Patrick J. McAndrews
Russian Avant-Garde Spolia:
Russian Avant-Garde Spolia:
The Legacy of the Early 20th Century Russian Avant-Garde in Late 20th Century Architecture
Patrick J. McAndrews Harvard University Graduate School of Design Master in Design Studies Thesis History and Philosophy of Design 2014
Acknowledgement: I would like to express my great appreciation and thanks to my thesis advisor Professor Eve Blau, your advice and support of my thesis have been tremendous. I would like to thank you for encouraging my research and in the pursuit of knowledge for this investigation and beyond. I would also like to thank Professor Svetlana Boym and Professor K. Michael Hays for guiding me to this area of research. It has been an amazing year; I have grown as a researcher, writer, architectural thinker and scholar.
Table of Contents:
Table of Contents:
Un-Built Constructivism and Suprematism in the 1920s and Early 1930s Soviet Union:
020 028 034 042
Spolia, Adventure and the Off-Modern:
Adventure and the Off-Modern Spolia
080 082 096 112
Ideological Spolia in the Late 20th Century: Bernard Tschumi and the Event Rem Koolhaas and Narrative Zaha Hadid and Representation
Vladimir Tatlinâ€™s Monument to The Third International Kazimir Malevich and the Architectons El Lissitzky and Wolkenbugel Iakov Chernikhov and 101 Architectural Fantasies
Part I: Introduction
The threads of ideological and philosophical spolia extend between the major players of the Russian Avant-Garde in the early 20th century to some of the most innovative architects of the late 20th and into the 21st. Here, spolia is the movement of ideological material from one subject to another producing continuity between the source and destination. The threads that predominantly occupy this investigation are the natures of narrative, representation, and the process and interpretation of the event.
Suprematism and Constructivism flourished in the 1920s but were abruptly paralyzed by political interference after 1932. Far from being stillborn, the movements were ripe for iteration and interpretation. Starting in the late 1960s, the research and dissemination of texts on the subject brought the works of El Lissitzky, Malevich, Tatlin, and Chernikhov to the attention of the western architectural community, especially influencing Bernard Tschumi, Zaha Hadid, and Rem Koolhaas. More than being influenced broadly by the Suprematist and Constructivist Movements of the earlier period, these architects have been profoundly influenced by specific projects. This influence comes largely on the heels of research and publications on the subject in the late 1960s and 1970s, especially Kopp’s “Town and Revolution” published in 1970.
The threads connecting the 1920s and the early 1970s help to bridge a bifurcation between the mainstream understanding of modernity and the notion of the ‘Off-Modern’, an architectural history of the work and futures that could-have-been. The Off-Modern emphasizes the latent power of the un-built project on society, especially those of the Russian Avant-Garde.
Through this understanding, the radical convergence of these histories is visible. As Constantine used spolia to emphasize his place in Roman rule, so also do these architects utilize spolia to exert their place as inheritors of both modern and off-modern perspectives. The architectural
Cover Art from Kopp’s “Town and Revolution” (1970)
spolia of the Arch of Constantine are at once the remains of now-in-ruins monuments and architecture and a source of legitimacy formed by the continuity therein. Spolium is the establishment of a critical continuum, a thread, which did not previously exist. The concept of spolium becomes important in understanding society, cultures, and subcultures. In many of these cases, the new ways of thinking and relating to the environment around us are not just built on previous concepts and interpretations, but with them.
On the international stage of the Exposition Internationale Des Arts Decoratifs, the Soviet Union emerged as the only country represented by the less ornate style characteristic of modernist movements in the 1920s, “ Yet only a few years later the chroniclers of Modernism, Hitchcock/Johnson and Pevsner represent Modernism as a new concept in building with its cornerstones in Holland, Dessau/Berlin and Paris. The fourth cornerstone, Moscow, is missing from the account given of the modern architecture which was to dominate right into the ‘60s.”1 As Claes Cladenby, an architect and scholar on soviet architecture, continues in the same text, Pevsner clearly misjudges Soviet modernism. In fact, the groups that greatly participated in the movements were very similar to groups of a similar parallel that pursed the modern aesthetic in Europe and beyond. Pevsner only regards the Russian Avant-Garde movements of Suprematism and Constructivism in a single sentence: “In Russia, bold if rare beginnings were firmly checked in 1931 and the clock put back to a conventional naively rhetorical classicism.”2 It would take until the 1960s for a renewal of interest to sweep the 1920s architecture into international attention. When Nikolaus Pevsner so quickly glossed over the movement in his 1942 book, “An Outline of European Architecture,” he inadvertently illustrated a fracture in the understanding of the modern movements. However, interest in the Russian Avant-Garde movements in the 1920s showed significant improvement by the 1980s.
“Soviet Architecture 1917-1918”- “Bold if Rare Beginnings” page 5 “Soviet Architecture 1917-1918”- “Bold if Rare Beginings” page 6
The Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italy.
Spolia of the Arch, creating a â€œcritical continuumâ€?. (A) Trajan from 98-117 AD, (B) Hadrian from 117-138 AD, (C) Marcus Aurelius from 161-337 AD, (D) Constantine I from 306337 AD.
By the end of the 1960s research and historical documentation began to emerge in the western architectural community. Anatole Kopp’s work, especially his “Town and Revolution: Soviet Architecture and City Planning, 1917-1935” from 1970 as well as the later works of Catherine Cooke had an immense impact on the perception and influence of Soviet Architecture from the 1920s; “This interest had an obvious political slant and was much devoted to questions of social planning and new types of buildings such as workers’ clubs and collective houses. Slowly, too, there began a reconstruction of the 20th century’s unknown, perhaps even lost, history. From the ‘60s onward an increasing stream of publications appeared in both the Soviet Union and the West.”3 By the 1980s a new perspective had evolved, centering on the aesthetic value of the work in architecture and design. As Clause Caldenby suggests, this new perspective continued, “primarly through the OMA Group, and the work of Bernard Tschumi and Zaha Hadid. Their Neo-constructivist or De-constructivist architecture seizes upon a specific aspect of Soviet ‘20s architecture, reinterpreting it for their own purposes.”5. This 'sideways' movement is at the heart of the off-modern and the conception of spolia.
The later works of architects including Rem Koolhaas, Bernard Tschumi, and Zaha Hadid have a deep connection with the early works in 1920s Russia. As Claes Caldenby states, “Inspiration follows its own route, cutting across the historian’s analyses. Each age interprets history its own way, which is possible because history is always more complex and comprehensive than our interpretations of it.”4 The power of this connection is the power of the whole, not just its parts.
As Marja-Riitta Norri wrote in the forward to “Soviet Architecture 1917-1987”,“When the ‘master set builders of the planets’ swept their giant brooms across building immediately after the Revolution, plans and finished projects emerged that have pointed the way for all later
“Soviet Architecture 1917-1918”- “Bold if Rare Beginings” page 5 Soviet Architecture 1917-1987”- “Bold if Rare Beginings” page 5
Vesnin Brothers Palace of the Soviets
101 Architectural Fantasies Rem Koolhaas
Montage and Architecture (1937)
Club of the New Society
Palace of Labour
Leonidov Lenin Institute
Monument to the Third International
Paris Exposition (1925)
Villa Savoye (1928-30)
USSR Trip The Berlin Wall as Architecture
“Town and Revolution 1917-1935” By Anatole Kopp (1970)
The Manhattan Transcripts
Delirious New York
Parc de la Villette
Zaha Hadid and Suprematism
CCTV Headquarters Seattle Central Library
Vitra Fire Station
Phaeno Science Center
The Great Utopia The ‘Peaks’ Project
Exodus, The Story of the Pool Or The Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture
Class with E.Z.
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The legacy of the Early 20th Century Russian Avant-Garde in Late 20th Century Architecture
Russian Avant-Garde Spolia:
architectural evolution.”5 When these later 20th Century architects came across the texts and works of the masters of the Soviet architectural movements of the 1920s, their work was significantly impacted. Lebbeus Woods speaks of Hadid’s use of Malevich’s Architecton specifically; “Placing it along and across the Thames in central London, she left no doubt -to the cognoscenti, at least- as to her ideological position: she was reviving a neglected, almost stillborn modernist ideal and inserting it into the contemporary world.”6 In this afterlife, the Constructivist and Suprematist Movements became inspiration, gaining ruin value from the unfinished utopian projects. The research and dissemination of texts starting in the late 1960s on the subject brought the works of El Lissitzky, Malevich, Tatlin, and Chernikhov to the attention of the architectural community. Even Bernard Tschumi’s Manhattan Transcripts and Parc de la Villette projects doesn’t escape consequence from Caldenby’s perspective; “There are plans to reconstruct Melnikov’s 1925 pavilion. In addition, work is in full progress to extend the ‘suprematist’ park in which Tschumi’s red ‘folies’ seem increasingly like mass-produced caricatures of Constructivism, a montage of parts from the Modernist vision’s garbage collection. Melnikov seems to hold his own well in this context.”7
Here, there is fertile ground for the investigation of the inter-connectivity of what appears to be two separate movements separated by over 50 years. To this point, when Hadid utilizes the work of Malevich and Chernikhov, she was drawing upon unbuilt work. In Svetlana Boym’s “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, we begin to understand an architectural history of work that could-have-been. Many of these projects exist in a temporal separation between ‘was’, ‘is’, and ‘will be’. The perspective of the ‘just now’8 (the separation of the past and future) as a barrier in the temporal dimension has no hold here; the 'ruin' is both potentiality and void because it is never specifically either. Unbuilt and paper architectural projects, as considered here, exist as ideas and have no unique and original occurrence in the built environment.
Soviet Architecture 1917-1987”- “Forward” page 3 by Marja-Riitta Norri Lebbeus Woods, “Zaha Hadid’s Drawings 2” 7 “Soviet Architecture 1917-1987”- “Bold if Rare Beginngins” page 5 by Claes Caldenby 8 The separation of the past and future 5 6
Bernard Tschumi’s The Manhattan Transcripts
Bernard Tschumi’s Parc de la Villette
Melnikov’s Pavilion for the 1925 Paris Exposition
As such, there are a variety of occurrences in which these projects have been co-opted, adapted, updated, and re-administered in new works of architecture, design, and even literature. We especially look to Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International, El Lisstizky’s Wolkenbugel and Proun collection, Malevich’s Architecton series of sculptures and photomontages, and Chernikhov’s illustrated architectural creations from his 101 Architectural Fantasies. Each has spawned reproductions, interpretations, reconceptualizations, and theoretical offspring. This is the basis for the understanding of the ideological spolium.
The connection between Russian Constructivism in the 1920s and the work of architects from the 1970s has been widely discussed in the past 30 years. Famously, Mark Wigley and Philip Johnson’s interpretation of this influence can be found in the ‘Deconstructivist Architecture’ Exhibition for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City during the summer of 1988. The exhibition included work from Coop Himmelblau, Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, and Bernard Tschumi. The exhibition emphasized the architects’ structural experimentation that could be found in the Russian Constructivist period. Chief among the differences which both Mark Wigley and Philip Johnson were quick to point out was this later grouing’s subversion of utopian perfection. Talking of work from the 1920s, Wigley sees “precedents, not so much in their many completed buildings in Moscow and elsewhere…as in their sketches and drawings, often for competitions…”9 Here; the conception of the influence of the un-built work becomes important. In this exhibition, Hadid, Koolhaas, and Tschumi were the three youngest architects of the group.
In 1986, E.M Farelly wrote ‘The New Spirit’ in which she presented a sort of Dada ‘state of mind’, a perspective that major cultural movements like surrealism, pop art, action painting, conceptual sculpture, performance art, 60s ‘happenings’, the Situationists, and the Punk and
Geoffrey Broadbent, “The Architecture of Deconstruction”, from “Deconstruction”, page 23
El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbugel Tower, Photomontage, 1923-25
Malevich’s Alpha Architecton, from The Architecton Series, 1923
Chernikhov’s 101 Architectural Fantasies, Fantasy Number 5
‘New Wave’ movements were generated from a unified sense of the beauty of constructivism and futurism.10 “Farrelly’s major ‘share holders’… are the Russian Constructivists including El Lissitzky, Melnikov, Popva, Rodchenko and the Vesnin Brothers.”11 Her understanding of these influences extended to the early work of these architects of the 1970s. She calls it a ‘genesis of freedom’ that allow her to perceive this ‘new spirit’ not as a movement but as a mentality.
In this investigation, the connections made by Johnson, Wigley, and Farelly are acknowledged. In fact, Wigley’s emphasis on un-built work and Farelly’s ‘genesis of freedom’ are intimately related to the approach of the ideological spoliation and the off-modern. What Farelly says of the Dada movement is directly applicable to this investigation; “Unlike other early movements of this century (futurism, Cubism, Neo-Plasticism) Dada was not a new style or technique but, in the words of Tristan Tzara, a ‘state of mind’. It could not, therefore, be copied so much as absorbed…”12 The spolium presented and interpreted here are similarly based on this absorption as well as the MoMA’s interpretation of the subversion, an initiation of the ‘knight’s move’.
This investigation is organized into three main sections: an account of some of the major un-built projects of Constructivist architects and artists of the 1920s, the implementation of a new interpretation of spolia within the context of Boym’s ‘off-modern’, and the application of this interpretation onto the works and careers of major architects working from the 1970s.
10 11 12
Geoffrey Broadbent, “The Architecture of Deconstruction”, from “Deconstruction”, page 19 Geoffrey Broadbent, “The Architecture of Deconstruction”, from “Deconstruction”, page 19 E.M. Farrelly, “1986 August: ‘The New Spirit’” from The Architectural Review
Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Summer, 1988 ‘Deconstructivist Architecture’
Vesnin Brother’s Palace of Labour Competition Entry, 1922-1923
Un-Built Constructivism and Suprematism in the 1920s and Early 1930s Soviet Union
What follows are accounts of some of the un-built work of Russian Avant-Garde architects and artists from the 1920s whose work would influence the architecture of the 1970s and beyond. Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1952), Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935), El Lissitzky (1890-1941), and Iakov Chernikov (1889-1951) are introduced in order to develop the understanding of this influence. The way these architects and artists approached, perceived, designed, and wrote about the work of the period is discussed in depth with specific detail given to Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International, Malevich’s Architecton series, El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbugel, and Chernikov’s 101 Architectural Fantasies. By looking at each project individually, it becomes possible to discern details that form the basis of the ideological spolium of each paper project.
Part II: Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International
In 1921, Viktor Shklovsky wrote: “The Days thunder like a pile driver, blow after blow, and the blows have already blended and ceased to be heard, just as people living by the sea don’t hear the sound of the water. The blows thunder somewhere in the chest below consciousness- we are living in the quiet of thunder.”13 The proposed Monument was intended for construction in St. Petersburg; it would be a signifier of revolution and would act as a meeting place in the future advancement of the International. Tatlin’s proposed monument expresses the dynamics of time and motion; the monument works for the reactivation of a sense of motion and passing time. The Monument to the Third International, Shklovsky noted, was said to materialize this motion; “The monument is made of iron, glass, and revolution.”14
Shklovsky’s use of the term ‘revolution’ implies a dual meaning for the construction: “Inside a spiral much taller than the Eiffel Tower and stiffened by a complicated supporting structure, three volumes- a cube, a pyramid, and a cylinder- were suspended by steel cables. The spiral represented “the line of advance of free humanity. The three volumes contained the facilities for various agencies of the International. All three revolved, but at different speeds… regulated by the frequency with which meetings of these agencies were convened…”15 Of course the term can come to have obvious significance for the October Revolution, but it also describes a particular sort of motion; the act of movement about another body, as in the revolution of the earth around the sun and its subsequent measurements into years (here, represented by the cube). The pyramid rotates about the same axis at the rate of the month
13 14 15
Viktor Shklovsky, “The Monument to the Third International” (1921) Viktor Shklovsky, “The Monument to the Third International” (1921) Anatole Kopp, “Town and Revolution”, page 53-55
Elevation View Drawing, The Monument to the Third International, 1919-1920
The Eiffel Tower, Photograph taken in 1889
Storming of the Winter Palace during the October Revolution, 1917 Reenactment Directed by Sergei Eisenstein, 1927
(another demarcation of revolution, this time for the moon about earth and its interconnectivity with the movement of the earth around the sun in terms of the visual distinctions in the phases of the moon throughout the month). Even the cylinder at the apex of the structure demarcates the passing of a day in a revolution. The monument becomes a tool for the implementation by the observers, the collective. “Tatlin celebrated the link between art and technology with his banner exhorting ‘Engineers and bridge-builders, do your calculations and invent a new form’. He declared that he had combined ‘purely artistic forms with utilitarian intentions’ and had restored the connection between ‘painting, sculpture and architecture’.”16 In this way, the tower was important as a cultural form as well as the scientific and technological advancements it implied. In a manner, the Monument to the Third International contained a fourth element, it operated as a radio tower; “Radio waves would extend the tower into the sky…”17
For Svetlana Boym, “The tower became a kind of scaffolding for a future architecture that lays bare many architectural functions, including the functions of experimental imagination and of project-making that may or may not result in an actual building.”18 But For Kopp, these functions seemed to reveal absence of key architectural importance: “…It is difficult to consider Tatlin’s design as architecture or even as an architectural proposal, which should be concerned not only with general questions of form but also with details of construction, not to mention the feasibility of the structural system, a problem that seems to have left Tatlin superbly indifferent.”19 Here, it becomes important to understand the tower as more powerful as inspiration, with significant relations to the ideals of utopia. The spiral itself is even drawn from Marxist interests, and relates to the myth of the Tower of Babel. In that myth, the tower was built for
16 17 18 19
“Building the Revolution”, page 96 Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 9 Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 9 Anatole Kopp, “Town and Revolution”, page 55
Exhibition Model, The Monument to the Third International, 1919-1920
communication with God, but its failure and eventual fall into ruin allowed its form to be solidified as both utopian dream and ruinscape.20 For another artist, the unfinished appearance of Tatlin’s Tower (a clear “…breach in the dead circle of the bloated and decadent art of … [the] time” 21) was a combination of the technical and the artistic: “Tatlin’s Tower, in Lissitzky’s view, was “an open building” that offered extension in space and time by not “shutting the building between the walls,” revealing “an open skeleton” of functional parts and by introducing rotation in time…”10 The Tower, it seemed, was a sort of scaffolding for future progress. As will be discussed in depth in later sections, this framework would be key for later developments of Suprematist and Constructivist work. It cleared the way for new conceptions of aesthetics, program, and iconography. The tower was ripe for iteration and interpretation for a whole new generation of artistic and architectural thought and practice. “This project was the first step along the road that let to the genuine architectural revolution of the years 1926-1932, though leap would be a more appropriate description.”22
Tatlin’s Tower is considered to be the first project in early Soviet Architecture to attract attention and present a model form for later members of the Russian Avant-Garde movements including Suprematism and Constructivism.23 It was seen as “… a symbol of a complete break with the architecture of the past, a first step in the direction of a new architecture.”24 Anatole Kopp notes its significant influence on later advances in architectural theory including the Vesnin Brothers’ 1923 proposal for the Palace of Labor, the 1923 Moscow Agriculture Exposition Pavilions, and Konstantin Melnikov’s Soviet Pavilion at the Paris Exposition of Decorative Arts in 1925.25 Even the Shabolovka Radio Tower designed by Vladimir Shukhov did not escape influence: “The
20 21 22 23 24 25
Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 10-11 Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 9 Anatole Kopp, “Town and Revolution”, page 52 Anatole Kopp, “Town and Revolution”, page 52 Anatole Kopp, “Town and Revolution”, page 55 Anatole Kopp, “Town and Revolution”, page 52
Photomontage, The Monument to the Third International, 1919-1920
Elevation Drawing, The Shabolovka Radio Tower, Vladimir Shukhov, 1922
tower’s skeletal form and function as a radio transmitter… relate into Vladimir Tatlin’s unrealized 1919 Monument to the Third International.”26
“Building the Revolution”, page 112
View inside the Shabolovka Radio Tower, Vladimir Shukhov, 1922
Part III: Kazimir Malevich and the Architectons
Kazimir Malevich, a famous Suprematist artist is well known for his two-dimensional artwork including his Black Square paintings (in the well know Black Suprematic Square of 1915) as well as three-dimensional work. His work was based on the non-objective principles that laid the foundation for Suprematism: “Following the first phase of Suprematism which had, above all, been about the affirmation of non-objective elements, Kazimir Malevich would focus on the philosophical exploration of the idea of a no-objective form.”27 In a path towards a more existentialist body of work, Malevich conceived of a sort of blending between form and space, “to identify and thus merge with (infinite) space.”28 This required a methodology to achieve the appropriate representation; “Malevich made changes in the early Suprematist style of painting to correspond to his evolving ideas. In this period, the forms in the paintings started to dematerialize, dissolving into the surrounding space.”29 The result was work like Malevich’s Dissolution of a Plane from 1917. In that particular piece, a red rectangle seems to be moving either across the canvas, or even out of it; “The formal subject of the painting, a flying plane, is created by visually opposing a sharply defined edge to an edge that is less well defined, a common schematic device that is read as a motion…”30
As early as 1913, Malevich was working in three-dimensions, notably his set design work in the Futurist opera, Victory over the Sun. Victory over the Sun was made famous in association with Malevich’s first Black Square. But by 1919 and through 1927, Malevich stopped painting. He
Andrei Nakov, “Form in Dissolution” in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 90 Andrei Nakov, “Form in Dissolution” in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 90 29 Charlotte Douglas, “Supremus- The Dissolution of Sensation” in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 88 30 Charlotte Douglas, “Supremus- The Dissolution of Sensation” in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 85 27 28
Black Suprematic Square 1915, Kazimir Malevich
‘Victory Over The Sun’, Set design by Malevich, 1983 Production
believed that he had brought painting to its logical limits and could not continue using it for representation.31 To that point, “…He had created flat, two-dimensional artworks, in which he ignored the third dimension altogether while engaging in philosophical and aesthetic exploration of a fourth dimension. In the minds of the artistic community, this fourth dimension was a parameter in a non-euclidean geometry.”32 So, in the period from 1921 and 1927, Malevich focused his energies on three-dimensional work.
Malevich projected a new world “that would overcome gravity and the clockwise universe of Newton... [and] would direct planetary orbits at will, thus claiming even ‘Victory over the Sun’”33. Up to this point, Suprematist work presented the air of indifference towards more practical aspects such as architecture, preferring to concentrate on more “Ideological and emotional expression.”34 From 1921, Malevich hopped to show that Suprematism had a practical application, going beyond the decorative and existential. The Architectons were born.
Malevich’s Architectons were white plaster architectural models intended not to invoke architecture per say, but hint towards a transformation, a new conception of our living space. The large variety of Architecton models covered the realm of formal investigation, some laid down, long and short, and others were tall and narrow. They were primarily a study in volume and form35. As a closer step towards an applicable architectural form, Malevich experimented with another project, the Planits.
Among his main sources of inspiration for his work, “Malevich was influenced by aerial photography that was reflected in a topographical quality to the schematic layout of the shapes
31 32 33 34 35
“Building the Revolution”, page 24 “Building the Revolution”, page 24 Boris Arvatov, from Art and Class (1923) Anatole Kopp, “Town and Revolution”, page 51 “Building the Revolution”, page 24
Malevichâ€™s Alpha Architecton, From the Architecton Series, 1923
Malevichâ€™s Architecton Gota, From the Architecton Series, 1923
and compositions he painted, which in turn lent a very architectural flare to the early works.”36 It is fitting than, that his Planits claimed their role as an intermediary between the Architectons and architectural proposals. The Planits, although similar in formal language to the Architectons were intended to “take into account the practical needs of human habitation.”37
Malevich’s architectural proposal, Suprematist Skyscraper or Architekton in Front of a Skyscraper (Suprematist transformation of New York) was the manifestation of a methodology of producing two-dimensional representations seeming to inhabit a liminal space between the third and fourth dimension. In the photomontage, Malevich projects the enigmatic form of Architekton onto a picture of New York City skyline.38 Inherent in Architekton, and recognized by Rodchenko, was the importance of the fifth view (from above), “Rodchenko had been enchanted with the idea that the city of the future would grow vertically, disposed in space. The view upwards would be the most significant urban perspective, and the city’s ‘top elevation’ would become its most important face, to be created by artists and architects”39. In context, the modern man can no longer “orient himself / herself through attachment to his / her own pace, bodily scale, and private piece of ground”40. The traditional mode of living is no longer practical in the context of the modern city, “Suprematist Skyscraper… created by Malevich in 1925 represents an attempt to demonstrate the practical role of Suprematism in the design of structures for a new way of life.”41 It is no accident that El Lissitzky, a contemporary of Malevich, takes on many of these principles. As will be discussed, El Lissitzky worked with both Suprematist and Constructivist ideas.
Kenny Schachter, “The Bride Stripped Bare, Bared” in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 217 Building the Revolution”, page 24 38 Peter Lynch, “An Imaginary Reconstruction of the Sky Over Moscow”, page 25 39 Peter Lynch, “An Imaginary Reconstruction of the Sky Over Moscow”, page 25 40 Peter Lynch, “An Imaginary Reconstruction of the Sky Over Moscow”, page 26 41 “Building the Revolution”, page 24 36 37
Malevichâ€™s Architecton Gota, From the Architecton Series, 1923
Malevichâ€™s Architekton in Front of a Skyscraper, Montage, 1924
Part IV: El Lissitzky and Wolkenbügel (Sky Hook)
El Lissitzky’s work on Wolkenbügel stems from a long-term investment in his own words was “the interchange station between painting and architecture”42. This objective manifested itself in a series of works called Prouns. “He named the series Proun [as] an acronym derived from Proekt Utukzhdeniia Novogo (Project for the Affirmation of the New).”43 The value to which many (certainly most, if not all) of the Prouns had was largely to the conception of space (and time) in a new period since the introduction of communism in Russia. “Proun is the creation of form (control of space) by means of the economic construction of material to which a new value is assigned,”44. To this end, Lissitzky believed that it was the job of the artist (including himself) to imagine and project the new way of life brought on by the revolution, “The artistic task was essential because political doctrines offered no picture of life under socialism”45 .
El Lissitzky looks to the ‘dynamic form’ because “it represents the first step in the direction of building up imaginary space,”46. He is swept up in the aspects of the imaginary and the subsequent attempts to develop this imaginary space. The motion picture experience is imaginary because it only exists in the duration of motion. He expresses the imaginary in terms of mathematics to prove that it is beyond our senses. Therefore, the representations of change, time, or the dynamic can only be extensions rather than transformations of our senses. His intension becomes the subsequent transcendence of nature through symbolism of time: change and dynamic experience. Just as the working class is prompted to engage society and social discourse, so also does the viewer begin to be engaged in the process of change; the product (or thing) becomes project.
“El Lissitzky: Life, Letters, Texts”, page 21 “Building the Revolution”, page 23 44 “El Lissitzky: Life, Letters, Texts”, page 343 45 Peter Lynch, “An Imaginary Reconstruction of the Sky Over Moscow”, page 24 46 El Lissitzky, “A. and Pageometry” 42 43
El Lissitzky’s Proun 1A: Bridge, 1919
El Lissitzky’s Proun 19D, 1922
“It should be noted that… El Lissitzky’s Proun series… [Was] informed by Suprematist theories…. El Lissitzky… combined his experience of the application of Suprematism to graphic design and architecture with the new, Constructivist vision…”47 El Lissitzky went so far as to assert, “…Malevich’s Suprematist painting was the origin of his creation of the Proun.”48
The advancement of technologies allowed Lissitzky to formulate the columniation of his Proun series into a realizable proposal. He outlines the needs of an age of the flying human, “A new energy must be released, which provides us with a new system of movement (for example, a movement which is not based on friction, which offers the possibility of floating in space and remaining at rest)”49 . For Lissitzky, a new architectural form was needed which would simultaneously acknowledge the urban context of the historical condition but was not limited to its perceptions. The architecture would arise “...as a socialist, horizontal skyscraper, as opposed to the capitalist, vertical skyscraper...”50.
Wolkenbügel would stand in stark contrast to its surroundings, even interrupting the flow of traffic, people, and general life of Nikitsky Square (where Lissitzky places the prototypical Sky Hook). 51 From within the structure, the occupants become reoriented to a new ground level, where the contextualization of their own place within the urban fabric of Moscow is shed, but still understood. Only here is understanding subjectified within a new perception (certainly towards the end of nearing, as much as possible, the objective), rather than contextualized within the every-day. The new hovering position is in contrast to the estrangement felt to the context below, detached from many of its mechanisms and trappings. Here is where Lissitzky hopes to encourage the new world of communist Moscow (certainly including the rest of the USSR and eventually the world) to find a new ground level.
“Building the Revolution”, page 24” Andrei Nakov, “El Lissitzky, Proun”, Page 134 49 “El Lissitzky: Life, Letters, Texts”, page 345 50 Peter Lynch, “An Imaginary Reconstruction of the Sky Over Moscow”, page 26 51 Peter Lynch, “An Imaginary Reconstruction of the Sky Over Moscow”, page 27 47 48
El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel Model of Tower, 1919
El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel Photomontage of tower placed in Nikitsky Square, Moscow 1919
Of course, the Sky Hook exists in dialectic with the capitalistic manifestations, the skyscraper. The Wolkenbügel cannot exist without its counterparts (especially the world of New York City), which is the absolute antithesis modern Moscow. Here, the sense of estrangement takes a shift, a counterpart that is not in physical proximity but a mental parallel (a sort of place that could exist, and perhaps has existed) with Moscow. It is the estrangement that is presumed in an era of revolution. There, the very nature of moving upward through the skyscraper is imbedded in the system; it changes few of the existing relationships of an urban context. In New York City, we look across to another floor in another building, which, because of its inherent ‘sameness’, might as well be the same building and floor in which we stand, it affords no true estrangement; there is no unique perspective to be gained. Here, the Wolkenbügel stands as the unique position in both perspectives from below and above.
Insofar as the Sky Hook participates in a dialectic with capitalism’s skyscraper, it is positioned in a narrative, an idealization in dialog with this capitalist counter- revolutionary struggle and with its understanding of itself. Cloud Hanger replicates itself around a ring road of Moscow “...ad nauseum”52, affording the ability to see revolution from within the very mechanics of that revolution (seeing one Sky Hook tower while within another). In the scale shift, the repetition of the Wolkenbügel allows for the accumulation of layering of different dimensional views (city from above, memory of city from below, towers in the distance). Here, we find a logical explanation from Lissitzky: “Time is only indirectly comprehended by our senses. The change of position of an object in space indicates the passage of time. ...We are now at the beginning of a period in which [Art] is ... struggling for the creation of a new conception of space. I have
Peter Lynch, “An Imaginary Reconstruction of the Sky Over Moscow”, page 27
Lower Manhattan, Aerial Photo, 1931
El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel Urban Plan for Project, Moscow 1919
El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel Axonometric Drawing, 1924
demonstrated ... that space and objects form a mutually functional relationship. This creates the problem of creating imaginary space by means of material objects.” 53 The monumentality of the Cloud Hanger allows for the perception of looking within a system without actually being outside of it, this “imaginary space” is therefore materialized in the Wolkenbügel project.
Certainly El Lissitzky’s Sky Hook is a radical movement away from the ground plane of the city fabrics from which it arose. Sky Hook’s objective is a radical shift from ‘within’ to its contemporary condition of the new ‘fifth elevation’ that is afforded by the new technological advancements as well as the ideological revolution that captured the imagination of Lissitzky and his contemporaries throughout Russia. Here, Lissitzky seems to suggest the work of the social condenser (what he calls the social power house) nearly a decade before Ginzburg introduces the concept.
Here, El Lissitzky clearly sees the Wolkenbügel skyscraper as a potential spark of significant social and philosophical change. It acts as both a trigger and setting for the social and political change that it obviously embraces after the October Revolution in 1917. To this point, the perception of the social condenser (social power plant) is best reiterated by a sentiment more relevant at the time, the victory over the sun (that is to say, the victory over these specific natures) comes from an understanding / transcendence interaction, for the creation of a man above the previous perception of man, a society above the previous understanding of society, and a life above the previous conception of life.
El Lissitzky, “Russia: An Architecture for World Revolution”, page 149
El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel Perspective Drawing, 41 1924
Part V: Iakov Chernikhov and 101 Architectural Fantasies, 1933
Iakov Chernikhov arrived to the scene later than many in the Russian Avant-Garde movements, but he was aligned with the Constructivists. “…Entering the movement rather late, when the peak of laboratory research and experiments was already over and the crisis of constructivism was beginning to show, Chernikhov nevertheless remains in the history of modern architecture as one of the most brilliant and romantic artists of the time, whose artistic works crowns the romantic quest of the 30s.”54 His formulations represented the pure form of Constructivist understanding and representation. He had a clear understanding of the social condenser role that architecture was capable of fulfilling, and believed that that role was intimately connected with the appearance of the architectural form. This was the foundation of his understanding of rhythm, “Chernikhov, like many other scientists, painters, poets and musicians of the period was convinced that it was the global change of rhythm that led to the revolution in art and architecture at the beginning of the 20th Century.”55 Here, Chernikhov makes a distinction between the classical architecture that existed at the turn of the century and his understanding of the need for a new architecture, Constructivism. The classical architecture did not represent the way people lived and was therefore inadequate to act as a social mediator.
Chernikhov fully admits that the movement isn’t perfect; “In its steadfast forward movement, the architecture of our time has made more than a few mistakes, but in the final result will be created a powerful embodiment of the human vision in spatial and volumetric forms.”56 So long as the construction follows a forward looking approach, “where the general structure reflects the buildings function and purpose, and the spatial organization selected is not some appendage,
54 55 56
Iakov Chernikhov, “Fundamentals of Contemporary Architecture”, page 8 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fundamentals of Contemporary Architecture”, page 6 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” as translated by Catherine Cooke, page 5
Chernikhovâ€™s 101 Architectural Fantasies, Number 1, 1933
Chernikhovâ€™s 101 Architectural Fantasies, Number 8, 1933
like a decorative ornament in the old-style architecture but an integral part of the edifice,”57 the building could be said to have a rhythm that its conducive to contemporary life.
One of the rhythms that Chernikhov was especially attracted to comes directly from Malevich; Suprematism. “Unquestionably, one of the best means of nurturing a new type of architect and designer is the conscious application of those forms which are in general termed ‘nonobjective.”58 Here, Chernikhov pays significant attention to pedagogy. As a teacher in the late 1920s and early 1930s, he felt that it was important for students to be able to think for themselves and continue to develop architectural form and thought, to continue improvement. The basis of this progress is the skills that Suprematism promotes. These skills accumulate in architectural fantasies; architectural drawings, which, by their nature are not meant specifically as proposals but are intended as the practice of composition. More to the point, “The capacity to fantasize and create fictional forms through two-dimensional depictions is the first basis of the new architecture.”59 As a teacher Chernikhov looks to the ability of the student to create something new, because without this skill of imagination, there is no way to implement an architecture to suit new modes of living.
Embedded in this search for new fantasies or fictions (or potential futures) are Chernikov’s four forces in constructions; force expended in the jointing process (construction), force of the action of weight (gravity), the force of influence, and the force of dynamics. In this investigation, the forces of influence and dynamics become especially interesting and important. The force of influence “…is measured by the strength of the impression which the constructive product makes upon each of us. The longer that impression remains in our consciousness, the stronger the force of influence.”60 In regard to the force of dynamics: “ the dynamics manifested as movement in a constructive composition represent a subtle but powerful union of complex
57 58 59 60
Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” as translated by Catherin Cooke, page 21 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” as translated by Catherin Cooke, page 22 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” as translated by Catherin Cooke, page 23 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” as translated by Catherin Cooke, page 29
Chernikhovâ€™s Fundamentals of Modern Architecture, 1925-30
Chernikhovâ€™s Compsition 219, 1925-1932
phenomena, operating in a coordinated way upon our psyche and giving us the possibility to feel a higher form of emotional sensation.”61 The implications are clear; Chernikhov considers the influences of architecture (paper architecture or built architecture) on individuals and society to be of paramount importance. As a matter of a social condenser, he is even more explicit: “Any worker can work better amidst the very best combination of surrounding walls and ceilings. Coming to the factory, or leaving it, the worker must perceive an interaction of exterior forms that helps raise his mood, and stimulate him to life, work and creativity.”62 From here, we have a better understanding of Chernikhov’s Architectural Fantasies. Not only are they formalistic drawings demonstrating an amazing compositional skill, they also showcase his specific investigation of new programs, even ones that he himself cannot yet conceive of. In each drawing, Chernikhov utilizes an understanding of rhythm, split in an understanding of movement: horizontal and forward (feeling), horizontal and sideways (will and influence), vertical and upward (thoughtful), and vertical in depth (confidence).63 This representation is skillfully utilized throughout the 101 Architectural Fantasies. Fantasy number five is clearly intended to convey an idea that the mass moving forward into the foreground is floating, a solid, curving bar held in place by lightweight construction; it is certainly more of a social or cultural architecture. In contrast, the rhythm of a construction like Fantasy number 22 has a very significant implication of depth and breadth, solidifying its role as a more industrial utility.
These fantasies illustrate an understanding of the potentiality of representation and social engagement. Here, Chernikov sees the potentiality of Constructivism to be built for a society and work for the continued advancement of that society and the individuals in it. It looked for engagement in all citizens, knowing that the most applicable architecture could take as much of those ideas as possible into account.
61 62 63
Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” as translated by Catherin Cooke, page 29 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” as translated by Catherin Cooke, page 31 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” as translated by Catherin Cooke, page 32
Chernikhovâ€™s Composition 199, Early Architectural Experimentation, 1925-1932
Spolia, Adventure and the Off-Modern
To this point, this investigation has been concerned with the specific encounter of the Russian Avant-Garde movements of Suprematism and Constructivism and key artists and architects of those movements in the early years of the Soviet Union after the October Revolution. By the early 1930s, the Constructivist and Suprematist movements in art and architecture fell out of political favor. As Stalin rose to power, the concerns of these artistic investigations were perceived to be of a too bourgeois taste, and were therefore unfit to remain as expressions of the life and art of the Soviet Union. Movements like Socialist Realism in Art and a resurgence of neoclassical aesthetics in architecture marked the decline of the Russian Avant-Garde. These movements failed before they could have a direct influence on the built environment. Yet, the works shown have a specific significance because they were never built, and remain tangible only insofar as we can discuss their impact on how society views them and views the world because of them. Therefore, these projects have remained open for iteration and adaptation (a pedagogical completion) by the innovative architects in the 1970s.
What follows is the formulation of these threads between the 1920s movements and the architects of the 1970s. It is elaborated by the writings of Svetlana Boym on nostalgia, ruinophilia, and the offmodern, as well as an investigation of the conceptual power of spolia drawn from its roots in material repurposing throughout architectural history.
Part VI: Adventure and The Off-Modern
In the opening of her essay, Svetlana Boym presents a city that never was: “Let us look at this strange cityscape: on the riverbanks of St. Petersburg the spires of the historic Peter and Paul Fortress compose a harmonic ensemble with Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International… not the way the city ever was, but the way it could have been. This is an image of an alternative modernity in which avant-garde projects transformed the historical cityscape.”64 In this alternative cityscape, the potentiality of historical projects becomes as valuable as actual constructions (if not more so). It is a way to cheat the clear arrow of time; Boym calls it the ‘offmodern’ because it is an exploration on the edge of history, not a complete departure from history. It is the ability “…to be not “out,” but “off,” as in “Off-stage,” “off-key,” “off-beat” and occasionally “off-color”.”65 It is the middle way between ‘did’ and ‘didn’t’ or ‘has’ and ‘hasn’t’. This becomes directly applicable to the methodology of Sklovsky’s approach in “The Knight’s Move”: the L-Shaped manner of its movement. From here, we begin to understand the specific mechanics which allow for this movement; addressed as the inability to submit to the “straight road”, we certainly find significane in the events and experiences which bring Sklovsky and the architects of the late 20th century (Hadid, Tschumi, and Koolhaas) to this ‘strange’ movement. For Shklovsky, we find these moments in the first two ‘factory’ processes of his life, leading to the “Third Factory”. Moving forward, Shklovsky’s “The Monument to the Third International” addresses the “quiet of thunder”, which pervades the populous of the blasé, the desire and need for the revolution and its materialization or, in the case of the field of architecture in the 1960s and 1970s, grappling with the lost and broken promises of the Modernist movement. In this case, these architects began to look for a theoretical framework on which to begin the thinking and practice of architecture; it is the establishment of a critical continuum, a thread, which did not previously exist (or at least was not substantially visible).
Sventalan Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 4 Sventalan Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 4
Close-up of Photomontage, Tatlinâ€™s Tower (From the Royal Academy), how the tower would have looked in St. Petersburg
For Shlovsky, the purposefulness (or more directly, the necessity) of the knight’s movement is clear; the knight is “forbidden to take the straight road.”66 He is wrapped up in a time where the sideways movement is not an option, it is the only method of moving forward, in a time where, “in Russia people are dying in the street; in Russia people are eating, or are capable of eating, human flesh…” and “in Russia the universities are functioning: in Russia the theaters are full”67; here, the only revolt is dissent of the straight road, the road of ‘honest pawns’ and ‘dutiful kings’ who blindly move forward with no alternatives. Shklovsky points to each of the ‘factories’ that have processed him throughout his life, questioning quite clearly, “Do we really know how a man ought to be processed?”68 The knight’s move startles us; it wakes us up from the monotony of the straightforward movements of the world around us. In the historical trajectory of architecture that seemed increasingly to be moving toward nihilism and annihilation, the only way out of the chokehold of compliance was to find an alternative route, to pursue a new discourse (or even to claim one from the depths of its absence). By 1975, “…architecture’s immanent end had become perhaps less a matter of willful self-annihilation than a far less spectacular fading away of its comparative social relevance.”69
As Hays points out, if architects were to accept the premise that architecture clearly had a starting point, they generally accepted after the 1960s that there might possibly (or even most likely) be an end70. Without necessarily trying to find a contradiction, some architects found a third way, a way around the nihilism; adventure.
From a particular standpoint, “architecture is…not architectonics; it does not give a system or a superstructure to the world of concepts, but rather a texture. Architecture has the potential to be a form of poiesis- making that doesn’t merely reify hierarchies, but… exceeds its own immediate
66 67 68 69 70
Viktor Shlovsky, “Knight’s Move”, page 3 Viktor Shlovsky, “Knight’s Move”, page 4 Viktor Shlovsky, “Third Factory”, page 8 K. Michael Hays, “The Autonomy Effect” from “Bernard Tschumi”, page 9 K. Michael Hays, “The Autonomy Effect” from “Bernard Tschumi”, page 9
Photomontage, Tatlin’s Tower (From the Royal Academy), how the tower would have looked in St. Petersburg
Diagram of the Knight’s Move, Viktor Shklovsky, 1923
Svetlana Boym, From ‘The Off-Modern Panic Manifesto for 2010
function, and contributes to the making of world culture.”71 Here, architecture (or the process of architecting) can become highly beneficial as a form of experimentation. For Boym, this experimentation isn’t about a reification of hierarchy (system-building), rather it is “about life and art as project and adventure.”72 It is the suggestion that potential futures exist through new perspectives: “The architecture of adventure is the architecture of thresholds, liminal spaces, porosity, doors, bridges, and windows. It is not about experiences of the sublime, but of the liminal.”73 The architecture of adventure is the search for a part of us that seems far removed, estranged from us through time. This adventure is a way of exploring all of the branches of time not usually seen or understood; all of the potential futures nipped at the bud and cut off from traditional realization. From those ashes, the off-modern reveals a nearly infinite space with which to interact.
In respect to the long history of architectural movements, this diversity allows individuals to explore past divergences from the predominant narrative of architectural history. If that narrative is just one set of divergences built up over the millennia, there are infinitely many places to find adventure. As Boym points out, these influences do not have to be found merely in the same field, but the very notion of the adventure can lead away from one discipline and into many others. This adventure may even look at radically different cultural phenomena. “In Eastern Europe there was a well-established tradition of paper architecture- an architecture of radical projects done during the “era of stagnation” that were meant for architectural competitions but never built. … This kind of architecture is not immaterial: rather it redefines the relationship between materiality and viruality in the broadest sense of the word…”74 The early 20th Century Russian Avant-Garde movements were only beginning to flourish, but, as Joseph Rykwert noted in 1970, “the curtain was about to go down on the whole marvelous
71 72 73 74
Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 5 Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 6 Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 6 Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 8
Palace of the Soviets
101 Architectural Fantasies
Club of the New Society
Palace of Labour
Leonidov Lenin Institute
Monument to the Third International
Montage and Architecture (1937)
Villa Savoye (1928-30)
Paris 1968 USSR Trip The Berlin Wall as Architecture
“Town and Revolution 1917-1935” By Anatole Kopp (1970)
Paris Exposition (1925)
The application of the off-modern perspective (where lines of continuum are created from disparate times) by ‘cheating’ the clear arrow of time.
The Manhattan Transcripts
Delirious New York
Parc de la Villette
Zaha Hadid and Suprematism
CCTV Headquarters Seattle Central Library
Vitra Fire Station
Phaeno Science Center
The Great Utopia
The ‘Peaks’ Project
Exodus, The Story of the Pool Or The Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture
Class with E.Z.
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episode... [It] obliterated not only the personalities, but all access to information: Western libraries were rather poor in Russian material of the period, and there was the language barrier…”75 Until the late 1960s, there was little opportunity for the study of Russian Avant-Garde movements centered in the 1920s. By the end of the 1960s research and historical documentation began to emerge in the western architectural community. Anatole Kopp’s work, especially his “Town and Revolution: Soviet Architecture and City Planning, 1917-1935” from 1970 as well as the later works of Catherine Cooke had an immense impact on the perception and influence of Soviet Architecture from the 1920s.
This reemergence of the Russian Avant-Garde into the intellectual circles of the western architectural community corresponded to the decline of Modernism in the early 1970s. As K. Michael Hays has noted of the time period: “…Reductive forms seemed to reduce architecture to the mere availability of preexisting elements and combinatory techniques from some virtual stock, to an operator of formal possibilities with no further potential for engagement.”76 The post-modern conception of architecture demonstrated an existential crisis within the discipline. From here, the desire to follow an alternative path is understandable desirable. As has been discussed, the knight’s move became a move out of necessity. It was either that or stagnation. Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhaas, and Zaha Hadid were not content with this future (or lack there off).
“The Architecture of the Off-Modern” focuses on Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International as the main example for the off-modern approach. Boym explains; “The very fact that it was known primarily as a model or a project rather than a realized building reflected the possibilities and contradictions of the time… it is more productive to think about the tower’s actual history as a model and a project that opened up a new
Joseph Rykwert, Book Review on “L’Architecttura del Constructtivismo”, AD Magazine, February 1970, page 108 K. Michael Hays, “The Autonomy Effect” from “Bernard Tschumi”, page 9
A Tatlinâ€™s Tower Model, Simplified Construction, for May Day Parade in Leningrad, 1926
dimension of this intermediary and transitional architecture, which also may be called an architecture of possibility.”77 Here, the architectural project is actually more powerful when it isn’t confined to a specific set of requirements or preconceived notions. The project does not have to be structurally sound; Tatlin’s Tower certainly didn’t appear as safe as works that were actually built during the period. But, more to the point, since the project had no unique manifestation, it became nearly incorruptible. The utopian perception of the structure could never fully be discounted; its ability to function as it was supposed to could never be questioned absolutely. Tatlin’s Tower became a source of myth and inspiration in the postwar era, providing an outlet for the nostalgia for a boldness that the revolutionary imagination seemed to represent. “Never realized as a radical revolutionary monument, the tower came into material existence as a piece of “artistic heritage.””78 Beyond Tatlin’s Tower, the other un-built or paper architecture projects share a similar significance.
The ability for these projects to succeed beyond a reductive utilitarian sense becomes clear. Tatlin’s Tower, Malevich’s Architectons, El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel, and Chernikhov’s 101 Architectural Fantasies lead successful afterlives through architectural adventures and the notion of the off-modern. The works of Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Bernard Tschumi show clear links, adventures, alternative diagonal moves from the circumstances that they arose from.
For Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Bernard Tschumi, education and time spent at the Architectural Association in London gave relatively extensive amounts of exposure to the budding knowledge of these projects as early as 1970. The Architectural Association was home to architectural historians like Catherine Cooke who would be directly responsible for uncovering, researching, and disseminating work from the period. Tschumi taught at the AA in the early 1970s after extensive time in Paris during the 1968 uprisings. He was highly influenced
Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 23 Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 15
Leonid Sokov’s ‘Mother and Child’, 1986
Zaha Hadid and Suprematism, an exhibition of Suprematist art along side selected works from Zaha Hadid’s architecture and designs 2010, Zurich
by Barthes and Foucault already, and was susceptible to the newly emerging thought processes of the Russian Avant-Garde. Rem Koolhaas started studying at the AA in 1968 and would return to teach, eventually having Zaha Hadid as a student in the mid and late 1970s. The three operated with similar circles and were exposed to similar influences through this connection. Beyond that though, each gained very specific and separate insights from their engagements with the Russian Avant-Garde movement.
Rem Koolhaas works with the ideas of narrative early on in his career. As a journalist and writer, the notion of narration is intimately linked to strategy and he was clearly interested in processes that work for a conformation and engagement of specific values. He shows extensive interest in social condensers and the potential for narrative to play a role in the expression and implementation of those interactions.
Zaha Hadid works extensively with representation. Although the style of her work has shown extraordinary change from her time at the AA , the path of change itself is continues, the logic behind her work has remained largely impacted by what Chernikhov has called the ‘force of dynamics’.
Bernard Tschumi has focused a significant portion of his work on the notion of the ‘event’. He has built up an extensive body of work that demonstrates a deep understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of the Constructivist movement. Specifically, the interest in the subversion of the blasé, of interruption that seems to connect the thread of theoretical understands from Tschumi to the 1920s movement with El Lissitzky and Vladimir Tatlin.
The adventure as Boym has identified it, is significantly based on where the individual chooses to explore. “Adventure literally refers to something that is about to happen, a venir. But instead of opening into some catastrophic or messianic future, it leads rather into invisible temporal
From Rem Koolhaas’ ‘Delirious New York’, 1978 Madelon Vriesendrop, ‘Flagrant delit’
dimensions of the present.”79 It inevitable leads back to the here and now, although traveling an indirect path. For Koolhaas, Hadid, and Tschumi, adventure has led them to the spolia of narrative, representation, and event. Instead of following the normal trajectory of recorded architectural history, they explored the potentials of past futures, which lead them into alternative understandings of history. So although they are lead invariably back to the present, the nature of the present is subjectively oriented, flanked by new perspectives of the past and future.
This new alignment with the past and future is specifically related to a philosophical understanding of the architectural term, spolia. If adventure is the path of discovery, spolia is the trajectory of influences; it is the record of the architect’s specific associations and practical pedagogies.
Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 16
From Bernard Tschumi’s ‘The Manhattan Transcripts’, 1979
Part VII: Spolia
The word spolia is derived from the Latin; Spolia translated as ‘removed hide from an animal’ or ‘soldier’s booty’ and ‘spoils of war’. 80 The modern interpretation largely deals with the reuse of architectural components from ruins or older buildings in new construction. The methodologies and rationality for this seemingly destructive procedure is firmly rooted in aesthetic and ideological mechanisms. These methods, however rooted in the specificity of the physical reappropriation of material have significant ramifications for and from cultural, political, and philosophical values and ideologies.
If what is removed from the carcass is the spolia, what remains is ruin. In “Ruinophilia: Appreciation of Ruins”, Boym relates: “Ruins make us think of the past that could have been and the future that never took place, tantalizing us with utopian dreams of escaping the irreversibility of time.”81 The ruin is simultaneously the object through which nostalgia flows as well as a definitive reminder of the inherent progression of events, which prevent rehabilitation. The ruin seems to be a dichotomy of nostalgia: reflective and restorative nostalgia.
The ‘restorative nostalgia’ “...stresses... (home) and attempts a transhistorical reconstruction of the lost home”82. ‘Reflective nostalgia’ is the irreconcilable break and the resultant longing for a homecoming that paradoxically inhibits that arrival by exacerbating the breakage. The very conception of the trauma that separates ruin from non-ruin, the maintenant and ‘[just now]’ demarcation forms the foundation for this dichotomy. As Derrida establishes in conjunction with Bernard Tschumi’s Parc de la Villette: “Everything marks an era, even the decentering of the subject: Posthumanism. It is as if one again wished to put a linear succession in order, to periodize, to distinguish
“Spolia from Constantine to Charlemagne: Aesthetics versus Ideology” by Beat Brenk, page 103. “Ruinophilia”, Essay by Svetlana Boym 82 “Ruinophilia”, Essay by Svetlana Boym 80 81
Aerial view of Bernard Tschumiâ€™s Parc de la Villette, Paris From 1987
between before and after, to limit the risks of reversibility or repetition, transformation, or permutation: an ideology of progress.”83 The separation between the ruin and the non-ruin is a demarcation that seems to create a false dichotomy, “these distinctions are not absolute binaries, and one can surely make a more refined mapping of the gray areas on the outskirts of imaginary homelands”84. The ‘gray area’ between reflective and restorative nostalgia is well suited as the niche for spolia.
Spolia is the movement of material (physical or ideological) from one subject to another. This process is not a radical transformation of the spolia from one state to another, it produces a palimpsest, a layering of information on the architectural ‘hide’ which would establish continuity between the source of the spolia and its destination. In “Spolia from Constantine to Charlemagne: Aesthetics versus Ideology”, Brenk establishes a series of understandings of spolia. While his intention is to utilize his understandings with a direct association with Constantine and Charlemagne within roman antiquity and their usage of ancient architectural components in contemporaneous buildings and monuments, the argument remains valid in the areas of philosophical, literary, and architectural works: “When someone removes the hide of a building or tears out its innards, he resembles a cannibal. A cannibal does not devour his enemies mainly because he wants to nourish himself but because he hopes that in so doing he will acquire his destroyed enemy’s strength. Therefore, he eats human flesh not so much because he is hungry or because he prefers human flesh to a sirloin steak but rather for ideological reasons.”85 Brenk relates later, “it is far more difficult and inconvenient to work with spolia than with newly made, homogeneous building materials”86. As with the allegory, the reasons for spoliation can be culturally and philosophically sophisticated. The cannibal’s belief that by eating his enemy’s
83 “Pointe De Folie” By Jacques Derrida from “Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory” edited by Neil Leach, page 324. 84 “Ruinophilia”, Essay by Svetlana Boym 85 “Spolia from Constantine to Charlemagne: Aesthetics versus Ideology” by Beat Brenk, page 105. 86 “Spolia from Constantine to Charlemagne: Aesthetics versus Ideology” by Beat Brenk, page 106.
flesh, he is strengthening himself with the full might and strength of his fallen enemy is primarily associated with the legitimacy of the conquest, rather than any basic instinct for survival.
Constantine is credited with the notable implementation of spolia in the monument in his honor, the Arch of Constantine. The Arch was largely built from spolia of previous Roman architecture and monuments. The “reused triumphal reliefs, remodeled to fit his person, expressed his desire for sovereign legitimacy.”87 The spolia are connective tissue between past, present, and future, movements that are as reflective as they are restorative (but also neither).
The spolium is wholly the vanquished foe and source of the conqueror’s enhanced strength, no longer one without the other. Its identity is both as vanquished and conqueror. The architectural spolia of the Arch of Constantine are at once the remains of a now-in-ruins monument, a component of a new composition, and a source of legitimacy formed by the continuity therein.
The continuity exhibited in the implementation of the spolia constitutes a third way, an illustration of Shklovsky’s ‘knight’s move’: “There are many reasons for the strangeness of the knights’s move, the main one being the conventionality of art, about which I am writing. The second reason lies in the fact that the knight is not free—it moves in an L- shaped manner because it is forbidden to take the straight road.”88 Here, spolia works between the ‘straight roads’ of reflective and restorative nostalgia. Furthermore, Tatlin’s Tower exhibits the traits of the move while also allowing a firm association with the off-modern. Where Brenk’s spolium is defined by the creation of a carcass, Tatlin’s Tower has no unique physical manifestation to mutilate. Consequently, there is no victim, the spolia of inexhaustible inspiration. This spolium is the potentiality of a crossover from the
“Spolia from Constantine to Charlemagne: Aesthetics versus Ideology” by Beat Brenk, page 105. “Knight’s Move” by Viktor Shklovsky from “Knight’s Move”, page 19
The Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italy.
spatially and temporally limited realm, where the maintenant is an impenetrable wall between past and future, and the off-modern realm Boym describes in “Architecture of the Off-Modern”.
Tatlin’s Tower was “a crucible of possibilities and inspirations, not a utilitarian history of the ‘offmodern’.”89 The Monument to the Third International is both material and immaterial, “The monument is made of iron, glass and revolution”90. Shklovsky is certainly choosing his words carefully here. The primitive volumes that are encapsulated by the iron spiral revolve about a center axis of the monument, but the fundamental intention is clear. The conception of ‘revolution’ is inherently endowed with a double meaning: a singular act or event (revolt, an overthrow) or a repetitive cycle of acts or events (transition from day to night, the changing of the seasons). This duality places revolution (and especially Tatlin’s Tower) as a clear scaffolding between the two realms discussed above. As Boym relates it, The Monument to the Third International serves as utopian scaffolding resembling a future ruin.91
This future ruin is by no means a preemptive element of ‘reflective nostalgia’. “It has more the character of a project than a finished product. The monument is imbued with utilitarianism. This spiral may not aspire to be an apartment building, but all the same it is somehow being put to good use.”92 Shklovsky’s use of ‘somehow’ is certainly not a haphazard or dismissive pronouncement of the monument’s utility; it is imbued with the understanding of the tower’s ruin value as an inspirational reservoir. Its use-value lies in the spolia that emanate from it. These represent themselves in all the ways Boym outlines and more.
Tatlin’s Tower works so well because it was never actualized in any auratic form. Brenk’s understanding of the spolia is dependent on its association with the auratic forms of roman architecture and monuments. This non-auratic spolium exists in a whole field of architectural
89 90 91 92
“Architecture of the Off-Modern” By Svetlana Boym, page 23 “Monument to the Third International” by Viktor Shklovsky from “Knight’s Move, page 85 “Architecture of the Off-Modern” By Svetlana Boym, page 12 Monument to the Third International” by Viktor Shklovsky from “The Knight’s Move”, page 85
Construction of the first model of Tatlinâ€™s Tower, 1920
projects that maintained an abstracted virtuality. Since there was no original construction imbued with the full legitimacy and circumstance of the project as something firm, something actualized in both space and time. Far from being a limitation, the Tower stands as a project, a work-in-progress, to be utilized as a framework, a sort of scaffolding, upon which other artists, architects, and designers will extract the non-auratic spolia for their own creations. Specifically we can identify the new context for the spolia of Tatlin’s Tower in Constantin Boym’s work, Igor Makarevich and Elena Elagina’s “Toadstool (with Tatlin’s Tower)”, Leonid Sokov’s “Mother and Child”, and Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s “The Palace of the Projects”. It is the to the testament of Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International that none of these projects leave the tower less impactful and less meaningful.
Here, we have established the non-auratic spolium as a way to understand the impact of Viktor Shklovsky’s ‘knight’s move’. This specific movement is contextualized by Boym’s ‘ruinophilia’, citing that “ruins make us think of the past that could have been and the future that never took place, tantalizing us with utopian dreams of escaping the irreversibility of time”93. This nostalgia creates operations for perspectives and motivations that Boym identifies as reflective and restorative nostalgia. Non-auratic spoliation occupies the liminal zone between these forms of nostalgia, creating a framework to bridge the gap between the ‘utopian dream’ of the ‘OffModern’ and the reality we occupy in our everyday lives. In this way, the future that never happened can become just as impactful and meaningful as the pasts and futures that did and will.
In the process of non-auratic spoliation, nothing need be sacrificed because the temporal separation between ‘was’, ‘is’, and ‘will’ does not exist, the perspective of the ‘just now’ as a barrier in the temporal dimension has no hold here, the ruin (the carcass) is both potentiality and void because it is never specifically either of them. The carcass is no longer the waste of the
“Ruinophilia”, Essay by Svetlana Boym
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, ‘The Palace of the Projects’, 1995-2001
cannibal’s conquest, but the continuity of the source of the spolia in the spatial dimension through the temporal. Every concretized project relates to the continuity of the ever-unfinished project but for its assumed completeness, the presumption of permanence and stasis of its current iteration of existence. The project is the ruin for its restorative potential. The ruin is the utopian dream because of this potentiality within the liminal space, the ability to assimilate and radically alter the virtual form of the abstract product independent of normal variables (namely, once again, time and space).
If what is removed from the body is the spolium, what remains is a carcass. If what is removed from the utopian ruin is non- auratic spolia, what remains is potentiality because the ruin has nothing which can spoil, pure potentiality that is unaffected by any temporal distinction between enacted body and carcass-remains.
This conception of the spolium of the utopian ruin relies on the ‘ruinphilia’ of both reflective and restorative nostalgia, acting as a ‘knight’s move’ between the two and connecting them with a framework quite successfully to form the functionality of the project, especially as it is present in non-auratic works of culture, society, literature, politics, philosophy, and architecture. The project will always be scaffolding for change. It asserts that there is a means around our traditional understanding of time and space, utilizing diagonal moves back and forth between the utopian ruins such as Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International and the realm of linearity, the St. Petersburg that never saw the tower’s construction. This allows us to look upon the horizon and see the “picture-perfect view of...St. Petersburg... not the way the city ever was, but the way it could have been.”94 It is a cognitive process that creates a series of modern alternatives and transforms the ‘historical cityscape’ into the liminal project of modernity.
“Architecture of the Off-Modern” By Svetlana Boym, page 4.
Still from the film, Tatlinâ€™s Tower, 1999 Directed by Takehiko Nagakura
As unfinished projects of the utopian dream, Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International, Malevich’s Architectons, El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel, and Chernikhov’s Fantasies are more than mere ruins that we look back to with a reflective nostalgia. They are not played-out; they are untapped construction sites as much as they are ruins in a terminal node of modernism.
By the late 1960s, the mythos of the international style was in severe disrepair. A dichotomy began to formulate. Reflective nostalgia looked to the past where modernism like Le Corbusier’s ‘machine for living’ was new and innovate, but this no longer seemed applicable; it was bland and looked for an already failed utopian vision. The restorative nostalgia looked to the past in an unrefined attempt to reconstitute the past in formal qualities (a sampling of old styles) but fundamental unrelated to the social context of the work in the here and now. Here, there seemed to be little room for other options, but like Shklovsky’s ‘knight’s move’, there is a grey area to work within.
Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Bernard Tschumi constitute this move in their attractions to specific qualities of the avant-garde movments of Constructivism and Suprematism from the 1920s. Rem Koolhaas’ use of narrative in his work demonstrates a thread directly linking his ideologies to that of the social condenser methodologies theorized in Constructivist work. Furthermore, he approaches and broaches the connection between the avant-garde works to the situation of his contemporaries with particular directness; his ‘The Story of the Pool’ from 1977 places the dialectics of Constructivism into the direct context of the architectural scene in the 1970s. Zaha Hadid uses a refined understanding of representation which draws the strengths of Soviet work from the period. Her thesis project from the AA helps to orient her perceptions of the Suprematist movement in a separate context from the Urban Soviet Russia of the 1920s to late the late 20th century London. Bernard Tschumi’s penchant for the interaction of the event with movement and space draws out of the architectural proposals which keep us on our feet; Tatlin’s Tower and El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel come specifically to mind.
Le Corbusierâ€™s Villa Savoye from 1929 Example of the Modern, International Style (Fell into disrepair from disuse) Photo taken before renovations in 1985
Michael Gravesâ€™ Portland Building, Completed in 1982, Post-Modern (sampling of old styles)
In each case, the adoption of a specific Soviet Avant-Garde canon provides the pedagogical foundation for spolia. It is important that the ruins, the construction sites for this connection, are un-built (paper architecture); it precludes the autonomy of the fully realized architectural form. In Svetlana Boym’s “The Architecture of the Off-Modern” demonstrates that the un-built project is the optimal vector of the ideological spolium. The artistic projects of the postwar era she mentions situate Tatlin’s Tower outside of its original context, an engine for discourse that cannot be achieved under uncanny circumstances. The built project always projects a level of autonomy, dictating its use and haunting all adoptions and adaptations. The forms of ideological spolia that constitute this ‘knight’s move’ between the restorative and reflective nostalgias of architectural history and theory in the late 20th operate in a liminal zone, allowing inspiration and adventure into untapped areas of history. A significant source of this spolia comes from the Russian Avant-Garde period of the early 20th century because of its radical departure from vogue modernism as well as its relative seclusion from dissemination in the politically stratified environment of the time.
Zaha Hadid, ‘Tatlin Tower and the Tectonic Worldwind’ 1992
Ideological Spoliation in the Late 20th Century
In the previous sections, we have established a context and methodology from which to explore the impact of the 1920s Soviet Avant-Garde paper architecture on architects working, learning, and exploring since 1970. As has been discussed above, 1970 is considered to be a key year for this spoliation because it marks the publication of Anatole Kopp’s “Town and Revolution” into English. What follows is the essence of this investigation, the discovery and implementation of constructivist principles by Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhaas, and Zaha Hadid. These principles are the spolium of event, narrative, and representation.
Here, the conception of spolium is fundamentally different from manifestations of index (of history, brought to the present), image (from Adorno), montage, or plagerism. Instead of merely signifying a connection, a reshuffling of parts for a new meaning or representing a specific aesthetic, spolium is found in the ruinscape of history and potential futures. Spolia are the processing of connections, the adoptions and recontextualizations of unfinished ideas, the peculiar move to the edge, and the adaptations of methodologies; all without nostalgia for a specific historical situation. The use of the term, spolia, expresses the ability to work from and with historical conditions rather than merely adhering to the dichotomy of past versus future.
Part VIII: Bernard Tschumi and the Event
For his part, Tschumi is placed firmly in the Deconstruction / Deconstructivist camp. For him, the constructivists are an element in the heterotopia; so also are Foucault, Barthes, Derrida, even the Situationists. The Constructivists play a role of the catalyst; Tschumi makes ‘Constructionist references, or even quotations…”95 This is, to a large extent, a significant deviation from the work of Hadid and Koolhaas.
Indeed, as much as Hadid and Koolhaas use the work of the Russian Avant-Garde as a starting point in their careers and in individual projects, Tschumi’s career seems to have been effected in mid-flight. Certainly, the Constructivists played an important role in Tschumi’s major project; Parc de la Villette, they were not to any degree predominant.
The Russian Avant-Garde’s precarious position behind the iron curtain certainly played a significant role in this. As has been mentioned, the reintroduction of the movements of Constructivism and Suprematism into western architectural communities and discourse wasn’t significant until the late 1960s.
As such, those individuals that he references so often would have already significantly influenced Tschumi’s thought and practice of archtiecture. Constructivism and the works of the Russian Avant-Garde in the 1910s and 1920s would be used referentially, in service of his conceptions of the event. Tschumi’s original and more conscious influences come from western philosophy and film.
Thus, our investigation started with Tschumi and his Parc de la Villette project, where his folies are one of the prime institutions of constructivist ‘quotations’. Some of the folies take direct
“Deconstruction: A Student Guide”, “The Architecture of Deconstruction”, page 17
Bernard Tschumi, Exploded Axonometric Parc de la Villette, 1982
inspiration from the Russians; proposing replicas of Melnikov’s pavilion from the 1927 Exposition in Paris as well as Tatlin’s Tower. In fact, Tatlin’s project, the Monument to the Third International, plays another role in Par de la Villette; “At ground level, he laid a basic, geometic system: a square enclosing the city of science, a circle south of this, and south again, a triangle… the square, circle and triangle have ancient, mystic connotations going back to classical Greece and even the foundations of Buddhism.”96 Beyond these classical connotations, Tatlin’s Tower uses similar primitives: a cube, a cylinder, and a pyramid. The inclusion of these primitives within the intersections that challenge all notions of purity, perfection and order and thus promote a certain level of impurity, imperfection, and disorder are unavoidably similar to the structure of Tatlin’s monument. Here, like in The Manhattan Transcripts, Tschumi suggests that the event, the cause and effect relationship was the real “pleasure of architecture, in its unexpected combinations of terms, and the reality of contemporary urban life, in its most simulative, as well as unsettling, facets.”97 Thus, for Tschumi, architecture could not be form or wall, but “the combination of heterogeneous and incompatible terms.”98 For Tschumi, the term ‘event’ was substantially influenced by the Situationist discourse as well as his proximity to the events of 1968 in France. These were: “Events not only in action, but also in thought. Erecting a barricade (function) in a Paris street (form) is not quite equivalent to being a flaneur (function) in the same street (form). Dinning (function) in a university hall (form) is not quite equivalent to reading or swimming in it. Here, all hierarchical relationships that become form and function cease to exist.”99 This is the subversive capability of Tschumi’s event. Furthermore, Tschumi draws from Foucault, suggesting that the event is the erosion of the setting, or the changing of setting; the event becomes the turning point, not an origin or end, and from Derrida, the conception ‘architecture
96 97 98 99
“Deconstruction: A Student Guide”, “The Architecture of Deconstruction”, page 17 Bernard Tschumi, “Architecture in Transition”, pages 125-126 Bernard Tschumi, “Architecture in Transition”, page 126 Bernard Tschumi, “Architecture in Transition”, page 126
Bernard Tschumi, Perspective Drawing Parc de la Villette, 1982
of the event’ which suggests a new conceptualization of our history and tradition. Here, Tschumi seems to draw close to what this investigation has tried to establish with the introduction of Boym’s Off-Modern and my own interpretation of spolia; the event is the possibility of a new perspective, both a marker and a catalyst for change. Here, we see Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International as an event itself when we reconsidering Shklovsky’s essay as well as its own interactions with architecture and politics of the time (especially the Eiffel Tower in Paris). To this extent, we can see Tschumi’s own ‘quotation’ of these Constructivist events in his Parc de la Villette and certainly his works of paper architecture, or book-as-architecture, especially The Manhattan Transcripts.
To the point of un-built work, Wigley makes a significant argument; He “sees precedents, not so much in their [the Russian Constructivist’s] many completed buildings in Moscow and elsewhere- housing slabs, offices and workers’ clubs for instance- as in their sketches and drawings, often for competitions…such as the Vesnin Brothers’ Palace of Labour (1922-3); and stage sets by Tatlin (1923 and 1935) not to mention his vast Monument to the Third International (1919).”100 For Wigley, these sketches were a threat; they took pure geometric forms and used them in the production of distorted, tortured, and clashing compositions.
“Tschumi’s follies are inspired by the bold geometries and exposed structural forms of Russian constructivism, the revolutionary art and architecture of Russia in the 1910’s and 1920’s that was based on an admiration for the machine and technology, as well as modern industrial materials. Russian constructivists believed their new architecture could help shape their new, revolutionary society.”101 The project is set on the site of a long-standing slaughterhouse originally built in the 19th century. This fact alone is a rather poetic statement regarding spolia. Quite literally, the slaughter of animals for human use is the basis of spolia. The animal becomes a carcass through which
“Deconstruction: A Student Guide”, “The Architecture of Deconstruction”, pages 23-24 Joseph Giovannini, “Breaking All the Rules” from The New York Times on June 12, 1988
Individual Follies from Tschumiâ€™s Parc de la Villette project, 1982-1998
meat, hide, and other components are extracted and used for human consumption and use. The spoliation violently extracts the auratic nature of the slaughtered animals, leaving behind a usedup ruin inseparable from the ruin-carcasses around it. In the slaughterhouse, if nostalgia exists, it can only be reflective.
Tschumi’s park competition entry itself is part of an urban redevelopment project for Paris, calling for a response which is both understanding of the historical conditions of the city as well as a clear narrative for change and movement into a new direction. In order to accomplish this task, Tschumi uses “the precedent of the Russian architectural experiment as inspiration for their designs, without literally “quoting” from its buildings.”102 To this end, we find the hints of spolia from El Lissitzky and Tatlin in Tschumi’s conception of the event. As a consequence, we can look to projects like Tschumi’s Manhattan Transcripts as well as his first built work, Parc de la Villette.
“Tschumi offers a brief, tentative mention of a possible alternative to selfannihilation and silence, one that might accelerate and intensify archtecture’s paradox rather than relieve it: he calls it “experienced space,” which, more than a perception or a concept of space, is a process, a way of practicing space, and event.”103 For Tschumi, the architecture of the event is a third way between “the contradiction of autonomy and negation; it is of both autonomy and negation and, indeed, should reveal the productivity of the contradiction even as it dissolves the contradiction.”104 The event, here, is very similar to the Constructivist notion of the ‘social condenser’. At its core, architecture is not reducible to the act of building. As we have understood thus far, this is certainly true. The modes by which Tatlin’s Tower and the Wolkenbügel project operate are distinctly beyond physicality.
102 103 104
Joseph Giovannini, “Breaking All the Rules” from The New York Times on June 12, 1988 K. Michael Hays, “The Autonomy Effect” from “Bernard Tschumi”, page 9 K. Michael Hays, “The Autonomy Effect” from “Bernard Tschumi”, page 9-10
19th Century Meat Market at the same location as Parc de la Villette
Bernard Tschumi, Drawing for Parc de la Villette Competition, 1982
Bernard Tschumi, Drawings from â€˜The Manhattan Transcriptsâ€™, 1977-1981
As has been insisted upon to this point, the investigation of the un-built (paper architecture) is especially fruitful because it resolves itself to be understood at a much broader scale.
The “explicit purpose [of The Manhattan Transcripts] is to transcribe things normally removed from conventional architectural representation: namely, the complex relationship between spaces and their use; between the set and the script; between ‘type’ and ‘program; between objects and events. Their implicit purpose has to do with the twentieth-century city.”105 Here, architecture actually transcends construction. As Tschumi explains, The Transcripts are quite different from traditional architectural representation because the subject matter is neither real nor pure fantasy. As such, they prescribe to real influences and real potentials, but are never explicitly implemented. Here, The Transcripts is a scripted investigation of a real city. “The city of Manhattan, rather than the Villa Savoye, is now the cathexis-object, a city understood as having an erotic and violent programmatic potential woven into its grid of streets and avenues.”106
In this regard, the spolia-ridden project is revealed. It is an investigation of the interactions within the city. The use of three notation bands representing separate parts of the narrative showcases the complexity of a project that draws from the Constructivist ideas of the social condenser. El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel project reveals an intense understanding of a potential interaction between the city as a whole and individuals within the fabric. The eight towers along the ring road of Moscow demonstrate an interconnected understanding of the city; the notion of a programmable city becomes possible because of the new perspective provided. Here, the viewfrom-above denotes a new representation, and thus a new modality for interrelation.
Connected to the Wolkenbügel project through the conceptions of the role of the revolution as well as the social-condenser, The Monument to the Third International is particularly influential for Tschumi’s Parc de la Villette. Specifically, Tatlin’s Tower was little more then scaffolding, it
Bernard Tschumi, “The Manhattan Transcripts”, page 7 K. Michael Hays, “The Autonomy Effect” from “Bernard Tschumi”, page 12
Bernard Tschumi, Page 16 from ‘The Manhattan Transcripts’, 1977-1981
was more of a vehicle for revolution (both flavors). Ideologically, the tower could easily be appropriated and reutilized for a variety of uses or motivations. In many ways, it was enacted as an empty signifier for the off-modern.
In a similar manner, the Parc de la Villette project formulates a sort of DNA. “La Case Vide, Tschumi named the project: the empty square, the marker or place holder for the events to come; not a pure, autonomous architecture but an architecture of pure event, architecture that asserts itself as something emergent rather than final, something that we have to strain to keep in focus and, even then, only momentarily.”107
Tschumi’s tendencies would work to hide any obvious pedagogy of thought connecting the project to a clear progression of architectural ideas or iterations, except within itself. The repetition of 35 cube-based follies on the grid gives us an understanding that each cube is the non-auratic spolium of its predecessor. As Derrida states, “...these red cubes are thrown like the dice of architecture. The throw not only programmes a strategy of events... it anticipates the architecture to come. It runs the risk and gives us the chance.”108
Here, the power of the cube is not purely in the procedure that proceeds to break it down, but the nature of the cube’s restoration each time, the ability to re-role the dice. The virtual nature of the red cube is pervasive and unadulterated in its abstract and non-auratic state. As such, each iteration of the 35 follies is spoliation of the red cube, but is not leaving a carcass, only the stillpowerful potentiality within the form of the cube.
K. Michael Hays, “The Autonomy Effect” from “Bernard Tschumi”, page 12 “Pointe De Folie” By Jacques Derrida from “Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory” edited by Neil Leach, page 336.
Bernard Tschumi, Parc de la Villette, Follies Exploration 1982-1998
Since “the dimension of the event is subsumed in the very structure of the architectural apparatus...”109 the series of follies is brought into reality (out of the virtuality of form) as a wholly conceived project, betraying no sense of a beginning, middle, or end to the process. The pedagogy, the ‘sovereign legacy’, exists within the project, but is wrapped in self-referentialism. This process is only available in the liminal space between the auratic and the non-auratic (between the realm which is occupied by Tatlin’s Tower and Boym’s “Off- Modern” and the realm of normalized temporal and spatial relationships), where the ruin of the virtual form is both inspirational and regenerative (the former niche of the non-auratic spolia). When the process is sufficiently completed, the virtual follies are passed down to a physical concreteness that allow each follie (and the project as a whole) to obtain an aruatic form, the understanding that this is the original object, and all future reproductions are wholly separate operations with no claim to originality.
109 “Pointe De Folie” By Jacques Derrida from “Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory” edited by Neil Leach, page 325.
Bernard Tschumi, Parc de la Villette, View from Water 1982-1998
Part IV: Rem Koolhaas and Narrative
For Koolhaas, the ‘off-modern’ adventure has led to the spolium of narrative. Instead of following the normal trajectory of recorded architectural history, he explored the potentials of past futures, which lead into alternative understandings of history. So, although he is led invariably back to the present, the nature of the present is subjectively oriented, flanked by new perspectives of the past and future.
He approaches his work with the dialectic of thesis and antithesis. In Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture, this dialectic is played out as good versus bad and inside versus outside. In “The Story of the Pool” from 1977, Rem Koolhaas conveys directly, dialectic of optimism vs. pessimism. Later, this dialectic is intensified with OMA’s CCTV tower, an antithesis to the ever-present desire to build taller and taller buildings. But these dialectics aren’t formulated in a vacuum. They require an agenda; at its core this agenda is intimately related to social condensers and architectural influences on social behavior. This investigation sees Rem Koolhaas’ work as a representation of these dialectics and their process, aligning a social agenda to the aims of social influence; a Narrative.
In “The Story of the Pool” from 1977, Rem Koolhaas conveys a sort of folklore or mythology for the Constructivsts from the 1920s. The fictionalized pool was a culmination of the atmosphere; “The idea had been in the air. Others were designing flying cities, spherical theaters, whole artificial planets.”110 As if to relate the pool to the truth ‘on the ground’ of Constructivism in the 1920s, Koolhaas connects the pool with Tatlin’s Tower, the Monument to the Third International, stating: “The prototype became the most popular structure in the history of modern architecture.”111 Tatlin’s Tower is considered to be the foundation of the Constructivist movement, like the pool is for the fictional Constructivists. But as did occur, by the early thirties,
Rem Koolhaas, “The Story of the Pool” from “Delirious New York”, page 307 Rem Koolhaas, “The Story of the Pool” from “Delirious New York”, page 307
Rem Koolhaas, ‘Arrival of the Floating Pool’, from ‘Delirious New York’, 1978
the spirit of revolution that fueled the conception of innovative projects became rigid. “It was only logical that they wanted to go to America, especially New York. In a way, the pool was a Manhattan block realized in Moscow, which would now reach its logical destination.”112
The Pool seems to reflect several projects of the Soviet avant-garde, namely Tatlin’s Tower as well as the hopeful glow that the competitions of the Palace of the Soviets and the Palace of Labor had upon artists and architects of the 1920s and early 1930s. In both cases revivalist architecture won out, in the case of the Palace of the Soviets, Koolhaas notes in his seminal text, S, M, L, XL: “…it was won by a grotesque project, partly American skyscraper, partly hollow Babel. It looked like and insane enlargement of a classical wedding cake; on top, bride and groom morphed to form a huge Lenin, pointing-as always- forward.”113 But, as Koolhaas later relays, the palace was never finished, leaving a foundation that would be converted to a public pool in the postwar era.
Koolhaas alludes to a significant connection: where the new soviet pool’s “perimeter was revised to form a continuous locker room divided into alternating sectors for women and men,”114 Koolhaas’ Constructivist pool has “two seemingly endless linear locker rooms… [Forming] its long sides –one for men, the other for women.”115 And where the Constructivist pool has transparent lobbies which separate the healthy goings-on of the pool from the “fish agonizing in polluted water”116, the pool / foundation has, “a glass plate- frequently with jagged edge- descends below the surface of the water, separating inside from outside.”117 Koolhaas concludes that the former Palace of the Soviets foundation and subsequent pool was an “arena,
112 113 114 115 116 117
Rem Koolhaas, “The Story of the Pool” from “Delirious New York”, page 307 Rem Koolhaas, “Palace of the Soviets: Bedtime Story” from “S,M,L.XL”, page 823 Rem Koolhaas, “Palace of the Soviets: Bedtime Story” from “S,M,L.XL”, page 824 Rem Koolhaas, “The Story of the Pool” from “Delirious New York”, page 307 Rem Koolhaas, “The Story of the Pool” from “Delirious New York”, page 307 Rem Koolhaas, “Palace of the Soviets: Bedtime Story” from “S,M,L.XL”, page 825
Palace of the Soviets, Competition Entry by Boris Iofan, 1932-1933
Moskva Pool at the site of the abandoned Palace of the Soviets, 1960
absorber, social condenser, great emancipator, connector – undeniable fabricator of community… The evaporation of the actual building infinitely enlarged its possible program.”118
In 1976, the fictional Constructivist pool lands in Manhattan. But the Architects / Swimmers / Lifeguards are horrified that the city that they set out for 40 years prior no longer existed. It was replaced with the same, crude lack of individuality that they had hoped to leave behind in Moscow. The New Yorkers for their part were not happy with the encounter. The pool offended “the dry taste of their fabricated poetry, the agonies of their irrelevant sophistication, they complained that the pool was so bland, so rectilinear, so unadventurous, so boring; there were not historical allusions…”119 In a lackluster act, the New Yorkers presented the Constructivists with an award, inscribed with, ‘THERE IS NO EASY WAY FROM THE EARTH TO THE STARS’. Later, “The raft of the constructivists collides with the raft of the Medusa: optimism vs. pessimism. The steel of the pool slices through the plastic of the sculpture like a knife through butter.”120 The collective strength of the social condensers found in Tatlin’s Tower and later works of Constructivism defeats its antithesis, a cold drama of normality raised to formal and historical gesture; pointlessness.
As with his “The Story of the Pool”, Rem Koolhaas approaches his work with the dialectic of thesis and antithesis. In Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture, this dialectic is played out as good versus bad (prologue) and inside versus outside (the intention of switching the conditions of his contemporaneous Berlin). Later, this dialectic is intensified with OMA’s CCTV tower, an antithesis to the ever-present desire to build taller and taller buildings. But these dialectics aren’t formulated in a vacuum. They require an agenda; at its core this agenda is intimately related to social condensers and architectural influences on social behavior. This
118 119 120
Rem Koolhaas, “Palace of the Soviets: Bedtime Story” from “S,M,L.XL”, page 825 Rem Koolhaas, “The Story of the Pool” from “Delirious New York”, page 310 Rem Koolhaas, “The Story of the Pool” from “Delirious New York”, page 310
Rem Koolhaas, “First tentative landings of pool”, The Story of the Pool, 1977
Rem Koolhaas, “Swimmer” from 1981 Depicting the clash with the ‘Raft of Medusa’
investigation sees Rem Koolhaas’ work as a representation of these dialectics and their process, aligning a social agenda to the aims of social influence; a Narrative.
The term, social condenser, specifically demonstrated the need for a new model of living after the October Revolution. Here, what El Lissitzky calls a ‘social power plant’ is a place where this new model has a place to thrive; “…the idea of building palaces of labor or clubs is in the air…”121 Among El Lissitzky’s pursuits of these social condensers was the Wolkenbügel. The Sky Hook’s program would be determined by its particular location in Moscow (there would be eight along a ring road), but chief among the options were worker’s clubs as well as housing. In either case, El Lissitzky’s understanding for the need of a ‘social power plant’ would inevitably be applied. But the project was never constructed and remained as paper architecture. As such, it would have incredible power as a conceptual apparatus, as a narrative (here, as a dialectical tool against the capitalist skyscraper as well the social influences of the ‘social power plant’).
Koolhaas admits a direct connection with the Constructivists: “In 1966, I first heard of a brief moment in time – the constructivists in the Soviet Union, 1923 – where the most intimate details of daily life became the legitimate subject of the architect’s imagination. I could not resist my late participation – to think of architecture not as form, but as organization, to influence the way lives are lived, an ultimate form of script writing.”122 Even his notion of script writing (he was a journalist before attending the Architectural Association in London) reinforces the threads of narrative, which Koolhaas has drawn from the Constructivist movement. In the Constructivist tradition, Koolhaas has formed “a narrative about
Anatole Kopp, “Town and Revolution”, page 120 Rem Koolhaas, “A Brief History of OMA” in “Content”, pages 43-44
A 2010 Model of El Lissitzky’s ‘Sky Hook’, for 120 years of El Lissitzky, Burgos and Garrido
the hero architect able to condense, shape and celebrate urbanism…”123 Rem Koolhaas clearly exhibits a debt own to the Constructivist movement, and with Lissitzky’s Sky Hook project.
That debt is the clear foundation for the understanding of an ideological spolium. Rem Koolhaas’ experience with the Constructivist movement informed how he moved through the field. As has been discussed, this spolium is the institution of a clear pedagogy. Specifically, Koolhaas’ notion of script writing or narrative as derived from Constructivist theory, became a driving force when the popular architectural style of the time began to show signs of an eminent end. Instead of launching into the paths of either restorative or reflective nostalgia (remember that restorative nostalgia’s historicism and reflective nostalgia’s vein attempts of history’s reconstitution), Koolhaas was able to launch into the ‘third way’, the L-shaped move of the chess knight. Thus Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel Towers and Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International are a clear spolia (conceptual models and precedence) for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s work on the CCTV Headquarters in Bejing, China and Rem Koolhaas’ thesis project for the AA, Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture.
The CCTV Headquarters competition was held recently after the fall of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City on September 11th, 2001. For Koolhaas and OMA, this helped solidify the idea of the office tower as something more than “the race for ultimate height and style within a traditional two-dimensional tower ‘soaring’ skyward.”124 Following the lead of Lissitsky’s Sky Hook, Koolhaas has presented a significant dialectic: building for height and volume versus building for experience and perspective. For El Lissitzky, the opposition was found in the capitalistic skyscrapers of New York City. For the CCTV Headquarters, this opposition is seen all over the world, with the sort of race-to-the-sky mentality.
Aaron Betsky, “Rem Koolhaas: The Fire of Manhattanism Inside the Iceberg of Modernism” in “Considering Rem Koolhaas and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture”, page 25 124 From the summary from OMA’s webpage on the CCTV Headquarters 123
OMAâ€™s CCTV Headquarters, Beijing, China 2008
For the CCTV tower, Lissitzky’s ‘social power plant’ becomes a motivation for openness, public engagement, and cooperation. In this narrative of social improvement (a dialectic of connection versus disjunction), the CCTV suggests the connection of what would normally be two towers in separate locations. Programmatically, the first tower serves as editing and office areas. The second tower is dedicated to news casting and includes studio space and required service areas. Instead of remaining as two separate towers, they are joined at the top (culminating in a cantilever which out does even the wildest dreams of the Sky Hook’s potential) that also hosts the administrative programs. The loop is closed at the ground by a hub in the Beijing subway network. In effect, “CCTV’s form facilitates the combination of the entire process of TV-making in a loop of interconnected activities.”125 Another dialectic narrative, public versus private is scripted into the project through a public look that takes visitors “on a dedicated path through the building, revealing everyday studio work as well as the history of CCTV, and culminating at the edge of the cantilever…”126
As has been argued, Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International played a crucial role in the development of the Constructivist movement. It was understood as a conceptual marker for an important dialectic, living in the utopia after the revolution versus living outside of the utopia. This is as much a temporal separation as it is a spatial one, the revolution played its role as a rift, the creation of a dichotomy that at its core is fundamentally inside versus outside. The monument was not only the demarcation of time; it was the separation of epochs. Existence before the October Revolution and beyond the spatial utopia that was the Soviet Union was decidedly ‘inside’. Of course the world beyond the Soviet Union was ‘outside’. This includes the antithesis of Tatlin’s Tower, the Eiffel Tower in Paris (here, Eiffel's Tower versus Tatlin's Tower). Tatlin was acutely aware of this dialectic wall; “In the design of the tower, “Tatlin sabotaged the
From the summary from OMA’s webpage on the CCTV Headquarters From the summary from OMA’s webpage on the CCTV Headquarters
OMA’s CCTV Headquarters, Fifth Elevation Beijing, China 2008
El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel Photomontage, Fifth Elevation Moscow, Soviet Union 1924
perfect verticality of the Eiffel Tower by choosing the form of a spiral and leaning it to one side.”127 The ideological line had been drawn.
In Rem Koolhaas’ thesis project for the Architectural Association in London from 1972, he worked from a narrative in the real-world context of the Berlin Wall in Berlin in the postwar era: East versus West. Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture’s prologue was an abstracted narrative of the wall’s history: Good versus Bad. When the wall was constructed, Koolhaas asserts, “The Good Half, now glimpsed only over the forbidding obstacle from an agonizing distance, became even more irresistible.”128 For his thesis project, Rem considered a familiar dialectic: inside verses outside. In this perspective, he understood that East Berlin was surrounded by Soviet controlled territory; it was an idealized utopia in the midst of the daily mundane and blasé, or worse. In this comparison, it was “the wind of the revolution.”129 Speaking about the Berlin Wall, “It is possible to imagine a mirror image of this terrifying architecture, a force as intense and devastating but used instead in the service of positive intentions.”130 Indeed, Koolhaas seemed to have a specific mirror in mind; the project that marked ‘the line in the sand’ 50 years prior would be utilized again. In fact, Koolhaas would have discovered Tatlin’s Tower and the Constructivist movement in the same time period as his first interactions with the Berlin Wall in the late 1960s. Even closer inspection illustrates the connection more deeply; “The sole concerns of the participants are the present and future of the strip: They propose architectural refinements, extensions, strategies. Excited groups elaborate proposals in special rooms, while others continuously modify the model. The most contradictory programs fuse without compromise.”131 Just as in the utopian understanding of the early years of the Soviet Union and the Constructivist movement, art and architecture were seen as key components of the ‘social power plant’.
127 128 129 130 131
Svetlana Boym, “Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 10 Rem Koolhaas, “Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture” in “S, M, L, XL”, page 5 Viktor Shlovsky, “Third Factory”, page 9 Rem Koolhaas, “Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture” in “S, M, L, XL”, page 5 Rem Koolhaas, “Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture” in “S, M, L, XL”, page 9
Rem Koolhaas, Photomontage ‘Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture’ AA Final Project, 1972
Rem Koolhaas, Plan view of project ‘Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture’ AA Final Project, 1972
Just as Koolhaas’ fictional constructivists made landfall in Manhattan after a 40-year absence from the architectural scene, so also do the works of Tatlin and El Lissitzky. When the Constructivist’s raft / pool cleaved through the raft of the Medusa, Koolhaas brought Constructivist principles into his work. Scavenging through the ruins of a long extinct modernism, He emerged with a piece of spolium and used it to breath new life into the field of architecture that had grown complacent and pessimistic. The Constructivists had no use for the phrase ‘There is no easy way from the earth to the stars’; they had already achieved transcendence, a ‘Victory over the Sun’. The ‘rusty salmon’ moved upstream, ready to finally spawn. Here, the spolium of Narrative, of scripting and social development, found in his investigations of Tatlin’s Tower and Lissitzky’s Sky Hook find an afterlife in Rem Koolhaas’ work, notably the CCTV Headquarters and Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture. Koolhaas asks of himself: “[Is] the initial attraction to/inspiration of architecture-triggered by Communism 40 years ago – consummated under Communism 40 years later?”132
Rem Koolhaas, “A Brief History of OMA” in “Content”, pages 43-44
Rem Koolhaas, Photomontage, Wall ‘Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture’ AA Final Project, 1972
Rem Koolhaas, Photomontage, Reception Area ‘Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture’ AA Final Project, 1972
Part X: Zaha Hadid and Representation
Zaha Hadid, herself credits significant influence of the Russian Avant-Garde onto her work, stating: “I first became interested [in the Russian Avant-Garde] because of Elia Zenghelis, my teacher at the AA… I met Elia in my first year; he gave a talk about Russian Constructivism in 1972/1973.”133 In her fourth year at the Architectural Association, Hadid’s class was given a project to impose one of the Malevich Tektonic sculptures onto the urban context of London to transform it into architecture. In an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hadid acknowledges “…It was unusual for an architect in the 1970s/1980s to revisit an artist like Malevich who said, “I have transformed myself into the zero of form.”… It wasn’t fashionable [to revisit Russian Constructivism]”134. Furthermore, Hadid acknowledges a specific influence and reference to the architecture of the period; “I read Ville et Revolution [Town and Revolution] by Anatole Kopp on the Russian Constructivists and some books on El Lissitzky.”135
Zaha Hadid’s final project at the Architectural Association from 1976 to 1977, “Malevich’s Tektonic”, became a decisive launch to her career. Its roots in both the historical paradigms of the Russian Avant-Garde as well as its critical address of the contemporaneous problematic of the architectural field allowed Hadid to address her own trajectory in that context. This is the establishment of a critical continuum from Suprematism, Constructivism, and the Russian Avantgarde more broadly to “Malevich’s Tektonic” and her ‘Peak’ proposal for Hong Kong between 1982 and 1983.
Of particular interest across much of Zaha Hadid’s work is the representational connection it has with Suprematist and Constructivist art and architecture. Beyond the Suprematist work of Malevich, Hadid’s architectural compositions often resemble the
133 134 135
Hans Ulrich Obstrist, “Zaha Hadid In Conversation” in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 43 Hans Ulrich Obstrist, “Zaha Hadid In Conversation” in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 44 Hans Ulrich Obstrist, “Zaha Hadid In Conversation” in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 44
Zaha Hadid, “Malevich’s Tektonic” AA Final Project, 1977
drawings of Iakov Chernikhov, especially those from his 1933 publication, 101 Architectural Fantasies. Many of Zaha Hadid’s projects and paintings utilize the same language of what Chernikhov calls “rhythmic movement communication”.136 As previously discussed, one of Chernikhov’s ‘forces in construction” includes ‘the force of dynamics. To reiterate: “The dynamics manifested as movement in a constructive composition represent a subtle but powerful union of complex phenomena, operating in a coordinated way upon our psyche and giving us the possibility to feel a higher form of emotional sensation.”137
Zaha Hadid’s response to nostalgia and the crisis of discourse felt during her education “was like the blow of Alexander to the Gordian Knot: decisive, if nothing else. The battle was engaged.”138 As Lebbeus Woods tells it, this was the fundamental act by a young Zaha Hadid to “strike out in a new direction by appropriating the tectonic languages of an earlier epoch-notably Russian Avant-Garde at the time of the revolution – but in a purely visual, imagistic way: the political and social baggage had been discarded”139. Here, we certainly understand that the architectural discipline was struggling with the recent decline of modern architecture. As Shlovsky writes, “There are many reasons for the strangeness of the knights move, the main one being the conventionality of art, about which I am writing.”140 Here, both Shlovsky and Hadid use the act of detour as a reaction to the status quo.
Zaha Hadid’s strange movement was the product of her life and education, drawing from a life completely removed (at least for much of her early life) from the context of London and the Thames River. As Lebbeus Woods notes; “Zaha’s reasons were personal, emerging from her life journey from Baghdad, through Beirut, where she majored in mathematics, and Switzerland, to London. They are also cultural.
136 137 138 139 140
Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” translated by Catherine Cooke, page 32 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” translated by Catherine Cooke, page 29 Lebbeus Woods, “Zaha Hadid’s Drawings 2” Lebbeus Woods, “Zaha Hadid’s Drawings 1” Viktor Shklovsky, “The Knight’s Move”
Zaha Hadid, Vitra Fire Station Weil am Rhein, Germany Painting of Project 1990-1993
Zaha Hadid, Peak Leisure Club Hong Kong, China Painting of Site 1982-1983
Iraq is, after all, a descendant of the most ancient of civilizations, and its spiritual values predate religions such as Christianity and Islam, and modern ideas of nations and states.”141 And as Detlef Mertins explained in the context of Hadid’s 2010 exhibition, ‘Zaha Hadid and Suprematism’, she turns to Malevich “to find her own way of dreaming the future by deliberately tapping into experiments left incomplete.”142 From him, she was able to draw an aesthetic and representational agenda. Malevich himself intended for his work to exhibit dimensions that went beyond traditional representation. These works demonstrated a conceptual transformation; “The artist stopped thinking of them as modular objects seen in another dimension, and began to understand them as emblems of physical sensations.”143
In ‘The Peak’ project, Hadid manifests Suprematist representation in order to explore the geography of Hong Kong in oil paintings, “A Suprematist geology (materials that are impacted vertically and horizontally) characterizes this clifftop resort, loftily located above the congested city.”144 Even the methodology of the programmatic layout is organized as if operating as a nonobjective painting: “Like the mountain itself, the building is stratified, with each layer defining a function: the first and second levels contain apartments; the third layer – a 13-metre-high void suspended between the second and penthouse storeys – features the club. The void becomes a new architectural landscape within which elements such as exercise platforms, a snack bar and a library are suspended like planets.”145 This same stratification is found in Hadid’s work from school. In her adaptation of Malevich’s Architekton series, she used the same system to break down the volume and form studies.
Hadid’s “Malevich’s Tectonik” serves as a threshold to move through, certainly a mechanism for a critical continuum, a thread of spolium. Hadid recognizes the potential; “Placing it along and
141 142 143 144 145
Lebbeus Woods, “Zaha Hadid’s Drawings 2” Detlef Mertins, “The Modernity of Zaha Hadid” in “Zaha Hadid”, page 33 Charlotte Douglas, “Supremus- The Dissolution of Sensation”, in “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 87 Zaha Hadid, “Zaha Hadid Complete Works”, page 22 Zaha Hadid, “Zaha Hadid Complete Works”, page 22
Zaha Hadid, Peak Leisure Club Hong Kong, China Painting of Hong Kong 1982-1983
across the Thames in central London, she left no doubt –to the cognoscent, at least- as to her ideological position: she was reviving a neglected, almost stillborn modernism ideal and inserting it into the contemporary world.”146 In the same, decisive action, “she gave Malevich a “monstrous child.””147 Hadid decomposes Malevich’s volumetric satellite by breaking down the blocks into planes. The breakdown is the product of an aspiration to produce something that is new, yet uncannily familiar. “She brought Malevich’s Alpha Architekton (1920) down to earth, anchored it to the Hungerford Bridge, and opened it for business as a hotel. Somewhat too short to span the entire width of the river, somewhat too wide to be contained by the existing bridge, it remained alien and contingent to its new context.”148 In “Malevich’s Tektonic” (as with much of Zaha Hadid’s work), architecture becomes a ‘stand in’ for totality because it needs to be understood as past, present, and potential for future. From this perspective, “Malevich’s Tektonic” is an appropriate successor to the Suprematist movement.
Even Chernikhov understood that the representational qualities in Supremetism were key organizing figures in the pursuit of Constructivism: “On the this basis, the Suprematist approach is essential to the solution of our tasks. By this we understand the pursuit of equilibrium between subsections of the representation as a whole, and between interconnecting lines, planes, and volumes as abstract elements.”149 The organizational principles he enacted utilized these ideas in order to promote a better architecture, fully committing to both the forces of influence and dynamics. These principles are especially true in Chernikhov’s 101 Architectural Fantasies. In particular, we understand that the rhythm and dynamics of Fantasy number five is very similar in representation to several of Zaha
146 147 148 149
Lebbeus Woods, “Zaha Hadid’s Drawings 2” Lebbeus Woods, “Zaha Hadid’s Drawings 2” Detlef Mertins, “The Modernity of Zaha Hadid” in “Zaha Hadid”, page 34 Iakov Chernikhov, “Fantasy and Construction” translated by Catherine Cooke, page 22
Exhibition of ‘Zaha Hadid and Suprematism’ in Zurich, 2010
Exhibition of ‘Zaha Hadid and Suprematism’ in Zurich, 2010 Mixture of work from Russian Avant-Garde and Zaha Hadid
Malevich’s ‘Architecton’ Series, 1923
Hadid’s paintings for the Peak Leisure Club. The horizontal movement forward that Chernikhov denotes as ‘feeling’ is nearly identical in Zaha Hadid’s project. The arc of the pathway towards the club has a slow and deliberate curvature that Chernikhov suggests provides lightness to the architecture. Even the structures of both designs load the bulk of the program upon light and airy structure. Of significance, Chernikhov’s presumption was that a construction like Fantasy number five would contain social or cultural programs; The Peak project was to be a club with social, recreational, and housing programs.
“Compositionally, Hadid is similar to a rap musican, but rather than lifting and quoting from the works of others (like so many have done with Hadid’s works), she samples her own history and past.”150 As the London art curator, Kenny Schachter, suggests here, in the context of the Russian Avant-Garde, there is a clear sense of what history Hadid is establishing. The methodologies of formal representation that Hadid had adapted for a significant portion of her early career were largely Suprematist in nature. So clear was this spoliatic implementation, Hadid named her adaptation of Malevich’s work after him, denoting a direct transfer of the power imbedded in his Architectonic series.
“The similarity of architectural objects designed by Zaha Hadid to the Russian Avant-Garde does not mean that she moves inside that tradition. In fact, she helps that tradition to develop.”151 This is a precious understanding of the conception of spolia. It is recognition that the work of Malevich and Chernikhov has significant ruin-value. But the ruinophilia, which Zaha Hadid exhibits, is of a distinctly off-modern quality. She takes up the deeply personal architectural adventure against the backdrop of the disharmonic demise of popular modernity. In this exploration, Hadid finds potential value in Malevich’s Architectons as well as in the work of Iakov Chernikhov and his 101 Architectural Fantasies. From this potential, Hadid extracts the spolium of representation. This is not an act of copying, but an iterative analysis, a re-contextualization.
Kenny Schachter, “The Bride Stripped Bare, Bared” from “Zaha Hadid and Suprematism”, page 219 Alexander Lavrentiev, “Zaha Hadid and the Russian Avant-Garde”, page 168
Zaha Hadid, Peak Leisure Club Hong Kong, China Painting of Project 1982-1983
Chernikhovâ€™s 101 Architectural Fantasies, Fantasy Number 5 1933
Hadidâ€™s work shows that she is an ideological successor to the power of representation from the Russian Avant-Garde.
Zaha Hadid, Peak Leisure Club Hong Kong, China Painting of Hong Kong 1982-1983
Part XI: Conclusion
This thesis has proposed several interweaving factors. First we introduce Svetlana Boym’s “The Architecture of the Off-Modern” in which she formulates the ideas of adventure and the offmodern. The architecture of adventure becomes the investigation of a body that, paradoxically, is both connected and estranged from the subject through any number of influences. Here, Boym connects to George Simmel, a proposed phenomenology of adventure “that both interrupts the flow of our everyday life and crystallizes its inner core.”152 It cannot be described as an external happening nor as an internal systematic. The architecture of the adventure is the liminal condition by which we can look at all points of time as the possibility of any other time; past futures, past presents, future presents, etc. One need only take a detour, ‘the knight’s move’ to gain a new perspective. As Boym presents the adventure, it is the ability to move beyond our current understanding of history with out landing outside of that history. For her, the projects that result (she gives extensive examples of artwork) which look back to a specific point in time and creates a history to the present that is uncanny to our normal trajectory. This trajectory is the off-modern.
Second, I propose a conception that is rooted in the adventure and the off-modern, spolia (plural) and spolium (singular). As has been explained, spolia are the threads that connect specific consequences to causes. But more specifically, the adventure that the subject pursues (specifically into historical contexts) constitutes a stake in that specific history’s future trajectory. This is drawn specifically from the reuse of the ruins a pervious ruler’s architecture by Roman leadership to solidify their own right to rule. They were creating a doorway by which the power of current ruler may be supported and enforced by the previous power of a former ruler. In this way, it is suggested that the architects discussed here have drawn from a great many of their architectural predecessors. But specifically the work of Tschumi, Koolhaas, and Hadid finds a
Svetlana Boym, “The Architecture of the Off-Modern”, page 6
Svetlana Boym, ‘The Architecture of the Off-Modern’ Cover Art, 2008
Spolia of the Arch, creating a “critical continuum”. (A) Trajan from 98-117 AD, (B) Hadrian from 117-138 AD, (C) Marcus Aurelius from 161-337 AD, (D) Constantine I from 306337 AD.
movement of forerunners that did not directly impact the current iteration of architectural modernism to that point, the Russian Avant-Garde.
This introduced the third factor; the â€˜iron curtainâ€™ which isolated the Soviet Union in the postwar era, made it extremely difficult for communication to exist between the architectural communities of the west and that of those inside the Soviet Union. While there was a significant exchange of ideas between the Soviet Union and the west (especially in Germany and France), during the 1910s and 1920s, by the 1930s that exchange was cut off and the avant-garde movements of Constructivism and Suprematism were largely snuffed out within the Soviet Union. As such, these movements were largely unavailable to effect the development of Modernism. It would take until the late 1960s for the architectural historians and theorists of the west to regain an understanding of the Russian Avant-Garde. The works of historians like Anatole Kopp in France and Catherine Cooke from the Architectural Association in London brought these works back into the understanding of modernism.
The fourth factor, the loss of the utopian dream that Modernism had promised for so many decades was showing its age. It appeared that the post-modern era was upon the field of architecture, many thought that there was little new to discover or invent, that all there was to do was utilize the tools, forms, and methods that already existed.
Here, than is where this investigation takes its position. The architects that are under consideration here: Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhaas, and Zaha Hadid, were influenced to a large degree by their position in architecture. All three were present at the AA in the 1970s, Zaha Hadid as a student, Rem Koolhaas as a student then teacher, and Bernard Tschumi as a teacher throughout the entire decade. Each would have encountered the Russian Avant-Garde movements as the promise of modernism fell apart. In a search for new modes of thinking, of designing, and of practicing architecture, each would search for their own paths through the
“Town and Revolution 1917-1935” By Anatole Kopp (1970)
Advertisements For Architecture
Montage and Architecture (1937)
Derrida Zaha Hadid
Melnikov Paris Exposition (1925) Monument to the Third International
‘Malevich’s Tectonik’ Class with E.Z.
The Great Utopia
The ‘Peaks’ Project
Phaeno Science Center Zaha Hadid and Suprematism
Vitra Fire Station
Wolkenbügel 101 Architectural Fantasies
Rem Koolhaas Ginzburg Vesnin Brothers
Parc de la Villette
Villa Savoye (1928-30)
Vertical Museum The Manhattan Transcripts
Narkomfin Building Palace of Labour
Leonidov Lenin Institute
Palace of the Soviets
Club of the New Society
USSR Trip The Berlin Wall as Architecture
Delirious New York The Story of the Pool
Exodus, Or The Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture
Mutations S,M,L,XL AMO
CCTV Headquarters Seattle Central Library
The Russian AvantGArd Spolia of Event, Representation, and Narrative. Patrick McAndrews, 2014
Photo from Deconstructivist Exhibition in 1988: Bernard Tschumi, Helmut Swiczinsky, Wolf Prix, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, Mark Wigley Photo By Robin Holland
fractured landscape of the failed utopian dreams of Modernism and the International Style. Each would find part of their architectural adventure through the newly rediscovered aspects of the Russian Avant-garde. Certainly this was as much to do with the availability of the new information, as it was to do with the all-together new perspective the work of the Suprematists and Constructivists represented. Of particular interest were these movement’s extensive works un-built and paper architecture formulated for predominantly in competitions. This movement away from the mainstream, away from the usual understands constitutes the adventure. This conception of investigating an alternative modernism (that is, a terminal node of modernism; the 1910s and 1920s Russian Avant-Garde) is the basis of the off-modern.
This detour from the “deterministic narrative of twentieth-century history.”153 has allowed Tschumi, Koolhaas, and Hadid to escape the trajectories of the existing discourse of the 1970s and 1980s, bringing about an array of alternatives to the nihilistic Post-Modernist conceptions that prevailed. To this extent, these architects’ disparate connections to the individuals of the Russian Avant-Garde movements are provided by the spolium they privileged in their own work (event, narrative, and representation).
For his part, Tschumi is placed firmly in the Deconstruction / Deconstructivist camp. For him, the constructivists are an element in the heterotopia; so also are Foucault, Barthes, Derrida, even the Situationists. For Tschumi, the Constructivists play a role of the catalyst, making ‘Constructionist references, or even quotations…”154 This is to a large extent a significant deviation from the work of Hadid and Koolhaas. Tschumi’s career was already in motion as the Constructivist and Suprematist movements came to light. Tschumi’s major project, Parc de la Villette, was, however influenced by the movements. As such, those individuals that he references so often would have already significantly influenced Tschumi’s thought and practice
Svetlana Boym, “The Future of Nostalgia”, pages xvi-xvii “Deconstruction: A Student Guide”, “The Architecture of Deconstruction”, page 17
Individual Follie from Tschumi’s Parc de la Villette project, 1982-1998
Rem Koolhaas, ‘Exodus, or The Voluntary Prisoner of Architecture’, AA Final Thesis, 1972
of architecture. Constructivism and the works of the Russian Avant-Garde in the 1910s and 1920s would be used referentially, in service of his conceptions of the event.
It is no wonder than that these compositions would be highly influential to the slightly younger contemporary’s of Tschumi, Hadid and Koolhaas. For both Koolhaas and Hadid, the Russian Avant-Garde movements would form the basis of many of their own un-built works. Koolhaas, as discussed above, was highly influenced by their works, especially Leonidov, El Lissitzky, and Tatlin.
Koolhaas makes extensive references both in his writing and in his architecture (both built and unbuilt) to the Russian Avant-Garde. The particular interest from this investigation is his narrative (meaning here, the social agendas he puts forward and the dialectics he sets-up to support and implement that agenda), especially found in his The Story of the Pool from 1977 and his final thesis project form the AA, Exodus, or The Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture. In his later works, especially OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, Koolhaas continues this narrative and specifically draws from the Russian Avant-Garde notion of the ‘social condenser’ to further the conception and the power it has.
For Koolhaas’ former student, Zaha Hadid, the Russian Avant-Garde, and especially the works of the Suprematist artist, Malevich, form the basis for here work. Her references to Malevich and Constructivists like Chernikhov establish a sort of base line from which she continues to work. That is to say that instead of building upon a new concept or the conceptions of her contemporaries, she chose to build from the representational qualities of the Russian AvantGarde.
This thesis has established to this point, that the works of Tschumi, Koolhaas, and Hadid were profoundly influenced by their off-modern approach for inspiration in their work. Rather than
Zaha Hadid, â€œThe World (89 Degrees) London, UK 1983 Architectural Investigation
following a trajectory of the traditional understandings of history, culture, and architecture (defined by the dichotomy between Boym’s restorative and reflective nostalgias), each choose to search for new modalities, to purse new adventures and to base their own professional trajectories on spolia from those third-way investigations. What has resulted is a profound depth and breadth into the possibilities of architecture. Important in this expansion, is the technological influences that have profoundly changed the way architects think, develop, and practice architecture. This certainly includes the parametricism that Patrik Schumacher advocates (coming from the representation of work with Hadid), the data analysis used in the production of architecture with MVRDV (two of the founders, Winy Maas and Jacob van Rijs, previously worked at OMA), and Stan Allen’s “Points and Lines” (connected to Tschumi’s Event, the grid, and field conditions). Here, the value of the ‘off-modern’ perspective is evident, these ‘knight’s moves’ allow for diverse paths, and for extensive adoption, adaptation, inspiration, and reinterpretation.
Patrik Schumacher, ‘Parametric Patterns’, 2009 ‘Interiority Project’student project by C. Zimmel and N. Beck at University of Applied Arts, Vienna 2009
Stan Allen, ‘Points and Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City”, 1999
MVRDV, “MATACITY/DATATOWN” 1999
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Image Credits Introduction: 7.1 9.1 13.1 13.2 13.3 15.1 15.2 15.3 17.1 17.2
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ki8aJP5PkME/T_Fjaf_a0_I/AAAAAAAALYo/ http://klimtlover.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/arch-of-constantine.jpg http://610f13.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/manhattan-transcripts_02-copy.jpg http://archilibs.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/001__btschumi_01.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/ http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/lissitzkyvcfcdcd.jpg http://atelierone.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/malevichalpha400.jpg?w=450 http://www.magicalurbanism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/8.jpg http://cdn.world-architects.com/img/frontend/pages/2180/1000:w/SAM_5499_2.jpg http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5sx1j8nbQ1qe0nlvo1_1280.jpg
Un-Built Constructivism and Suprematism in the 1920s and Early 1930s Soviet Union: 21.1 21.2 21.2 23.1 25.1 25.2 27.1 29.1 29.2 31.1 32.2 33.1 33.2 35.1 35.2 37.1 37.2 39.1 39.2 39.3 41.1 43.1 43.2 45.1 45.2 45.3 47.1
http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbz8yzoA9M1robj1ao12_r1_1280.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nAMN6YprDdA/UbuCerYZayI/AAAAAAAAjtE/k_t8Snjfbq4/s1600/ http://www.kingsacademy.com/mhodges/03_The-World-since-1900/02_World-War-One/pictures/stormingthe-Winter-Palace_1917.jpg http://classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/489/flashcards/877489/jpg/monument_ to_third_international133155163292.jpg http://analogue76.com/media/images/blog/3_oct_13_tatlin_reconstruction.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/Shukhov_Hyperboloid_Tower_Project_ of_350_metres_of_1919_year.jpg http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IYr7LDKpZlg/UI2LiAYGD7I/AAAAAAAABv0/ie76NjXyzoI/s1600/building-therevolution_key-108.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dc/Kazimir_Malevich,_1915,_Black_ Suprematic_Square,_oil_on_linen_canvas,_79.5_x_79.5_cm,_Tretyakov_Gallery,_Moscow.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Nl1_WF4k52E/T05nq4_QUEI/AAAAAAAAAcc/rw1VuPABB4/s1600/1983n_10_003.jpg http://atelierone.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/malevichalpha400.jpg?w=450 http://images.guggenheim-bilbao.es/src/uploads/2012/05/2005-ArquiEsctultura-Malevich.jpg http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7j7lpnNPA1qe0nlvo1_500.jpg http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/researchforum/events/2011/summer/images/image001.jpg http://dome.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.3/66765/101254_cp.jpg?sequence=1 http://uploads6.wikipaintings.org/images/el-lissitzky/proun-19d-1922.jpg http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/92632-38117927-m549x500-u3ed59.jpg http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/lissitzkyvcfcdcd.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/ http://api.ning.com/files/IBcsje-5plA-kdiYUHEPao2mtIII0IYBMWHA51WGV4wpBjC5Ivxz8RdE2CoP*Y5jCjWL8eqAVGeDZnUDm1M794mXXilcd69/ELHorizontalPlan.jpg http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/92632-38117940-m549x500http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/unknown-photograph-of-a-perspective-drawing-for-thehorizontal-skyscrapers-cloudprop-nikitsky-square-moscow-1925-or-later22.jpg http://icif.ru/wp-content/uploads/101-01-1978-1-132-1.jpg http://icif.ru/wp-content/uploads/101-08-1978-1-132-2.jpg http://icif.ru/wp-content/uploads/OCA-I-28_1978-2-2-15.jpg http://icif.ru/wp-content/ http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/composition-219.jpg?w=1200 http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/composition-199.jpeg
Spolia, Adventure and the Off-Modern: 51.1 53.1 53.2 53.3 57.1 59.1 59.2 61.1 63.1 65.1
http://69.img.openbackgrounds.org/2/tatlins_tower__from_the_royal_academy_show_this_is_how_tatlins_tower_would_have_looked_in_st_petersburg.sachttp://69.img.openbackgrounds.org/2/tatlins_tower__from_the_royal_academy_show_this_is_how_tatlins_tower_would_have_looked_in_st_petersburg.sacFrom Svetlana Boym’s ‘The Architecture of the Off-Modern’, 2008 http://www.svetlanaboym.com/images/knights.jpg http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwqf8oYjLM1r5hcqzo2_1280.jpg http://leonidsokov.org/260310_folder/06_Mother_and_Child.jpg http://www.carolinetiger.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/IMG_30441.jpg http://granviaradical.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/rem-koolhaas_delirious-new-york.jpg?w=1426&h=1356 http://375gr.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/ http://martinfdc.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/
69.1 71.1 73.1 75.1 77.1 77.2 79.1
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_D324-0AkP_w/SB98AwByu_I/AAAAAAAAAFY/xmcM4c-sG9o/s1600-h/Tatlin6.JPG http://www.thehotpinkpen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/IlyaKabakovPalace.jpg http://www.dasein.com/files/tatlin_3rdProjection.jpg http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_la1lr355gP1qbvwj9o1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId =AKIAI6WLSGT7Y3ET7ADQ&Expires=1400620564&Signature=06x37%2Fxzr7NVBkGDh0bK3leIHm8%3D http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZJbcb2-T9V0/TyBkh0kbGWI/AAAAAAAAAD4/ xuys0BLthPA/s1600/Portland+building+from+Pac+West+081986.jpg http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/21/46/03/21460377d426ea7d10e470b4e9265651.jpg
Ideological Spolia in the Late 20th Century: 83.1 85.1 87.1 87.2 87.3 89.1 89.2 89.3 91.1 93.1 95.1 97.1 99.1 99.2 101.1 101.2 103.1 105.1 107.1 107.2 109.1 109.2 111.1 111.2 113.1 115.1 115.2 117.1 119.1 119.2 119.3 121.1 121.2 123.1
https://ksacommunity.osu.edu/system/files/parc_de_la_villette_bernard_tschumi_1.jpg https://ksacommunity.osu.edu/system/files/tschumi_parc_de_la_villette_perspective.jpg http://archleague.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Parc-de-la-Villette-%C2%A9Sophie-Chivet.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_lRXurWZlOBg/TMXw2tCPE3I/AAAAAAAAACU/RjlehL6UeGY/s1600/villette_2.jpg http://www.architectureoflife.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Parisin-Yeni-Parizyen-Yapilari-36.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/ http://www.tschumi.com/media/files/00361.jpg http://www.tschumi.com/media/files/00932.jpg http://secrethesis.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/tschumi_manhattan.jpg http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/LpGh5UfHXws/maxresdefault.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jlgBLk68R94/TBUoQiT-0kI/AAAAAAAANds/VOh9sQRLgZo/s1600/P1060729.JPG http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2013/07/constructivists-swimming.jpg http://0-media-cdn.foolz.us/ffuuka/board/tg/image/1387/73/1387733653402.jpg http://m.ruvr.ru/2014/01/21/12/b0343_0_81fc4_ab5f0747_XXXL.jpg http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2012/05/landings.jpg http://koozarchdotcom1.files.wordpress.com/ http://burgosgarrido.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/2-eli-exp-i-066.jpg http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/ http://robertacucchiaro.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/oma-cctv-tower-beijing-photo-c2a9-robertacucchiaro.jpg http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/lissitzkyvcfcdcd.jpg http://thefunambulistdotnet.files.wordpress.com/ http://thefunambulistdotnet.files.wordpress.com/ http://the-opsis.com/blog/12/12/2013-exodus-or-the-voluntary-prisoners-of-architecture http://socks-studio.com/img/blog/Exodus2-800x588.jpg http://www.arcspace.com/CropUp/-/media/847670/Zaha-Hadid-Suprematism-1-malevichs-tektonikpainting.jpg http://www.designboom.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/zaha-vitra-fire-station-20-year-anniversarydesignboom21.jpg http://www.arcspace.com/CropUp/-/media/847692/Zaha-Hadid-Suprematism-3-the-peak-paintings.jpg https://www.domusweb.it/content/dam/domusweb/en/architecture/2012/05/31/pastforward/big_385126_8041_03-The%20Peak_Blue_Slabs_Zaha_Hadid_900px.jpg http://www.carolinetiger.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/IMG_30441.jpg http://www.hatjecantz.de/files/zaha_hadid_architects__table_seoul__2008.jpg http://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/malevich_kazimir_suprematism_cataloguecollection.jpg http://archilibs.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/zaha-hadid.jpg?w=688&h=1024 http://icif.ru/wp-content/uploads/101-05-sofia-a.jpg http://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/the-peak-leisure-club/
Conclusions: 125.1 127.1 129.1 129.2 131.1 133.1 133.2 133.3 133.4
http://www.architectura.nl/img/gr/9781568987781.jpg http://www.michaelblackwoodproductions.com/arch_surv/groupphoto.jpg http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/61/42/58/6142585cfea2822fcb26c22a262ff6fa.jpg http://socks-studio.com/img/blog/Exodus6.jpeg http://www.arcspace.com/CropUp/-/media/847703/Zaha-Hadid-Suprematism-4-The%20World89%20Degrees-painting.jpg http://www.patrikschumacher.com/Images/Parametric%20Patterns/Beck,%20Zimmel/colorprojection_ view2%20copy.jpg http://22speranza.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/untitled-1-copy.jpg http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51zyou9P1DL.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0JVqk0_Cmi0/UHQ52hzeI/AAAAAAAAtzo/8bDNDU0kU4E/s1600/MVRDV_VIEW_MVRDV_MetaCityDataTown_01.jpg
Russian Avant-Garde Spolia:
The Legacy of the Early 20th Century Russian Avant-Garde in Late 20th Century Architecture
The Legacy of the Early 20th Century Russian Avant-Garde in Late 20th Century Architecture. Final Thesis for Master in Design Studies Thesis...
Published on May 21, 2014
The Legacy of the Early 20th Century Russian Avant-Garde in Late 20th Century Architecture. Final Thesis for Master in Design Studies Thesis...