white line of the roof. Given the gallery’s stone base and projecting roof line ﬂush with the exterior column line. less literally but no less conceptually. there are only four outboard columns.Farnsworth House 57 10. is clearly not what is at stake. In these projects. which appear at the centers of the sides of the square. for example. First. 11. providing the building with a clear rotational quality while framing the corners on the diagonal. are the Mannheim Theater project. What follows. Their envelopes function as an icon of a building that will be used as an architectural school or as a museum. leading eventually to the umbrella diagram. Farnsworth House. At the Farnsworth House. the ground-ﬂoor plane is no longer articulated. the columns are brought outboard. whether they need light or not. The Farnsworth House also had important implications for the 50 by 50 House that immediately followed in 1951. it becomes clear that a scenographic condition between the viewer and the building is not what Mies Layout 02 08. In both the National Gallery and IIT. for Mies. and perhaps most subtle. with Mies’s careful manipulation and placement of the forms. at the 50 by 50 House. not so much to show them holding the roof up but rather to show them as representing another kind of spatial attitude articulated in Mies’s umbrella diagram. the idea of dwelling. there is little at the plinth level at the National Gallery that represents its use as a museum. suspending the roof like a giant parachute.indd 57 4/9/2008 10:53:04 AM .
ﬂoor. The different axes formed by a series of symmetrical parts indicate that the parts do not create a whole. and roof other than as a series of modernist abstractions gives this building its critical dimension. the glass is dematerialized and there are no horizontals to articulate a wall plane. What seems to be a classical and symmetrical whole is rather broken down into asymmetrical dynamic parts. and the glass box. mullion. The outboard columns of the Farnsworth House do not go above the line of the ﬁnished roof but just up to it. This sliding or oscillating movement between the glass. articulating the difference between structure and ﬁnished surface. Mies Layout 02 08. a reading of the relationships between column. Mies’s play against classical symmetries continues with his treatment of the glass surfaces. yet symmetrically placed with respect to the centerline of the column grid. columns. Mies establishes shifting axes of symmetry deployed among the three disparate entities of the Farnsworth House: the entry platform. Rather. produce a critique of any single reading. While the stairs of the entry platform are aligned with the stairs to the house.58 Farnsworth House 12. Similarly. and plinth produces a complex and dense relationship of elements that. Neue Nationalgalerie. plinth.indd 58 4/9/2008 10:53:04 AM . the glass enclosure is asymmetrically placed in relation to the ﬂoor slab. This can be contrasted with Johnson’s Glass House. the intermediate platform itself is slipped off this potential axis. while they appear scenographic. is desired. which. the house platform. ﬂoor slab. 1966. To further this idea. At the Farnsworth House. Berlin.
There is no chair rail in the vertical plane at the Farnsworth House. and slabs become real but no less critical counters in the design. Mies renders it as an absence. columns read not for their tectonic truthfulness. or for their visual composition. basically deﬁnes a classical vertical surface with the marking of a chair rail in the vertical plane. Mies Layout 02 08. walls.indd 59 4/9/2008 10:53:05 AM . is interested in the glass as a plane or membrane. Johnson. Johnson’s intent is to render the surface as a vertical plane. The Farnsworth House stages this confrontation between what in Mies’s early building was used to deny the image of dwelling. which proposes an implied real structure against the sign of structure. while at the Farnsworth House.Farnsworth House 59 whether trying to break away from a Miesian or a Corbusian space. The organization of column. but for their condition as a sign of a conceptual diagram. The shift at the Farnsworth House registers the difference between a scenographic representation linked to postmodernism and the use of the column as a critical reading of modernity’s idea of a spatial continuum. both for the sake of his furniture but also to differentiate his ideas. and the Farnsworth House. where the elements are no longer abstractions. as opposed to Mies’s interest in glass as a void.
Mies Layout 02 08. yet the platform itself is slid off the axis established by the ﬂoor plane.60 Farnsworth House 13. yet the center of the main slab is not aligned with the column grid.indd 60 4/9/2008 10:53:05 AM . The edge of the enclosing glass wall falls symmetrically between the right two bays. The organization of the column grid at the Farnsworth House and its entry platform produces an AAAA four-bay sequence. Each bay is equal in size. 14. The columns supporting the entry platform are aligned with the column grid of the house. Each slab is also positioned symmetrically within the column grid. extending a half-module beyond each column line.
Farnsworth House 61 15.indd 61 4/9/2008 10:53:06 AM . This establishes a tension between the glass enclosure’s center and that of the ﬂoor plane. in coming to the edge of one end of the ﬂoor slab but not to the other. 16. These two symmetries also deﬁne closure. The glass enclosure is symmetrically placed within the framework of the columns. while seemingly assymetrical. produces a second center located along the middle column line. Mies Layout 02 08. and anchor what would seem to be the potential extendability of the building. The location of the glass enclosure. The glass enclosure. therefore. The play of the two centers is an aspect of the dynamic of the Farnsworth House. The center of the glass enclosure is aligned with the column line. deﬁnes a symmetry about the middle column. while the center of the ﬂoor plane lies along the mullion line.
Mies Layout 02 08. The Farnsworth House does not present a horizontal sandwich of space in the manner of Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino diagram.indd 62 4/9/2008 10:53:06 AM . The lower slab is raised off the ground on stub columns. The movement from the ground level up the stairs to the entry platform and up to entrance on the main ﬂoor is perpendicular to the grain of the house. but it does not echo the precepts of the Dom-ino diagram because the ﬂoor slab is connected to the ground by the entry platform.62 Farnsworth House 17.
The progression of movement at the Farnsworth House is signiﬁcant. which is parallel to the movement of entry. Mies Layout 02 08. as opposed to that of the Maison Citrohan (b).indd 63 4/9/2008 10:53:06 AM . the perpendicular movement resembles that of the subject entering the Maison Dom-ino (a).Farnsworth House 63 a. 18 (a-b). At the Farnsworth House. emphasizing Mies’s transformation of vertical and horizontal surfaces in response to Le Corbusier’s diagrams. b.
Mies Layout 02 08. 20. The attachment of the mullions to the corner produces what could be considered a positive inboard corner.64 Farnsworth House 19. thereby inverting the conventional form of the corner. with no obvious fastening system. The traditional relationship of post to beam is confounded by the outboard columns.indd 64 4/9/2008 10:53:06 AM . holds the horizontal slabs in place. but rather a carefully detailed set of discreet connections.
Mies’s corner reads as two entities fused together. Mies Layout 02 08.indd 65 4/9/2008 10:53:07 AM . 22. creating a void at the outboard corner.Farnsworth House 65 21. The two sets of mullions at the corner produce an outboard L-shaped condition. with the trace of their joining still legible: the mullions are compressed together to articulate the corner.
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23 (a-e). The existing column arrangement at the Farnsworth House (a). Possible alternate arrangements include columns aligned with the inner edge
of the fascia plane (b and c); columns organized similarly to those of the Dom-ino diagram (d); and doubled columns at the corners of the slab (e).
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24. Farnsworth House, exploded axonometric of slabs and columns.
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25. Farnsworth House, exploded axonometric view.
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26. Farnsworth House, axonometric view.
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1. Louis I. Kahn, Adler House. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1954–1955.
4. From Plaid Grid to Diachronic Space Louis I. Kahn, Adler & DeVore Houses, 1954–55
In an essay on Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, Maurice Blanchot raises the question of narrative time and its disruption. While there is a chronological time in narrative, Proust interweaves another form of time which Blanchot describes as another possibility of time brought back not as a memory but as an actual event. Blanchot quotes from Proust: “The footsteps that stumble on the irregular cobblestones of the Guermantes Way are suddenly the same footsteps that stumbled over the uneven ﬂagstones of the Piazza of San Marco.” These footsteps are not just a double, or an echo of a past traverse. They evoke another sensation, one which does not take the form of a synchronic linear memory, but becomes a diachronic, nonlinear, and simultaneous experience. According to Blanchot, the Venice and Guermantes moments should not be considered separately, as a past and a present, but as a single presence that harbors a sense of absence. The incompatibility of these two moments creates a sense of simultaneity, which Blanchot suggests is a sensation that suspends and neutralizes even narrative time itself. The simultaneity, according to Blanchot, comprises the “then” of the past and the “here” of the present. These times resemble two instances of the “now,” superposed in the conjunction of two simultaneous presents which alter time in a narrative sense. This diachronic time disrupts the traditional synchronic condition of both a linear time of reading and the linear time of the story. In literature, the time of the action of reading and the time of the narrative are not the same. Yet unlike literature, architecture is thought to presume a single time: the experience of the building and the conceptualizing of the building are understood as one and the same.
Adler & DeVore Houses
2. Adler and DeVore Houses, elevations, 1954.
A building unfolds in a linear manner as a person walks in and around the space to come to understand the building. The time of “reading” is different for a reader of literature than it is for a reader of architecture. Time is only imagined in the space of literature, but in architecture it is actually experienced in space, and because the time of experience in architecture is linear, architecture is associated with synchronic time. Blanchot suggests that the disruption elicited by a narrative’s simultaneous moments represents such a diachronic moment in actual space. The question for architecture involves eliciting that disruptive moment or diachronic time: in other words, considering Blanchot’s reading of Proust in architectural terms, can architecture, like literature, propose affective moments in which the viewer is suddenly freed of the ultimate movement of time toward death, where one can experience some other kind of time, a more pure state that exists somewhere between the viewing subject and the object itself?
The narrative of time that exists in a building will always be constructed in real space, which is experienced as a narrative space—that is, by walking in and around a building. One way that architecture can suspend the time of the narrative is by superposing on it another time. While this may seem an appropriate concept for an architecture of close reading, such an idea has rarely been considered in the work of Louis Kahn. In the Adler and DeVore Houses of 1954– 55, unlike in many of his other projects, Kahn achieves what could be considered an architectural text in diachronic space. This is brought about by the superposition of classical and modern space; that neither of these “times” dominates results in a dislocation of moments or, in other terms, a disjunction that is experienced in space. In the Adler and DeVore Houses, Kahn presents architecture both as a complex object and as the potential for the subject to experience the object as both a real space and an imaginary space. Both conditions are present and can be read, each in
Kahn actually produces two diagrams in each of these houses. and each is represented with an emphasis on its columns. that makes these two houses different from much of Kahn’s other work. tripartite. 1954–59. A series of potential points of origin suggests the undecidability of relationships between parts.” but that their designs are different.” which stressed the underlying geometric order of both projects. New Jersey. which belies the disjunctive conditions lodged in these two projects. turn displacing the other. It is this unresolved moment in the Adler and DeVore Houses. nine-square diagram and the other a modernist asymmetrical diagram. and second. which are themselves suspended in real time between the Trenton Bathhouse and the Richards Medical Center. as if the houses were essentially an abstract pattern of square columns within square enclosures. 4. according to Kahn.Adler & DeVore Houses 105 3. Each was conceived as a cluster of squares. A variety of historical moments can be discerned in Kahn’s plans for these houses. It is in the context of the denial of axial symmetries and partto-whole relationships evident in much of Kahn’s later work that these differences lie. Trenton Bathhouse. which therefore no longer can be subsumed within a clearly deﬁnable whole. as a critique of modern architecture. Trenton Bathhouse. Thus the Adler and DeVore Houses can be seen to articulate an alternate internal logic: ﬁrst. as a conscious. didactic proposal against the free plan of modern architecture. These statements by Kahn imply an origin as a unity and a sameness. just as these superposed organizations deny a beginning in a particular historical moment. Kahn suggests that the houses “grow out of the same order. The denial of a single and identiﬁable point of origin also begins to critique the notion of the classical part-towhole relationship in its denial of a single uniﬁed whole. one a classical. The dual diagram counters the idea of a singular origin. It is signiﬁcant that the drawings for the Adler and DeVore Houses were published in Perspecta 3 (1955) in a short article titled “Two Houses. axonometric view. The .
which eschews the use of a surface veneer. While only a small portion of the Trenton Bathhouse was built. as a brick. its master plan was radical in deploying a plaid grid. The bathhouse pavilions are neither Greek (conceptualized from a perspectival view) nor Roman (conceptualized from a fron- . The wall plane of the corner pier structures is made of the same material as the corner. in other words. If in Le Corbusier the section is often the site of the displacement of the subject. a BeauxArts grid of servant and served spaces with an ABABAB rhythm in its overall organization. Materials are expressed in the Trenton project. and contributes to the sense that the pavilions appear the same from the corner as from a frontal view. denying the picture or frontal plane. as well as its emphatic materiality. There is no sectional displacement. This is a self-referencing notation of the disjunction between the section of the roof and that of the plan. Kahn uses the particular alignment of the column within its masonry enclosure to differentiate the variegated bays that constitute the plaid grid. The Trenton Bathhouse is the ﬁrst example in America of a massive brick and concrete structure denying the free plan and dynamic asymmetries of modernism with a classicizing nine-square plan. are not load-bearing. The corner pier structures and wall are made of concrete blocks. wall-bearing structure whose barrel vault has dispensed with the ﬂat roof of modernism. European inﬂuence of the late 1940s and early 1950s is evident. The structure is articulated with a certain redundancy because the large masonry units. it could be argued. which. are clearly antecedents to the Adler and DeVore Houses. 6. Kahn’s Trenton Bathhouse produces no such disturbance in section. an articulated system in section. preliminary plan. is one such possible model. Adler House. The hipped roofs of Kahn’s Trenton Bathhouse.106 Adler & DeVore Houses 5. ﬁts within the pragmatic tradition and utilitarian organization of space in American architecture. the actual steel structure is just visible between the masonry and the roof. John Hejduk. given that initial sketches of both houses similarly have hipped roofs. 1954–63. which evolves out of an extrusion in plan. for example. Le Corbusier’s Maison Jaoul. despite their appearance. Texas House 4. rather than the homogenous space of the modernist grid.
The Adler House stands as a critique of the bi-nuclear houses of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. 8. which implies a transformation not from a single original state but from several possible originary conditions. These modernist bi-nuclear houses were essentially a misreading of classical architecture. the void between the two pavilions would never have been entered. maintains vestiges of a bi-nuclear notation in the Adler House. That neither plan is made dominant recalls the disruption generated by the diachronic idea of time in Blanchot’s reading of Proust. tal plane). 1968–74. The movement in the Adler House’s square units produces a shearing motion and introduces two concepts: the idea of a grain to the space and the idea of time in its process. Kahn. here the point of view of the subject becomes irrelevant. and the impossibility of the whole. on one side is the public space and on the other is the private space. one enters in the middle space between two pavilions.Adler & DeVore Houses 107 7. Yet attempts to ﬁt the pavilion units back into a uniﬁed organization such as a nine-square are frustrated and elude any stable originary part-to-whole relationship. The Adler House maintains both of these ideas: the whole as the sum of its parts. who understood this. Later sketches demonstrate the fracturing of this organization. in that in a classical parti. the whole is made impossible by the different shearings and slippages resulting from the superposition of a modernist plan and a classical nine-square parti. plan. which is a combination of a series of pavilions along the lines of the Trenton Bathhouse with a fracturing that does not occur in the work of Gropius or Breuer. producing what seems to be the fragmentation of a former nine-square grid. The plan of the Adler House registers this superposition of the modernist and Beaux-Arts schemas. In these bi-nuclear schemes. This disruption of speciﬁc points of view in the Trenton Bathhouse’s ninesquare plan foregrounds the destabilization that becomes manifest in the plans of the Adler and DeVore Houses. Wall House. Yet while the square . John Hejduk. DeVore House. A ﬁrst sketch with nine-square and axial symmetry clearly has echoes of the Trenton Bathhouse. This transformation leaves traces that can be read in the resulting plan.
The overall arrangement of square units comprising the Adler House resembles an organization of pavilion units intermittently sliding off the nine-square grid. Like the Adler House. yet their asymmetrical placement conﬁrms a modern spatial arrangement. their varied motions away from possible points of origin always occur along a horizontal axis. If the house at ﬁrst seems to be haphaz- ard or an arbitrary organization of pavilions. Their similarities reﬂect a shared set of ideas also present in the early drawings for the Vanna Venturi House (chapter 5). The interior grid of the house reverts to a Beaux-Arts plaid grid. as if several dislocations from a seeming origin have occurred over time. Adler House. it alludes to a possible origin but frustrates any direct reading of such origins. This can be best understood in comparison to both John Hejduk’s Wall Houses and his Texas Houses. Hejduk’s Texas Houses use a classical nine-square parti as their basis. with which the Adler and DeVore Houses are contemporaries. units of the plan themselves have no directionality. Through a purposeful manipulation. This is one of many of the embedded oppositions at work in the Adler House. and thereby decenters the nine-square grid parti. this is not the case. The square columns and their groupings to form rectangles imply a grain and directionality to the implied movement of the pavilion units. In the Adler House. Kahn produces the dislocations that articulate a text of diachronic spaces in the architecture of the Adler House. The DeVore House similarly resembles the record of a process that has been frozen at a moment in time. the horizontal motion of the units remains discontinuous. plans. though which came ﬁrst is of little relevance in this context. Hejduk’s Wall Houses and Kahn’s DeVore House focus on the relationship of the . even though that origin in itself cannot be ﬁxed.108 Adler & DeVore Houses 9. Alternatively.
the datum of the wall assumes a metaphysical presence as the central element in the formulation of the perceptual and navigational intelligibility of the design. the wall performs as a divider. Kahn’s DeVore House also fuses two different geometries and two different moments in history. the placement of each of its pavilion units seems to respond to the wall. once a person passes through the wall at DeVore. Despite its obvious materiality. Thus. partial plan. In both Hejduk’s Wall Houses and Kahn’s DeVore House. it also becomes a threshold marking the moment of crossing. In the DeVore House. and the shape of its columns further implies a directionality in relation to the wall. but one that has classical echoes in its nine-square grid? If a wall is usually read as a divider between an interior and an exterior. establishing a narrative sequence for the subject passing through the house: while the subject is aware of a continual breach of that threshold. separating public from private and bucolic from built. dividing different times and spaces. Hejduk and Kahn set up a tension in the architecture that questions the common understanding of the dialectical difference between inside and outside.Adler & DeVore Houses 109 10. this awareness focuses the spatio-temporal emphasis on the moment of crossing. it embodies several seemingly contradictory abstract principles. which is not a modern house. pavilion to the wall. What can be more evocative of the modern than a wall knifing through the heart of the house. that conditioning has been problematized: has one left the structure or entered it? How space is experienced in an interval of time is part of how the time of the object is usually revealed to the . it separates but also links. In drawing attention to this moment. The wall simultaneously differentiates and makes intelligible. which in and of itself is thematized as a didactic element to which the pavilions respond. DeVore House. the classical and the modern.
but constantly aware of that moment of inside. Thus. If the pavilions of the Adler and DeVore Houses functioned as units marking tactical shifts across the physical threshold of a wall or the implied/conceptual threshold of a nine-square grid. one of the main characteristics of both of these works is the collision of time narratives within the boundary of the wall itself. a combination of Greek and Roman space that becomes a Kahn trope. outside of its inside. the structure frames the middle tier of each side. Kahn’s sketches of the Richards Medical Center transform and extrude the pavilions to produce a romantic skyline. Richards is also a pavilion project of servant and served elements extruded into the third dimension. the only “inside” is that point in the interior of the wall itself. Kahn participates in the pre-1968 attempt to rethink the originary premises of modernism that characterize works belonging to this ﬁrst paradigm shift. Everywhere else is outside of the wall. and ultimately expressionistic. and the seem- . A “time of inside” is thereby established in relation to the “time of outside. From these two houses it is a short jump in scale to the Richards Medical Center. 1957–65. extruded and positioned as if unwinding out of a tight spiral. Each of the three main towers is a volume articulated by thin columns. which is a project made up of a sequence of pavilions. His work here represents a split between the unconscious theoretical propositions apparent in the work of both Mies and Moretti. At Richards.110 Adler & DeVore Houses 11. The Adler and DeVore Houses can be considered an inﬂection point in Kahn’s work.” The actual “time of enclosure” then becomes inﬁnitesimally small relative to the continuum of which it is a part. Richards Medical Center. The countermanding pavilion alignments. yet the entry occurs at the corner. separate towers. operating systematically in the Adler and DeVore Houses. for they stand both outside of the traditional interpretations of his work and become the starting point for future work. This voided condition recalls the Exeter Library and other Kahn projects. leaving a void at the corner. Because the subject is continually operating around the wall and making reference to it. The H-shaped columns reiterate the nine-square organization of each volume and form a plaid grid. become at Richards more graphic. Unlike the Adler and DeVore Houses. subject. The arrangement is both orthogonal and diagonal. then the pavilions of the Richards Medical Center are made to serve a picturesque rather than didactic function. with the servant spaces pulled off into smaller. 1957–65. the two conditions contradict each other: the alignment of the pavilions sets up a frontal organization in plan. The legibility of the Richards servant and served spaces marks another shift from the undecidability of the pavilions in the houses.
This critique involves a new interest in what resembles incompleteness and fragmentation of form. dislocations. The movement toward real materials as well as the reintegration of classical schemata. .Adler & DeVore Houses 111 ingly conscious theoretical reversals articulated in that of Le Corbusier. and superpositions in the Adler and DeVore Houses ultimately could be considered a questioning of the classical part-to-whole relationship. With today’s hindsight it is possible to suggest that the shifts. is an expression in each of these houses of a critique of abstraction.
While the lowest row (open space. The organization of the Adler House suggests that the house has a conceptual origin in a nine-square grid. pavilion unit. pavilion. ﬁve pavilion units and ﬁve square outdoor spaces. open space) and the upper row (pavilion.112 Adler & DeVore Houses 12. pavilion. pavilion. halved open space. open space) can be conceptually returned to such an origin. 13. . the center row (open space. open space) cannot. The organization of the pavilions seem to originate in the nine-square grid.
Equally. The Adler House’s internal logic depends on the simultaneity of two dissimilar systems involving the open spaces (A) and the pavilion units (B). . The ideal ABA nine-square is adapted to accommodate the Adler House plan by removing a pavilion and shifting them. The organization of the pavilions thus enables multiple readings. Their combined product allows for a double reading of the house as an ABA arrangement and a BBA arrangement. as both Beaux-Arts and modern organizations. in other words.Adler & DeVore Houses 113 B B A B A B B B A A B B B B A A A A A A B A A B A B B A B B A 14. the modern BBA arrangement emphasizes an asymmetry of organization and can be adapted to the Adler House by removing and shifting pavilions. Although the plaid ABA plan derives directly from the Beaux-Arts tradition. this reading emphasizes the house’s modernist asymmetry. The overall arrangement of the pavilion units presents a superposition of Beaux-Arts and modern plans. 15.
114 Adler & DeVore Houses 16–17. When the outside part is the basis for the basic diagram. There are two ways to locate the Adler House within a classical nine-square-grid. . with all or a portion of a pavilion falling outside of this idealized schema. yet each is an imperfect ﬁt. thus there is no stable single diagram for the Adler House. the other part moves outside. one part of the scheme is outside of the ninesquare diagram. When one interpretation is chosen.
19. However.Adler & DeVore Houses 115 18. an anomalous condition (highlighted in red) can be deﬁned by the single piers of the uppermost row. the piers provide points of alignment for one nine-square diagram. double. In general. While this space remains a void in the project. there is a conceptual overlapping of an implied unit bounded by piers and open space. . and triple pier conditions. which responds to the single.
116 Adler & DeVore Houses 20. the pier doubled on the y-axis. The column grid of the Adler House has a problematic pier arrangement within the nine-square grid. There are four different pier organizations which contribute to a striation of space in the Adler House: the yax is xpier by itself. and the intersection of the two doubled axes. which creates an L-shaped corner pier condition. ax is . the pier doubled along the x-axis.
Adler & DeVore Houses 117 21. This allows the doubled piers. This minor grid is composed of thirty-six squares. . 22. for example. The dimensions of the window mullions and piers of each pavilion unit constitute a notational system for subdividing each pavilion. to remain within the deﬁnition of the overall sub-grid. This thirty-six square sub-grid accommodates both nine-square and four-square organizations and thereby allows a double-reading of interior spaces that is also possible for the overall organization of the pavilion units.
Adler House.118 Adler & DeVore Houses 23. . ground ﬂoor. axonometric view.
roof level. Adler House. . axonometric view.Adler & DeVore Houses 119 24.
25 (a-b). while a single similar pavilion unit (F) is located on the other side of the wall.120 Adler & DeVore Houses a. b. Four actual units (B–E) and one implied unit (A) stand on one side of the wall. 26. The pavilion units of the DeVore House are organized in relation to a wall. The leftmost two units (A and B) are aligned but separated by a gap that functions as an implied wall. Origins can be attributed to classical ABCBA (a) and modernist asymmetrical schemes (b). .
E) are aligned with the wall. Units B. A logic of spacing emerges in which spaces of dimension (a) interlock and frame the units in a plaid grid. 27 (a-b). 28. Unit (E) is separated by a space equivalent to half of the unit dimension (a) from the adjacent unit D.Adler & DeVore Houses 121 a. establishing a grain perpendicular to the wall. C. b. Units B and D shear from the mass created by unit C. The dimension of a pavilion unit is double that of space (a). while unit D is separated from the wall by a space (b) that is equivalent to half of space (a). Units A and B are separated by a narrow slot of space. and D are aligned in a parallel manner along a wall that is breached by the C and F blocks. but is the only unit physically attached to the wall. The outermost units (A. .
Unit F is “rotated” so that its two open sides suggest a movement producing a third shearing condition. b. a. Rectangular columns deﬁne the relationship between units B. but in another reading it aligns with an outboard column to produce a double column in unit C (a). A single square column located centrally between units C and F indexes the presence of the existing wall.122 Adler & DeVore Houses a. . Units A and B are separated by a space. C. and D and establish a grain running in parallel to the wall (b). One of the middle columns is unaligned. 29 (a-b). 30 (a-b). b. yet it is a pochéd area (the ﬁreplace) that maintains their physical separation (a).
Unit C is mirrored in unit F across the presence of the virtual wall that is established by the square column aligned with the existing wall. Units A and E seem to mirror each other across a line perpendicular to the existing wall and established by the square column between units C and F. The effect of the superposition of these multiple systems both reinforces and displaces the relationships of unit to wall to conceptual grid. the grain produced by the orientation of rectangular columns also suggests a rotational relationship.Adler & DeVore Houses 123 31. . and walls. The units in the DeVore House can be read as a series of shearing and rotational movements. spaces. However. A strategy of mirroring and rotation emerges in the play of units.
. ground-ﬂoor plan and sublevel. DeVore House.124 Adler & DeVore Houses 32. axonometric view.
.Adler & DeVore Houses 125 33. DeVore House. axonometric view. ground ﬂoor.
roof plan. DeVore House. .126 Adler & DeVore Houses 34. axonometric view.
1964. Philadelphia. Chestnut Hill. Venturi Layout 02 08.1. Venturi & Rauch. Vanna Venturi House VI.indd 128 4/9/2008 11:35:04 AM . Pennsylvania.
These books begin to question the internal conditions of the discipline of architecture. and Tafuri questioned architecture’s capacity for social reform. which had. focused primarily on the pragmatics of the architectural practice. these books of 1966–68 were didactic in their reevaluation of modernist principles. the city. both within and outside of architecture. on which the generation of the 1940s and 1950s was weaned. and speciﬁcally on architecture in America. The texts of this period. If Le Corbusier had stated that the plan is the generator—of the building. particularly in America. and on some level. Texts by Venturi. Rossi. Vanna Venturi House. a thematic of mainstream modern architecture. until 1968. provide a further indication. If seminal theoretical texts of this period. Architectural texts that marked this change included Aldo Rossi’s The Architecture of the City and Manfredo Tafuri’s Teorie e Storia dell’architettura.5. No longer was the ethos of CIAM (which held that modern architecture was a vehicle toward a better society). Venturi Layout 02 08. and Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle. Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. such as Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology. 1959–64 Robert Venturi’s 1966 book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture is one of the few texts by an American architect that responded to the shifts in culture occurring in Europe around 1968. nor its rebirth later in Team Ten. made a profound impact on culture in general. The Nine-Square Diagram and its Contradictions Robert Venturi. No longer adherents of the polemical style of Le Corbusier’s Vers Une Architecture or the equally polemical historical perspective of Sigfried Giedion’s Space Time and Architecture. then it is clear that the period around 1968 represents a generational if not a paradigm shift. thought to have much currency. of modern society—then these texts initiated a profound critique of the part-to-whole relationship implicit in his vision of the plan. been a relatively nontheoretical and professional one.indd 129 4/9/2008 11:35:11 AM .
John Hejduk. Charles Moore. and Tim Vreeland. 1954–63. which. Venturi was clearly the most articulate spokesman for this younger generation and brought what was perhaps the ﬁrst theoretical and ideological approach to American architecture. launched an attack on modernist abstraction by reintroducing the idea of history in contemporary architecture. engaging an ideology of the left was certainly not a pressing issue. Between 1945 and 1950. had continued his research at the American Academy in Rome. For example. did not engage architectural polemics. bringing historical traditions into the present by way of American architectural traditions described. Jaquelin Robertson. Harry Cobb. ﬁnanced buildings designed according to Le Corbusier’s proposals for the Ville Radieuse but stripped them of their ideological component. the Federal Housing Authority. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. Luigi Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” in Rome used historical architectural tropes that would play a subtle role in the arguments in Complexity and Contradiction. Perhaps because of his stay in Rome. along with the ﬂight to the suburbs. but rather as a new American realist. the signiﬁcant social changes occurring in America. Philip Johnson. Many American corporations hired new ﬁrms of young architects to design what was considered to be modern architecture for such projects as public housing. and writing—in some cases by choice. found few openings for this type of practice and turned instead to teaching 2. ate away at the formerly dense fabric of the city. Rather than social reform according to Corbusian principles. The next generation. which allowed for returning GIs to buy apartments at low cost.130 Vanna Venturi House In contrast to Europe. Robert Venturi.indd 130 4/9/2008 11:35:11 AM . for example. Venturi examined Italian buildings in relationship to issues faced by contemporary American architects.” an ideal almost antithetical to the social utopian goals of modernism. Michael Graves. in others for purely practical reasons. In this period of architecture’s capitalist expansion. including Edward Barnes. The architectural profession grew rapidly. given their production for an openly acquisitive and relatively afﬂuent society. Ulrich Franzen.” these new practices adopted the modernist style as a manifestation of “the good life. Venturi. John Johansen. and I. Venturi saw himself not as a postmodernist. among others. John Hejduk. Texas House 4. new practitioners and new ofﬁces were created to accommodate America’s postwar building boom. Complexity Venturi Layout 02 08. Yet modernism’s relatively “new” look appealed to corporations.M. which was published by the Museum of Modern Art. Pei. American cities became blighted by versions of towers-in-the-park-schemes. who was educated under Jean Labatut at Princeton. Gordon Bunshaft. Such changes in the city fabric reverberated through the architectural profession. such as the breaking down of ethnic and religious barriers after the war. which was directed toward creating what was called “the good society. in Vincent Scully’s The Shingle Style and the Stick Style. Instead of adopting modernism’s ideology. with corporate practices founded by numerous architects. Don Lyndon.
which can be understood at ﬁrst glance. a bank building with a classical facade fronting a rather ordinary enclosure is a decorated shed. or in Venturi’s terms. but in the Texas Houses. Yet as Venturi’s scheme for the Vanna Venturi House evolves. A duck is a building that looks like its object: a hotdog stand in the form of a giant hotdog. it is ﬁrst articulated in built form with the Vanna Venturi House. it will be argued. It could be argued that the Vanna Venturi House is the ﬁrst American building to propose an ideological break with modern abstraction at the same time that it is rooted in this tradition. whether it is a bank. For example. as the title indicates. two projects are worth comparing: John Hejduk’s Texas House 4 from the mid-1950s. Vanna Venturi House I. The decorated shed is more of a symbol in Peirce’s terms. and Venturi’s ﬁrst study of the Vanna Venturi House from 1959. To locate the origins of the Vanna Venturi House.indd 131 4/9/2008 11:35:11 AM . it confounds the nine-square schema differently from the works of either Kahn or Hejduk. but not in the sense that would parallel the renewal of analytical work on language and signiﬁcation by European structuralists and post-structuralists. Hejduk’s Texas Houses are nine-square exercises. addresses questions of meaning in architecture. the thick corner piers of Kahn’s Adler House are dematerialized and stretched into linear wall elements. built by Robert Venturi for his mother between 1959 and 1964. the Vanna Venturi House requires close reading—and actually questions what constitutes such a close reading. a library. plan. This visual similitude produces what Peirce calls an icon. Hejduk’s projects modify the Palladian schema of the ninesquare grid. close reading. 1959. Venturi’s famous dictum categorizing buildings as either “a duck” or “a decorated shed” casts the difference between an icon and a symbol in architectural terms. If the issue of meaning is introduced in Complexity and Contradiction. Like the citations in Venturi’s book. a place that sells ducks taking the very shape of a duck. Each of these examples has a direct visual relationship to its object. is haunted by a little-acknowledged set of origins in both Italian Renaissance tropes and in the nine-square grid of modernist abstraction. both at the time of its construction as well as today. Venturi Layout 02 08. it does not require. Icons and symbols become related when an overuse of an icon produces its degradation as it becomes a symbol. Venturi is perhaps one of the ﬁrst architects to make the important distinction between what C. which bear a speculative relationship to Louis Kahn’s Adler and DeVore Houses (chapter 4) in that there are a series of servant and served spaces. S. the decorated shed. No building has more completely symbolized a new American vernacular. and Contradiction.Vanna Venturi House 131 3. for example. refers to a public facade for what amounts to a generic boxlike building. in that it has a conventionalized meaning: the classical facade symbolizes a public building. or a school. yet its placement in this book. which in turn becomes clichéd and thus drained of the necessity for any form of close reading. Venturi’s other term. Peirce had earlier labeled an icon and a symbol.
which must be understood as a Derridean. because of the compression of the center bays. 5. yet neither scheme dominates. This overlay of two potentially different interpretations is reinforced by the absence of a column centerline running from the top to the bottom of the scheme.132 Vanna Venturi House 4. Vanna Venturi House IIb. 1959. An articulated corner and freestanding columns are also overlaid on the nine-square grid. while they align and are symmetrical across the building. have little relationship with the articulations of the inner volumes. A compari- Venturi Layout 02 08. The lateral center zone can be read as both a void. Venturi’s ﬁrst scheme (House I). Vanna Venturi House IIa. invokes a nine-square grid. In yet a further analysis. A second reading in Venturi’s House I involves the disjunction of the exterior walls from the internal volumes. Another interpretation would read the lateral striation of the plan into three zones. Yet. the right-hand void being larger than the left-hand void.indd 132 4/9/2008 11:35:12 AM . but rather several diagrams which mark the beginning of a shift from a single reading to one which can be called undecidable. an idea that was not available until after 1968. and as a solid whose rectangular form is bounded by six large piers. creating an ABA demarcation of servant and served spaces. columns. This play of multiple interior grids confounds any single interpretation of origin. the mullions. with its compressed center bays and the external columns on the centerline. and wall-bearing elements can be read as a cruciform organization. post-structuralist notion. plan. 1959. it can also be read as a four-square grid. First the spacing between the exterior walls and the internal volume is unequal. Each of the six schemes for the Vanna Venturi House provokes such a reading of undecidability. plan. given that it lacks the deﬁning walls of the upper and lower zones. Close readings of the plan of Venturi’s ﬁrst scheme do not produce a dominant diagram or a primary organization. The mullions and columns of the exterior walls. while the continuity of both the vertical and horizontal axes is interrupted by the central ﬁreplace element.
the walls begin to take on a volumetric presence that undermines their relationship to a classical nine-square plan. a ﬁgured central body is clearly manifest in the form of two chamfered corners which now extend beyond the ends of the two exterior freestanding Venturi Layout 02 08.Vanna Venturi House 133 6. and mullion become a new kind of pochéd “part” that cannot be read back to an originary whole. but not conceptually. While there is a relationship of this ﬁrst scheme to Hejduk’s Texas Houses. brought literally. These notched corners of the interior volume can be read as indications of further subversions of the whole into a multiplicity of parts. plan. 7. pier. It is also important to notice the articulation of the four corners of the house’s inner enclosure. wall fragment. In this scheme. the joints at the corners are articulated as notches.” demarcated by rectangular zones. son of the walls enclosing the inner volume reveals minor shifts and offsets in what would initially seem to be a symmetrical alignment of column and walls about a central axis. For example. in the Vanna Venturi house. which then take on an irregular form as mullions joined to the piers. Vanna Venturi House IIIa. For the ﬁrst time. the outside frame walls are still present. the play between a tripartite and quadripartite scheme is less evident. whether wrapping around the corners or coming together as a seam. the subtractive notching and additive poché of these early studies give the walls a ﬁgured quality distinct from the linear quality of Hejduk’s Texas Houses: if the wall/space relationship in Hejduk’s Texas Houses is produced by a series of squares pinned at the corners by steel columns and deﬁned by inﬁll walls.indd 133 4/9/2008 11:35:13 AM . In the second versions of the scheme (House IIa and IIb). however. in the central area these notches are integrated into the piers. as is the central horizontal core. This reinforces the independent and distinct nature of each facade. plan. The notched corners of the enclosure mark the boundaries of a set of three inner “parts. Vanna Venturi House IIIb. together at the corner.
The large cut that deﬁnes the kitchen is echoed across the vertical axis by a much smaller cut. In versions IIIa and IIIb. and at another moment is the object of an implied shearing. The cutout in the lower right quadrant creates a directional vector. The diagonals animate the organization of the plan with a volumetric sense. model. whether actual or implied. 9. this causes the ﬁreplace to become a volumetric element that at one moment is in rotation. as if the dominant exterior volume were reduced and rotated. as if to portray a contradictory condition of simultaneous afﬁrmation and denial. elements deﬁning the inner volume—walls. thickened by poché-like attachments. which nevertheless follows the dominant diagonal pointing toward the central hearth. walls. There is a shear about the center. the small diagonal wall segment deﬁning the upper bathroom is straightened out. yet here the central zone becomes increasingly articulated.indd 134 4/9/2008 11:35:14 AM . The central horizontal walls are also thickened and a secondary chamfering is introduced. Subtle differences between the projects for House IIa and House IIb begin with the four columns that frame the center. model. which Venturi Layout 02 08. Clearly these are notational rather than functional changes. The second scheme breaks with the central symmetry of the prior scheme. which become increasingly ﬁgured. These misalignments acknowledge the dislocation of the internal volume from the free standing wall planes. this incision produces a dynamic directionality in the internal volume. columns. Vanna Venturi House IIIa. Throughout the plan. Vanna Venturi House IIIb. symmetry is reestablished: for example. mirroring the other side of the bathroom across the vertical axis. Diagonals. In other areas. The changes in the second project have little to do with the preceding scheme in terms of the critique of nine-square or four-square organizations. the project retains the central element of the ﬁreplace and the two external chamfered corners. and mullions—are intermittently aligned and misaligned with the external perimeter condition. and can be read as responding to the potential of a ﬁgured condition through chamfering and cutting. moving into the center. seem to converge on the central ﬁreplace. as the diagonals are not aligned to meet there. responding to the spiraling motion of the ﬁreplaces. These countermand the orthogonal organization of rooms symmetrically across the central vertical band of service spaces.134 Vanna Venturi House 8.
Finally. In IVb there is a compression of space that modulates the internal organization. plan. beginning with a radical reorientation of the house on the site by ninety degrees. A disjunction remains in what will eventually become the union of ﬁreplace and staircase. reinforcing the idea of a facade across the grain Venturi Layout 02 08. 1962. aligned on the vertical axis. This is the ﬁrst appearance of such an oddly angled stair in the project. as a third zone running vertically.Vanna Venturi House 135 10. double-chimneyed house. The long axis of the house is now made perpendicular to the entry from the street. what was formerly a straight-run stair. In IVb. The slot between the exterior shell and the interior object makes the play between the two legible. Vanna Venturi House IVb is perhaps the most subdued of the schemes. a stereotype of the gabled. the internal “duck” has a different proﬁle than its exterior shell. the seeds of the arguments of Complexity and Contradiction are present as a rethinking of the nine-square and four-square diagrams. plan. The central ﬁreplace is offset toward the projecting semi-circular termination of the interior volume. returning to a self-contained symmetry. displacing the ideal of the centralized hearth. after modernism. symmetrical. The ﬁreplace is no longer in the center of the four-square plan. Vanna Venturi House IVb. 1961. In this fourth project. The constant play between elements that are in reciprocal and symmetrical relationships in one reading and are displaced by another reading marks the beginning of what can be read as Venturi’s implied critique of any classical part-to-whole relationship. It is only in House V that the strategies animating the ﬁnal scheme appear. and it will become one of the signature ﬁgures of the ﬁnal house. shear off of the central axis in a yin-yang form. suddenly bends: this produces a third level of chamfering. A four-square parti is evident in the compact pairs of rooms ﬂanking the compressed central service spine. This compression is a thematic that will animate the ﬁnal scheme. 11.indd 135 4/9/2008 11:35:14 AM . Vanna Venturi House V. Yet there is a vestige of the nine-square organization. the “decorated shed” is made of isolated walls that wrap around an internal “duck” with what becomes. In the early plan studies. This semi-circular external enclosure softens the blunt form of the chamfered end. in that the paired ﬁreplaces are incorporated into a thickened band of services.
Moreover. model. 1962. While Venturi employs historical elements in plan and section. These changes all occur behind a complex facade notation—the articulation of a horizontal beam.136 Vanna Venturi House 12. This ﬁgure is simultaneously compressed by some internal vector pressing from the back to the front. As a centerpiece. In baroque architecture. he does so in a way that denies their historicity. Venturi had observed this aedicular motif in Rome. but now a faceted ﬁgure extends out to the left beyond what is clearly a four-square plan. Venturi’s critical reading of Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” can be discerned here: if the latter can be seen as layers of space compressed toward the rear of the building and away from the facade. This shape seems to extend into the exterior courtyard without any internal logic from the main volume. as a half-house. the pediment is broken. a fallen arch. compressed in the faceted ﬁgure of the stair/ﬁreplace. 1962. model. and will become a central feature of the ﬁnal project. what remains is only a part of a previously existing and implied whole as if House V were cut in half. This disjunction between the vertical plane Venturi Layout 02 08. then it is Venturi’s ﬁnal scheme. The resonances between Hejduk and Venturi reappear in this version: if the nine-square scheme of Hejduk’s Texas House had appeared in the ﬁrst scheme of the Vanna Venturi House. and a broken pediment involving an aedicular motif. the ﬁreplace both afﬁrms historical precedence and simultaneously denies this precedence. both of which are intended to be read from a prior condition of unity. of the house. the vertical cut on the facade bears little relation to the horizontal compression that appear in the interior. The compressive energy internal to the previous plans is registered in the ﬁreplace/stair element.indd 136 4/9/2008 11:35:15 AM . In the Vanna Venturi House. Vanna Venturi House IV. The exterior envelope of House V appears the same as that of IVb. and therefore questions the value of any historical precedent. Vanna Venturi House V. then the Vanna Venturi House articulates these compressive vectors in a thickened. The sixth version initially appears to have been divided in two: the previously semi-circular end becomes a quartercircle. condensed facade apparent in the ﬁnal plans. and the tripartite condition in the middle has vanished. 13. which has been relocated to a central position. the upward thrust of the aedicule is usually a voided condition. in Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole” as well as Carlo Rainaldi’s Santa Maria in Campitelli. but the upward thrust of the central ﬁreplace is both volumetric and a void. In the sixth and ﬁnal version of the Vanna Venturi House (VI). that seems to inﬂuence Hejduk’s subsequent Half-House and Quarter-House.
The treatment of the facade resembles Venturi’s notion of the decorated shed. A reading of the Vanna Venturi House requires a reading of its previous incarnations before any appreciation of its undecidable condition is possible. carries all of the energy of its earlier studies can rarely be sustained. The earlier schemes involving a nine. of the elements that evolved in the previous versions. The ﬁnal house is both more classical and less modern than the earlier projects. the heritage of this house is one where that evolution is constantly at odds. but rather allows the unreconciled differences of this project to remain legible. This is one of the ﬁrst American houses that can be read as process. but not all. the central diagonal rotation. the occupied center and the voided center. they merely attribute differing importance to different ideas. Most ﬁnal projects move to establish certain. the center and the edge—disappear with the clarity of the ﬁnal version’s articulation of a conceptual front and back to the house. and simultaneously its demand for a different kind of close reading than its formal predecessors. causing it to function as a mask. What is signiﬁcant in this respect is the purposeful extension of the facade as a surface denying any volumetric corner. But in neither case is one single dominant idea operating. and the horizontal space of the plan looks forward to the decorated shed of Venturi’s 1967 National Football Foundation Hall of Fame competition. For example. To attempt to argue that any ﬁnal project. much of the complexity of other versions of the Vanna Venturi House—the play between the tripartite and quadripartite. He combines the energy of the bent staircase. 1962. and ultimately remains undecidable. which extends and interweaves with the facade.or four-square parti deny the possibility of any resolution.Vanna Venturi House 137 14. in calling attention to the facade as simply that: a screen masking a shed. plan. the built building. but contains these within an exterior condition that highlights its own function as a screen. and the projective vectors.indd 137 4/9/2008 11:35:16 AM . Classical and modern tropes operate simultaneously. This single element conﬂates two of Venturi’s signature ideas. Such a close reading no longer produces a single formal whole. One version may not necessarily be better than the other. Other aspects of the design involve a gabled roof. and ges- Venturi Layout 02 08. This studied undecidability is one of the qualities that emphasizes the need for this project to be closely read. Many of Venturi’s houses that followed became rhetorical devices. Vanna Venturi House VI. references. and as such becomes an expression of the process of reading in the object.
and perhaps for Le Corbusier. the idea of the house carried the possibility of theoretical and critical weight.indd 138 4/9/2008 11:35:16 AM . This could be said for Palladio. and the possibility of manifesting ideologies other than that of merely a single-family house. Even in the late 1950s and early 1960s. of Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction. and many of the early modern architects.138 Vanna Venturi House tures which lack the inherent undecidability of the Vanna Venturi House. There is a truism in architecture that books are sometimes more important than buildings. Yet the Vanna Venturi House is a writing. in architectural terms. Le Corbusier. Loos. as it did for Mies. Venturi Layout 02 08. no American house or building before or after can make that claim.
Venturi Layout 02 08. elevations. Vanna Venturi House. ground-ﬂoor and upper-ﬂoor plans.indd 139 4/9/2008 11:35:17 AM .Vanna Venturi House 139 15.
The facade acts as a screen for the volume of the house. Venturi Layout 02 08. an indexical mark framing the opening.” The notational arch.140 Vanna Venturi House 16. is a classical resonance.indd 140 4/9/2008 11:35:17 AM . This motif similarly has resonances with the screenlike north facade of Luigi Moretti’s Casa “Il Girasole.
Vanna Venturi House 141 17.” a dialogue between the back and front facades is evident. Similar to the Casa “Il Girasole.indd 141 4/9/2008 11:35:18 AM . Venturi Layout 02 08. The half-round aedicular window in the rear facade and the split in the front facade play together. The aedicule appears in the slot in the front facade.
The front and rear facades of the Vanna Venturi House become screens or planes bracketing the interior space. Venturi Layout 02 08. The ﬁnal version of the house has returned to the classical idea of a front and a back.142 Vanna Venturi House 18. 19. and a wall on the other.indd 142 4/9/2008 11:35:19 AM . A center axis running laterally is deﬁned by a partition on one side.
indd 143 4/9/2008 11:35:19 AM . There is a ﬁgural compression against the front facade.Vanna Venturi House 143 20. The rear corners can be read as voided. Venturi Layout 02 08.
indd 144 4/9/2008 11:35:20 AM . The fusion of the ﬁreplace and stair elements registers important changes in each version of the house. Venturi Layout 02 08.144 Vanna Venturi House 21. central form. one that is cranked and bent in the ﬁnal project. This element becomes a single.
The staircase with the ﬁreplace causes space to be articulated as a series of centrifugal vectors. It is an index of the denial of function. The inclusion of a staircase that leads nowhere is signiﬁcant.Vanna Venturi House 145 22. Together the stair and ﬁreplace spiral upward and outward. Venturi Layout 02 08. generated by the most central ﬁreplace element in the house.indd 145 4/9/2008 11:35:20 AM .
middle. The facade is split into two parts.indd 146 4/9/2008 11:35:21 AM . 26 (Opposite page). The windows break the lower chair rail into sections. with the ﬂue off center. Venturi Layout 02 08. A ﬁve-part horizontal window plays between symmetry and asymmetry with its central bars. Sections cut across the width of the house reﬂect a compression toward the front facade and a thickened frontal datum. another fourpart square window is divided symmetrically. The lateral cross section shows the thickened poché deﬁning the vertical ﬁreplace sitting within a frame. and pediment. Both the broken arch of the facade and the arch on the rear facade reiterate the tripartite division between base.146 Vanna Venturi House 23–25.
indd 147 4/9/2008 11:35:22 AM .Vanna Venturi House 147 Venturi Layout 02 08.
Vanna Venturi House.148 Vanna Venturi House 27. Venturi Layout 02 08. exploded axonometric view.indd 148 4/9/2008 11:35:24 AM .
Vanna Venturi House 149 28. Vanna Venturi House. Venturi Layout 02 08.indd 149 4/9/2008 11:35:24 AM . exploded axonometric view.
axonometric view. Vanna Venturi House. ground ﬂoor and facade. Venturi Layout 02 08.150 Vanna Venturi House 29.indd 150 4/9/2008 11:35:24 AM .
front axonometric view.indd 151 4/9/2008 11:35:24 AM . Vanna Venturi House. Venturi Layout 02 08.Vanna Venturi House 151 30.
Venturi Layout 02 08. rear axonometric view.indd 152 4/9/2008 11:35:25 AM .152 Vanna Venturi House 31. Vanna Venturi House.
Venturi Layout 02 08.indd 153 4/9/2008 11:35:26 AM .
James Stirling and James Gowan. England. . 1959–63. Leicester Engineering Building.1. Leicester.
It can be said that this confrontation is manifest not only in the forms of the building. while in Italy after 1933. the English context immediately after World War II is signiﬁcant in understanding the critique of modernist abstraction embodied both materially and conceptually in the Leicester Engineering Building. under Mussolini. Postwar realism took different forms across continental Europe. for example. because of the refugees from Polish architectural schools. which remained under the sway of a prewar BeauxArts inﬂuence. architectural culture in England was profoundly affected by the war.6. modern architecture—in many cases even in the late 1920s—represented the aesthetics of the fascist regime. First. but also in its materiality. the context for architecture could essentially be called pragmatic. which was essentially a continental phenomenon with varying political aims. In France. and a radical program for urban change on the other. Material Inversions James Stirling. Le Corbusier. classical rhetoric. modern architecture maintained an unclear relationship between left and right. alternated between an entreaty to Mussolini and French Syndicalism on the one hand. 1959–63 James Stirling’s Leicester Engineering Building is one of the early postwar buildings to stage a confrontation between modernist abstraction and an incipient postmodern “reality” embodied in a material presence. this inﬂux would have particular inﬂuence on the young student . Leicester Engineering Building. In Germany in the 1920s. and monumentality. modernism was a left-oriented and Marxist-inspired movement. which initiates a critique of the modernist palette as orchestrated within an abstract framework. as in America. In England. England was relatively removed from prewar mainstream modern architecture. But unlike in the United States. which owe their paternity to the Modern Movement. and in this sense.
continued through his training and eventually jumped at Remagen Bridge. Nigel Henderson introduced his documentary photographs of the workingclass street. Rowe made a practice jump out of a plane during which his parachute did not open. James Stirling and Colin Rowe ﬁrst met while serving in the British army in Scotland at the Queen’s Barracks. many of whom had been active in the Modern Movement and introduced the school to Corbusian modernism and a form of Russian constructivism. Perth. site plan. Stirling. 3. “This is Tomorrow” brought together work by . The 1950s signaled a change in the climate for modernity in England as architects. 1959. Leicester Engineering Building. They would ﬁnd each other again after the war at the Liverpool School of Architecture. both Stirling and Rowe volunteered and joined the army parachute corps. the war clearly disrupted the education of an entire generation of students. In training. in 1942. Second. Rowe had begun his studies at Liverpool in 1939. but had radically changed with the inﬂux in 1938–39 of Polish refugees. and his back was broken. and sculptors focused on alternatives to modernist abstraction. the pop painter Richard Hamilton incorporated collaged imagery of contemporary consumer culture. artists. and Stirling completed his ﬁnal thesis project in 1949 under Rowe and the profound inﬂuence of Le Corbusier. which Stirling captured in a papier-mâché model of soap bubbles in the famous 1956 exhibition “This is Tomorrow. on the other hand. and the architects Peter and Alison Smithson used corrugated plastic and rough plywood for their Patio and Pavilion installation. When the war became critical after Dunkirk and the fall of France. axonometric. Collaborative efforts such as that of the Independent Group proclaimed an interest in everyday materials and an “as found” aesthetic. which had been a conservative school of architecture before the war.” The sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi showed work in raw iron materials and Cor-ten steel. Of that generation.156 Leicester Engineering Building 2. James Stirling. Rowe was his teacher. Leicester Engineering Building. 1959–63. By the time he returned to Liverpool in 1949.
An important later inﬂuence can be gathered from his article “‘The Functional Tradition’ and Expression” in Perspecta 6. New Brutalism was a reaction to the image of a comfortable British lifestyle and the Townscape movement. Some of the participants—including the Smithsons— were equally involved in a post-CIAM (Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne) group. It was oriented instead toward an idea ﬁgured in blunt materials and forms such as the Martello towers on the south coast of England. The impact of “This is Tomorrow” created an impetus not only toward pop. 1927. Another direction was pop art. If “This is Tomorrow” drew attention to the cozy comforts of the postwar British consumer culture. and would ultimately lead to the work of Cedric Price and Archigram in London during the 1960s. Le Corbusier. and the critic Reyner Banham).” This seemingly paradoxical inversion of the material qualities of solid and void became a theme that Stirling would develop more didac- . which developed in the work of Peter Blake. furniture. 1951. it was named “New Brutalism” by the critic for the Architectural Review. in turning attention to the material of the everyday—advertising. the street— the exhibition also led to several widely divergent offshoots. but also toward a tough form of neorealism. different in England from that of Italy. Here Stirling discussed Luigi Moretti’s plaster casts. One was in urban planning as envisioned by Gordon Cullen’s “Townscape” drawings. 5. The obvious materiality of these forms can in some sense be related to the role of materials in Italian realism. which resembled picture-postcard views of cities. As a member of the Independent Group. Melnikov. which created what Stirling called “solidiﬁed space. and Paolozzi as a celebration of technology. members of the self-styled Independent Group (which included architects Stirling. the Smithsons. Team Ten.Leicester Engineering Building 157 4. 1960. Maison Jaoul. Stirling was critical of Team Ten’s late modernist ideology. of which Stirling was aware. which was dedicated to reviving the principles of modern architecture after the war. Hamilton. Reyner Banham. Russakov Worker’s Club.
a profound critique of modern architecture. ofﬁce tower. which preﬁgured his conceptualization of an inversion of materials at Leicester. tically in his early works. including a series of ﬂats in Ham Common outside of London and a row house project in Preston. which he contrasted to the “neutralized” surfaces of Garches. Stirling noted that “it is disturbing to ﬁnd little reference to the rational principles which are the basis of the modern movement. “Garches to Jaoul. in its use of varied materials and a barrel vault. especially in the Maison Jaoul’s low.” and he saw in the Maison Jaoul not just a romantic or picturesque notion of postwar modern architecture but also. Stirling was also much taken with Le Corbusier’s reintroduction of materials. ofﬁce tower. In another context. Stirling emphasized the materiality of the Maison Jaoul.” in the Architectural Review. in some sense accommodating his “north country” origins.158 Leicester Engineering Building 6. Yet Stirling’s return to material was different from that of Le Corbusier . Leicester Engineering Building. but also his own reappraisal of postwar Le Corbusier. 7. Such attention to materials reﬂected not only Stirling’s interest in a tough realism. vaulted brick arches. which he described as almost primitive in character in his September 1955 article. Leicester Engineering Building.
9.” published in Perspecta 8. and the Saint Andrew’s Dormitory project in Scotland. Leicester Engineering Building. and his English contemporaries in that. the Florey Building at Queens College. Leicester Engineering Building. the Leicester Engineering Building is the most articulate in its critique of modernist abstraction. done in partnership with James Gowan. glass was conceived and used as a literal void as well as a phenomenal transparent material. 1963. as will be argued here. This critique is manifested in three different ways: ﬁrst. stair towers. which include the Cambridge History Faculty Library. In the Leicester . Oxford. marked a signiﬁcant change from their earlier work. as discussed by Colin Rowe and Robert Slutzky in their seminal article “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal. Of these four university commissions. in the use of modular ceramic units (brick and tile). workshops. Stirling used material both critically and conceptually. in the compositional organization of the building’s masses. Leicester is one of the ﬁrst manifold critiques of modernism and the ﬁrst in a series of Stirling’s major university buildings in England.Leicester Engineering Building 159 8. second. and third. in the use of glass. In modern architecture. Stirling’s Leicester Engineering Building.
All the surfaces which run vertically (denoting their nonstructural condition) are rendered in the drawing with vertical hatching. These are the addition of volumetric diamond-shaped elements. are the changes involving the idea of solidity in glass. workshops. these are rendered accurately. glass serves here as a positive integer in what has been called a textual sense. In the drawing. Contrasting with its implicit function as a negative or void in modernist architecture. and probably the most noticeable. volumetric. The drawing marks four signiﬁcant changes which will appear in the executed project. in other words. a reversal of the conception of glass’s materiality. In the drawing. Stirling’s drawings of the building illustrate the evolution of this treatment of glass from the ﬁrst early sketches to the ﬁnal building. The often published early axonometric drawing by Stirling is important in understanding the conceptual development of the material inversions. while in the executed tower. Leicester Engineering Building. A fourth change involves the actual material solids. and less obvious but no less signiﬁcant. Leicester Engineering Building. while the bearing-wall brick surfaces are rendered with horizontal hatching. from literal void to conceptual solid. A third and minor change occurs in the glass under the parallel (to the dominant grain of the building) lecture theater. and void is now to be read as more opaque. which form both levels of the laboratory roof. and solid. changes can be seen in the curtain wall element in the tower block. Engineering Building. denoting the difference between the ceramic and running bond brick. workshop roof. All of those taken together have the same effect: what was seen in modernist abstraction as transparent. glass is used to suggest that it functions conceptually both as a solid and volumetrically. Second. this element is ﬂush with the brick fascia above it (and actually recessed back from a vertical concrete element that is no longer present in the ﬁnal building). and the horizontal glass projections replacing the banded glass striations of the ofﬁce block. Leicester marks the movement of glass from void to solid. where the glass element underneath the theater now has chamfered corners. First.160 Leicester Engineering Building 10. 11. It is also necessary to look at some of the other aspects of the building to understand its . planar. the entire glass curtain wall is set forward of the brick fascia.
one of the stair cores is shaped to read as a prism. glass stairwell. The staircase becomes a ﬁgured element. which are not structural but appear volumetric and structural. yet in becoming a concrete haunch it supports another glass element which can also be read as volumetric. This stair core can be contrasted with a second stair encased primarily in clear glass. they are not treated as structural. There is a play between the glass elements. Here material inversions undermine conventional associations of structure: the transparent glass stair tower becomes a void that seems to hold up the large cantilevered mass of the auditorium. These tiles are laid end-to-end vertically. its lower portion is cut away to reveal a spiral stair clad in the same translucent glass and opaque metal panels as the stair tower. conceptual density. At the core of the building are two stair towers whose forms have chamfered corners. which are laid vertically and made to resemble a surface veneer. and the brick units. and glass as a volume that is clearly interrupted by and articulated around this concrete haunch. however. Leicester Engineering Building. 13. This volume is also supported by a concrete column that seems to run through the auditorium element. The stair towers are not the same height and thus produce something of a romantic skyline similar to that of Kahn’s towers in the Richards Medical Center. These numerous inversions may be considered textual rather than formal since they are less aesthetically or visually conditioned. since it projects forward of the tiled elements. revealing the corkscrew of a concrete staircase. spiral stair. For example. Leicester Engineering Building. This undecidable quality is reiterated in several details of the ofﬁce tower.Leicester Engineering Building 161 12. Such a play of materiality— . Chamfering and twisting are certain of Stirling’s strategies that suggest the glass again has become conceptually more solid than the concrete structure of the building. though these units have a real materiality and physical presence. The vertical gridding of the brick tile units on the stair towers is also signiﬁcant in Stirling’s inversion of the conventional qualities of material. glass as part of a continuous surface. twisting like a corkscrew and driving its way up through the ﬂoor surface. This didactic use of materials clearly demonstrates the difference between glass as a plane. while the metal-panelled stair tower—the solid—is cut away.
This constant displacement in meaning and function of materials provokes the need to read . Such inversions of materiality also continue throughout the workshop building: brick-tiled units are structural at the base. the “unreal” voids—are treated volumetrically. yet are surmounted by a concrete. one that moves its energy away from the center to the periphery. which suggests that the concrete element is ﬂoating over the brick. There is a second. a dynamic rotation that reveals the inﬂuence of Melnikov’s Russakov Worker’s Club in these two discrete volumes. It seems to slide or hover in an unstable position over the structure. which is extended and repeated over the entire roof. the organization of the volumes is centripetal. the “reality” of the void is articulated as a slot or cut-away—in other words. collapsing or being sucked down into the center of the volumetric massing. The diagonals of the ramps and beveled lecture hall volumes slant toward this center as they pivot about the central stair tower. diamond-shaped and translucent. while Stirling’s volumes are pinned by the towers. countermanding energy. in other words. that is. there is a lack of rotation in the composition of the projecting volume of the Russakov Club. The didactic character of Leicester is also manifest in its reversal of what could be considered a modernist idea of a centrifugal composition. The signiﬁcant differences between the two buildings must be registered: while Melnikov’s project proposes a collapse toward the center. as real space—while the representation of void in glass—in other words. which introduce a dynamic thrust downward. 1959–63. Stirling further emphasized the undecidable nature of these materials by producing over the shed building (workshops) a volumetric glass unit. lintel-like element above a reveal. making the glass staircase appear to support a massive volume while the concrete staircase is dematerialized into a spiraling vector—confounds the properties conventionally associated with each material. Melnikov’s volumes seem to ﬂoat free. while rotation is a primary characteristic of Leicester’s juxtaposed volumes.162 Leicester Engineering Building 14. At Leicester. Leicester Engineering Building. In this sense. section.
Thus. ground-ﬂoor and mezzanine plans. The implied ﬂows and forces in the volumes deny a static relationship between the viewer and the building. 1959–63. producing a building that is neither picturesque nor expressionist but rather deﬁnes a textual use of materials. In Leicester the sense of arrested rotation gives a sense of space and time that is no longer merely formal as a dominant mode of discourse. Leicester Engineering Building. stasis. . denies the traditional architectural interpretations of facade. and literal materiality.Leicester Engineering Building 163 15. Leicester. materials as conceptual rather than phenomenal physical integers. in its numerous inversions.
ofﬁces. auditoria. These rotating elements produce a centripetal thrust downward. stair towers. .164 Leicester Engineering Building 16. The central tower of lobbies. The Leicester Engineering Building is articulated as an assemblage of component elements—atria. similar to the directionality implied by the chamfered glass units and beveled volumes of the laboratory building. elevator and stairs acts as a vertical fulcrum around which the masses of the building rotate. lab towers and workshops— each remaining separate from the other and treated volumetrically.
The stair tower is cut vertically at the corners and undercut at the top. Stirling’s use of chamfered corners in both glass and masonry units reveals these elements to be conceptually solid and volumetric. 18.Leicester Engineering Building 165 17. thereby rendering them volumetric in both axes. .
166 Leicester Engineering Building 19. and lab towers. . ofﬁce. interior spatial diagram of auditorium. Leicester Engineering Building.
.Leicester Engineering Building 167 20. Leicester Engineering Building. diagram of circulation and stair towers.
Leicester Engineering Building.168 Leicester Engineering Building 21. . diagram of glass elements.
Leicester Engineering Building 169 22. Leicester Engineering Building. diagram showing the structural elements. .
Leicester Engineering Building. .170 Leicester Engineering Building 23. worm’s-eye axonometric view.
ground ﬂoor. Leicester Engineering Building.Leicester Engineering Building 171 24. axonometric view. .
172 Leicester Engineering Building 25. lobby ﬂoor. axonometric view. . Leicester Engineering Building.
Leicester Engineering Building 173 26. fourth ﬂoor. Leicester Engineering Building. axonometric view. .
. Leicester Engineering Building. axonometric view.174 Leicester Engineering Building 27. ninth ﬂoor.
Leicester Engineering Building 175 28. Leicester Engineering Building. axonometric view. . roof from north-east.
. axonometric view. Leicester Engineering Building.176 Leicester Engineering Building 29. roof from south-east.
Aldo Rossi. 1979. . Composition with saint and the Modena cemetery.1.
just after the end of World War II. Texts of Analogy Aldo Rossi. with necrophilia as one of its central metaphors. Cemetery of San Cataldo.” yet curiously enough was published in English as The Blue of Noon. which translates as “the blue of the sky. the Cemetery of San Cataldo is both a political and architectural critique of modernism in which the ideas broached in Rossi’s book The Architecture of the City ultimately take physical form in the partial realization of the cemetery. It is therefore not without some relevance that Aldo Rossi’s competition project for the Cemetery of San Cataldo in Modena was entered under the title “The Blue of the Sky. The book was actually written in May of 1935. Rossi’s critique of modernism is located in the grim reality of postwar Italy and its multiple reactions to the fascist monumentality in aspects of Italian modernism. but also emerges as a polemical statement drawn from postwar literature signaling the political exhaustion of modernism. Unlike Rossi’s earlier projects or those which became more illustrative at the end of his career. the only hope is the ever-present but mockingly distant and unachievable blue of the sky. instead.7. set during the general strike in Spain and rise of Nazism. Its plot. Rossi’s project is also a metaphor for the futility of redemption in the sanctuary. In the project for the Cemetery of San Cataldo.” Its ossuary is an empty walled cube reminiscent of the stark geometries of a De Chirico painting or those of Ernesto Lapadula’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana at the Esposizione Universale di Roma planned for 1942. 1971–78 In 1945. is a metaphor for the hopelessness of the left’s ideology in the face of the oncoming world war. One such reaction took form in the escapist aesthetic . Georges Bataille published a book titled Le Bleu du Ciel. the metaphor not only derives from the typological explorations of Rossi’s analogical drawings.
as Pier Vittorio Aureli describes in discussing the terms of Rossi’s “realist education. A documentary attention to everyday life and an abundance of details were among the mimetic techniques used to produce the “realistic” effects of neorealism. 1967. Rossi’s critique of the modernist canon—of both the abstractions of late modernism and the monumentality of fascist Italy—could be considered most evident in his drawings and his important ﬁrst book. 3. A second reaction was manifest in Italian neorealist ﬁlm of the same period. This mimicking of historical forms resulted in an architecture whose neorealist effect was marked by a nostalgic quality. are among the few of Rossi’s realized buildings in this period that integrate his critique of abstraction with his interest in typology. . and scale. This was countered by another form of realist thought which worked against the grain of neorealism’s descriptive effects. Central Business District proposal. Rossi’s concept of realism departs from neorealism’s humanist values. In his early work and writings. of the neoliberty style. 1962 . evocative materiality. Neorealism involved a double mimesis in architecture. The Cemetery of San Cataldo at Modena. and a type of softness to counter both the harshness of modernist abstraction and the overblown imperial scale of Italian fascism. and perhaps to a similar degree his Gallaratese housing complex.” and turns a new critical attention to what Rossi considered to be the “facts” of the city. when extended to architecture. analogy. Study for the Segrate Monument. For example. published in 1966. Rossi initiates a critique of the scenographic effects of neorealism by pointing toward a more structuralist notion of realism in architecture that is grounded in typological studies. The Architecture of the City. reﬂected the climate of the Italian liberation and its turn away from modernist abstraction. Neoliberty called for a return to patterned ﬁguration. referring to Italy’s ties to England in the late nineteenth century and adopting the name “Liberty” after the English manufacturer of Art Nouveau fabrics. Neorealism is a term derived from literature and ﬁlm and. Turin.180 Cemetery of San Cataldo 2. the rebuilding of the Tiburtino district in Rome during the early 1950s produced buildings that were new by necessity but also needed to resemble the product of historical sedimentation.
account for their permanence within the history of the city. isosceles triangles. as well as on modernist buildings such as Mies’s Seagram Building and Le Corbusier’s La Tourette.Cemetery of San Cataldo 181 4. Another critique of modernism in architecture was represented at the time by the magazine Casabella. Yet. which consisted of a giant four-sided square. cubic. the juxtaposition of scales becomes an important theme. as well as in competition projects for monuments in Cuneo and Segrate. 1969–73. Venturi and Rossi also shared an interest. be they functional. under Ernesto Rogers’ direction. Gallaratese 2. these artefacts can . or symbolic. In addition to critical writings. Rossi published The Architecture of the City before any of his work had been built. such as housing. The cubic form of his Turin project and the extruded trian- gular form on a circular column for his Segrate Monument to the Partisans exemplify his interest in forms reduced to their geometric archetypes. Milan. In Rossi’s analysis. In the Turin project. The most famous of these was the project for a regional government center in Turin. Rossi instead adopts an analytic method to isolate what he considered the city’s urban artefacts. much like Robert Venturi’s publication of Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. These early works also deploy pure geometrical forms—circles. and squares—which are extruded to form cylindrical. which. included many of Rossi’s early articles on Adolf Loos and Louis Kahn. where Venturi’s populist embrace of the city and its hallmark strip includes its temporary signage in the city’s symbolic language. in describing the irreducibility of the city to any of modernism’s totalizing visions. a megabuilding on giant columns spaced 100 meters apart with a vast square courtyard in the center. such as monuments. Such urban artefacts include elements of the city whose continuities. and triangular structures. Rossi placed this massive form outside of the city of Turin as a new kind of over-sized civic marker. Rossi’s early work as an architect included his participation in several competitions. Such forms would reappear in the Cemetery of San Cataldo competition in different guises. published the same year. before Venturi completed any major built work. new at the time and expressed in theoretical postulates.
Courtyard and tower. Rowe’s idea of set piece. in Rowe’s terms. taken out of its original context and reinserted into a new context. As one of the books that was critical in rethinking the relationship of architecture and the city. 1973. Rowe gave a value to origin. 6. and inserted them into other contexts in a strategy that resembles Piranesi’s Campo Marzio project. while Piranesi maintains the juxtaposition of elements without being beholden to an idea of the whole. “set pieces” of the city. Piranesi assigns no value to the existing context and creates set pieces with no a priori context as a grounding idea. ﬁrst published in 1978. or origin. also be considered catalysts for new buildings. Yet Rowe’s and Piranesi’s strategies differ in respect to the value of origins.182 Cemetery of San Cataldo 5. Rossi’s The Architecture of the City shares some similarities with Colin Rowe’s book Collage City. meaning. Fagnano. like a rotunda or a square or even a mega-building like the Hofburg in Vienna. Instead of set pieces. In Collage City. or . and therefore any urban project had to respond to these pre-existing or. Domestic Architecture with Monuments. denying a singular narrative. linked contextualism to the idea of collage. 1974. Rowe selected such set pieces. Detail. Rowe’s method of collage reuses preexisting meaningful fragments. A fundamental premise of Collage City is that what existed—the buildings embodying the history of architecture—had an intrinsic value and could be considered truthful as well as foundational. Rossi’s approach could be likened to that of Piranesi in terms of retaining a tension between urban elements. This dialectic of permanence and growth deﬁnes Rossi’s understanding of the city as occupying different moments in time and suggests that the urban artefact records diachronic moments and histories. fragments. yet it is their differences that are important. Whereas Rowe assigns an a priori value to what exists and adds structures to reinforce this concept.
Rossi was perhaps the ﬁrst postwar architect to reintroduce the notion of typology in architecture. Rossi uses iconic forms but strips them of their iconicity through . Rossi envisioned typology as standard elements that were scaleless and only meaningful when understood in a particular context. For Peter Eisenman.Cemetery of San Cataldo 183 7. Studio. The issue of repetition was also important in minimalist sculpture as a critique of narrative—the repeated series lacks beginning. Rossi rethought the entire notion of typology developed in the nineteenth century by J. The process of reduction is identiﬁed in Rossi’s typological analysis as the study of types of urban elements distilled to their most simple geometric form. and end—and as a critique of origin. suggesting that the city is given form by a repetition of certain archetypal elements or urban artefacts. 1978. This produced geometric ﬁgures with a level of ﬁguration unlike the abstract entities of modernism and unlike the contextual character of Rowe’s urban fragments. Rossi conceived of the city as an ensemble of typological elements. middle. This idea of typology raised the issue of repetition. as the individual or starting unit is subsumed by other identical units. Durand as a series of type conditions for certain buildings. 1980. In this operation. collaged elements of the city.N. The repetition of an urban artefact destabilizes the relationship between these elements and their perceived aesthetic and functional value as cultural icons. whose simple geometries could be read as the result of removing their layers of historical accretions. Detail. In attacking the tradition of typology related to function as well as to the formal. He reintroduced instead a typology which dealt not only with the problem of scale but also with the problem of meaning. Rossi used type as an analytical instrument with which to generate form as well as to generate a critique of modernist abstraction. 8.L.
The image of the building on giant pilotis is one that Rossi repeats both in drawings and in buildings such as the Gallaratese housing project and subsequently in the Modena cemetery. Rossi’s drawings also combine aspects of the Modena project into new relationships with the city: Modena’s conical shrine resembles an industrial tower. Rossi achieves shifts in scale in several different ways. form. when the top is removed from the pot. in that they do not conform to a single idea nor to any manifestation of reality. nor are they examples of metaphysical or surreal content like De Chirico’s urban landscapes. these objects of domestic use. his ﬂoating theater for the 1980 Venice Biennale. Rossi’s drawings are also a locus for his critique of contextualism. Gallaratese’s heavy pilotis return in a number of drawings. as is suggested in the drawing called Domestic Architecture. Other drawings equate the punched-out square windows of Modena’s cubic ossuary to those of a house. and thus estranged from any classical concept of a partto-whole unity. architectural elements such as pilotis. in an interior as well as in a cityscape. a technique that undermines the aura and uniqueness of architectural elements. such as lighthouses or the giant ﬁgure of a saint. from the hills outside of Turin. they can potentially be deployed as textual elements. His drawings. Rossi suggests that familiar objects have their own autonomous condition inscribed in their type. Rossi’s urban artefacts could exist at any scale. goblet and coffeepot in the center. black windows. along with the fork and the spoon. the mortar-and-pestlelike elements enter Rossi’s vocabulary as a means of describing an estrangement through scale. Modena’s square cruciform window forms the backdrop for an arcade reminiscent of the Gallaratese housing block. and when juxtaposed with the coffeepot. for example. all of which are household items.184 Cemetery of San Cataldo repetition. in their ﬁgured condition. and scale. to disappear into the city: the table top becomes the ground and the coffeepot becomes a building. When these elements are taken out of their aesthetic and functional context. If a lighthouse is a coffeepot at one scale and a coffeepot is a lighthouse at another scale. and between the familiarity of objects which breaks down conventions that are attached to meaning. While the drawing seems to present a table top with a cup. There is a play between the real and the abstract. In Rossi’s painting of the courtyard of Fagnano. register both the dislocation of place through the repetition of typological elements. capture Rossi’s questioning of scale related to typology. and white surfaces of structures within Rossi’s drawings have De Chirico-esque characteristics. are not intended as artwork. the domestic object becomes an architectural form that reappears as Rossi’s Teatro del Mondo. Drawings. yet his concept of typology remains resolutely open-ended. His play with scale allows the table. types drawn from domestic environments are envisaged at architectural scales. between the scale of objects. and occupies the same landscape as an archetypal Tower of Babel. continue to defamiliarize the sense of a unitary urban scale. In these drawings there are recurring formal themes: types based on Platonic forms are scaleless. they are a cri- . Other elements. placed in different contexts. abstraction. It is when these elements are taken out of a real or built context that they become both analogic and textual. One of Rossi’s ﬁrst buildings to deploy this shift of scale and repetition of elements is his Gallaratese housing project. While the deep shadows. Their visual importance is undermined through repetition of archetypal elements that have no ﬁxed or determinate scale. Rossi’s drawings are analogic as well as textual. and the dissolution of scale through the introduction of domestic objects into the urban environment. for Rossi. in both drawing and building—for example. whose colonnade is less a classical organization than it is a repetition of typical elements.
1971. yet strips the windows of the elements—the frames. In the drawings that Rossi submitted for his competition entry. Rossi maintains the formal condition of the house through the use of a pitched roof and windows. yet plays off of its position as an addition to a cemetery complex comprising a small Jewish cemetery and the existing Costa cemetery. As an emptied opening. which sets into play the vertical and . Cemetery of San Cataldo. Rossi’s cemetery also draws on Enlightenment models such as Fischer von Erlach’s cemetery and Boullée’s funerary monuments. the conception of the cemetery as a series of parts becomes clear: rows of columbaria and objectlike ossuaries are the locus for the symbolic burning of the bodies. In the project’s columbaria blocks. The existing cemeteries—the campo santo (holy ground)—are traditionally enclosed by an external wall. Modena. One of Rossi’s decisions involved using a wall to join the cemeteries. yet transposes the themes of life and death through the symbol of the house. Rossi’s project for the Cemetery of San Cataldo engages aspects of its context without resorting to a contextualist strategy.Cemetery of San Cataldo 185 9. The Cemetery of San Cataldo project focuses the energy of Rossi’s drawings and the ideas in The Architecture of the City to render the cemetery as another type of city. tique of architecture that cannot be made in the medium of architecture itself. mullions. and sections. and the columbaria and ossuaries blend the typologies of house and memorial. and glass—which signify occupation. The “town square” occupying the center of the cemetery houses the artefacts culled from the interchangeably urban and domestic realms: the conical shrine recalls the coffeepot as well as the industrial tower. elevations. the windows of the columbaria instead register absence. Composition with plans.
The facade in Loos’s case . when it is not the right size—then one is in the presence of architecture. aligning and slipping out of alignment with different portions of the plan. Another relationship presented at Rossi’s Cemetery of San Cataldo relates to scale. these. both of the city and of the individual building. Cemetery of San Cataldo. Rossi’s strategy differs slightly from Le Corbusier’s and is more akin to that in Adolf Loos’s house projects. the U-shaped columbaria leading down a central axis to the conical shrine. columbarium interior. but have nothing to do with religious symbol- ism. While Rossi’s plan also responds in its geometric order to the Jewish cemetery. Therefore an excess in the relationship signiﬁes architecture as an excess in relationship to the functionality of the object. Yet Rossi’s plan rethinks Le Corbusier’s utopian gesture within the context of a more problematic relationship of drawing to building. its multiple misalignments further disrupt the classic idea of a part-to-whole relationship. and the enclosing structures with pitched roofs—many of which can be considered traditional Rossian elements. columbarium exterior. The competition drawings of the Modena cemetery depict the symmetrical axis with an entrance arcade leading to the cubic ossuary. horizontal axes of the traditional Roman town.186 Cemetery of San Cataldo 10. 11. in which the exterior of the house was conceived as different and separate from the interior. become typological elements deployed without scale and without the context of a single place or time. too. The plan of Rossi’s cemetery project can be read as a diptych with the existing Costa cemetery. The context of the idea of Le Corbusier’s plan as generator is called into question as Rossi puts both sectional and perspectival elevations into the plan. Le Corbusier suggested that when a window is too large or too small for a room— that is. This critique is proposed through a single element: the window. which grids the cemetery complex. Alternatively. The confusion of symbols between the sacred and profane is part of the textual nature of the project. These reappear within the context of the cemetery project. Cemetery of San Cataldo. and instead become urban secular symbols brought into a sacred burial ground. and bears both symmetrical and asymmetrical relationships to this context. the cemetery project can be seen to take the theme of the enclosure of ﬁgured objects from Le Corbusier’s Mundaneum project.
columns. Only the heavy outline of Rossi’s drawings attest to another sensibility. Thus the actual facade plane of the building is not to be read as the exterior of a building. from which one can read the slightly smaller frame of the exterior window. in that the wall thickness houses the square slots for urns. a relationship reiterated by windows with a cruciform subdivision. Moreover. similar to a cubist still life. Many of the drawings are partial plan views rendered as ﬂattened. but rather as the exterior facade enclosure of the public space. This play of scale articulates an idea about a disjunction in the relationship between facade-part and public spacewhole in terms of the city. Cemetery of San Cataldo. The window functions as both the outside and inside of urban scale: the exterior scale of the window differs from that of its interior. This distortion of scale indicates that the room can be read as having been tacked onto the facade of the square. The drawings are diagrams and the buildings. where the standard square window is sized in relationship to the scale of the square outside rather than for the room within. and that of the cruciform subdivision. even though it was never built or completed as drawn. the dimension of these square spaces is related to that of the window. with the square window as an insert. The legible change in dimension between inner and outer windows is poignant. 13. Cemetery of San Cataldo. with stucco surfaces. for which it is too large. The multiple scales at which the square operates are legible as a honeycombed effect. niches. that of the Tuscan farmhouse. reproducing the windows at many different scales. one-point perspective views. Rossi also developed a similar strategy at Gallaratese. Modena is important as much for its drawings as it is for the building. was a double-sided membrane that articulated the urban scale of the city on one side and the domestic scale of the house on the other. The punched square window openings that reappear in the Modena cemetery similarly question the relationship of part-to-whole. yet in this context the window becomes a register of a space of absence and emptiness. ossuary. The window becomes the register of several repetitions: that of the square form. The square opening punched into the wall is a traditional type of window. and pitched roof. in many . columbarium. Rossi also introduces an uncanny effect produced by other typologies—for example.Cemetery of San Cataldo 187 12.
Rossi’s title “The Blue of the Sky” speaks of a condition in which the sacredness of the ground has disappeared—dissolved. of plan and window. Its most important moment is in the Modena cemetery. . The drawings of the analogous cities contain the primary elements. a counterpoint to rationalist logic. section. and elevation are all deployed in a ﬂattened treatment in the drawing.188 Cemetery of San Cataldo cases. and ultimately textual. a work that can be seen as sited between drawing and building. The analogical method attempts to understand the city from its urban artefacts. or perhaps even Palladio. Modena’s physical buildings are powerful in their austerity and reticence. “L’architettura analoga. in some sense—into the vast emptiness of the sky.” Rossi draws on Jung’s notion of analogical thought as archaic. the plan. The shadows become important as the sole indicator of relief. who redrew all of his buildings late in life. as if describing an interchangeability of ground and sky. In this sense. thus undecidable. Whether the architecture of the Cemetery of San Cataldo resonates in the same way as the drawing is an issue in much of Rossi’s work. In his essay. Certain of Rossi’s drawings for the cemetery depict the ground plane becoming a skylight. can be seen as a summation of a Rossian trope: the frame within the frame within the frame. it is possible to say that building is a representation of an idea ﬁrst proposed in a drawing. The interrelatedness of these frames is textual as opposed to visual in nature. are built as illustrations of the drawings. not illustrations of or metaphors for architecture. and thereby removes architecture from a historical form of logic to another condition of logic. also points toward the development of what Rossi would call his Citta analoga or Analogous City of 1976. Rossi said that to understand his drawings it is necessary to read the text of The Architecture of the City. If analogous thought for Rossi is an interior monologue. and practically inexpressible in words. The Modena project. especially the drawings. the special places (or loci) similar to the written ideas presented in his text. Drawings then become another means of architectural thought. which could be considered textual. playing on associations related to typology and analogical forms. unconscious. set within the wall of square burial niches. which are elements from different places and different times. For example. It could be argued that the portion of the Cemetery of San Cataldo that was built is not as deeply evocative of the ideas that exist in the drawings of the cemetery. the monuments. then it also offers the possibility of understanding architecture as the product of a process of reasoning from parallel cases. As in the work of John Hejduk or Daniel Libeskind. The movement from Modena’s competition drawings to its built components and subsequently to the Citta analoga drawings suggests that the relationship from drawn idea to built form is recursive. their primitive structural systems and cruciform windows.
Modena. persectival sections. and elevations for the columbarium. Plan. 1971. .Cemetery of San Cataldo 189 14. Cemetery of San Cataldo.
. these two cemeteries ﬂank the smaller Jewish cemetery. neoclassical framework. and utopian modernist schemes like that proposed. While Rossi’s San Cataldo project becomes part of an entire cemetery complex. Yet the organization of Rossi’s project can also be read as bi-nuclear about two main volumes (the cube and the cone). Rossi’s cemetery can be seen as a diptych with the preexisting Costa cemetery (on the right-hand side). pyramid. The organization of Rossi’s Cemetery of San Cataldo responds to an existing cemetery complex in Modena. Rossi’s San Cataldo establishes a distinct difference from the existing cemeteries. which has a central axis with square. This symmetry is reiterated in the symmetry of the Rossi scheme. While the areas within the walled enclosures of Rossi’s San Cataldo and the Costa cemetery are roughly the same size. The project’s symmetry and use of Platonic forms recalls the Italian ideal cities. as well as cemeteries by Ledoux and funerary monuments by Boullée and Fischer von Erlach. for example. in Le Corbusier’s Mundaneum project. and conical structures in its center. The original site plan is important in the context of questioning part-to-whole relationships. There is an impression of symmetry about the hinge of the Jewish cemetery centered between the San Cataldo and Costa cemeteries. producing a constant play between symmetry and asymmetry. it can also be characterized in terms of its dislocation from its speciﬁc context. Rossi’s San Cataldo cemetery is gridded by vertical and horizontal axes.190 Cemetery of San Cataldo 15. which recall the cardo and decumanus of the traditional Roman city. The project can thus be seen as a palimpsest of Roman town. which functions as a hinge.
both vertically and horizontally.Cemetery of San Cataldo 191 16. aligns through the Jewish cemetery with the major cross axis of the Rossi project. The central axis of the Costa cemetery. yet not with the dimensions of the top and bottom of the Costa cemetery. . what can be viewed as eight squares gridding the cemetery space (the four central spaces being true squares. which is the dominant cross-axial circulation of the plans. an axis not located in the center of the interior space of the Rossi project. Rossi’s Cemetery of San Cataldo project is aligned along the top and bottom with the Jewish cemetery. the four peripheral spaces being less than squares). but which runs across the bottom third of the internal divisions. The midpoint of the Costa cemetery articulates.
which have no identiﬁable front or back. which effectively mixes different typologies in combining different characteristics from different moments in time. This exterior U-shape is then repeated in the interior of the space as the single scaffold organizing each of the symbolic elements along the central axis. Rossi confounds the idea of the Siedlung by adding a pitched roof. it is articulated as a ﬂattened three-sided U-shape with a top element distinguished from the U-shape with small gaps between the building blocks. This repetition of the outer U-shape and an inner U-shape maintains a tension between elements. More speciﬁcally. as each side is identical. . The questioning initiated by buildings at different scales challenges conventional typologies and prevents a single reading of the object. The exterior rectangular block recalls the Siedlung (housing blocks) by Ludwig Hilberseimer.192 Cemetery of San Cataldo 17. Rossi’s project for the Cemetery of San Cataldo appears to be a complete rectilinear enclosure.
. while reminiscent of the voided cube of Rossi’s Turin project. lacking functional windows and a roof. Rossi is clearly interested in the restoration of ﬁgure. In the Cemetery of San Cataldo the voided cube. also bears a relationship to his Cuneo monument and serves a similar function as a monument to war dead. but one of ambiguous scale and function. Rossi also describes the voided cube as an abandoned house.Cemetery of San Cataldo 193 18. The square and cube are repeated at various scales throughout the project. from the large scale of the building to the individual scales of the ossuaries and the smaller scale of the squares of the cruciform windows.
. roof plan. Cemetery of San Cataldo. axonometric view.194 Cemetery of San Cataldo 19.
Cemetery of San Cataldo 195 20. ossuaries and columbaria. axonometric view. . Cemetery of San Cataldo.
columbaria and ossuary entry sequence. Cemetery of San Cataldo.196 Cemetery of San Cataldo 21. .
.Cemetery of San Cataldo 197 22. ossuary. axonometric view. Cemetery of San Cataldo.
Cemetery of San Cataldo. culminating in the conical monument.198 Cemetery of San Cataldo 23. . ascending ossuaries ﬂank the central axis.
. Ofﬁce for Metropolitan Architecture/Rem Koolhaas. Paris. Jussieu Libraries.1. 1992–93.
as a conceptual armature in a series of projects leading up to the Jussieu Libraries. said that architecture is viewed in a state of distraction. because in section the project implies a continuity between the ground and the roof. Much of Rem Koolhaas’s earliest work explores the diagram as a symbolic form. the New York Athletic Club becomes symbolic of a discontinuous formal diagram. Koolhaas uses the void. such as the Seattle Public Library or the Casa da Musica in Porto. This sectional continuity denies the ground as a datum by suggesting that the ground is conceived as a malleable fabric. Jussieu Libraries. that it marks an inﬂection point in Koolhaas’s shift from a symbolic to an iconic diagram. While architects such as Luigi Moretti sought to solidify the void. which is conceived as an inversion of poché. Koolhaas instead seeks to capture its energy by conceptualizing . It can be argued that Koolhaas’s 1992 project for the Jussieu Libraries takes a position between these two types of diagrams—that is. second. then the iconic building so prevalent today may reﬂect this condition. perhaps to a tendency to treat the diagram as an icon. Le Corbusier’s Palais des CongrèsStrasbourg will be seen to be an important precedent for Jussieu. capable of being pulled up to meet the roof. privileges the idea of an iconic diagram in that the realized form of the building has a visual similitude to its diagram of functions. and that this movement is registered through a critique of the diagrams of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. Strategies of the Void Rem Koolhaas. However. in his famous and oft-quoted remark. 1992–93 If Walter Benjamin.8. In seeking to produce a diagram that is differentiated from that of Le Corbusier without resorting to classical poché. This prominence of iconic buildings relates to two factors: ﬁrst. for example. a tendency to apply the iconic diagram directly to the problem of generating form. much of his recent work.
the void as a latent force contained between layers of solid ﬂoors.” Void thus becomes poché. 3. 1946. For Koolhaas. the expansion of which had been initially truncated by the student uprisings of May 1968. at least in concept. Marseilles. 1991. The split subject is no longer considered a fragmentary part of a whole. as a cutting into both the building and urban fabric. Koolhaas belongs to a generation of architects who describe being powerfully affected by the events of 1968 and the literary and cultural theories generated in its wake. this chapter argues that the project conceives the void not only as a critique of modernist precedents. this image suggests that the surface is malleable and pliable.202 Jussieu Libraries 2. Jacques Lacan’s notion of the split subject and the development of the conscious subject as a function of its projected/ reﬂected image suggests a different idea of partto-whole in the context of the subject/object relationship. a traditional part-to-whole relationship. For example. and the concept of “wholeness” becomes increasingly untenable. Paris. Koolhaas. Mission Grande Axe. In adapting Koolhaas’s title to “Strategies of the Void” for an analysis of the Jussieu Libraries. “Strategy of the Void” is the title of Koolhaas’s statement for his Très Grande Bibliothèque competition entry (1989). A second aspect of Koolhaas’s strategy of the void involves creating situations which introduce a voyeuristic gaze and in which the voided space both blocks direct vision and reveals supposedly hidden elements. drawing on structuralist and poststructuralist theory. voids carved out of the information solid. Unité d’Habitation. presents a didactic image of a hand lifting up a corner of the ground. La Defense. The post-1968 generation engaged in a different idea of the part-to-whole dialectic. OMA. These challenged the humanistic notion of the subject and the modernist notion of the object as a part of a rational whole. Koolhaas frames the Jussieu project in the context of its Paris university campus. and Stirling. that it is no longer speciﬁcally related . While the work of a prior generation. including Venturi. like Le Corbusier before him. in which he describes the library as a solid stack from which volumes are carved: “The major public spaces are deﬁned as absences of building. which reﬂected alternative ways to view the subject. but also as a means to rethink the relationship between the subject and the object of architecture. and ultimately to suggest another form of close reading. Le Corbusier. used strategies of fragmentation and materiality to critique the modernist idea of the whole. Rossi.” and in that sense maintains. the fragment cannot help but to recall an absent “whole.
More importantly. whose stacked functional layers happen to be physically contiguous. a hidden aspect of its infrastructure is revealed as an underlying object. While it could be argued that the Très Grande Bibliothèque’s nine main columns are organizing elements. With his ﬁrst book. This is a clear echo of the New York Athletic Club’s discrete programmatic layers linked by the elevator. not as a series of free plans. Koolhaas presents a radical conception of an architecture using the New York Athletic Club as a model. also appears in Koolhaas’s entry for the 1982 Parc de La Villette competition in Paris. Parc de La Villette model. yet there is neither functional need nor meaning in their physical contiguity.Jussieu Libraries 203 4. the park is depicted as a series of horizontal programmatic strips. This leads Koolhaas to suggest that not only the isolated building but also the ﬁeld of the city can be rethought. In envisioning the ground plane as a series of strips. but is rather a diagram symbolic of the dismantling of the traditional physical contiguity of part-to-whole relationships. but in pragmatic and not theoretical terms. section. La Villette’s didactic plan places a strip of theme parks next to a strip of playgrounds. 5. It is not a traditional diagram of function. The library is conceived in section. New York Athletic Club. and that it partakes in a vertical continuum. in lifting up the city’s fabric. but as a vertical stacking of differentiated horizontal planes that do not share a contiguity of program from one level to the other. Koolhaas suggests that the presence of the elevator denies the need for contiguous functional relationships in a skyscraper such as the New York Athletic Club. Such a diagram. One of Koolhaas’s most diagrammatic projects. These functional conditions do not require such contiguous spatial relationships. OMA. Koolhaas’s La Villette proposal breaks with a ﬁgure/ground urbanism to propose a montage of programmatic lateral bands linked by the strong vertical of a proposed promenade. one that presents what can be called contiguous discontinuity. to the ground. beginning with the very distribution of the ground itself. the New York Athletic Club diagram proposes an idea of discontinuity in its questioning of traditional functional adjacency relationships. these columns are not . Paris. which further develops Koolhaas’s diagram of contiguous discontinuity in the section of the building. 1978. This denial of the ground as a datum begins to appear in Koolhaas’s project for the Très Grande Bibliothèque in 1993. For Koolhaas. Delirious New York (1978). Only the structural grid links the ﬂoors. 1982. and a strip of discovery gardens beside a strip of museums.
However. which distinguishes the project’s back from the front and differentiates the front from the sides. the sectional space becomes modulated where the ground rises substantially in the section. which disappear and reappear randomly. Koolhaas denies the thematic of the columns. In . but rather becomes a matrix of volumes that do not obey any horizontal datum. While the Maison Dom-ino located the individual in relationship to a larger context. The 1990 project for a convention center at Agadir. Agadir presents an intermediary step between the Très Grande Bibliothèque and the Jussieu Libraries. Instead of a horizontal continuum there are three possible sectional interpretations: one. two. depending on how they intersect with the walls. or holes that punch through walls. as in Crown Hall and the National Gallery in Berlin. This structural system also could be seen as a critique of Mies’s umbrella diagram. OMA. This condition is one not so much of ﬂoor levels. Très Grande Bibliothèque. Koolhaas places the truss under the building. there remains a formal perimeter condition that is maintained in a classi- cal frontispiece. these voids capture the ﬁgured energy of the project. horizontal cuts. competition model. while the circulation is treated as a series of ﬁgured objects. Morocco. Rather than the ﬂoors. The spaces for the library stacks of the Très Grande Bibliothèque are organized around the structure with a discontinuity reminiscent of La Villette. 1998. Large Xshaped columns at the base of the Très Grande Bibliothèque create a giant truss that supports the building. Whereas Mies hung his buildings off of a truss. thematic of a free plan in that they do not provide a regular backdrop for the ﬁguration of free forms. presents a critique of the horizontal extension of space proposed by Le Corbusier with his Maison Dom-ino diagram. the ground becomes modulated. and plans never disrupt the clear geometric boundary of the building’s edge. it is the elements of circulation which are given form—and as cuts in the ﬂoors. Paris. Koolhaas establishes the interrelationship of individuals as a kind of free play of the individual in space and time. and three. the horizontal is no longer a continuum. reversing Mies’s umbrella diagram. The ﬁgured energies of the project’s diagonals. much like Le Corbusier’s ramp at Strasbourg.204 Jussieu Libraries 6.
There are spaces in Jussieu which allow a voyeuristic tendency to take place. the ﬁrst. This imitation of a voyeuristic space is what Jeffrey Kipnis calls a performative discourse. This manipulation of the visual ﬁeld begins with the Jussieu Libraries and continues. but becomes something else. yet the project retains a discontinuous relationship in terms of a Cartesian axiality. becoming part of a different kind of spatial relationship between subject and object. Yet unlike Agadir. who looks through. whose warped ﬂoor remains horizontal. above. This is neither the umbrella diagram of Mies nor the horizontal continuum of Le Corbusier. No longer is the subject in a one-to-one relationship with another subject but. OMA. the ﬂoors at Jussieu are warped in section to the extent that ﬂoors rise to touch the ﬂoor of the next level. While the Jussieu Libraries project of 1992–93 is essentially a vertical project. Morocco. in the Seattle Library. .Jussieu Libraries 205 7. the ground is no longer a datum. Koolhaas introduces a horizontal disturbance in section as a dominant mode of discourse rather than the vertical extrusion typical of classical architecture and present in the work of postwar American architects such as Louis Kahn. The resultant coup d’oeil and peripheral views shift the focus of opticality from the physical object to the subject. and at spaces. The modulation of section creates conditions in which space can be occupied by a subject who may become a voyeur while hidden from the view of another subject and vice versa. because of the inclined planes. The ﬂoors become a series of continuous surfaces which tilt from the horizontal. Conceptually the circulation and the ﬂoor levels become a continuous surface. Rather. around. Agadir is no longer the didactic horizontal continuum of Cartesian x. it manifests an energy that causes an undulation in section. beneath. for example. model. the warped ﬂoors signal an evolution from Agadir. and the roof is no longer part of a ground/ﬂoor/roof continuum. Agadir. 1990. it views other subjects—and is viewed by them— as objects. Palm Bay Seafront Convention Center.and y-axes but rather proposes a ﬁgured section where the horizontal is a ﬁgured void cut out of an equally ﬁgured solid poché.
Finally. These are bounded as ﬁgures by the bow and bend of the ﬂoor planes. and produces an entirely new diagram that focuses on the internal continuity of surfaces. the open- ing provided by a type of porte-cochère. disjunction versus fragmentation. The cross section of the Jussieu Libraries expresses the discontiguous relationships of program. . Koolhaas retains aspects of classical architectural notation. The diagrammatic icon of circulation now becomes literal circulation. also maintains the classical legibility of front and back. and suggest a departure from architecture as a product of close attention. while the linking of circulation with the ﬂoor planes suggests that a diagram of circulation is its governing form. The drawings reﬂect a new ethos of perception. a porticolike element marking the transition from exterior to interior at ground level. such as the differentiation of the building’s front. OMA. seemingly autonomous from the building’s formal organization. twists up through the project. The differential between the building’s sides. which are not continuous. The unfolded section of the Jussieu Libraries competition entry becomes a critique of Koolhaas’s earlier New York Athletic Club diagram. and in that sense can be viewed as residual. and the continuity of the ramped ﬂoors produces an entirely other section. back. as in the Très Grande Bibliothèque. and sides. Koolhaas’s strategies of the void are important. no longer the stacked layers of the New York Athletic Club or La Villette. section drawing. Jussieu Libraries. interstitial spaces between ﬂoors. one of which appears almost eaten away by interior voids while others are mostly intact. linking the issue of the void—present in the postwar work of Moretti and Venturi—to new methods of working that confront questions about part-to-whole relationships. The sections also suggest that the only real volumes in the building are the interstitial spaces between ﬂoors. The section reveals that the only volumes in the buildings are trapped voids.206 Jussieu Libraries 8. At Jussieu. inattention versus close attention.
cannot be read as purely poché. Similarly. The Jussieu Libraries become the model for many of the later projects. does not disturb the edge. all by Koolhaas. it appears in the different layers of the object. nor a stress at the edge. objectlike elements as “strategies of the void. The energy. carefully balanced in a kind of dynamic equilibrium. Rather.Jussieu Libraries 207 These voided elements. drawings. The void produces a space of unresolved tension between center and edge. allowing the horizontal to be read as a continuous ﬂow which is only interrupted by the gray elements. horizontal cuts. there is neither a centralized stress. The energies which ﬁgure the voids are equidistant from the edge and from the center. nor as purely ﬁgure. it remains contained within its cubic framework: the ﬂoor and the circulation are joined as a single element. the stress is diffused. At Jussieu. because they are residual spaces created by the continuity of the ﬂoor planes. These darkened segments emphasize the connections between levels. but not enough to be seen as moving toward the edge. and section give way to an increasingly iconic use of the dia- .” The critique that begins with Strasbourg and the lessons learned in the Très Grande Bibliothèque and at Agadir coalesce in the warped sections and ﬁgured voids of Jussieu. or ramping ﬂoors. Yet the critical and theoretical arguments condensed in Jussieu’s model. volumetric. and the Dutch Embassy in Berlin. This contrasts with the edge stress of cubist painting and the centrifugal stress of Venturi’s and Moretti’s work. and are transformed into ﬁgured. including the Seattle Library. whether it is registered in different shapes. It is this irresolution that introduces what has been called here the idea of undecidability. while there appears to be little continuity to the circulation. the Casa da Musica in Porto. It becomes clear that the inﬂuences of the diagrams of Le Corbusier and Mies are inverted. spirals. which are rendered as gray solids in the large competition model. particularly when the only centralizing ﬁgure is clearly thrown off center.
close reading is no longer necessary.208 Jussieu Libraries gram by Koolhaas at the Seattle Public Library and at the Casa da Musica. These buildings adopt a visual similitude with the ideas posited in their diagrams. Because the diagram of discontinuous layers of program retains a visual similitude to the architectural form. seem to belie these earlier directions. certainly the projects that follow. Seattle and Porto. When the reading of the diagram approaches the reading of the building. They give up close reading for the immediacy of shape and a more popular appeal: the diagram as logo and branding. Koolhaas’s work begins to suggest another attitude toward close reading. While this may not be the case in Jussieu. .
10. Jussieu Libraries. Jussieu Libraries. 11.Jussieu Libraries 209 9. plan and sections. Jussieu Libraries. third sublevel. . plan and sections. plan and sections. ﬁrst sublevel. second sublevel.
ﬁrst ﬂoor.210 Jussieu Libraries 12. 14. plan and sections. Jussieu Libraries. plan and sections. mezzanine-entry level. . Jussieu Libraries. plan and sections. Jussieu Libraries. 13. second ﬂoor.
plan and sections. roof level. . 16. plan and sections. fourth ﬂoor.Jussieu Libraries 211 15. Jussieu Libraries. Jussieu Libraries.
can be considered one such precedent. A stacked parking-garage diagram demonstrates the possibility of a continuous relation between the stacked ﬂoor levels.212 Jussieu Libraries 17. Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino diagram located the individual clearly in relationship to a context which was elevated from the ground. 18. This registers as a disturbance in the horizontal section. The Jussieu Libraries project responds to several of Le Corbusier’s diagrams: the Maison Dom-ino. The stacking function maintains layers as discontinuous elements. squared and stacked. .
which indicates that this no longer represents a ﬂat extension of a horizontal continuum of space. An analysis of the horizontal disturbances in the stacked layers of the Jussieu Libraries demonstrates the shifts. 20. . the distinction of ﬂoor and ramp is effaced. ramping. but instead produces a perspectival twisting in space. marking the spiraling energies upward. This false perspectival twisting continues through to the roof. At Jussieu.Jussieu Libraries 213 19. A little noted aspect of Koolhaas’s discourse is the cant of the roof plane. It no longer suggests that there is an extension of Cartesian space into a horizon. and discontinuities that serve as a critique of the Dom-ino section.
the ﬁgured voids can be characterized as cuts (A). tears. yet these ﬁgured voids are not continuous. These spaces could also be considered as partial ﬁgures.214 Jussieu Libraries 21. These ﬁgures disrupt the reading of a continuum from ﬂoor to ﬂoor in terms of function. Certain of these interstitial spaces are highlighted in the competition model (gray areas). 22. suggesting that the ﬂoor has become a fabric joining the roof and ground. . and holes. and condition of objects which are not located on a ground can be seen as a critique of the notion of ground as a datum. The discontinuous circulation and warping ﬂoor levels create a condition in which the only discernible volumes are the interstitial spaces between ﬂoors. tears (B). and holes (C). The horizontal layers that constitute the ﬂoors are opened by these cuts. horizontal circulation. The discontinuous vertical circulation. (Right) In an exploded axonometric diagram. These zones are articulated as part of the relationship between one ﬂoor and the other.
Jussieu Libraries 215 A C B B C A C A A C B A A B C A A B B C A B B A A A .
. Lifting the horizontal plane. Jussieu is framed as a square. If envisaged as a sequence of folded planes in a soft and pliable material. as if cutting away the surface. but that it becomes part of the vertical continuum. it is apparent that the distinct edges of the folded plane maintain the geometrical form of the square.216 Jussieu Libraries 23. This also implies that the surface is no longer necessarily only related to the ground. produces the idea that the surface is malleable and pliable. 24.
26. Certain cuts are clearly ramps. The folded condition of a single sheet of pliable material produces spaces whose variable section registers the deformation of the plane. others are void ﬁgures unto themselves. lacking clear function. but rather disrupt continuity and the idea of a single thematized reading.Jussieu Libraries 217 25. The folded plane is a diagram for the Jussieu Libraries. . These voids do not seem to follow a clear organization. The fabric of the folded plane registers a series of cuts and shears.
Yet the structural grid indicates that there are narrow bays ﬂanked by a series of wider bays on the inboard side. which take on a different organizing structure than those at Le Corbusier’s Palais des Congrès– Strasbourg. Thus. similar to those in the Très Grande Bibliothèque. the conception of Jussieu as a folded. the circulation is not treated at either the large scale of the ramp or the smaller scale of inner circulation as a ﬁgured object. . 28. While the Jussieu project has a regular structural grid. lifted. certain grid elements tilt and bend. In addition to Jussieu’s large-scale ramping circulation. These forms emphasize vertical circulation.218 Jussieu Libraries 27. and cut plane presents a different spatial idea. there are smaller orthogonal ﬁgures created by stair cores and giant columns. demonstrating that the regularity of the grid is not thematic.
Jussieu Libraries. . circulation diagram.Jussieu Libraries 219 29.
. third sublevel. Jussieu Libraries. axonometric view.220 Jussieu Libraries 30.
Jussieu Libraries. second sublevel. axonometric view.Jussieu Libraries 221 31. .
ﬁrst sublevel. Jussieu Libraries. axonometric view.222 Jussieu Libraries 32. .
Jussieu Libraries. axonometric view. mezzanine-entry level.Jussieu Libraries 223 33. .
ﬁrst ﬂoor. axonometric view.224 Jussieu Libraries 34. Jussieu Libraries. .
Jussieu Libraries.Jussieu Libraries 225 35. axonometric view. second ﬂoor. .
36. Jussieu Libraries, third ﬂoor, axonometric view.
37. Jussieu Libraries, fourth ﬂoor, axonometric view.
38. Jussieu Libraries, roof level, axonometric view.
1. Studio Daniel Libeskind, Jewish Museum, Berlin, Germany, 2000.
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or the human presence. Rosalind Krauss gave two important lectures titled “Notes on the Index” at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York. If. for Peirce. The index. Krauss’s discussion of the index drew on the distinctions between icon. Peirce. and index ﬁrst put forward by C. yet also record the current absence of that presence. symbol. the index is also closely tied to the issue of presence and absence. Jewish Museum. Another component of the footprint as index is its notation of time. which subsequently appeared as essays in the journal October. the trace remains on the object—the foot—while the beach registers the imprint of the foot. Robinson Crusoe’s discovery of footprints in the sand gave him the idea that there was life on the island without having seen the living being itself. But most important for architecture. The idea of presence and absence suggests a signiﬁcant difference between an idea of an index or trace in a Libeskind Layout 02 08.indd 231 4/9/2008 11:44:48 AM . For example. When the foot lifts up from the sand it leaves the imprint of human presence in the depressed sand.” The footprints are the trace of a previous presence. The Deconstruction of the Axis Daniel Libeskind. then an index was a trace or record of an actual event or a process. yet at the same time a layer of sand clings to the bottom of the foot. published in the spring and fall of 1977. S. the footprint registers the span between the moment of human presence in making the imprint and that of human absence. 1989–1999 In the 1970s. numbers 3 and 4. an icon had a visual likeness to its object and a symbol had an agreed upon or conventional meaning. Thus. while referring inwardly to its own processes. The footprints in the sand imply several registers of an index as both imprint and trace. “establishes its meaning along the axis of a physical relationship to its referent. Krauss describes.9. The index displaces the movement outward of both the icon and the symbol to a signiﬁed.
Thus an index in architecture attempts to deny pure presence by presenting a condition of absence in presence.” Krauss considers the photograph as another example of an index. an index undercuts such a metaphysical fullness because its referent is to a prior condition—or in other words. Krauss suggests that language presents us with an historical framework which preexists its own being. Krauss describes the index as the mute presence of an uncoded event. and therefore undercuts fullness by introducing these absences.232 Jewish Museum 2. or the photograph’s actual relation to the past event. It is the absence of the actual event. 1978. Krauss describes these cuts as akin to the linguistic shifter. The idea of an architectural language becomes problematic when it assumes that any historical context is a stable entity. Daniel Libeskind. which she describes in October 3 as a term in linguistics Libeskind Layout 02 08. a condition of absence. Micromegas. and not a sign or a representation of the thing itself. the idea of the index in architecture seeks to undermine the idea that its language is a decidable physical presence with a one-to-one relationship to a signiﬁed. Because architectural representation is presumed to be a stable relationship between a sign and its object. If a metaphysical presence presupposes a notion of fullness because it is present in physical terms. and an index in a physical context like architecture. She cites Gordon Matta-Clark. and therefore joins language to a metaphysics. in that it is a trace of some other object. Krauss has suggested that the importance of the index counters the overwhelming physical presence of an object. as it introduces a set of abstractions which include both process and absence. one that operates without conventions. Time Sections. The photograph is considered the index or trace of some condition of fact or reality. that is signiﬁed. it also reproduces signs of former presences. linguistic or photographic context. whose cutting of holes in ﬂoors and facades of buildings creates the ultimate icon for an indexical architecture.indd 232 4/9/2008 11:44:48 AM . In the second part of “Notes on the Index. and while it is a physical object in itself.
a series of lines that attempt to question Cartesian space.” The cut in Matta-Clark’s work becomes an empty sign of an event. This building engages the index as a critique of architectural persistencies.indd 233 4/9/2008 11:44:49 AM . a trace of someone’s having cut into the building. The logic of such indexical signs seeks to undermine the iconic and symbolic. 1988. The cut also empties the metaphysical content of the house because the house is no longer functioning as a house. which can be considered fundamental to Cartesian and classical space. in particular that of linear axiality. displacing a metaphysics of presence with what could be considered a more literal presence. as in this table or this chair.Jewish Museum 233 3. the series is an index of the denial of any Cartesian coordinates or picture plane. is “an empty pronominal sign. Once its enclosure is breached it can no longer shelter: its content and functions are emptied. Libeskind Layout 02 08. yet the index can easily be transformed into an icon of its own indexicality. or in Krauss’s terms. A word like this. The index thus traces the movement from metaphysical presence to pure presence itself. The Micromegas drawings in fact were not merely drawn lines but tectonic architectural lines. lends signiﬁcation to its referent but remains empty itself. If the form of a house with a pitched roof harbors metaphysical and meaningful implications related to the image and function of shelter. The cuts in the work of MattaClark become the index of the absence. Not only is the cut in itself a trace of the cutting. which is ﬁlled with signiﬁcation only because it is empty. then these meanings are shattered by any kind of cut. plan. Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin is just such a project. but in the act of cutting the house reduces its metaphysical content. It is one of the important realized buildings of what can be called the indexical project in architecture. indexical markings of conditions in space and time on a virtual object. Line of Fire. Libeskind’s indexical work begins with his 1978 Micromegas drawings.
1987. and a series of discontinuous segments. With lines that shatter space and undermine iconic and symbolic references. and if site speciﬁcity is an idea relating a particular building to a site. Libeskind’s Line of Fire project does just that by disrupting the possibility of axial movement around and through the Unité’s pilotis. model. Libeskind.234 Jewish Museum 4. When the path of the subject does not seem to correspond with the form of the space. and ultimately the classical subject/object relationship. but it is a physical gesture which ultimately destabilizes the continuity of the part-to-whole relationship. The indexical project of Libeskind’s Jewish Museum becomes more apparent in its direct relationship to his 1988 work Line of Fire. but to deny the idea of the subject’s understanding of space through Cartesian coordinates is to challenge one of the persistencies of architecture. then all buildings contain axes which relate building to the subject’s movement through it. One of the dominant persistencies of architecture is the traditional movement of the subject from the entry of a building through its major spaces. site speciﬁcity. Libeskind’s project for the City Edge competition of 1987 continues this exploration of the axis with a linear project sited to slice across the grain of the divided city of Berlin: in this case it is a political divide that initiates the disruption of the axis. The zigzagging form Libeskind Layout 02 08. a marche. the symmetry of columns providing a simple geometric means of recognition. then the time of the subject’s movement and the time of the object become differentiated. The ground level of Le Corbusier’s Unité provided an axial space deﬁned by pairs of massive pilotis. which are typically perceived through symmetrical sequences. offers a critique of axiality. If all sites contain axes. the Micromegas drawings initiate this breakdown of axial space. an inaccessible void. these symmetries identify the path of the subject in much the same way as in a Palladian villa. These symmetrical pairings in architecture make the time of the subject’s movement and the time of the object (or its physical axis) the same.indd 234 4/9/2008 11:44:50 AM . an installation in Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in Briey-en-Forêt. in presenting the axis as a trace. Whether this path is called a promenade. In this and other Corbusian buildings. City Edge competition. or merely a symmetrical x-axis is of little concern here.
Line of Fire. Briey-en-Forêt. The Jewish Museum in Berlin in one sense is itself a repetition. that of a single movement through space and its engagement with an idea of axis. This is the central issue of Libeskind’s Jewish Museum. installation.indd 235 4/9/2008 11:44:52 AM . Libeskind’s own argument that the Berlin project represents the fragmentation of a Jewish star. Line of Fire establishes a series of different axes which counter the subject’s path and call attention to the discrepancy between the experience and comprehension of space. Line of Fire. The subject’s mental tracing of a zigzag route is disorienting. plan 1988. even though an implied axis remains present. because the time of the object will not reveal itself with the path that the subject is taking. When the installation was placed in an architectural context it disrupted the metaphysical idea of an axis. mirroring Line of Fire about a horizontal axis produces the identical form of the Berlin project. Libeskind suggests that the time of the experience can no longer be assumed to be calibrated with the time of the object. While Libeskind will always claim that the Berlin Museum comes from connecting the lines from the points of Jewish embarkation from Berlin to the death camps and that the intersection of these Libeskind Layout 02 08. It is that distance in time that causes the indexical quality to become part of the project in the disruption of the axis.Jewish Museum 235 5. This disruption questions the classical notion of the continuity and symmetry of x-axes. of his installation denies the idea of an axis. has little to do with the argument here and its relation to Line of Fire. 1988. In fact. Libeskind’s installation suggests that this axis is not a pure and continuous vector. It could be argued then that the axiality challenged by Line of Fire is displaced again. 6. but one that may be modiﬁed by historical circumstance—in this case referring to the destinations of deported Jews in Nazi Germany. a trace and an index of the Line of Fire exhibition. or is an index of the points in Berlin where the Jews were transported out of the city. like Henri Bergson before him. Libeskind. this time rotated in its context to produce the Berlin project. questions the relationship of the time of the object to the time of the subject. while creating a disjunction in time and a dislocation in space. which is one of the ﬁrst real evocations of an attempt to deny the continuity of the axial path to the object of architecture. both as a real pathway and as a concept of an axis of symmetry.
Ronchamp is successful in that its sloped wall and its cut-outs play against an implied but nonexistent vertical plane. the correspondence in form between the Jewish Museum and the Line of Fire seems to suggest other interpretations. and shift the role of the window from function to indexical marker. the apertures are divorced from function. Windows typically reveal the scale of rooms and reﬂect the scale relationship of interior to exterior. The cuts work in a similar way to the openings in the sloping wall of Le Corbusier’s chapel at Ronchamp in that they relate to an implied vertical datum. The original idea for the building emerged from a competition for an extension to the neoclassical Berlin Museum for German history. the walls were canted at various angles so that the vertical y-axis was similarly challenged. others large. arbitrary cuts throughout the museum. and next by the actual inaccessible void which extends down to the ﬂoors from the roof trace. There is nothing more indexical in plan and elevation than the random. These cuts recall the lines in Micromegas. not as an entirely new Jewish Museum. The competition model and some early drawings suggest that Libeskind originally connected the Line of Fire to the museum as an extension. resembling a photographic plate of a series of arbitrary Libeskind Layout 02 08. Such a relationship is fragmented by these cuts on the Jewish Museum facade: certain of these cuts are small. The facades are already marked by indexical cuts similar to Matta-Clark’s. denying any continuity along the x-axis.indd 236 4/9/2008 11:44:56 AM . In Libeskind’s museum. preliminary working model. 1990. but they bear no relationship to the interior spaces. lines produced this form. The ﬁrst working model of the scheme for the Jewish Museum had canted and battered exterior walls. registering the conﬂict between interior and exterior scales. ﬁrst by the angled body of the museum. Jewish Museum. In addition to the zigzagging form of the museum disrupting the x-axis. which articulate apertures in a building in a radically different manner from the conventional relationship of windows to their respective interiors. This is similar to MattaClark’s cuts as the traces of that cutting.236 Jewish Museum 7. But in both the models of the project and in the realized building there remains a trace in the roof of the continuous axial path that is disjuncted. as well as between light source and the possibility of functional exhibitions.
“meaningless. as stairs and Libeskind Layout 02 08. the cuts establish the condition of the arbitrary. If both Line of Fire and the Jewish Museum present a disruption of the x-axis. However. In one sense. i. In Libeskind’s ﬁnal rendition of the Jewish Museum. the conceptual resonance for the cuts in the facade as indexing the play between y-axis and canted wall no longer exists. the cuts still challenge the traditional use of windows for orientation. an index of perception on the eye itself. the horizontal axis must be traversed through a sequence of interrupted levels. The subject’s movement along a Cartesian conceptual axis is interrupted. site model. again the cuts become indexical. the scale of the Jewish Museum allows Libeskind to articulate this disruption in more precise ways. as the realized walls are no longer canted. Circulation plays a key role in a critique of the need to understand space through movement.” killing of people. Jewish Museum. Jewish Museum. as is the ability to remain on a single comprehensible horizontal datum. which causes the light to produce an afterimage on the retina—in other words. The stairs of the museum do not provide connection. It could be argued that these gestures relate to the arbitrary and random execution of Jews by the German state under Hitler. 1990. It is important to understand that one cannot follow a horizontal route. which then returns the symbolic to the arbitrary. Yet the dominant mode of discourse is one of traces of some event that internalizes “no meaning. the cuts create what in painting is called a halation. gestures.e. Libeskind’s Jewish Museum oscillates between the indexical and the symbolic. not so much of the political/historical narratives articulated by Libeskind as of the act of cutting itself.indd 237 4/9/2008 11:44:57 AM . which is the ultimate condition of the arbitrary. which then relates to a real meaning.Jewish Museum 237 8. nor remain at a horizontal level when moving through the museum. for the narrow cuts of light produce a strong contrast with the museum’s dark walls. Rather. but in one sense function to interrupt continuous movement. The location of the staircases further denies any continuity of movement. zinc model.” which in itself takes on a symbolically meaningful relationship to the willful. 9. Thus. as the indexical register triggers a symbolic key. The length of the building represented by spaces on the same ﬂoor cannot be experienced as the typical horizontal datum provided by a ﬂoor plane.
but the Jewish Museum denies that possibility. but more importantly separate the time of the experience of space from the comprehension of its organization. Perhaps it was the speciﬁc context of the earlier projects that provided the necessary rhetoric implied in the work. Not only are the axes and ﬂoor levels denied as parts that ultimately relate to a whole. Such disruptions frustrate programmatic and formal expectations. is never experienced as such and instead becomes one of the devices to impede the subject’s movement.indd 238 4/9/2008 11:44:59 AM . which might be comprehended by a legible axis. the Jewish Museum represents the cusp of a relationship between the indexical and the iconic. Later projects suggest that the symbolic predominates over the indexical and diagrammatic nature of the earlier work. so that a void zone. These voided zones slice through the center of the zigzagging form of the museum. but produce something that is difﬁcult to extrapolate from the experience of the building. but the overall impression of a functioning whole is denied by the parts. while variously described in terms of poetic resonance. can also be interpreted as a continuation of Libeskind’s critique of Cartesian axiality.238 Jewish Museum ramps move the subject across the series of voids enclosed in the museum. Ultimately Libeskind’s museum is a struggle between the indexicality of the building and the symbolic resonance of the rhetoric. The traditional subject/object relationship depended on a continuous horizontal datum that could be traversed. The new work becomes more open to expressionist gestures that move it closer to an iconic project. Libeskind Layout 02 08. no longer requiring the close reading of indexical traces. The sequence of inaccessible voids at the center of the museum. As such. The visual parameters of what is being seen do not produce an overall image or gestalt.
Libeskind Layout 02 08. Jewish Museum. ﬁrst-ﬂoor plan.indd 239 4/9/2008 11:44:59 AM .Jewish Museum 239 10. 11. Jewish Museum. underground level plan..
The void spaces (dark gray) prevent movement along a level horizontal axis. Libeskind Layout 02 08. while ramps and stairs further disrupt the continuous line of movement.indd 240 4/9/2008 11:45:00 AM . envelope and circulation diagrams. Jewish Museum.240 Jewish Museum 12–13.
indd 241 4/9/2008 11:45:00 AM .Jewish Museum 241 Libeskind Layout 02 08.
An incised pattern of crossing lines. Libeskind Layout 02 08. is applied to the envelope of the installation piece. Highlighted in red are rectangular elements which resemble the markings on the envelope of the Jewish Museum.indd 242 4/9/2008 11:45:01 AM .242 Jewish Museum 14-15. resembling an uneven grid. based on the 1988 plan drawings. Line of Fire. plan and projected elevations.
Jewish Museum 243 16.indd 243 4/9/2008 11:45:01 AM . diagram of envelope highlighting rectangular motifs that appear to be traces based on surface markings in Line of Fire. These suggest that the indexical project registers on the museum’s envelope as well as its form. Libeskind Layout 02 08. Jewish Museum.
Libeskind Layout 02 08. including underground level. Jewish Museum.244 Jewish Museum 17. axonometric view. roof plan.indd 244 4/9/2008 11:45:01 AM .
axonometric view.indd 245 4/9/2008 11:45:02 AM . Libeskind Layout 02 08. Jewish Museum. underground level.Jewish Museum 245 18.
246 Jewish Museum 19.indd 246 4/9/2008 11:45:02 AM . ground-ﬂoor plan. axonometric view. Libeskind Layout 02 08. Jewish Museum. The highlighted void forms the horizontal axis.
Libeskind Layout 02 08.Jewish Museum 247 20. Jewish Museum.indd 247 4/9/2008 11:45:02 AM . axonometric view. ﬁrst-ﬂoor plan. The highlighted void forms an inaccessible volume on this ﬂoor.
Libeskind Layout 02 08. The highlighted void forms an inaccessible volume on this ﬂoor. axonometric view. second-ﬂoor plan. Jewish Museum.indd 248 4/9/2008 11:45:04 AM .248 Jewish Museum 21.
Jewish Museum 249 22. Libeskind Layout 02 08.indd 249 4/9/2008 11:45:04 AM . Jewish Museum. axonometric view showing the volumetric form of the void. third-ﬂoor plan.
exploded sectional axonometric through void axis.250 Jewish Museum 23. Jewish Museum.indd 250 4/9/2008 11:45:06 AM . revealing the ﬁgured voids. Libeskind Layout 02 08.
Jewish Museum. The circulation around the void spaces is highlighted. section through void axis.indd 251 4/9/2008 11:45:08 AM .Jewish Museum 251 24. axonometric view. Libeskind Layout 02 08.
highlighted in red. retains the zigzagging form of the actual plan.indd 252 4/9/2008 11:45:08 AM . unfolded. Jewish Museum. The trace of the voids. Libeskind Layout 02 08.252 Jewish Museum 25.
Jewish Museum 253 Libeskind Layout 02 08.indd 253 4/9/2008 11:45:09 AM .
indd 254 4/9/2008 11:45:11 AM . Libeskind Layout 02 08.254 Jewish Museum 26. Jewish Museum. axonometric view. roof plan.
Libeskind Layout 02 08.indd 255 4/9/2008 11:45:11 AM .
2002. Lewis Building. Ohio. Case Western Reserve University. Weatherhead School of Management. Cleveland.1. Gehry & Partners. Frank O. . Peter B.
nor to a precedent.10. whether they are iconic. conditions which he calls form’s own diagrammatic necessity. The Soft Umbrella Diagram Frank O. such as site or program. as an integral aspect of its being. Lynn suggests that form harbors. Lewis Building. if the problematic of part-to-whole—the relation of a building to its site. as is the type of close reading that searches for this relationship. but to their own operations. in that its meaning is legible as a representation of such processes and that these operations take place over time. He suggests that it is possible to work on components—whether they are components of a building or components of the city—which have no necessary relationship to the whole. Gehry. If that is the case. Such diagrams may not depend on any of the a priori notions that could be assumed to determine architecture. or some prior architectural necessity. 1997–2002 Most of the diagrams discussed in this book. of its inside to its outside. Peter B. Greg Lynn. which is recorded in an indexical manner. or indexical. Lynn suggests. but result from a set of internal or computational logics. in his Embryological House and in several recent projects. . then the necessity of a part-to-whole relationship is in fact undermined. do not depend upon an external relationship of site. Rather than the part. symbolic. These digital processes. program. proposes another kind of diagram. This internal logic renders it possible to produce diagrams that refer not to an external transcendental signiﬁed. secure their importance by displacing an original and preceding condition. Lynn argues that a computer algorithm operates both in the Peircian sense of the symbol and the index. Lynn’s work deals with the component as an inﬁnitely repeatable entity. for example. or of the building to the city—is no longer necessarily an a priori truth. one that has no originary condition.
While Gehry might argue that his work is the result of computation. given that these algorithmic processes are in fact unfamiliar to architecture. Perhaps it would be more productive to say that the diagram in Gehry’s work is iconic and. Peter B. Lynn’s argument implies that these prior conditions of architecture’s own disciplinary precedents are not necessarily relevant to those of the future. yet certain projects suggest that Gehry has always had an implied diagram.” resembling a dropped parachute or napkin. and is sited. it situates his work in the realm of the phenomenal. study model. Lewis Building. being sited between personal expression—or analogic processes—and digital processes. encloses. which settles in various ways over an internal organization of spaces and structure. Lewis Building 2. Little of Gehry’s previous work can be called diagrammatic. The crucial difference between the conceptual and the phenomenal lies in the domain of close reading. There is little question that there is a signiﬁcant separation between Lynn’s and Gehry’s invocations of the digital. more importantly. Architecture may always look like architecture because it shelters. which bears some relationship to Mies’s concept of the umbrella diagram. This type of diagram depends on the articulation of the roof and the roof’s impact on the . Gehry’s diagram could be called a “soft umbrella. and from the mind to the eye in the phenomenal. It is necessary to distinguish ﬁrst Lynn’s idea of the digital from that of Gehry’s. June 1997. June 1997.258 Peter B. resists the forces of gravity. This effectively suggests that it may not be necessary to study the history of architecture or the history of the twentieth century in order to be able to work diagrammatically using digital processes. Lewis Building for the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve. Lynn’s argument is probably the most relevant summation to date on the condition of the digital as a critique of precedents. Gehry’s diagrams originate in analogic methods. and second. Peter B. Lewis Building. it could similarly be argued that Gehry occupies a terrain that is not as clearly deﬁned. 3. study model. with the nexus of attention shifting from the eye to the mind in the conceptual. and the subsequent digital work is one of reproduction of these forms. to precedents or what are called here disciplinary persistencies. This argument about the role of the digital in undermining architectural precedents is useful in considering the relationship of digital and analogic processes in Frank Gehry’s Peter B. between the conceptual in Lynn and the phenomenal in Gehry. yet these thematic operations do not necessarily need to refer to previous disciplinary architectural conditions— in other words.
the drum is extruded. the development of this building operates against the top-down system of the soft umbrella diagram. If the Lewis Building begins with a classical plan. the conceptual diagram remains analogic. This invocation of the digital is crucial to understanding the evolution of the Lewis Building. section. October 1997. The result resembles a classic Gehry expression. this precedent is increasingly eroded and corrupted in section. another of the originary conditions for Gehry’s Lewis Building for the Weatherhead School of Management is a classical precedent. which is also apparent in the postwar work of Louis Kahn. Lewis Building. Tracing the evolution of the Lewis Building through study models and early sketches in some sense reveals the undecidability of any origins.Peter B. This U-shaped organization of blocks is frontalized like any classical building with a distinct propylaea or frontispiece. from Lynn’s work. sketch. There is a clearly . While the digital processes are those from which the precise form is generated. The dropped napkin or soft umbrella diagram is subsequently translated into a digital format. model. which begins as an orthogonal condition. in Lynn’s terms. among others. which undermines the role of precedents. the plan becomes residual to the process. In addition to engaging Gehry’s soft umbrella diagram. In one sense. Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Altes Museum. Lewis Building. reminiscent of a Richard Neutra or Rudolf Schindler project of the 1920s and 1930s in terms of its blocky massing. Most classical buildings are vertical extrusions from a plan and Schinkel continues this tradition. The Lewis Building thus makes a critique of precedents. Peter B. so that its condition is the same in section from the plan to the roof. September 1997. Lewis Building 259 4. and its conceptual differences in engaging precedents. the precedent is understood as enforcing a part-to-whole relationship. in a way that would not have been possible with analogic methods. The earliest study models of June 1997 reveal a tension between orthogonal organizations with clear historical precedents and biomorphic forms related to Gehry’s exploration of digital modeling. more precisely. which can be considered the historical prototype for the Lewis Building. Gehry’s use of a plan as precedent departs radically from the top-down approach implied by the soft umbrella diagram. but the building requires the digital processes of the computer to erode the section. 5. Peter B. has a base on which the smaller blocks of its upper level sit. A two-color model. Gehry uses the classical plan as an a priori ideal that evolves vertically. has an orthogonal rectilinear plan with a central drum. and at the same time challenges the idea of sectional extrusion implicit in the classical plan. The Altes Museum. which may be of limited use today if.
the base and the superstructure. Lewis Building 6. articulated. First. the section implied by the drawing reveals this force that could be either centrifugal or centripetal. but in this case its voided center is a wellspring for curving and biomorphic forms in metal and plastic. October 1997. returns to a building of boxlike units. However. or are being pulled down into. as is the bipartite relationship of volumes around a depressed center. this sketch provokes several interesting interpretations. The sketch contains a series of biomorphic. which appears at ﬁrst glance to be little more than a doodle. A second model from June 1997 shares the blocky forms. suggests the integration of a U-shaped and corner-towered palazzo with a diagram of biomorphic forms exploding from a voided center. yet introduces a distinct pinwheeling character. a base condition which is more or less orthogonal is visible. The next model. in which is housed a bi-nuclear element formed by two colored cubes bound together by a smaller rectangular element. A vertical cut emphasizes a strong central axis. despite the loose hand. It is clear that the energy is not coming from above. The color scheme of the model marks an intention to show a difference between the biomorphic and the biotechnic. Peter B. The model of October 1997. U-shape. the frontispiece. maintaining their distinction in its two-color . Lewis Building. The digital model produced in April 1998 manifests the coexistence of these two types of organizations. as if the blocky organization of the model were being overcome from within. and the U-shaped body recall both classical and neoclassical precedents. a central vortex. This axis. seemingly based on this sketch.260 Peter B. voided space in the center. from September 1997. as would be the case in a soft umbrella diagram. and frontispiece of the ﬁrst model. but from below. nonorthogonal forms that seem either to grow out of. the center and the edge. The tension between the biomorphic and orthogonal forms is poignantly captured in a sketch for the Lewis Building from October 1997. study model.
The section at the Lewis Building is not the product of a vertical extrusion. digital model. creating an interior and exterior wrapper. which . nor is it a monochromatic or monolithic material strategy. but one that remains dialectical in its nature and bi-nuclear around a voided center. scheme. Lewis Building 261 7. rather it evolves from a classical plan as an initial whole. Gehry adopts a process. that combines intuition with the understanding of the less-thanconscious inﬂuence of historical precedents. The two study models of May 1998 and March 1999 are sectional models revealing the presence of the base and corner towers. being pulled down to the base. a voided center. The section produces a dialogue between container and contained. and. or. This is not a top-down strategy. While this sectional model maintains some of the earlier ideas. These two components—base and biomorphic forms—share a dialectical relationship. vertical and horizontal. More interesting is that the sec- tional energies in the May 1998 and March 1999 models present a section in which the biomorphic form becomes a wrapper for an internal volume. ﬁgure and ground. and forces of erosion and stability. The section suggests that the biomorphic forms are lifted off the base. All of these dialectical characteristics are apparent in the model. April 1998. this introduction of the shell and solid forms adds another dimension to the evolution of the section. creating a sectional deployment of the voided center. alternatively. The corkscrewlike energy of the section differs signiﬁcantly from that at Le Corbusier’s Palais des Congrès-Strasbourg or from the ramp at Poissy. but the question remains whether the biomorphic forms are coming up from the base. within that void. which are articulated in a different material. a bi-nuclear central element— which itself seems to wrap around yet another element. While supposedly an expressionist artist. Peter B. This model has a distinct base. a form within a form. are suspended between the base and the roof. as evidenced in these study models. Lewis Building. an external wrapper that is the Ushaped body of the building.Peter B.
is corrupted as it moves vertically to the point where the parts seem to have no relationship to their origin in that classical plan. Peter B. The remaining image is exclusively one of biomorphic forms seemingly exfoliated out of the plane of the paper. Lewis Building. and the Lewis Building could prove interesting. This is not to say that the inﬂuence of Schinkel’s plan reﬂects a wholly conscious decision. This is one of the few Gehry projects that could be considered an unintentional subliminal critique of historical precedent. May 1998. is reminiscent of James Stirling’s Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart. The section. it is not thematic as in the Lewis Building. The compositional trajectories are apparent in this project in a way that differs from other Gehry projects. such inﬂuences can penetrate one’s unconscious. study model. While there is a literal section in the Altes Museum. These are important conceptual images reiterat- ing a concept of a quasi-invisible “ground” which is rooted in historical precedents. The resonance of Schinkel’s Altes Museum in Gehry’s scheme for the Lewis Building is ﬁrst and foremost visible in the plan. suggesting that a critical evaluation of the relationship between the Altes Museum. A digital rendering from 2000 of the Lewis Building can be analyzed as if the rectilinear forms of the underlying elevation were removed from the drawing.262 Peter B. for example. such as corner towers. set against the energy of emergent biomorphic forms. particularly when a diagrammatic operation allows such unconscious projec- . Lewis Building 8. the Staatsgalerie. and the vertical explosion is a series of cutouts coming out of the literal ground of the paper. The two towers are now seen as the ground of the paper.
study model. Lewis Building 263 9. This technology enables the modeling of new forces of vertical extension.Peter B. tions to surface. The vertical erosion developed at the Lewis Building is of value in relationship to a series of plan and sectional precedents that do not have such an erosion in section. and in particular how the digital may impact the notion of section in architecture. Digital modeling provides the possibility of an extension of space that is no longer necessarily Cartesian. The traditional or analogic section is produced from the plan and extends vertically to a roof. as is the case in Agadir. Peter B. Lewis Building. and as such is different from Gehry’s other projects. March 1999. section is not merely a horizontal datum . The diagram provides a vehicle for the unconscious expression of ﬁgural warping to emerge: diagrams often activate the unconscious memory. such as erosion and warping. The Lewis Building engages the combination of the analogic and the digital. which in this case could reﬂect Gehry’s prior work on a 1995 competition in Berlin for a museum that was to be added to the Museum Island. or in Foreign Ofﬁce Architects’ project for Yokohama. In Gehry’s building for the Weatherhead School. yet is different from Koolhaas’s Agadir section or Libeskind’s erosion of the x-axis at the Jewish Museum. between the analogic and the digital. That is what makes the Lewis Building a fulcrum project between Gehry’s past work and the projects that follow. The project for the Lewis Building falls between the conscious and the unconscious. each of which focuses on the disturbance of the horizontal section as their thematic. The lateral and continuous extension of space as a horizontal datum seen in the Maison Dom-ino can now be modulated in a more nuanced manner.
In this sense. 2000. It can be argued that all of the ten buildings discussed here depend on the possibility of processes which relate to some form of precedent seen as originary. It is the rethinking of section—differently from Koolhaas. it is primarily the . Lewis Building 10. Each of the ten buildings also refers diagrammatically to some precedent. It marks a shift in conceptualizing the diagram as an analogic device and in differentiating between analogic and digital processes. there are aspects of the Lewis Building that could only be developed in the digital. Libeskind. or precedent. truthful. or ideal. That the warped section in the Lewis Building is masked by a facade further denies the part-to-whole relationship of the section to facade. digital model. side elevation. and while Koolhaas and Libeskind work in analogic terms. the analysis here may be a work of sublime yet necessary uselessness in the face of the evolving ability to produce conditions internal to component relationships that have no necessary analogic relationship to any prior. While Lynn’s design relies on computation. Peter B. Lewis Building. As the ﬁnal project in this book. the Lewis Building provides a frame for the other nine projects to be seen within the evolution of architectural critiques of modern- ism and the critical uses of the diagram in its various forms. extension of space. Historically. but rather becomes a modulation of space in the vertical: the section warps and spirals as it evolves vertically.264 Peter B. any paradigm shift begins with the denial of precedent as a necessary agent. condition. If anything in architecture has changed as a result of these ten buildings. The Lewis Building is a cusp project between the past as present and the present as future. Gehry’s Lewis Building for the Weatherhead School addresses the problematic of part-to-whole differently than the other works in this book on the question of precedent. and Le Corbusier—that makes the Lewis Building again a fulcrum between past and future ideas of section. and broaches the underlying paradigm shift that occurs in questioning the precedence of the unity of the classical part-to-whole relationship. Gehry simultaneously denies both the idea of vertical extrusion from a plan and his own soft umbrella diagram. Gehry’s Lewis Building is a pivotal project in that it raises the question of the transgression of architectural precedents.
Peter B. There is no unifying theme in these works. second. the change in the subject’s physical relationship to the object. Lewis Building. Text is thus the engine of the undecidable. To question these received ideas is perhaps what marks a canon of this moment in time. This occurs in two senses: ﬁrst. It is these changes in close reading which ultimately suggest a rethinking of the canon which has always been underpinned by a received idea of close reading. these readings reveal the breakdown of close reading predicated on part-to-whole relationships and the concommitant idea of decidable meanings. Lewis Building 265 11. subtle change in the relationship of subject to object. which produces an idea of undecidability. If anything. When narrative—as an altered sense of time in the subject/ object relationship—is diminished. 2000. . section. close reading cannot help but be affected. the change in close reading necessitated by the emergence of ﬁgural forces produced through digital processes. with the subject himself becoming an object of the gaze. Peter B.
. sublevel and ground-ﬂoor plans. Lewis Building 12.266 Peter B. Lewis Building. Peter B.
Lewis Building. . Lewis Building 267 13.Peter B.and second-ﬂoor plans. ﬁrst. Peter B.
and fourth-ﬂoor plans. . third.268 Peter B. Peter B. Lewis Building 14. Lewis Building.
Lewis Building. . roof plans. Lewis Building 269 15.Peter B. Peter B.
270 Peter B. . with four corner blocks. Schinkel’s Altes Museum seems at ﬁrst glance to be the prototypical neoclassical palazzo. whose frontality is emphasized by a frontispiece running the entire length of the facade. It is an ABCBA parti. The ﬂoor plan of the Altes Museum can be seen as a precedent for Gehry’s Lewis Building for the Weatherhead School. frontispiece and ABCBA organization. Lewis Building A B C B A A B C B A 16. 17. The equivalent of the frontispiece stoa in the Schinkel plan is isolated in the Lewis Building as a distinct component of the building. The ground-ﬂoor plan of the Lewis Building also retains distinct traces of the classical plan in its U-shaped organization.
There is a paradoxical play between the small size of the central nucleus and what can be interpreted as its impact on the surrounding blocks.Peter B. . In the Altes Museum. a drum establishes the vertical axis. The ground-ﬂoor plan of the Lewis Building is similarly a bipartite organization around a central void. 19. Lewis Building 271 18. Symmetry is established by a vertical axis that cuts through the central volume. which is ﬂanked by two square spaces and two rectangular blocks. It seems to exert a force that presses the rear blocks backward and carves into its neighboring blocks.
Such compression can also be read in the width of the niches carved into the poché around the drum. The central nucleus of the Lewis Building is framed by what can be read as two major volumes forming a bi-nuclear element. Lewis Building 20.272 Peter B. In the Altes Museum. The drum is also compressed by the staircases which are pushed into the central space. which is subsequently obscured by the asymmetrical frontispiece as it exerts a similar push toward the center. like the frontispiece stoa of the Altes Museum. These volumes reinstate a rough symmetry around the vertical axis. The broad niches to the rear of the building become compressed at the front of the drum. as if registering the impact of the stairs. 21. . the central drum is ﬂanked by two identical volumes.
Lewis Building 273 22.Peter B. . There is an anomalous zone (in red) in the Altes Museum which animates the plan. There is also an anomalous zone in the Lewis Building shifting the central axis of the actual plan. 23.
25. Lewis Building A B C B A A B C B A 24. Essentially. no single horizontal axis is dominant. Such compressive forces act against the stability of any symmetry. . The plan of Schinkel’s Altes Museum produces symmetrical and asymmetrical readings. While the plan is symmetrical about the vertical axis.274 Peter B. The drum in the C zone intrudes into the rear B zone to press against the rear A zone. The central axis of the C zone does not correspond to that which is established by the center of the drum. an ABCBA organization can be can be read across the Lewis Building. from top to bottom.
In this corner view. 27. resulting in its being seen perspectivally rather than frontally. .Peter B. a difference between a vertical stacking of windows on the left side and a pyramidal stepping on the right side can be noted. making the corner thematically important. Lewis Building 275 26. The corner tower is articulated in such a way that each side presents different information yet frames the corner as a central element. The Lewis Building adopts certain of these neoclassical tropes. it is the relationship of the side to the front that is stressed. not only in plan but also in perspective. The neoclassical view of the Altes Museum is approached from the corner. At the corner.
Lewis Building. Lewis Building 28. vertical warp from ground-ﬂoor plan to roof. Peter B.276 Peter B. .
Peter B.Peter B. Lewis Building 277 29. Lewis Building. column grid with tilted columns. .
278 Peter B. . Peter B. vertical Cartesian extrusion of plan. Lewis Building 30. Lewis Building.
Peter B. .Peter B. contrast between vertical extrusion and sectionally warped elements. Lewis Building. Lewis Building 279 31.
280 Peter B. axonometric view. Lewis Building. Lewis Building 32. . Peter B. ground ﬂoor.
. second ﬂoor. Peter B. axonometric view.Peter B. Lewis Building 281 33. Lewis Building.
.282 Peter B. Lewis Building 34. Peter B. Lewis Building. axonometric view. third ﬂoor.
Peter B. axonometric view. fourth ﬂoor. Lewis Building.Peter B. . Lewis Building 283 35.
Lewis Building. axonometric view. ﬁfth ﬂoor. Peter B. Lewis Building 36.284 Peter B. .
. Lewis Building. Lewis Building 285 37. southeast axonometric view.Peter B. roof plan. Peter B.
roof plan. Lewis Building. northwest axonometric view. Lewis Building 38. . Peter B.286 Peter B.
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130 Arch of Titus. Gordon. 131 Alberti. 23. 103–104. 183 Dutch Embassy in Berlin. 53 Altes Museum. 207–208 Casa “Il Girasole. Henri. See Maison Dom-ino Durand. 103–111. 57. 15 Borromini. 259. 107 Bloom. 130 Cambridge History Faculty Library. 180 Chandigarh. Walter. 107 Bunshaft.” 18. 17. 120–126. 179. Turin. 130. Etienne-Louis. Harry. 185. 12. 201 Bergson. 191 Crown Hall (IIT). 20. 76. 56. 234 Cobb. Maurice. Edward. 26–48. Gordon. 53. 27–28. 19 Cemetery of San Cataldo in Modena. 108. 270–275 Alumni Memorial Hall (IIT). Peter Reyner. Theo van. Francesco. 57. 184–198. 52. Guy. 201. 26–48. 29. 106. 50 by 50 House. Georges. 129 Deleuze. 234. 204 Cullen. 185–186. 120-126. 75. 12. Giorgio.300 Index Numbers in italics denote pages upon which illustrations appear. Harold.N. 180 Bacon. 51 Bataille. 56. 236 CIAM (Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne).L. 157 City Edge competition. 27. 12. Peter. Leon Battista. See Le Corbusier Costa Cemetery. 29 Dom-ino. 104. 109.. 51–52 DeVore House. 235 Berlin Museum 235. 129 Derrida. 157 Barcelona Pavilion. 57 American Academy in Rome. 76. 236 Blake. and Weatherhead School of Management. 157 Assembly Hall at Chandigarh. 23. Parliament Building. 54 Barnes. 57 Adler House. 22. 28 Case Western Reserve. 73. 104–107. 159 Campo Marzio.indd300 300 4/9/2008 11:51:27 AM . 77. 11. 53. 29 Archigram. 207 Colophon Layout 02 08 FINAL. 19. Gilles. Roland. 262. 77 Aureli. 182 Carpenter Center. 76 Chapel at Ronchamp. 23. 21 Boullée. 76–78 Casa da Musica in Porto. Francis. 157 De Chirico. 130 Barthes. 185–198 Central Business District Proposal. 184 Debord. 270–275. 80: Assembly Hall. 131 Doesberg. 52 Corbusier. J. 22. 157 Blanchot. 52 Breuer. 20. 129. 129 De Stijl. 112–119. 190 Brick Country House. 179 Benjamin. 73 Banham. Jacques. 130 Concrete Country House. 102–119. 102. 178– 180. Pier Vittorio. Marcel. 136 Casa Giuliani-Frigerio.
129 Gowan. 156–157 Indian School of Management. 55–57 Independent Group. 18. 11–12. 60–71 Federal Housing Authority. 130 Jung. 20 Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York. 51. 259 Kipnis. 156 Hilberseimer. 264 Krauss. 192 Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Jeffrey. 261. 130 Frick Museum. 186. 263 Foucault. 205 Koolhaas. 17 Esposizione Universale di Roma. 155–156. Jacques. 9 Gallaratese housing complex. 138. 19. 131. 236–254. 188 Jussieu Libraries. Martin. 11. 235. Jean. 55. 129–130. 23–24. 21 Lyndon. 52 Hejduk. 187 Gehry. 188 Henderson. 60–71. 218. 130 Lynn. John. 158. New York. 179 Exeter Library. Ulrich. 264 Colophon Layout 02 08 FINAL. 154. Louis. 264 Lapadula. 231–232 Labatut. 11–12.301 El Lissitzky. 179 Leicester Engineering Building. 50–52. 181 Louvre. 22. 156. 184. 231 Jewish Museum in Berlin. 130 Florey Building at Queens College. Richard. 23. Walter. 12. 58. 207. Philip. 133. 257–259. 188.indd301 301 4/9/2008 11:51:27 AM . 200–202. 23. 200. 24. 19. 57. Rem. 263– 264 Line of Fire installation. 79–80. Michel. 138. 62–63. 130 Johnson. 107 Half-House. 159 Gropius. James. 230. 79–80. 50–71. 22. 20. 20. 54–56. Ahmedabad. Nigel. 21. 20. 12. 154–176. Greg. 23. 212. 205–228. 156–157 Heidegger. Sigfried. 230–231. 201–202. 106-109. Rosalind. 52. 156 Loos. Daniel. 106. 159 Franzen. 161. John. 242–243 Liverpool School of Architecture. 58 Graves. 23. 21–22. 29 Empson. 29. 23–24. William. 11–12. 130–131. 23–24. 56. 181. 130 Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. 53. Frank. 102–127. 23. 18–21 Giedion. 110 Farnsworth House. 205. 263. 21–22. 51. Ludwig. 136. John. 24. 56. 206–228 Kahn. 234. Adolf. 234–237. Ernesto. 111. Oxford. 181. 233–254. 204–205. Paris. 136 Hamilton. 263 Johansen. 21 Foreign Ofﬁce Architects. 230–254. 200–228. Carl. 202 Le Corbusier. Michael. 236. 154. 181. 242–243. 130 Lacan. 18–21. 11–12. 180. 33. 256–286 Glass House. 24. 72–100. 158–176 Libeskind. 53.
Jaquelin. 179 Palazzo del Te. 23. Morocco. 206–207 Mundaneum project. 256–286. 157.. 231 Peter B. 10. 54. 50–71. 156. Scotland. 58. Amédée. 159 San Cataldo Cemetery. 20. I. 77–101. 207. 182 Price. 130 Mussolini. 201. 258 Mission Grande Axe. Andrea. 23. 256. 130 Moretti. Carlo. 53. 56 Richards Medical Center. 204–205. 34 Palladio. 130 Peirce. 204 Neutra. Cedric. 136 Resor House. 57. 136. 19. 201. 75. 270 Colophon Layout 02 08 FINAL. 137 National Gallery in Berlin. 129.302 Index Maison Citrohan. 11. 22. Gordon. 178–198. 188 Palm Bay Seafront Convention Center. 136 Schindler. 19. 138. Rudolf. 103 Piranesi. La Defense. 212. 110. Mantua. 63. Charles. 202 Modena Cemetery. 259. Konstantin. 236 Melnikov. 203. Ernesto. 20. Aldo. 22. 19. Agadir. 22. 263 Paolozzi. 110. 157. 155 National Football Foundation Hall of Fame. 232–233. 190 Moore. Ronchamp. 218. 107 Quarter-House. 258–286 Philips Pavilion. Charles Sanders. 206 Notre Dame du Haut. 159. 57 Martello towers. 72. 106. Richard. 72–101. 79. 204. Ludwig. 103–104. 18. 51 Robertson. 263 Maison Jaoul. 162 Mies van der Rohe. 205. 203. Giulio. 51. 161 Rietveld. 204. 29 Santa Maria in Campitelli. 24. 138. Karl Friedrich. 182 Russakov Worker’s Club. 75 Piazza San Marco. 110. 262. 12. 110. 34 Rossi. 16. Colin. 207. 22. 162 Saint Andrew’s Dormitory. 26. 157 Matta-Clark. 73. 32. 259 Schinkel. 186–188. 76. 186 Museum of Modern Art. 157 Proust. 18. 181. 157. 74 Pei. 10. 204. Eduardo. 207.indd302 302 4/9/2008 11:51:27 AM . 23 24. 26–48. 20. See Cemetery of San Cataldo Sant’Andrea. 261 Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. 32. 206 Parthenon. Benito. 105. 156–157 Parliament Building at Chandigarh. 130. 202 Rowe. 76 Parc de La Villette. 75 OMA. Gerrit. 51 Maison Dom-ino. 201. Marcel. 201. 181 Romano. 12. Paris. 12. See Rem Koolhaas Ozenfant. 158 Mannheim Theater. Luigi. Lewis Building. 130. 74 Palais des Congrès-Strasbourg. 259 New York Athletic Club. 130 Rodgers. 29. Giovanni Battista. 20. 136 Rainaldi. 203.M. 203.
23. Fischer. 181 Slutzky. 107. 20 Zumthor. Brno. 270. 107. Tim. 19 Villa Radieuse.Index 303 Schroeder House. 181 Seattle Public Library. 27. 204. 129 Team Ten. 154-176. 20. See also Peter B. 131–152 Villa Malcontenta. 130 Seagram Building. 27. James. 180. 204. 202. Manfredo. 19. Robert. 133. 131. 130. 76–80. 79. Peter. 202. 11. 24.indd303 303 4/9/2008 11:51:27 AM . Robert. 53. 108. 23. Frank. 128–152. 23. 18 Vanna Venturi House. 51. 258. 202–203. 206–207 Von Erlach. Giuseppe. 19. 105–107. 129. 190 Vreeland. 56. 33 Colophon Layout 02 08 FINAL. 157 Terragni. 128. 130. 18 Tafuri. Case Western Reserve. Lewis Building Yale University Art Gallery. 74-75 Vitruvius. 234 Utzon. 185. 28 Texas House. Peter & Alison. 10 Stirling. 262 Stella. 20. 108–109 Weatherhead School of Management. 105 Très Grande Bibliothèque. 263. 262 Sydney Opera House. 76 Villa Stein at Garches. 51 Scully. 23. 130 Villa Rotunda. 11–12. 52 Unité d’Habitation. 207–208 Segrate Monument. 181 Trenton Bathhouse. 201. La. 74 Venturi. 205. 218 Tugendhat House. 20. 159 Smithson. 19 Villa Savoye in Poissy. 202. 181. 156–157 Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart. 205. 128–152. 106. Marseilles. 130 Wall House. 74. 19. Jørn. Vincent. 136 Tourette.
130. 249. 209. 252. 272. New York/VG Bild-Kunst. 237 left. 140. 260.it: 178. 156. Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource. 58. 202 right. 123. 36 right. 66. Montréal: 180 left. 57. 170. 91. Montréal: 157 left. 190. 228. 99. John Bassett: 18. 216. 205. 64 left.Illustration Credits Every effort has been made to identify the provenance of each image. 163. 204. NY. 104. 39. 217. 215. 284. 268. 21. 172. 279. 119. 131. 43. 193. 259. 29. 282. 74. © 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS). 269. 171. 69. 96. 137. 113. 28. 76. 62. James Stirling / Michael Wilford Fonds. 242. 196. 174. Bonn: 50. 251. 41. 135. 280. 146. 100. and Rollin La France: 128. 250. 283. 122. 261. 105 left. Fondazione Aldo Rossi © Eredi Aldo Rossi. 246. 151. Louis I. 88. 159.indd304 304 4/9/2008 11:51:28 AM . 213. 226. Studio Daniel Libeskind: 230. 23 right. 118. 270. 254. 191. Kahn Collection. 234. Michael Wang: 23 left. 271. 31. John Hejduk Archive. 253. 169. 67. 42. 106 left. 142. 248. 143. 79. 20 left. 92. 86. 162. 136. 141. 203. 187. 35. 278. Paris/FLC: 54 left. 160 right. 134. Andrew Heid: 22 right. 93. 83. 160 left. 222. 56 left. 34. Inc. 114. 286. 247. If inaccuracies have inadvertently occurred. 273. 61. 245. 30. 186. 97. 189. Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture. 38. Montréal: 106 right. 223. 37. 48. Udo Hesse: 236. Aldo Rossi Fonds. 180 right. 68. 240. 145. Conway Library. 220. 243. 107 right. 241. 277. 44. 263. 75. 120. 161 right. Mies van der Rohe Archive. Libeskind/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource. 117. 183 right. 262. 164. 81. 149. 235 left. Collection Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève: 233. 108. 107 left. 23. 202 left. 20 right. 198. 218. 152. 227. 237 right. 121. 70. Carolyn Yerkes: 19 right. Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture. 211. Montréal: 154. LLP: 256. 85. 267. 207. 52. 84. 117. 185. 264. 192. they will be corrected in subsequent printings. 126. © 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS). Ariane Lourie: 19 right. 173. 276. Peter Eisenman collection: 158. 214. 132. 109. 110. 112. 105. Colophon Layout 02 08 FINAL. 124. 139. New York/ADAGP. 281. 258. Luigi Moretti. 82. Gehry Partners. Simply. Archivio Centrale Dello Stato: 26. 90. 157 right. 40. 175. Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture. 150. 182. 266. 147. 148. Archivio Ghirri© Eredi di Luigi Ghirri: 181. 63. University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission: 102. 55. 72. 275. 168. 166. 53. 210. 45. 125. 161 left. 194. 224. 176. Matthew Roman: 89. 219. 197. 144. 265. 54 right. London: 275. 183 left. 47. Courtauld Institute of Art. 239. Le Corbusier. 133. 274. 32. digital images © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource. 225. 167. Photographs: © Alessandro Zambianchi. 64 right. 78. 115. 285. 244. 235 right. 65. 206. 22 left. 46. NY. 98. 94. Ofﬁce for Metropolitan Architecture: 200. Chicago History Museum © Hedrich-Blessing: 56 right. 221. Ajay Manthripragada: cover. 95. Venturi Scott Brown and Associates. 77. Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/ Canadian Centre for Architecture. 212. 165. 195. 87. 36 left. 33. 60. 116. NY: 232.
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