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The Poetics of a Wall Projection

a clear dependence on the intricacies of everyday language, suggests that he read a lot more Wittgenstein than he let on). Jan Turnovský completed his graduate dissertation, ‘The Weltanschauung as an Ersatz Gestalt’, in the history programme at the Architectural Association in 1978. During this period the programme was directed by Hans Harm and Roy Landau and accommodated a wide range of scholarly interests and individual agendas, a fact recorded by the sheer breadth of lecturers brought by the course into the school. This was a spectrum of personalities that spanned between the orthodox postwar modernist impulses of someone like Alison Smithson (who each year would deliver a series of talks), to art historians like Ernst Gombrich or, from within the AA, figures like Peter Cook and Robin Evans (who, like Turnovský, was a fan of close plan-reading as a way of disentangling architectural concepts and theories). What this diverse cast of characters points to is a remarkable milieu of highly individuated personalities, voices and distinctive writing styles, which Turnovský came to embody in his own unique and beautiful approach to history. Turnovský’s words retain a spare yet poetic capacity (seamlessly captured in Kleinman’s wonderful translation) while invoking meaning at many levels beyond those of their surface. This is a trait that he undoubtedly shares with the philosopher/architect whom he openly declares is not the subject of The Poetics of a Wall Projection. As Wittgenstein himself once wrote, the world is the totality of facts, not things. Convincingly, Turnovský demonstrates to the reader that the house by Wittgenstein is anything but a thing. It is instead an entire architectural world, and one made out of concrete facts that the essay – like any good form of architectural history – helps to invent and not merely express. Brett Steele Director, AA School and AA Publications


INTRODUCTION BY KENT KLEINMAN p3 I. The Conceptual and the Empirical: On the Genesis of the Wall Projection p16 1. On Two Approaches to Architecture p21 2. On Two Factors in Every Work of Architecture p23 3. On the Wittgenstein House p25 II. Poetics and Architecture: On the Semantic Potential of the WP p43 The Poetic and the Aesthetic p51 A. Order p52 B. Sensuousness p58 C. Disinterestedness p64

Architecture Words 3: The Poetics of a Wall Projection (Jan Turnovsky)  
Architecture Words 3: The Poetics of a Wall Projection (Jan Turnovsky)  

Originally published in German in 1985 as Die Poetik eines Mauervorsprung, Jan Turnovsky's The Poetics of a Wall Projection is ostensibly a...