ESSAY 1 Le Corbusier and Mies van de Rohe were two architects influenced by the contemporary movements of their time period. Le Corbusier’s architectural ideology was derived from the multiple techniques and styles he had previously encountered through study. His early designs were expressive of the “youth style” which was introduced to him by his instructor, L’Eplattenier. New technologies, however, began to influence his philosophies. Le Corbusier saw potential in concrete building systems and desired to experiment with its structural abilities through his designs.
The modern industry, as well as the political disorder which came about following the First World War, motivated his innovative design philosophies which appeared in his creation of the Domino House. The structure of the Domino House was a fundamental design for many of his future constructions. Through practice, Le Corbusier developed his own architectural theories in his Five Points on Architecture. Mies van der Rohe, too, was prompted by World War I. The defeat and collapse of the German military-industrial imperium at the end of the First World War reduced the country to a state of economic and political turmoil and Mies, along with many other architects who had fought in the war, sought to create an architecture that was more organic that permitted by the autocratic canons of the Schinkel tradition. ” Mies created an organic architecture through one of Corbusier’s Five Points: the free plan. Both Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier reveal revolutionary architectural designs in response to the development of their time period.
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Michael Speaks, current Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Design, plays an important role as an advocate of what architecture should be today. Contemporary theory continues to question how architecture of the present is defined. He claims that new architecture is dictated by the process in which it is created rather than on the objects created. He believes that architecture has become unchanging, not due to how a building appears, but due to the design processes contributing to their aesthetics.
Mies van der Rohe’s second phase of published theories, “Building” and “Office Building” and Corbusier’s “Toward an Architecture: Argument,” along with Michael Speaks’ text “With All Due Respect,” illustrate their common belief that the process of architecture was a product of the age, that drew upon the past to progress with modern advancements. According to the developments of Mies van der Rohe and Corbusier, architecture was a reflection of modern technology. Architecture characterized the era with building materials and construction methods. Mies van der Rohe thought that architecture was reactive to the time period, constantly changing.
He stated, “Building art is the spatially apprehended will of the epoch. Alive. Changing. New. Not the yesterday, not the tomorrow, only the today is formable. Only this building creates. Create form out of the nature of the task with the means of our time. ” Mies van der Rohe’s philosophies dictated that building was focused on the present. Architectural form then must also be altered because the backbone is found in the building systems of the time. The exact form built long in the past was not destined to be used in the present because those means were not attainable. Architecture must evolve from technologies of the present.
Like Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier was adamant that architecture was a product of the times. Le Corbusier declared, “Architecture suffocates in routine. The “styles” are a lie. Style is a unity of principle that animates all of the works of an era and results from a distinctive state of mind. Our era fixes its style every day. ” He believed architecture could only accommodate the needs of a modern man when designs were approached with current techniques. According to Corbusier, when a new material is simply applied to a pre-existing form it loses its effective bearing.
Considering the structural possibilities of each new material, an exclusive form should be warranted. Style, he described, was defined by the time period in which architects practiced like building techniques and philosophies. Michael Speaks would have attributed the lack of ‘new’ in the architecture of Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier’s era to cohesion to general manifestoes produce outside their time period. Architects from later time periods cannot pursue the same manifesto because technological advances in design must be considered.
His arguments reveal that following a general manifesto from start to finish will produce an unchanging architecture. Michael Speaks wrote, “I do not believe we need another manifesto in architecture, even of the incomplete, aborted or personal variety. Architecture, it seems has suffered enough from the illusion that manifestoes matter (except insofar as they stifle creativity) and it is time we found other ways of developing experimental practices … Vanguards, with their five points, seven principles and ten theses for a new architecture, draw a line that leads straight from the manifesto to ‘the new. And because the completion of this line is best that can be hoped for, there is nothing new about the ‘new. ‘” If architects followed the same lines to solve the same problems, a new architecture could not be actualized. A separation from the lines between manifesto and solution made way for discovery of design and methods of creating ‘new’ architecture. Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier agreed that a relationship between the past and present did exist. Mies van der Rohe established the building as the affiliation to the past, while Corbusier found the evolution of architecture to connect it to the past.
Mies van der Rohe was in favor of going back to the building approach to design, which he felt had been replaced with form. He saw architecture as a very simple creation of space to serve only the function of shelter. He thought it was necessary to resort back to this ideology but bring it into play in the new era. “It is mainly our concern to liberate all building activity from aesthetic specialists. And make building again what it always has been. Building. ” Le Corbusier defined the correlation of past and present through the evolution of architecture.
The present would not exist without prior growth; therefore architecture is a continuation of the past. “We must see to the establishment of standards so we can face up to the problem of perfection. The Parthenon is a product of selection applied to a standard. Architecture works on standards. Standards are a matter of logic, of analysis, of scrupulous study; they are based on a problem well posed. Experimentation fixes the standard definitively. ” Mies van der Rohe preached that architectural design lies in the process in which it is created rather thatn in the resulting form.
In agreement, Michael Speaks stated, “While problem-solving works within a given paradigm to create ‘new’ solutions to known problems, innovation risks working with existent but unknown conditions in order to discover opportunities that could not have been predicted in advance. ” He attests that ‘new’ architecture is innovative, not problem solving. Problem solving in architecture causes a static result where it is formed from existing problems. Innovation in design however, allows the architect to anticipate what is to come and plan accordingly.
Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier expressed similar architectural theories which were linked to the past. They both thought architecture was a response to the era and the way in which it was built. The society and industry is ever changing and architecture must emerge accordingly. Michael Speaks concludes that an exploration in the design process must occur to break free from patterns of architectural manifestoes. All three architects claimed that ‘new’ architecture was not developed from a concrete set of rules. ‘New’ architecture was to be experienced and reflective of the era. ESSAY 2
The early 1900’s were best described by a cultural revolution which influenced architecture and its philosophers. The Viennese Secession strove to deviate from the vernacular architecture of the past and create a fresh style more illustrative of the times. Adolf Loos rejected the applied the applied ornamentation that was distinguishing of many Secessionist buildings. Loos explained, “If I could knock down all the ornaments of our old and new houses, so that only the bare walls remained, it would be difficult indeed to differentiate between the houses of the fifteenth and the houses of the seventeenth century.
But the houses of the nineteenth century can be picked out at a glance by any layman. ” The building techniques were different and the form was distinctive of the era, but the ornamentation was of no significance to distinguishing the architecture of the time. Simultaneously, the architecture in Russia was being transformed by social turmoil. Following the fall of the transitional government of Russia in 1917, Constructivism arose in response to the aspiration to be a leading industrial manufacturing country. Constructivism’s functional approach toward design and its socialistic attitude made it possible to incorporate its style.
This type of industrial design was severely opposed by the beliefs of Adolf Loos. The theories of design by Daniel Libeskind came later in the 1900’s. He claimed that the goal for an architectural design process was not to abide by strictly functional designing or to conform to the technological means of the time, but to portray a specific meaning. The texts by Loos, those by the Constructivists, Moholy-Nagy, Szczuka, and Zarnower, and of Daniel Libeskind, clarify the apparent differences between the three schools of thought on an approach toward architectural design.
Adolf Loos’ naturalistic approach to design was opposed by the new technologies of the Constructivists, which was opposed by Daniel Libeskind’s ideals of purposeful design. The Constructivists proposed a particularly mechanized means of production which allowed for uniform results in architecture. Szczuka and Zarnower declared, “Hand-made forms contain graphical biases, characteristic for individual arists; a mechanical performance offers an absolute objectivism of form. ” Obviously, they were attempting to consolidate styles that were conflicting due to hand craftsmanship.
The marks of craftsmen’s tools would disappear and be replaced by the consistent design performed by the machine. Mechanical manufacturing was a more economical way of assembling exact forms in a shorter amount of time. This methodical process of manufacturing goods helped demonstrate the uniformity of the state and its industrial skill. Lenin desired to present a technologically advanced country working toward a common goal. In opposition, Loos thought that the absence of the craftsmen’s hand had a destructive effect on design and its efforts. “It is no longer the craftsmen’s tools which create the forms, but rather the pencil. The craftsman no longer held grounds in the process of design, as they were replaced by the pencil drawings of architects. These architects however, lacked the practical, hands-on knowledge of buildings and construction. “There are many things which show the style of the twentieth century by pure form alone. They are made by craftsmen, with whom the warped architects were not acquainted. ” Adolf Loos acknowledged that the work of the craftsman was essential to design methodology. Years of practice and centuries of passed-down wisdom attributed to the development of successful techniques used by craftsmen.
The drawings of an architect and the methodical ways of the machine did not have the history that guided the craftsman’s hand or the awareness of building materials associated with hands on experience. Furthermore, Daniel Libeskind’s proposal for design was to create to represent a meaning. He declared, “This generalized linguistic of Architecture and the typologies which follow from it, have become today a popular way of reducing architecture not to the ‘thought’ of Valery ??? but to that which would leave no difference; that which leaves behind nothing at all.
If the ‘meaning’ which is recoverable from the making of Architecture does not leave anything behind; if it does not contribute to the way one understands oneself and the things one makes, we can no longer call it ‘meaning’. ” He believed that architecture was considered successful when it could be interpreted on a deeper level; when architecture could speak to its audience rather than simply being an aesthetic object. An equality of design became feasible, helping the Constructivist ideal of socialist government, with the introduction of the machine.
Moholy-Nagy wrote, “Before the machine, everyone is equal ??? I can use it, so can you ??? it can crush me and the same can happen for you. There is no tradition in technology, no consciousness of class or standing. Everybody can be the machine’s master or its slave. ” Technology gives people the ability to fabricate despite their training in the arts. Each person is considered equal behind the precision of the machine. It removes the technique and replaces it with uniformity. According to Loos, the ranking of design is contingent on the quality of work produced. The architect has caused architecture to sink to a graphic art. It is not the man who can build best who gets most orders but rather the man who cuts the finest figure on paper. ” Loos was appalled by the fact that the builder had been replaced by the graphic artist. He did not believe in allowing an unskilled worker to create architecture through the use of a machine, unlike the Constructivists. Quality architecture was to be produced by knowledge gained from experience, not by the systematic development of untrained workers. “And what disastrous taste results from a pair of compasses!
The marks of the drawing pen have produced an epidemic of squares. ” Loos felt that orthogonal architecture was too rigid. They had reduced the process of design to a pencil and piece of paper without experiencing construction. Similarly, the machine takes over hands on design and contact with the material. The Constructivists preached that technology was a mark of a modern society. “And this reality of our century is technology ??? the invention, construction and maintenance of the machine. To be a user of machines is to be of the spirit of this century. Moholy-Nagy thought technology was a sign that a society was cultured and available to endless possibilities. The Constructivists were accepting to the idea of the machine, as they saw society both as evolving and up to date. “In Constructivism the process and the goal are one ??? the spiritual conquest of a century of technology. ” Adolf Loos promoted a minimalistic approach toward architecture which emphasized craft as part of construction. “Like almost every town dweller, the architect possesses no culture. He does not have the secutity of the peasant to whom this culture is innate.
The town dweller is an upstart. ” Loos referred to the peasant often because he built out of necessity. He compared the work of an individual craftsman on a house to the peasant. There was no new equipment dictating the construction, just the skills of trained laborers. The peasant constructed in this manner because it was all he was accustomed to. Loos lacked respect for the architect who designed through drawing as opposed to through need. Architecture should be pure in form and creation. He believed that technology was detrimental to architecture.
Daniel Libeskind’s design process theory was connected to society by associating it with the public on a deeper level. Architecture was meant to relate to a person spiritually. “To put it differently, it is the specific quality of ‘making’ as a discourse with historical possibilities that interests us. We are concerned with the meaning of an architectural idea or object that interests us. We are concerned with the meaning of an architectural idea or object in so far as it says something, and it is not merely a display of relations fabricated by a detached observer. Here, Daniel Libeskind requires that the architect be emotionally involved in a design in order to portray the meaning behind a building. The theories of the Constructivists greatly varied from the conceptual ideas of Adolf Loos. A uniform means of production through technological advances appealed to the Constructivists, where as Loos strove for creation through craft. Daniel Libeskind had a completely different goal too. He aimed for creation with an underlying meaning. The Constructivist’s creativity was processed through a socialist-minded society with leaders advancing toward a technological area.
Constructivist ideals were instilled by socialism and the machine. Moholy-Nagy stated, “It is the machine that woke up the proletariat. In serving technology the worker discovered a changed world. We have to eliminate the machine if we want to eliminate socialism. But we all know there is no such thing. This is our century ??? technology, machine, socialism. ” The Constructivists considered their political circumstances in their designs. Loos too was influenced by the era, as he developed theories in response to the Viennese Succession. He preferred craft in art and architecture.
Culture was represented through the form of craft, not in technology. All of these movements were in response to the events of their time, whether in correspondence to them or in reaction to them. ARC314: ESSAY 3 ANDREW MANSON LAUREN EARLY Following World War II, architects began to explore the ways a design could evoke emotions of society and also how it fits in the context in which it was built. Frampton raised Paul Ricoeur’s question of “how to become modern and to return to sources; how to revive an old, dormant civilization and take part in universal civilization. Frampton argued that critical regionalism should adopt modern architecture qualities but also emphasize the context. In comparing “Regionalism in Architecture,” by Paul Rudolph, and Robert Venturi’s “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture,” it is apparent that both architects aimed to maintain ties to the past and create spaces that function appropriately for the contemporary ideas of culture and society. Their approach to design was distinctly different; however they both accepted the problem of change and continuity.
Peter Zumthor set out twenty years later to find architecture because he assumed it was ‘lost’. He stated, “I believe that architecture today needs to reflect on the tasks and possibilities which are inherently its own … Every building is built for a specific use in a specific place and for a specific society. ” Both Rudolph, a late-modernist architect, and Venturi, a post-modernist architect, as well as Peter Zumthor years later, strived to solve the problems and limitations of Modernism through contextualism and the inclusion of the current needs of society.
The goals of post-modern architects began with a response to Modernism. They turned toward the past, mimicking aspects of multiple buildings and blended them together to form a new means of design. “A valid architecture evokes many levels of meaning and combinations of focus: its space and its elements become readable and workable in several ways at once. ” Rudolph too acknowledged that there were lessons to be learned from the past. But he still firmly believed that the principle of the building and its structure was achieved through its function, a distinct trait of modernism.
He saw post-modernist theories to be superficial. According to Rudolph, the styles and building construction techniques had been cultivated in a previous era and therefore weren’t transferable. Every generation was to create its own architecture with its own technology, and it was to be developed from its internal purpose. Rudolph stated, “If adaptations, enlargement and enrichment of basic principles of 20th century architecture were carried out, always relating it to the main stream of architecture and the particular region, the world again would be able to create magnificent cities. He thought that architects of the past understood that architecture was required to take on differing qualities in different areas of the world. In parting with Modernism, post-modern architects also attempted to design buildings that were conscious of the context within which they were built. In “Regionalism in Architecture,” Rudolph addresses the International Style and Miesian objectivity in design and proclaims “regionalism is one way toward that richness in architecture which other movements have enjoyed which is so lacking today. He speaks in depth of designing in the context of the South and stresses sunlight, scale, color and texture as persistent features that can tie new architecture with the past. Rudolph pleaded that straying from an emphasis on design had led to a universally uniform architecture. He said, “We do not want a uniformity which might tend to confuse a muddled traveler into attempting to enter a house identical to his own, not just in the wrong street not even the wrong city, not actually in the wrong country or the wrong hemisphere. ” Rudolph was convinced that 20th century architecture was at a standstill.
He thought architecture should reflect the region in which it was designed. His solution was Regionalism. He wrote, “The great architectural movements of the past have been precisely formulated in a given area, then adapted and spread to other regions, suiting themselves more or less to the particular way of life of the new area. We now face such a period. ” Rudolph argued that Regionalism would revive uniform architecture, the differentiation that characterized past eras. Robert Venturi too believed that context needed to be considered in architectural designs.
He was in search of an architecture that would function with the complexity of everyday life. He wrote, “Second, the growing complexities of our functional problems must be acknowledged. I refer, of course to these problems, unique in our time, which are complex in their scope, such as research laboratories, hospitals, and particularly the enormous projects at the scale of the city and regional planning. But even the house simple in scope is complex in purpose if the ambiguities of contemporary experience are expressed. ” Venturi speculated that within the simplest forms of society, the building’s function was to be complex.
Peter Zumthor too saw the context in which a building is placed and it’s continuity with the past as an essential consideration in design. He stated, “I believe that buildings which become gradually accepted into their surroundings must have the ability to appeal to our emotions and minds in various ways. But since our feelings and understanding are rooted in the past our sensuous connections with a building must respect the process of remember. ” Architecture is forever rooted in the past, as the past is what has brought us to the present.
Post-modernists also felt that modernist buildings neglected to accommodate human needs and be aesthetically pleasing. Modernism did not seek to aspire for beauty. Post-modernists answered this by reviving ornament and decoration from the past. Venturi firmly believed “where simplicity cannot work, simpleness results. Blatant simplification means bland architecture … But aesthetic simplicity which is a satisfaction to the mind derives, when valid and profound, from inner complexity. ” The architectural form was no longer determined solely by its functional purpose, but could be anything the architect desired.
Robert Venturi was at the forefront of the post-modern movement and was extremely critical of Modernism. The parting from Modernism’s functionalism brought on Venturi’s alteration of Mies van der Rohe’s famous quote ‘less is more’ to ‘less is a bore. ‘ “Paul Rudolph has clearly stated the implications of Mies’ point of view: ‘All problems can never be solved … Indeed it is a characteristic of the twentieth century that architects are highly selective in determining which problems they want to solve. Mies, for instance, makes wonderful buildings only because he ignores many aspects of a building.
If he solved more problems, his buildings would be far less potent. ” Robert Venturi countered this by saying, “… the architect determines how problems should be solved, not that he can determine which of the problems he will solve. He can exclude important considerations only at the risk or separating architecture from the experience of life and the needs of society. ” Peter Zumthor also claimed that architecture was meant to be useful to society in its function. He said, “Basically, I believe that contemporary architecture should avail itself of just as radical an approach as contemporary music does.
This is, however, only limitedly possible, for although a work of architecture based on disharmony and fragmentation, on broken rhythms, clustering and structural disruptions may be able to convey a message, as soon as we understand its statement out curiosity dies and all that is left is the question of the building’s practical usefulness. ” Paul Rudolph and Robert Venturi, and later Peter Zumthor, considered designs consisting continuity with the past that embraced the present, which brought possibilities for the future in architecture.
They attempted maintain connection with the past in ways relevant to the present. The architects of the time found ways that a design could evoke emotions of society and also fit in the context in which it was built. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Kenneth Frampton. Modern Architecture: A Critical History. New York: Thames & Hudson world of art, 2006. p. 162 [ 2 ]. Mies van der Rohe. “Office Building. ” Fritz Neumeyer. The Artless Word. (Cambridge, Mass: The M. I. T Press, 1991. ) p. 241 [ 3 ]. Le Corbusier. “Argument. ” Toward an Architecture.
Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2007. p. 86 [ 4 ]. Michael Speaks. “With All Due Respect. ” Archis Vol 4 (2001) [ 5 ]. Mies van der Rohe. “Office Building. ” Fritz Neumeyer. The Artless Word. (Cambridge, Mass: The M. I. T Press, 1991. ) p. 242 [ 6 ]. Le Corbusier. Argument. Toward an Architecture. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2007. p. 87 [ 7 ]. Michael Speaks. “With All Due Respect. ” Archis Vol 4 (2001) [ 8 ]. Loos, Adolf. Architecture. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 41 [ 9 ]. Szczuka and Zarnower.
What is Constructivism?. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 102 [ 10 ]. Loos, Adolf. Architecture. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 43 [ 11 ]. Loos, Adolf. Architecture. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 44 [ 12 ]. Daniel Libeskind, “The Poetics of Architecture: Works at Cranbrook. ” Paramentro, no. 119. (August-September 1983): p. 63 [ 13 ]. Moholy-Nagy. Constructivism and the Proletariat. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton.
London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 95 [ 14 ]. Loos, Adolf. Architecture. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 43 [ 15 ]. Loos, Adolf. Architecture. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 43 [ 16 ]. Moholy-Nagy. Constructivism and the Proletariat. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 95 [ 17 ]. Moholy-Nagy. Constructivism and the Proletariat. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 96 [ 18 ]. Loos, Adolf.
Architecture. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 42 [ 19 ]. Daniel Libeskind, “The Poetics of Architecture: Works at Cranbrook. ” Paramentro, no. 119. (August-September 1983): p. 63 [ 20 ]. Moholy-Nagy. Constructivism and the Proletariat. Form and Function. Ed. Tim Benton. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples, 1975. p. 95 [ 21 ]. Kenneth Frampton, Modern Architecture, 4th Edition (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2007) p. 314 [ 22 ]. Peter Zumthor. “A Way of Looking at Things. ” Peter Zumthor. (Tokyo: A + U Publishing, 1998). p. 10 [ 23 ].
Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1966, 1979), p. 23 [ 24 ]. Paul Rudolph, “regionalism in Architecture,” Perspecta, no. 4 (1957): p. 13 [ 25 ]. Paul Rudolph, “regionalism in Architecture,” Perspecta, no. 4 (1957): p. 13 [ 26 ]. Paul Rudolph, “regionalism in Architecture,” Perspecta, no. 4 (1957): p. 13 [ 27 ]. Paul Rudolph, “regionalism in Architecture,” Perspecta, no. 4 (1957): p. 13 [ 28 ]. Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1966, 1979), p. 27 [ 29 ].
Peter Zumthor. “A Way of Looking at Things. ” Peter Zumthor. (Tokyo: A + U Publishing, 1998). p. 6 [ 30 ]. Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1966, 1979), p. 25 [ 31 ]. Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1966, 1979), p. 24 [ 32 ]. Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1966, 1979), p. 24 [ 33 ]. Peter Zumthor. “A Way of Looking at Things. ” Peter Zumthor. (Tokyo: A + U Publishing, 1998). p. 3