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Interpretations of organic architecture

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Martina Zbasnik-Senegacnik Manja Kitek Kuzman

University of Ljubljana University of Ljubljana


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22 [2014] 2 [48]

FAKULTET Znanstveni prilozi Scientific Papers
FACULTY 290-301 Martina Interpretations of Organic Interpretacije organske
OF ARCHITECTURE Zbašnik-Senegaènik Architecture arhitekture
Manja Kitek Kuzman Subject Review Pregledni znanstveni èlanak
ISSN 1330-0652
UDK | UDC 71/72
22 [2014] 2 [48]
7-12 [2014]
Fig. 1. Frank Lloyd Wright: Fallingwater House, Bear Run, Pennsylvania, 1939. A unique example of organic architecture is the Kaufmann Residence or Fallingwater
House in Bear Run, Pennsylvania (1935-1939). The three-storey weekend house is set in a very unusual location: on a cliff above a waterfall. The cantilever structure
sits on top of the waterfall, which is invisible but can be heard. The house is a prime example of a modern technology in natural surroundings.
Sl. 1. Frank Lloyd Wright: Kuæa Fallingwater, Bear Run, Pensilvanija, 1939. Kuæa Kaufmann ili Fallingwater, Bear Run, Pensilvanija (1935.-1939.), jedinstveni je primjer
organske arhitekture. Trokatna vikendica smještena je na neobiènoj lokaciji - na stijeni iznad slapa. Konzolna konstrukcija postavljena je iznad vodopada koji se ne
može vidjeti, no kojeg se šum može èuti. Ova je kuæa vrhunski primjer moderne tehnologije u prirodnom okruženju.
Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi 22[2014] 2[48] PROSTOR 291

Martina Zbašnik-Senegaènik, Manja Kitek Kuzman

University of Ljubljana Sveuèilište u Ljubljani
Faculty of Architecture Arhitektonski fakultet
Slovenia - 1000 Ljubljana, Zoisova ulica 12 Slovenija - 1000 Ljubljana, Zoisova ulica 12
University of Ljubljana Sveuèilište u Ljubljani
Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Wood Science and Technology Biotehnièki fakultet, Odsjek za drvnu tehnologiju
Slovenia - 1000 Ljubljana, Rožna dolina, Cesta VIII/34 Slovenija - 1000 Ljubljana, Rožna dolina, Cesta VIII/34

Subject Review Pregledni znanstveni èlanak

UDC 72.01 UDK 72.01
Technical Sciences / Architecture and Urban Planning Tehnièke znanosti / Arhitektura i urbanizam
2.01.01. - Architectural Design 2.01.01. - Arhitektonsko projektiranje
2.01.04. - History and Theory of Architecture 2.01.04. - Povijest i teorija arhitekture
and Preservation of the Built Heritage i zaštita graditeljskog naslijeða
Article Received / Accepted: 10. 9. 2014. / 8. 12. 2014. Èlanak primljen / prihvaæen: 10. 9. 2014. / 8. 12. 2014.

Interpretations of Organic Architecture

Interpretacije organske arhitekture

biomimicry biomimikrija
computational geometry raèunalna geometrija
Gaudí, Antoni Gaudí, Antoni
organic architecture organska arhitektura
Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd

The notion of organic architecture originally sprung from the ideas of Viollet- Pojam organska arhitektura potjeèe od Viollet-le-Duca i Ruskina, koji su izvršili
le-Duc and Ruskin, which influenced Wright and Gaudí. The second interpreta- utjecaj na Wrighta i Gaudija. Druga interpretacija organske arhitekture temelji
tion of organic architecture is based on mathematic and geometric laws that se na matematièkim i geometrijskim zakonitostima koje postoje u prirodi.
originate in nature. According to the third interpretation, organic architecture Prema treæoj interpretaciji, organska arhitektura nalazi inspiraciju u prirodi i
finds inspiration in nature and emulates the shapes of living organisms. oponaša oblike živih organizama koji reagiraju na vanjske utjecaje.
292 PROSTOR 2[48] 22[2014] 290-301 M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN Interpretations of Organic Architecture Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi

INTRODUCTION ical, physical and functional interdepend-

ence, culminating in Unity (Unité). Construc-
UVOD tion, the strongest foundation of the Law of
Unity, can also be found in nature.3 Using the
gothic model he insisted that materials must
be used honestly and that buildings’ exterior
should reflect rational construction.
Some believe that Viollet-le-Duc was influ-
enced by John Ruskin (1819-1900), one of the
19th-century philosophers, who strongly influ-
enced the architects of the period, particu-
larly through his essay The Seven Lamps of
Architecture (1849), emphasizing the signifi-
cance of the handcrafted and honest display
of material and construction.4 He insisted
that buildings should express the power of
nature, and ornamentation should draw on
nature and its creations. Beauty should stem
from nature and be designed to fit mankind.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Viollet-
le-Duc and Ruskin strongly influenced entire
generations of their readers both in Europe
and in the USA.5 Architecture turned in a new
direction and we see the emergence of or-
ganic architecture, to be further refined into
different interpretations. This article’s pur-
pose is to define each interpretation of or-
ganic architecture, to find the respective most

T he second half of the 19th century saw a

new revival of Gothic architecture as well as
influential representatives, as well as to pre-
sent the key laws that influenced architec-
tural design and planning.
the classical rules of Greek architecture. The
proponents of these new architectural prin- ORIGINS OF ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE
ciples, Viollet-le-Duc and John Ruskin, were
inspired by natural shapes and processes POÈECI ORGANSKE ARHITEKTURE
while simultaneously advocating the continu- Initially, Viollet-le-Duc’s and Ruskin’s publi-
ation of the medieval handcrafted art tradi- cations gained popularity in the USA. Their
tion as opposed to introducing new industrial influence ranged from architectural theory to
methods.1 providing specific design motifs to an eclectic
Eugne Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) American architecture.6 Their works took root
was a French Gothic revival architect and a with the periods’ leading American archi-
restorer of French medieval buildings. Through tects, also with Louis Sullivan and his young
his knowledge of Gothic architecture, he per- apprentice, Frank Lloyd Wright. In Europe,
ceived architecture as a harmonious system
of construction and composition, yet without 1 Zevi, 1950: 86
the imitation of Gothic forms and details. He 2 Viollet-le-Duc, 1854-1868: 476
defended the scientific rational approach to 3 Viollet-le-Duc, 1854-1868: 340
nature, based on geometric and physical 4 Ruskin, 1981
laws. Along with many 19th-century theoreti- 5 Reiff, 1988: 34
cians, he was convinced that, unlike painting 6 Reiff, 1988: 32
and sculpture, architecture must not simply 7 Zevi, 1950: 66
8 Sullivan, 1901-02: 48
imitate nature, but should emulate its laws.
9 Sullivan, 1901-02: 47
He sought inspiration in the study of organic 10 Outward appearance resembles inner purpose.
shapes such as leaves and animal skeletons 11 Hoffmann, 1969: 177
(i.e. bats’ wings). Although the art of con- 12 ”Be warned this word ‘organic’ is like the word ‘natu-
struction is a human creation, he claimed, the re’. If taken in a sense too biological, it would not be what
extent of human helplessness forces the art- it is: light in darkness; it would be a stumbling block.”
[Wright, 1958: 160]
ist to emulate nature’s use of the same ele-
13 Nute, 1997: 271-288
ments, the same logical methods, the same 14 Satler, 1999: 16
subordination to certain laws and the same 15 Zevi, 1950: 68
transfers.2 According to Viollet-le-Duc, the 16 Wright’s architecture is characterised by an entirely
laws of nature stand in a complex mathemat- new approach to building design, particularly the design
Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi Interpretations of Organic Architecture M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN 290-301 22[2014] 2[48] PROSTOR 293

they especially inspired the Catalonian archi- - The nature of the location - susceptibly re-
tect Antoni Gaudí of Barcelona. specting the landscape - The location’s na-
ture entails observing local tradition and cre-
• The organic architecture of Frank Lloyd
ating a building with natural materials. The
Wright - The first definition of ”organic archi-
building is a frame of its environment or show-
tecture” was introduced by Louis Sullivan
cases unusual elements of the surrounding
(1856-1924) in his work Kindergarten Chats terrain. To him, it was important to bring the
(1901).7 Sullivan defined the concept of ”or- outside world into the house and let the in-
ganic” in correlation with the concepts of ”or- side of the house go outside.17
ganism”, ”structure”, ”function”, ”growth”,
”development” and ”form”. All these words - Observing the investor’s needs - The in-
imply the initiating pressure of a living force vestor’s needs can be interpreted very practi-
and a resultant structure or mechanism cally, i.e. with the required number of rooms
whereby such force is made manifest and op- for a family and where its members might
erative.8 He claimed that ”if the work is to be prefer to gather. A house is a refuge, which
organic, the function of the parts must have he emphasizes with the central placement of
the same quality as the function of the the fireplace for the family to gather around.
whole”.9 Therefore, the key concept of organ- Also, Wright always studied how a building
ic design is derived from Sullivan’s ”form fol- might enhance family activities and elevate
lows function” axiom.10 the family’s everyday life to the level of art.

Under the influence of Viollet-le-Duc’s work - Observing the artistic identity of materi-
als18 - The natural pattern of the building ma-
Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture fran-
terial becomes an integral ornament of the
çaise du XIe au XVIe sicle (1856), Frank Lloyd
Wright claimed that while every architect
must study the history of architecture, he Wright’s worship of nature19 is expressed
must not copy the forms of the past in design through his dominant horizontal lines rising
and constructing, but should only explore from the starting point - the plains of the
their generic principles.11 Wright’s under- prairie landscape; through the organic con-
standing of the relation between architec- nection between the building and its sur-
ture, architect and nature wholly agreed with roundings - the buildings seem to grow from
Viollet-le-Duc’s. Moreover, he found confir- the ground20, connected with nature by ter-
mation for his ”organic”12 ideals in Japanese races, covered garden walls, flower beds and
art and traditional architecture13, and by con- decorative containers (urns). Wright beauti-
necting the conventional Western version of fully connects architecture and nature, mat-
space with the Eastern one he created his ters organic and geometric, natural stone
own architectural style.14 Wright’s under- and concrete, the interior with the exterior,
standing of Japanese architecture gave rise and nature with space21 (Fig. 1). For many,
to his demand for unity, harmony and sim- Wright is the true father of organic architec-
plicity as well as for the demand to respect ture and indeed, he inspired entire genera-
the nature of building materials and the tions of younger architects.22
uniqueness of anything individual. Wright • The organic architecture of Antoni Gaudí
failed to fully verbally define his organic ar- (1852-1926) - Gaudí created a unique orga-
chitecture15, yet its principles are expressed nic architecture profoundly different from
in his works16: Wright’s. He adopted Ruskin’s idea that ”or-
nament is the origin of architecture” and un-
of houses. He reduced the number of rooms by combining
der Viollet-le-Duc’s influence recognised the
their functions in a large living space with a central fire- Gothic as the only true acceptable style of ar-
place. He used large glazed areas to connect the external chitecture. The Gothic form was for Gaudí at
environment of the house with the interior. The natural the same time functional and aesthetic, and
environment of the prairie was the inspiration for the hori-
zontal lines that characterised his architecture. His buil-
he discovered how to adapt the language of
dings are low in height, close to human scale and with a nature to the structural forms of architecture.
great feeling for the natural setting in which they are built.
[Wright, 1969: 141-142] Gaudí was inspired by the organic shapes of
17 Wright, 1954: 33 nature. He found abundant examples of these,
18 ”All materials are beautiful, their beauty much or en- for instance in rushes, reeds and bones. Un-
tirely depending upon how well they are used by the archi- like Wright, Gaudí did not integrate a build-
tect.” [Wright, 1954: 53] ing’s natural surroundings by connecting it
19 ”I came to feel that in the nature of Nature - if from with the interior; instead, he explored the
within outward - I would come upon nothing not sacred.
Nature had become my Bible.” [Wright, 1957: 21]
static forces of nature and used its principles
20 ”I had an idea that every house in that low region
in the structure of the building. He estab-
should begin on the ground, not in it as they then began, lished a sensitive relationship with nature
with damp cellars.” [Wright, 1954: 16] and translated it into a highly original and of-
21 Nute, 2000: 26, 37 ten zoomorphic ornament that features pre-
22 Pearson, 2001: 39 historic, extinct species of gigantic monsters,
294 PROSTOR 2[48] 22[2014] 290-301 M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN Interpretations of Organic Architecture Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi

dragons and dinosaurs, as well as trees and erto known post and beam. Gothic architec-
plants.23 He blended all of the above into a ture adopted Greek geometry and enhanced
unique style of organic architecture. He hated it by incorporating the Celtic emulation of
monotony of colour, finding it unnatural: na- natural shapes. In decoration, trees and
ture never showed itself monochromatically plants shapes were used as the first true tri-
or in complete uniformity of colour.24 He ex- umph of matters organic in architecture.
plored and developed these approaches Along with other geometric shapes, the circle
throughout his life: each and every Gaudí’s became the basic design aid of a Gothic ca-
project is innovative and all are integrated thedral. The structures derived from underly-
through their author’s love and respect for ing star diagrams, subdivided by polygons
nature and geometry. Some of the undisput- (especially pentagons and decagons), which
ed triumphs of Gaudí’s organic architecture related directly to the Golden Section. Ren-
are the Park Güell (1900-1914; Fig. 2), Casa aissance elevated architecture into a new sci-
Milà (1906-1912) and Casa Batlló (1904), not ence. It demanded that every part of a build-
to mention the unique Sagrada Familia ing be integrated into a system of mathemat-
(whose construction began in 1886). ical ratios.
Gaudí left a permanent mark on 20th-century Thus, the entire history of shapes in architec-
architecture: his influence can be found in ture is based on geometric shapes found in
the works of Pier Luigi Nervi, Otto Frei, Hun- nature. Even in the late 19th and early 20th
dertwasser, Oscar Niemeyer, Felix Candela, centuries, shapes used in the revival of Greek
Santiago Calatrava and many others. and Gothic architecture were based on math-
ematical laws and further scientific research.
In 1917, D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, in his
Fig. 2. Antoni Gaudí: Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain, MATHEMATICS AND GEOMETRY
1900-1914. Gaudí displays the greatest proximity study On Growth and Form, found that the
to nature. He often imitated forms from nature AS TOOLS FOR ORGANIC SHAPES biological shapes of plants and animals were
in his work. The colonnades form caverns that seem
to have evolved naturally. MATEMATIKA I GEOMETRIJA KAO ALATI not influenced only by evolution. The guiding
ZA ORGANSKE OBLIKE principle of evolution is optimisation, which
Sl. 2. Antoni Gaudí: Park Güell, Barcelona, can also be described or proven with the laws
Španjolska, 1900.-1914. Gaudí iskazuje veliku
povezanost s prirodom. U svojim radovima èesto We are surrounded by an infinite diversity of of mathematics, physics and mechanics. Man
oponaša oblike iz prirode. Redovi stupova tvore shapes. Patterns and shapes in nature in- then used these laws to create patterns of
šupljine koje izgledaju kao da su prirodno nastale.
clude mathematical rules and reflect regular- built structures. According to Thompson,
ity, unity and symmetry, which are experi- form is a mathematical problem, whereas the
enced as harmony. What we find so attractive problem of its growth is a physical problem.33
in nature is in fact mathematic regularity25, Thompson’s book became an instant clas-
serving also a basis for the assessment of its sic for the understanding of natural geometry
beauty. Mathematics is an instrument that in the dynamism of growth and physical
has been used by builders throughout histo- processes.
ry.26 To this day, it remains a bridge between Also based on natural laws, the new findings
design and construction.27 Geometry, the of mathematicians in the 20th century proceed-
branch of mathematics exploring spatial ed to define new shapes and translate them
Fig. 3. Antoni Gaudí: Facade Casa Milà, Barcelona, characteristics of bodies and relationships into architectural design.34 The mathematician
Spain, 1910. The façade is divided according between them, has been an inspiration and a Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geom-
to the movement of the parabolic and hyperbolic
arch and creates an impression of sea waves. tool for architectural design since ancient etry of the 1970s, found that the apparent dis-
It is a triumph of Gaudí’s organic architecture. times.
Sl. 3. Antoni Gaudí: Casa Milà, proèelje, Barcelona, • Correct geometric shapes - The earliest 23 Zerbst, 2005: 115
Španjolska, 1910. Proèelje je artikulirano prema civilizations found their inspiration for sim-
oblicima parabolièkog i hiperbolièkog luka, a 24 Zerbst, 2005: 202
podsjeæa na morske valove. Ovo je vrhunac Gaudijeve ple, basic geometric shapes in nature. They 25 Finsterwalder, 2011: 15
organske arhitekture. created harmonic proportions by connecting
26 Birindelli, Cedrone, 2012: 105
the circle, ellipsis, triangle and rectangle (i.e.
27 Pottmann, 2009: 61
the Golden Section)28, which generated the
28 Juvanec, 2009: 196
logarithmic spirals29, basic curves and growth.
29 Successions of golden triangles.
Spirals are represented in the volute of the
30 Birindelli, Cedrone, 2012: 106
Ionic column, the oldest architectural exam-
ples of a spiral building is the Tower of Ba- 31 This is a widely present post festum speculation and
observation and not a generic approach of the explicit pre-
bel.30 By means of the Golden Section, the sence of Golden Section in architecture.
Greeks defined the distances between col- 32 A support structure with greater bearing capacity
umns. Both the Taj Mahal and the Notre than the old post and beam.
Dame observe the proportions of the Golden 33 Thompson, 1945: 142
Section.31 From basic geometric shapes, the 34 Birindelli, Cedrone, 2012: 105
Etruscans developed the arch and the vault, 35 Kuhlmann, 2008: 38
and the Romans continued this development 36 Exhibited in maquette form in 1958-59 at The Mu-
by expanding it into the dome32, a much seum of Modern Art in New York.
stronger supporting construction as the hith- 37 Rising while staying around a vertical axis.
Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi Interpretations of Organic Architecture M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN 290-301 22[2014] 2[48] PROSTOR 295

order of nature reveals, on closer inspection, perboloids41 that are in fact inspired by tree
repetitions of certain structures. Peter Eisen- trunks. Gaudí designed balanced construc-
mann incorporated fractal geometry in design tions (standing erect like a tree with no need
in the Wexner Center at Ohio State University for inner reinforcement or external support)
(Columbus, Ohio, 1989). Charles Jencks incor- using roped, hyperbolic and parabolic arches
porated catastrophe theory into architectural and vaults, as well as slanting and spiral piers,
design, while Greg Lynn introduced complex and testing the complicated constructional
curved and folded plans.35 forces with weighted models42 (their results
Thanks to powerful algorithms, the mathe- are currently verified using computers).
matical objects now have an immediate way • Free space lines - Ruskin said that ”It will
of being created or represented easily and evidently follow, upon our application of this
quickly. The imagination of the shapes to test of natural resemblance, that we shall
which the architect can be inspired, through at once conclude that all perfectly beauti-
the mathematical framework, goes well from ful forms must be composed of curves, since Fig. 4. Frank Lloyd Wright: Solomon R. Guggenheim
the simple triangles and circles to the com- there is hardly any common natural form in Museum, New York City, New York, 1959. The
Guggenheim Museum, a unique spatial architecture
plex curved forms, like the logarithmically which it is possible to discover a straight and a monument to modernism, is cast in a concrete
curved spirals in Bruce Goff’s Bavinger House line.”43 For Ruskin, exceptional beauty was tower composed of concentric circles and rises as
(Norman, Oklahoma, USA, 1955) or the flat- inseparably connected with natural shapes far as a dodecagon dome on the roof. The exhibition
tened spheroid in Friedrick Kiesler’s Endless space is created on the walls along a spiral ramp in
such as the outlines of mountains, the incli- the inner rotund and not in the closed interiors like
House.36 nation of glaciers and the curves of organic in other museums.
The geometrical surface denoted helicoids, forms of shells, fish or willow leaves.44 Nature Sl. 4. Frank Lloyd Wright: Muzej Solomon R.
which are two dimensional spirals.37 An ex- is not determined only by strict mathematical Guggenheim, New York City, New York, 1959.
laws of Euclidian geometry. For this reason Muzej Guggenheim jedinstveni je primjer arhitekture
ample of this is Eero Saarinen’s staircase in i spomenik moderne. Njegov betonski toranj sastoji
the General Motors Technical Centre (War- the architecture of organic forms does not al- se od koncentriènih krugova s dvanaesterokutnom
ren, Michigan, 1956). While in Frank Lloyd ways abide to strict geometric laws. kupolom na vrhu. Izložbeni prostor èine zidovi
Wright’s Guggenheim Museum (New York, spiralne rampe u unutrašnjosti kružne graðevine,
1959, Fig. 4), the helicoid is the building itself In his essay Inspiration (1886), Louis Sullivan a ne zatvoreni interijeri kao u drugim muzejima.

and not only an element of it, hence revolu- described the fusion of geometric and orga-
tionizing both the role and the direction of nic shapes as natural principles of design,
the geometrical surface.38 also found in a transcendental, religious di-
mension. In practice, he joined geometric and
Convenient geometrical objects to use in ar- organic forms by designing refined plant mo-
chitecture are so-called ruled surfaces39, which tifs with simple squares, cut by diagonals and
are present in Le Corbusier’s Phillips Pavilion orthogonal axes. He recognized ”feminine”
(Brussels, 1958), Felix Candela’s Oceanogra- principles in floral, organic shapes originat-
phic (Valencia, Spain, 2003), Toyo Ito’s Re- ing in primary geometric ”masculine” sha-
laxation Park (Torrevieja, Spain, 2006) and pes.45 Le Corbusier, famous for works con-
elsewhere.40 sisting of boxy, functional, and sterile vol- Fig. 5. Friedensreich Hundertwasser: Waldspirale,
Antoni Gaudí, in designing the Sagrada Famil- umes, designed Chapel Notre Dame du Haut Darmstadt, Germany, 2000. The spiral form
ia, used many ruled surfaces. In his Gothic and (Ronchamp, France, 1950-1955) as an irregu- represents shelter. Windows of various sizes and
organic vision of architecture, he used geo- lar sculptural form where the walls, the roof, heights are arranged in the wall in a geometrically
irregular and seemingly disorganised way, because
metrical structure present in nature. Many pil- and the floor slope, all in free curvilinear they serve the residents inside and not the
lars of the Sagrada Familia are hyperbolic hy- forms.46 observers outside.

In his book Wege zur Form (1952), Hugo Hä- Sl. 5. Friedensreich Hundertwasser: Waldspirale,
ring (1882-1958) claims that form is inherent Darmstadt, Njemaèka, 2000. Spiralni oblik
38 Birindelli, Cedrone, 2012: 109 predstavlja sklonište. Prozori razlièitih velièina
39 A ruled surface is a surface such that through each of in every location and every element of a i visina smješteni su na zidu u nepravilnom i naizgled
its points passes a straight line contained in the surface. building, while the architect’s task is to dis- neorganiziranom geometrijskom uzorku, buduæi da
40 Birindelli, Cedrone, 2012: 110-111 cover and develop it. According to Häring, služe stanarima iznutra, a ne promatraèima izvana.
41 One of the ruled surfaces. function stems from nature and life, whereas
42 His results have now been verified by computer mo- architectural expression originates from hu-
delling. man reason. Functional shapes have remained
43 Ruskin, 1981: 104 the same everywhere in the world through-
44 Fuller, 1988: 61 out history, whereas expressive shapes are
45 Sullivan, 1979: 188 limited by blood and knowledge and depend
46 ”The essence of composition is a radical deviation
from orthogonality, fading as a silent yet certainly not mi-
on time and place.47 The organic and func-
nimalistically intoned manifesto ... it is inspired by unique tional in architecture is also reflected in his
organic forms. Here, the interplay between the concave house of Gut Garkau in Lübeck (Germany,
and the convex ripens to complete plasticity associated 1924-1926).48 He spoke of buildings in terms
with historical reminiscences: the inspiration is unleashed
so by catacombs as by Borromini.” [Košir, Kreèiè, Zu- of organic display. Although this did not au-
panèiè, 2007: 39-40] tomatically lead to the curve instead of the
47 Häring, 2001: 321-322 orthogonal form, it led away from the power
48 Blundell, 1999: 56 and predominance of the straight line and the
49 Pearson, 2001: 44 right angle.49 Häring’s ideas greatly influ-
296 PROSTOR 2[48] 22[2014] 290-301 M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN Interpretations of Organic Architecture Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi

enced Alvar Aalto50 (Helsinki University of jellies and microorganisms, while images
Technology, 1949-1966) and Hans Scharoun composing each plate are arranged for maxi-
(Berliner Philharmonie, 1960-1963). mum visual impact. Among the notable prints
It was Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928- are numerous radiolarians, which Haeckel
helped to popularize. Kunstformen der Natur
2000) who brought expressing with free space
was influential in early 20th-century art, archi-
lines originating in nature to new heights in
tecture, and design, bridging the gap be-
organic architecture. He looked up to Gaudí’s
tween science and art.
organic architecture, yet his lines were not
based on strict geometry. Hundertwasser, The second is the already discussed influen-
with his painter’s soul and his love and acute tial work On Growth and Form (1917) by the
sense of nature, introduced natural spiral renowned biologist and mathematician D’Arcy
shapes to architecture. For Hundertwasser, a Wentworth Thompson (1869-1948). The book
building had to meet the need for protection pioneered the scientific explanation of mor-
and shelter: it had to be a safe cave. Unlike phogenesis, the process by which patterns
Wright, who designed an orthogonally shaped are formed in plants and animals.55 It high-
shelter, Hundertwasser’s shelter is composed lights the laws governing the size of organ-
of spiral shapes that can lead outwards or in- isms and their growth, statics and dynamism
wards. Although his houses rather resemble in the functioning of cells and tissues, includ-
a mole’s burrow, their chimneys and particu- ing the phenomena of membranes under ten-
larly windows serve as a connection with the sion, symmetries and cell divisions, along
outside world. Hundertwasser claims that with the engineering and geodesics of skele-
the design of a house must incorporate its tons in simple organisms.56 Thompson’s de-
natural surroundings and express two basic scription of radiolarians is one of the most
principles51: the horizontal belongs to nature comprehensive.57 He discovered that organ-
Fig. 6. Gustave Eiffel: Eiffel Tower, Paris, France,
(”Duty to Tree”), whereas the vertical belongs isms developed their own structural forms in
1889. Construction was inspired by the human femur response to forces in interrelation to move-
bone, which is very good at handling off-centre to man (”Right to Window”; Fig. 5).
stresses. ment that strengthens the organism when
necessary, reinforcing structures in critical
Sl. 6. Gustave Eiffel: Eiffelov toranj, Pariz, BIOMIMICRY - ARCHITECTURE INSPIRED places by means either of reinforcement or
Francuska, 1889. Graðevina je inspirirana ljudskom
bedrenom kosti kao efikasnim osloncem. BY NATURE the reduction of redundant material.58 He de-
INSPIRIRANA PRIRODOM 50 ”The impulse to cover the Paris pavilion with timber
may have come from H. Härings ‘s Garkau farm (1924) but
the expression of the timber became a mark of Finland.”
Fig. 7. Norman Foster: Gherkin Tower, London, 2003. Architecture finds inspiration in nature. Rus- [Pleština, 1995: 416]
The hexagonal skin of the building was inspired by kin wrote that ”forms which are not taken
the Venus’ flower basket sponge, which has 51 Hundertwasser, 2007: 68
a lattice-like exoskeleton. from natural objects must be ugly”.52 Analo- 52 Ruskin, 1981: 101
Sl. 7. Norman Foster: Toranj Gherkin, London, 2003.
gies between man-made artefacts and living 53 Rousseau, 1972
Šesterokutna ovojnica zgrade inspirirana je oblikom organisms have been a persistent theme in 54 Benyus, 2008: 30
spužve s rešetkastom vanjskom ljušturom. Western thought since antiquity.53 The Egyp- 55 Thompson, 1945
tians, Greeks and Romans incorporated natu- 56 Bonnemaison, Beesley, 2007: 7
ral motifs, such as tree leaves, into their col- 57 Bonnemaison, 2007: 71
umns. The Sagrada Familia is a good example 58 Tzonis, Lefaivre, 1995: 127
of using functional forms from nature in the 59 Thompson, 1945: 10
solving of constructional problems: Gaudí 60 Fuller, 2008: 373
used columns that modelled the branching 61 Gorman, 2005: 198
canopies to solve static problems in support- 62 ”Bubble domes, too small for man-occupancy, are
ing the vault. The Eiffel Tower was inspired by made by nature at possibly the highest mass production
the human femur bone, which is expert at velocity anywhere manifest to man.” [Fuller, 1969: 146]
handling off-center stresses (Fig. 6) and the 63 The Geodesic Dome is the only structure that beco-
ceiling of the Crystal Palace by the ribbing of mes more solid with size. It covers the largest possible
volume in relation to the surface area embraced by the
the Amazon water lily.54 volume.
In the early 20th century, two books enhanced 64 Fuller, 1969: 132, 189
the search for models from nature to be used 65 Skejiæ, Androiæ, Baèiæ, 2012: 203
in architectural design, the first being the 66 Previously the Swiss Re Tower.
Kunstformen der Natur collection (1899-1904) 67 Benyus, 2008: 30
by Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), a celebrated 68 ”Paralelly with the building, the machine came into
being. But while the development of the architecture is
German biologist, zoologist and natural sci- based on form variations, the development of the machi-
entist. The artwork consists of 100 prints of nery is founded on an intelligent domination over the laws
various organisms, many of which were first of nature by means of using energy, functional construc-
described by Haeckel himself. The subjects tions, kinetical properties, interrelated communicativity
and the communication with the man.” [Mutnjakoviæ,
were selected to embody organization, from 1995: 114]
the scale patterns of boxfishes to the spirals 69 Everything in the nature-mimicking house machine is
of ammonites to the perfect symmetries of subordinated to function - where the function is the hu-
Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi Interpretations of Organic Architecture M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN 290-301 22[2014] 2[48] PROSTOR 297

scribed how a limited set of constructional tects.65 The space frame inspired Norman
principles and proportional geometries sha- Foster in his projects of London’s Stansted
ped the form of organic structures in the nat- Airport (1991) and the Reichstag Building
ural world.59 (Berlin, 1999). Meanwhile, Otto Frei used a
geodesic tent in the roof construction of the
Inspired by the plates of Ernst Haeckel and
Olympic Stadium in Munich (1972).
D’Arcy Thompson, Buckminster Fuller (1885-
1983) believed that he was investigating ”na- Biomimicry remains a component part of the
ture’s laws of evolution defy all static pat- 21st century architectural design. The Gherkin
terns”.60 He perceived radiolarians as sour- Tower in London66 (Norman Foster, 2003) has
ces of infinite design strategies which, through a hexagonal skin inspired by the Venus’ flow-
his knowledge of geometry, he translated er basket sponge (Fig. 7), which hosts a lat-
into architectural constructions and even tice-like exoskeleton that appears glassy and
patented.61 Fuller is perhaps best known as glowing in its underwater environment. The
the inventor of the Geodesic Dome, the light- fibrous lattice helps to disperse stress on the Fig. 8. Andrija Mutnjakoviæ: House-Flower: project
est, strongest, most cost-effective structure organism in various directions and its round for international competition Una porta per Venezia,
ever devised.62 The Geodesic Dome is a sphe- shape reduce the forces of strong water cur- Venezia, 1990; the model: a variant of open position
of the house
rical or semi-spherical shell-like structure rents. Meanwhile, the Eden project in Corn-
wall in the United Kingdom (Grimshaw Archi- Sl. 8. Andrija Mutnjakoviæ: Kuæa-cvijet: projekt
composed of a grid of triangles, with local tri- za meðunarodni natjeèaj Una porta per Venezia,
angular tension on the spherical surface, tects, 2001) is a series of artificial biomes with u Veneciji, 1990.; model: varijanta otvorene
which conduct forces throughout the struc- domes and was inspired by radiolarians.67 pozicije kuæe
ture.63 The American Pavilion at Expo 1967 in Special attention is warranted by projects
Montreal, Canada (Fuller and Sadao), con- executed by the Croatian architect Andrija
structed on three-quarters of a circle, meas- Mutnjakoviæ for his visionary research of pos-
ures 250 feet in diameter, while the Geodesic sible integration of natural laws into architec-
Dome above Lower Manhattan (New York, ture68 (Homobil69; House-Flower70 (Fig. 8) -
1968) would measure two miles in diameter.64 from emulating natural forms (Ornitottero71)
The Geodesic Dome gave rise to a new type and connecting dwellings to their environ-
of construction: the shell. Fuller patented ment72 (Kynetichome73) to questions on grav-
many spatial geometric shapes that provided ity (Cocoonplan74; Fig. 9, 10) and suggestions
inspiration to later generations of archi- on concepts of living in a terciar town in the
postindustrial era, when the planet will en-
man being. A special mechanism adapts horizontal and counter overcrowding problems (Urmobil75).
vertical components and staircases to current human nee- Fig. 9. Andrija Mutnjakoviæ: Cocoon plan,
His works reflect an organic approach in an the project exhibited at the international exposition
ds. Project, International competition Mt. Olympus, Holly-
wood, 1964. [Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 75-108] anticipation of the future high-tech, techno- of international architecture, Wroclaw, 1981,
70 The building has a clear inspiration in the bionic sketch futuristic architecture. His bio-urban solutions a perspective view of hovering home
of flowery Gothic. Project, International competition Una and ideas are also of considerable interest.76 Sl. 9. Andrija Mutnjakoviæ: Kokonplan, projekt
porta per Venezia, 1990. [Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 151] izložen na meðunarodnoj izložbi internacionalne
71 The building’s bionic form stems from Da Vinci’s stu- arhitekture u Wroclawu, 1981., perspektivni prikaz
dy of bird wings Ornitotter. Project, International competi- DIGITAL ARCHITECTURE OF ORGANIC FORMS lebdeæe kuæe
tion La casa piu’bella del mondo, Reggio Emilia, 1988.
[Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 119] DIGITALNA ARHITEKTURA ORGANSKIH Fig. 10. Andrija Mutnjakoviæ: Cocoon plan,
the project exhibited at the international exposition
72 ”The building on the level of the mankind that enters FORMI of international architecture, Wroclaw, 1981,
its second industrial revolution should have spaces ade- a sketch of the balloon interior
quate at least to the imagination of the nature, it should Beginning in the 1990s, digitalization of the
possess kinetical constructive systems, it should dispose Sl. 10. Andrija Mutnjakoviæ: Kokonplan, projekt
of dynamic volumes, it should have an impregnation of planning process marks both a remarkable izložen na meðunarodnoj izložbi internacionalne
internal and external areas, it should communicate with progress as well as a trying challenge in ar- arhitekture u Wroclawu, 1981., skica interijera
the human being organoleptically and sensorially, it
should join the man’s space with the nature [Mutnjakoviæ,
1995: 116]
73 ”... be opened towards the macrocosmos of the sun
and the stars, the night and day, and connects the inside li-
ving space with nature.” Project, National competition Saint
Peter’s Church, Split, 1970 [Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 157-190]
74 The Hover Home is human reality. The most effective
forms of living space were created by nature, among them
the silken cocoon membrane - firm, soft, spherical, venti-
lated, and flexible. Living space within a helium filled bal-
loon is afloat, and, with the help of an engine, can fly. The
Hover Home is a possible alternative to the urban catacly-
sm. Project, International exposition of international archi-
tecture, Wroclav, 1981 [Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 51-74]
75 Project, International competition Portant sur un
projet d’une unite d’habitation fabriquee à l’echelle indu-
strielle, Luxembourg, 1976 [Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 207-224]
76 The terciary home will provide opportunities to remo-
ve the limits of industrial pollution, establish a direct con-
tact between nature and dwelling and integrate the urban
organism with all manifestations of nature. [Mutnjakoviæ,
1988: 15]
298 PROSTOR 2[48] 22[2014] 290-301 M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN Interpretations of Organic Architecture Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi

chitectural design. Organic shapes, previ- rithms. Thus, new geometries emerge that
ously conceivable and implementable only were hitherto impossible using the conven-
by the greatest minds (such as Gaudí, Wright tional, drawing-board approach. Gaudí tested
and Fuller) are, due to computers and para- his constructions of organic forms by means
metric tools, readily accessible. New tools of models.85 Although Hundertwasser’s build-
contain all concepts developed in the past: ings seem completely random, a result of in-
from the ideas of Ruskin, Viollet-le-Duc, stant inspiration, the architect built accurate
Wright and Gaudí to the 20th-century mathe- models that even featured greenery on ter-
maticians and Greg Lynn, William Mitchell, races and painted decoration.86 Mutnjakoviæ’s
Peter Eisenmann, Frank Gehry and the pio- Homobil, Kyneticdome, House-Flower (Fig.
neers of digitalization in architecture77, thus 8), Ornitottero exist only as models. But the
offering new opportunities for design in syn- development of computer methods gave rise
ergy with nature, mathematics, geometry and to radical changes in the architectural proc-
intuition. ess of design. Models are no longer neces-
sary. CAD software87 can be upgraded with
Fig. 11. Frank Gehry: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Although digitalization facilitates the master-
Spain, 1997. The museum, although heavily dependent the DMU88 digital tool, which facilitates accu-
ing of organic lines and spaces, this is really
on digital curved surface modelling software, rate visualization and serves instead of a pro-
not organic but parametric design. In other
was developed from such gestural and sensual totype. The DMU tool was initially employed
investigations in sketch and model form. Once the words, the approach to design has changed.
in the design of cars and planes; Frank Gehry
sculpted form was finalized, an exact digital model In parametric design, objects are no longer was the first to employ it in architecture for
described the building in mathematically defined
curves and surfaces. designed but calculated, allowing the design the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (199789;
Sl. 11. Frank Gehry: Muzej Guggenheim, Bilbao, of complex shapes with surfaces of variable Fig. 11).
Španjolska, 1997. Iako je ova graðevina u znaèajnoj curvature that would be difficult to represent
mjeri nastala na temelju raèunalnog programa using traditional drawing methods, and lay- In the late 1980s, in-depth research into com-
za modeliranje zakrivljenih površina, ona je puter modelling enhanced and allowed for a
utemeljena na istraživanju pokreta u skici i formi. ing ”the foundation for a non-standard mode
Nakon što je oblikovana forma finalizirana, precizan of production”. It is now possible to produce shift in design from planning and modelling
digitalni model opisao je graðevinu u matematièki series-manufactured, mathematically coher- to more mathematical approaches using par-
definiranim krivuljama i površinama.
ent but differentiated objects, along with ametric tools. The result was NURBS.90 This
elaborate, precise and relatively cheap one- tool can thoroughly process any shape or
off components.78 form, from simple two-dimensional lines, a
circle, an arch or a curve, to more complex
In the 1980s and 1990s, the software industry three-dimensional organic surfaces or bod-
invested in computer-aided design systems ies. Today, a growing number of architects
that encoded knowledge about the calcu- are designing with NURBS. It was, for exam-
lation and displays of free-form curved sha- ple, employed in the design of the Graz Art
pes specified by a few parameters. As a re- Museum (Austria, Peter Cook and Colin Four-
sult, these became widely and inexpensively nier, 2003; Fig. 13) and the Aquatics Centre
available.79 Buildings were once materialized project in London (Zaha Hadid, 2012).
Fig. 12. Wojciech Kakowski, Marcin Mostafa drawings, but now, increasingly, they are ma- To develop forms with new computer tech-
and Natalia Paszkowska: Polish Pavilion, Expo 2010, terialized digital information.80 Development niques, generating software is used, such as
China; macroscale lace pattern on the façade processes and systems based on digital engi- the L-system, a ”botanical” algorithmic sys-
Sl. 12. Wojciech Kakowski, Marcin Mostafa neering, complex geometry and biological tem that is otherwise used for the simulation
i Natalia Paszkowska: Poljski paviljon, Expo 2010.,
Kina; uzorak èipke u makromjerilu na proèelju principles81 are incorporated in the design of of plant growth in laboratory tests and simu-
contemporary architecture. These processes lations.91 Algorithmic design procedure was
and systems allow for innovations in contem- the only way of creating the roof above the
porary design. The innovative approach is Great Court of the British Museum in London
supported by computer-enabling mathemati- (Norman Foster & Partners, 2000), the Ser-
cal modelling and processing. With the use of pentine Gallery Pavilion in London (Toyo Ito,
contemporary computer technologies and 2002) and the 2008 Olympic Games facilities
modern design, the image of the façade in Beijing, China (the Beijing National Aquat-
changes and heralds the birth of completely
new forms. In contemporary architectural
planning, computer support is required at all 77 Picon, 2010: 8
stages from planning to the preparation of 78 Zellner, 1999
the production process: CAD82 and CAM83 en- 79 Mitchell, 2005: 43
gineering and CNC84 technology are used 80 Mitchell, 2005: 41
throughout. 81 Parametric architectural design, the creative process
of which is comparable to the biological process of mor-
• Computational geometry - To create vir- phogenesis.
tual and physical shapes, digital architecture 82 Computer-aided design
employs computer modelling, programming, 83 Computer-aided manufacturing
simulation and imaging. Digital architecture 84 Computer numerical control
is made possible by complex computations 85 Zerbst, 2005: 34
offering a wide range of complex forms as- 86 Hundertwasser, 2007: 69
sisted with high-performance computer algo- 87 AutoCad, ArchiCad, etc.
Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi Interpretations of Organic Architecture M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN 290-301 22[2014] 2[48] PROSTOR 299

ics Center Water Cube, PTW Architects; the CONCLUSION

National Stadium Bird’s Nest, Herzog & de
Meuron).92 Using radically revolutionary ge- ZAKLJUÈAK
ometry gave rise to a completely new ap- Organic architecture as developed in the 20th
proach in architecture design - the architec- century encompasses three concepts:
tural circles of Greg Lynn, Bernhard Franken
- The original concept of organic architec-
and others call it morphogenesis. Initially ture meant the incorporation of nature in the
used in the biological sciences, the expres- design of a building. Wright perceived it as a
sion refered to the emergence of forms and blending of a building with its surroundings,
patterns in an organism through growth and while Gaudí searched for natural laws that
differentiation processes93 and represented a could be incorporated in a building’s con-
digitalization of what D’Arcy Thompson ex- struction and design (early 20th century).
plored a full century before. - The second interpretation presents organic
Fig. 13. Peter Cook and Colin Fournier: Graz Art
• New Ornamentation - Using CNC technol- architecture as a style of architecture based Museum, Austria, 2003. Constructed from about
ogy in design gives architects control of real- on natural forms that are, as a rule, not 1,300 individually shaped, translucent Plexiglas
size processes through very precise technical straight. They are defined by mathematical panels covering the biomorphic building.
operations and material applications, which and geometric laws that also originate from Sl. 13. Peter Cook i Colin Fournier: Muzej moderne
has led to the revival of ornaments and pat- nature. Architectural forms stem from accura- umjetnosti u Grazu, Austrija, 2003. Oko 1300
individualno oblikovanih poluprozirnih panela
terns on façades. Contemporary software can te geometry or are designed completely freely od pleksiglasa pokrivaju biomorfnu graðevinu.
generate extremely small differences in thou- or intuitively (mid and end 20th century).
sands of patterns, creating a selection of pat- - The third interpretation of organic archi-
terns in a very short period of time. Façades tecture is based on biomimicry, the search for
facilitate spatial, visual and conceptual ef- models in living organisms and the transla-
tion of these patterns into the design, func-
fects.94 Ornaments on the façades of Jeddah
tional or technological aspects of a building
International Airport in Saudi Arabia (OMA,
(21st century).
2005), the IMKZ Library in Cottbus, Germany
(Herzog & de Meuron, OMA) and the Polish However, the borderlines between these in-
Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China dividual concepts are not always clear. In-
(Wojciech Kakowski, Marcin Mostafa and Na- deed, they are rarely mutually exclusive and
talia Paszkowska, 2010) (Fig. 12) are but a in real life, usually overlap or complement
each other. Over the last decade, a new ap-
few of the many examples of new forms of or-
proach to organic architecture has arisen due
namentation that are increasingly frequent in to architecture digitalization or computation.
contemporary architecture.95 This offers exciting and efficient tools for the
The use of computer methods in design marks planning of complex shapes and forms that
the beginning of a new chapter of construc- can originate both in geometry and in bio- Fig. 14. OMA/LMN: Seattle Central Library,
mimicry. Several projects of new organic ar- Washington, 2004. The differential structural
tional ornamentation.96 The Sendai Media- performance of the envelope has been made visible
theque in Sendai, Japan (Toyo Ito, 2001), the chitecture based on these new achievements to produce a differentiated patterning
Prada Aoyama Epicenter in Tokyo (Herzog & have already been implemented, but there of the façade.
de Meuron, 2003), the Gherkin Tower in Lon- are new technologies and tools on the way Sl. 14. OMA/LMN: Središnja knjižnica u Seattleu,
don (Norman Foster, 2004), the Simmons which will assist in designing buildings much Washington, 2004. Konstruktivna izvedba ovojnice
vidljiva je kako bi tvorila diferencirani uzorak
Hall Student Housing at MIT in Cambridge, as nature would (for example the computer na proèelju.
tool simulating plant growth which was em-
UK (Steven Hall, 2002) and the Seattle Cen-
ployed in the Digitally Growing Tower in New
tral Library in Washington, USA (OMA/LMN, York; Dennis Dollens, 2005).97 Thus, compu-
2004; Fig. 14) are some examples of con- tation opened new opportunities for express-
structional ornamentation that clearly show ing the original ideas of organic architecture.
that ornament on a contemporary façade is Or, according to Peters and Peters98 in their
no longer merely a result of design, but also a Inside Smartgeometry, ”Computation is not
starting point of construction. ‘just’ a tool - there can be no doubt that it is
fundamentally changing architecture”. And
this includes (indeed primarily), organic ar-
88 Digital MockUp chitecture. The organic architecture of the
89 Szalapay, 2005: 207 21st century is facing new challenges. Pres-
90 Non-Uniform Rational Basis Splines, a mathematical ently, it mostly focuses on non-orthogonal
model that facilitates a graphic representation of complex
mathematical formulas or the making of 3D models. forms due to the design potential of digital
91 Issa, 2014 tools. But the principles of sustainable archi-
92 Szalapay, 2005: 60-77 tecture demand that buildings are connected
93 Leach, 2008: 96 with their surroundings as much as is possi-
94 Pell, 2010: 12
ble, meaning that contemporary architecture
95 Levit, 2008: 70-85
is returning to the original, Wright’s interpre-
96 Ruby, Ruby, Ursprung, 2004: 85
tation of organic architecture.
97 Weston, 2003: 214 [Translated by Amidas d.o.o.,
98 Peters, Peters, 2013: 11 lector Nataša Janèar]
300 PROSTOR 2[48] 22[2014] 290-301 M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN Interpretations of Organic Architecture Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi


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16. Kuhlmann, D. (2008), Old and New Organicism stems, ”Prostor”, 1 (43): 198-209, Zagreb Fig. 2. Photo: Matej Senegaènik
in Architecture: The Metamorphoses of an Ae- 36. Sullivan, L. (1901-02), Kindergarten Chats, Cle- Fig. 3. Photo: Maja Zbašnik
sthetic Idea, in: On Growth and Form : Organic veland Fig. 7. Photo: Ljudmila Koprivec
Architecture and Beyond [eds. Beesley, P.; 37. Sullivan, L. H. (1979), Kindergarten Chats and Fig. 8. Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 152
Bonnemaison, S.], Tuns Press and Riverside Ar- other Writings, Dover Publications, New York
chitectural Press, Halifax Fig. 9. Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 55
38. Szalapaj, P. (2005), Contemporary Architecture
17. Leach, N. (2008.), Digitalna morfogeneza, and the Digital Design Process, Architectural Fig. 10. Mutnjakoviæ, 1995: 73
”Oris”, 51: 96-107, Zagreb Press, Oxford Fig. 12. Photo: Simon Petrovèiè
Scientific Papers | Znanstveni prilozi Interpretations of Organic Architecture M. ZBAŠNIK-SENEGAÈNIK, M. KITEK KUZMAN 290-301 22[2014] 2[48] PROSTOR 301


Interpretacije organske arhitekture

Koncept organske arhitekture objedinjuje brojne koja se zrcali u matematièkim uzorcima njezinih U radiolarijima (jednostaniènim organizmima) opi-
interpretacije utemeljene u prirodi. Ovaj rad pri- struktura. U svojoj knjizi On Growth and Form (O sanima u navedenim knjigama B. Fuller je pronašao
kazuje glavne protagoniste razvoja organske arhi- rastu i obliku) dokazao je da evolucija nije jedini savršene forme za strategije projektiranja, koje je
tekture, kao i neke jedinstvene zamisli koje su iz èimbenik koji je odgovoran za razvoj bioloških preveo u nekoliko graditeljskih projekata i u geo-
nje potekle i utjecale na arhitekturu 20. i 21. sto- vrsta biljaka i životinja, ukazujuæi istovremeno na dezijskoj kupoli - najlaganijoj, najjaèoj i najefekt-
ljeæa. Tijekom druge polovice 19. stoljeæa došlo je važnost djelovanja zakonitosti matematike, fizike i nijoj konstrukciji ikad projektiranoj. Oblike Fullero-
do ponovnog procvata gotièke arhitekture i kla- mehanike u ovim procesima. vih formi prostorne geometrije oponašali su O.
siènih principa grèke arhitekture. Viollet-le-Duc i J. Polazeæi od zakonitosti u prirodi, daljnja matema- Frei, N. Foster, Grimshaw Architects itd.
Ruskin, inspirirani prirodnim oblicima i procesima, tièka istraživanja tijekom 20. stoljeæa omoguæila su Danas su organske forme, koje su prije nekoliko
postali su predvodnici novih koncepata u arhitek- definiranje novih formi i tako je nastala fraktalna desetljeæa samo geniji mogli razraditi od ideje do
turi. Njihove ideje odjeknule su zapadnim svijetom, geometrija (P. Eisenmann) i teorija katastrofe Char- primjene, dostupne putem raèunalnih i parametrij-
izvršile utjecaj na brojne arhitekte i pridonijele for- lesa Jencksa. Moæni algoritmi danas omoguæavaju skih alata. Digitalizacija arhitekture ne pruža samo
miranju triju interpretacija organske arhitekture. brzo i jednostavno stvaranje i prikaz matematièki moguænost korištenja sinergije s prirodom, mate-
Prva interpretacija organske arhitekture, nastala utemeljenih formi. Ovaj novi matematièki okvir za- matikom, geometrijom, intuicijom itd. u projekti-
na temelju tvrdnje L. Sullivana ‘forma slijedi funk- mislivih oblika kao izvora arhitektonske inspiracije ranju veæ i u implementaciji.
ciju’, pretpostavlja integraciju prirode u projekt danas se kreæe u rasponu od jednostavnih trokuta Moguæe je stoga serijski proizvesti matematièki
graðevine, a to je poslije F.L. Wright unaprijedio i krivulja sve do složenijih zakrivljenih formi, kao koherentne, no razlièite objekte zajedno s razraðe-
svojim zahtjevima za jedinstvom, harmonijom i što su helikoidi (F.L. Wright, E. Saarinen), pravilne nim, preciznim i relativno jeftinim jednokratnim
jednostavnošæu, poštivanjem prirode i graðevinskih površine (Le Corbusier, F. Candela, T. Ito), hiperbo- komponentama. Razvojni procesi i sustavi uteme-
materijala, kao i jedinstvenošæu svakoga indivi- lièni hiperboloidi (A. Gaudí) itd. ljeni na digitalnom inženjerstvu, kao i na komplek-
dualnog elementa. Zbog svojega koncepta integra- Priroda, meðutim, nije odreðena samo strogim snoj geometriji i biološkim principima, povezani su
cije organske materije i geometrije, prirodnog ka- matematièkim zakonitostima Euklidove geometri- u suvremenom arhitektonskom projektiranju. Koriš-
mena i betona, unutrašnjeg i vanjskog prostora, je. U prirodi postoje i drugi oblici, kao što su obrisi tenjem modernih raèunalnih tehnologija i projekti-
prirode i prostora, Wright se opæenito smatra ute- planinskih lanaca, ledenjaèkih padina ili krivulje ranja slika proèelja se mijenja i nagoviješta sasvim
meljiteljem organske arhitekture koji je znaèajno organskih oblika života. H. Häring je ustvrdio da nove oblike. Kako bi stvorila virtualne i fizièke
utjecao na brojne generacije mlaðih arhitekata. svaka lokacija i svaki strukturalni element ima vla- oblike, digitalna arhitektura danas koristi raèunal-
Prouèavajuæi principe statike u prirodi kako bi ih stiti oblik koji èeka da ga neki arhitekt otkrije i dalje no modeliranje, programiranje, simulaciju i sliku.
poslije primijenio u svojim graditeljskim projekti- razradi. Slobodne prostorne linije koje izrastaju iz Tako se raðaju nove geometrije kakve dosad nije
ma, A. Gaudí je utemeljio svoj jedinstveni stil or- prirode, izmeðu ostaloga, izvršile su utjecaj na ar- bilo moguæe kreirati konvencionalnim crtaèkim pri-
ganske arhitekture. Njegov utjecaj vidljiv je u rado- hitekturu Hundertwassera. stupom. CAD raèunalni program može se nadogra-
vima P.L. Nervija, O. Freia, Hundertwassera, O. Treæa interpretacija organske arhitekture temelji diti DMU digitalnim alatom (F. Gehry). Parametrijski
Niemeyera, F. Candela, S. Calatrave itd. se na biomimikriji - potrazi za modelima živih orga- alati NURBS olakšavaju grafièki prikaz složenih
Druga interpretacija organske arhitekture definira nizama kako bi se njihovi uzorci replicirali u formi, matematièkih formula ili kreiranje 3D modela (P.
ju kao arhitektonski stil, bez iznimke utemeljen na funkciji ili tehnologiji projektiranja graðevine. Od Cook i C. Fournier). Tijekom projektiranja CNC teh-
neravnim, odnosno zakrivljenim prirodnim oblici- svojih poèetaka, a osobito tijekom 20. stoljeæa u nologija daje arhitektima moguænost kontrole pro-
ma. U prirodi su uzorci i oblici koji se doimaju sklad- radovima E. Haeckela Kunstformen der Natur, kao i cesa pomoæu vrlo preciznih tehnièkih operacija i
no zapravo utemeljeni na matematièkim pravilima u veæ spomenutom djelu On Growth and Form, primjena materijala, što je dovelo do ponovnog pro-
koja reguliraju pravilnost, jedinstvo i simetriju. Raz- arhitektura se uvijek okretala prirodi kao svome cvata primjene ornamenata i uzoraka na proèeljima.
log privlaènosti prirode je njezina matematièka pra- izvoru inspiracije. Oba su autora prouèavala oblike Meðutim, granice izmeðu triju opisanih interpreta-
vilnost koja ujedno služi kao osnova za procjenu živih biæa i rado ih povezivala sa zakonitostima fi- cija organske arhitekture nisu uvijek sasvim jasne.
njezine ljepote. Klasièno djelo D’Arcy W. Thompso- zike, koji su opet omoguæavali bolje razumijevanje Zapravo, one su rijetko uzajamno iskljuèive i u
na omoguæava razumijevanje geometrije prirode njihovih formi. praksi se èesto preklapaju ili nadopunjavaju.



is an Associate Professor at University of Ljubljana izvanredna je profesorica na Arhitektonskom fa-
Faculty of Architecture, Slovenia. Her scientific re- kultetu Sveuèilišta u Ljubljani, Slovenija. Njezin
search is focused mainly on building technologies, znanstvenoistraživaèki rad usmjeren je uglavnom
energy efficient houses and ecological architecture. na graditeljske tehnologije, energetski uèinkovite
She has published two books: Façade coating and zgrade i ekološku arhitekturu. Autorica je knjiga
Passive house. Fasadni premazi i Pasivna kuæa.
MANJA KITEK KUZMAN, Ph.D., Dipl.Eng.Arch. is an MANJA KITEK KUZMAN,, docen-
Assistant Professor at University of Ljubljana Bio- tica je na Biotehnièkom fakultetu Sveuèilišta u
technical Faculty, Department of wood science and Ljubljani na Odsjeku za drvnu tehnologiju. Njezina
Technology. Her teaching and research work fo- nastavnièka i istraživaèka djelatnost usmjerena je
cuses primarily on the advances in timber construc- ponajprije na unaprjeðivanje drvenih konstrukcija
tion and the potentials of innovative use of wood i potencijale inovativnog korištenja drvne graðe,
and wood furniture design. kao i dizajn namještaja od drva.
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