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Contextile by Cristina Neagu

Didactic exercise Fall Semester 2010

Interior worlds: “Contextile” Main Editor Gennaro Postiglione Course of Interior Architecture Faculty of Architettura e Società Politecnico di Milano Editor Cristina Neagu

only for pedagogic purpose not for commercial use

INDEX 00_Contextile by Pina Petricone 01_Reception Dress 02_Villa Hvittrask 03_Hill House 04_Postsparkasse 05_Open Window 06_Casa Mila 07_Fortuny Floor Lamp 08_Design for a Living Room 09_Goldman & Salatsch Building 10_Fagus Factory 11_Jahrhunderthalle 12_Coonley Villa Playhouse 13_Unique Forms of Continuity in Space 14_Glass Pavilion 15_ The Double Dream of Spring 16_Villa Schwob 17_Fiat Lingotto

18_Red and Blue Chair

39_Finnish Pavilion

19_Grosses Schauspielhaus

40_Chamberlain Cottage

20_Einstein Tower

41_Dora Maar Au Chat

21_Watts Towers

42_WWII Tent

22_Notre Dame du Raincy

43_Palazzo della CiviltĂ Italiana

23_Maison La Roche

44_Jacobs House

24_Brick Country House

45_Eames House

25_House for Tristan Tzara

46_Farnsworth House

26_The Frankfurt Kitchen

47_Casa Luis Barragan


48_New Gourna

28_German Pavilion

49_Glass House

29_Villa Savoye

50_Kresge Auditorium

30_Tugendhat House

51_Central Lutheran Church

31_Atlantis House

52_Saynatsalo Town Hall

32_Maison du Verre

53_UNAM Library

33_Paimio Chair

54_Notre Dame du Haut

34_Kocher Canvas House

55_Bavinger House

35_City Interior

56_Berlin Philharmonic Hall

36_Fallingwater House

57_Sidney Myer Music Bowl

37_Golden Gate Bridge

58_Los Manantiales

38_Pfeiffer Chapel

59_Guggenheim Museum

60_Sainte Marie de La Tourette

81_Koshino House

61_Center for Atmospheric Research

82_Thorncrown Chapel

62_TWA Terminal

83_Consumer’s rest

63_St. Mary’s Cathedral

84_Neue Staatsgalerie

64_Castelvecchio Museum

85_Benthem House

65_Green Landscape Seating

86_Well Tempered Chair


87_Chambre a air

67_United Stated Pavilion

88_Rooftop Remodelling


89_Louvre Pyramid

69_Apollo 11 Space Suit

90_Fort Thunder


91_Guggenheim Museum II

71_Centre Georges Pompidou

92_Concert Hall

72_Freeway Park

93_Vitra Conference Pavilion

73_Douglas House

94_Gare de Saint-Exupéry

74_Piazza d’Italia

95_Curtain Wall House

75_PA Technology Center

96_Nike Pavilion

76_Monument of The Three Generations

97_Dominus Winery

77_Best Notch Showroom

98_V2 Lab

78_Gehry House

99_Tree Trunk Bench

79_Lloyd’s Building


80_Robson Square

Contextile by Pina Petricone

Abstract Goufried Semper’s classification of four main categories of raw materials (textiles, ceramics, tectonics, stereotomy), according to the artistic production of their technical purpose, was a pivotal and lasting work. Each category leads to a number of mutual relationships allowing a development which creates familiarity in the context of a society. Throughout the 20th century architects such as Pierre Chareau, Carlo Scarpa and Tadao Ando, have taken full advantage of the defining cultural tradition of each surface. This paper constructs an argument for the necessary violation of traditional of familiar limits imposed by material techniques in order to make explicit a new contemporary model. Scenarios of live, work, play, study, heal must be liberated from their defining boundaries in favor of

transgressions towards a greater complexity of inhabitation. A series of interior projects of Giannone Petricone Associates (GPAIA) provide critical manipulation in adjacency, technology, materiality, site and cultural specificity, rendering each environment durable yet easily susceptible to selfcustomization. Materials undergo a process of de-familiarization - a process of re-interpretation and re-presentation defining a new body. The contemporary interior can embrace unexpected possibilities for the clever manipulation of Semper’s original “hanging carpets“. This interior textile dissimulates rather than represents the structure and therefore architecture is worn rather than occupied. These are not merely devices for flexibility of inhabitation, but complex matters.

Paper Gottfried Semper’s pivotal and lasting Der Stil in den technischen und tektonischen Künsten; oder, Praktishe Aesthetik asks that we consider four main categories of “raw materials” classified according to the artistic production of their technical purpose, and considered in their broadest sense. The Technical divisions of: 1. textiles, 2. ceramics, 3.tectonics (carpentry), and 4. stereotomy (masonry, etc.) each “lead to a number of mutual relationships (…) [and has] its own domain of forms whose production is, so to speak, the technique’s most natural and most ancient task.” This dissection, when considering an interior architecture, begs further distinctions of cultural specificity, as it is assumed by the material techniques of each category. This stems from what Semper refers to as a kind of purposefulness, or natural pur-

pose, which allows the layered surfaces and objects of an interior to assume specific voices - those that become familiar to the context of society. Throughout the 20th century and after, these voices become persistently but selectively amplified in the interior project in order to not only make instrumental, but also to define the ultimate occupation of space. The bottle-bottom glass of Pierre Chareau, the elemental layer of venetian plaster of Carlo Scarpa, the waxed concrete “peel” of Tadao Ando, or the artifact glass wall of Diller+Scofidio with Renfrew, to name a few, take full advantage of the defining cultural tradition of each surface. The question is, can our contemporary condition, where consistent forms of occupation is a fugitive notion, use the manipulation of these devices to liberate a space from the tra-

ditional “hold” within which it finds itself? This paper constructs an argument for the necessary violations of traditional or familiar limits imposed by material techniques, programmatic definitions, and social organizations in order to make explicit a new contemporary model - one that provokes a multiplicity of narrative appropriate to our global condition. In this way, the ground rules must change. The diversity of contemporary society can no longer afford to define uses in architecture as singularities. Scenarios of live, work, play, study, heal are no longer sustainable as distinct, and must be liberated from their defining “boundaries” in favor of transgressions towards a greater complexity of inhabitation. A series of recent interior projects of Giannone Petricone Associates (GPAIA) in the multicultural context of Toronto, Canada that privilege yet experiment with Semper’s original lessons will be unraveled and re-presented to trace the operations and tools of such transgressions. Critical manipulations in adjacency, technology, materiality, site and cultural specificity render each environment durable yet easily susceptible to selfcustomization. Often convertible without kinetic parts, these spaces adaptively re-use and re-inhabit existing building stock. With minimal exterior expression, these interior interventions remediate existing conditions and invite the host building and its systems to participate in new sustainable constructs. Economies of these spaces are tested for necessary multiplicity and diversity of use, virtues in beauty, new terms of comfort, accessibility, and ultimate joy in the transformation of the global city. As one of Toronto’s well established

mergers and acquisitions law practices, Wildeboer Dellelce LLP Offices expanded and relocated to three floors of a Bay Street office building in Toronto’s Central Business District. Coming from what Beatriz Colomina refers to as the distinctly “male” space of the office and the club, (2) complete with requisite oak paneling, leather sofas, brass railings, wool carpets, and marble tables and halls, Wildeboer needed to be unburdened by the old way of doing things, and advance their work environment to reflect their international, all hours portfolio. The design leverages the familiar “Bay Street law office” palette of smoky men’s club materials to undergo a process of de-familiarization – a process of re-interpretation and re-presentation of oak, leather, brass, marble and wool. If the spaces of Loos’ interiors, as in the Muller house, in true Semperian style “cover the occupants as clothes cover the body (each occasion has its appropriate ‘fit’) the Wildeboer Dellelce Offices’ 25 meter long bowed brass wall defines a new “body.” It guides visitors into the usually private inner sanctum – reflecting, distorting and igniting activities with its alchemical properties against the familiar glass curtain wall of the Toronto skyline. The host building, of international style, for this law office interior establishes an expected social order of private offices and privileged views. The material technique of Wildeboer’s design unravels this existing order and sets the stage for a new occupation by a diverse subject. Similarly, the design for the new Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto works to break down the isolating and lightless effects of its 1960’s concrete brutalist host. Via an intense lining of re-

peated “ribbons” of building vintage materials of varying degrees of absorption, reflectivity and transparency, the concrete walls and floors erode into a weave representative of inseparable strands of individuals and ideas. Occupying only the building’s second floor, this new research centre of mostly single research offices, utilizes an invading row of Butternut wood fins that echo the monolithic precastfins that define the building’s exterior to destabilize the cellular office order in the Centre’s expanded concrete block corridor. The juxtaposition of interior soft wood to exterior hard concrete of the new Centre for Ethics makes lucid an old versus new dialogue that enriches the meaning of each. With the same charge, the design for the new Herman Miller Canadian Showroom (HMCS) inserts itself in an early 20th century Toronto masonry and timber warehouse building. The final design makes instrumental a routed plywood sheath, a kind of palette-cleanser that re-presents Herman Miller’s signature material (plywood). The tube-like element is defined by a series of butt-jointed Fir plywood panels, routed in striped patterns to varying depths exposing multiple grains of ply and sublime adhesive patches to be read in stark contrast to the smooth, pristine bent plywood Eames furniture in the showroom and in two chandeliers made of repurposed Eames chair seats and backs. These sit in further contrast to the existing wood timbers and deck of the floor structure. All the wood elements each participate in a cultural dialogue while organizing a deliberately overlapping definition of programmed space from meeting room to show room to lunch room everything

and everyone is staged within the omnipresent Herman Miller sensibility. It not only resists the ideal white box showroom but transcends the quietness of the “backdrop” in favor of offering a culturally charged lens through which each object and activity is to be read. In this way, although the HMCS takes clear lessons from Tadao Ando’s design for the Palazzo Grassi Museum in Venice (4) or Carlo Scarpa’s design for the Olivetti Showroom or Fondazione Querini Stampalia also in Venice, (5) it attempts to advance the idea of a stratified architecture by imbuing the “newest layer” with a flexible, re-organizing charge. This strategy becomes explicit in The Juggernaut Offices that occupy the ground floor of the same early 20th century Toronto warehouse building typology, The Juggernaut Offices (fig. 4) advance this layered approach to manipulate and even invert the usual workplace sequence. A new lining of suspended plywood ribbons (clad on either side with rubber and plastic) control natural light from contaminating light-sensitive monitors and video media, while creating surfaces for lounging, lunching, storage and display. The normally hermetic conditions of a post-production studio are challenged via this instrumental new lining. The office kitchen is pulled out to share the publicness of the main reception space for new opportunities of social exchanges. Experiments in the programmatic adaptability or even selfcustomization of the instrumental material “linings” presented in the projects described above are pushed in the Sapele wood proscenium and moving storefront of the Il Fornello Restaurant on Toronto’s well known

Church Street. (fig. 5) It speculates on the capacity for “tears” or “cracks” or “snags” in the lining to hold alternative but simultaneous narratives in the way each subject chooses to engage the space. The moment a material layer is moved or replaced with new, removable objects, the rules change, so to speak. In this way the contemporary interior can embrace unexpected possibilities for the clever manipulation of Semper’s original “hanging carpets.”Although we maintain that this essential interior textile is a mask that as Mark Wigley so aptly explains: “dissimulates rather than represents the structure” and that architecture is worn rather than simply occupied. (7) It is its language, its rules of meaning and engagement that define the body it clothes. As citizens of the global city, this body requires multiplicity in definition. A multiplicity engaged by the culturally charged “shrouds” of Herman Miller Canadian Showroom and The Juggernaut Offices, and the transforming, explicit coatings of Wildeboer Dellelce Offices and The Centre for Ethics, as well as the kinetic, rolling storefront of Il Fornello which tries to transcend Toronto’s -30° C to +30° C climate. These are not merely devices for flexibility of inhabitation, but the provocateurs of a self-customized occupation – a kind of selftailoring when considered in the still durable Semperian context of clothing.

References Berry, John.2004. Herman Miller:The Purpose of Design.New York:Universe Publishing. Colomina, Beatriz. 1994. Privacy and Publicity: Architecture as Mass Media. Cambridge, Mass., London: the MIT Press. Feireiss, Lukas and Robert Klanten. 2009. Build-on: Converted Architecture and Transformed Buildings. Berlin: Gestalten. Molinari, Luca. 2009. Tadao Ando Museums. Milano: Skira. Semper, Gottfried. 2004. Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts; or, Practical Aesthetics (1860). Trans. H. F. Mallgrave and M. Robinson. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute. Schultz, Anne-Catrin. 2007.Carlo Scarpa Layers.Stuttgart-London: Edition Axel Menges. Wigley, Mark. 1995. White Walls Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture. Cambridge, Mass., London: the MIT Press.


‘01/contextile/reception dress

A pattern, a fabric, an ornament can evolve and transgress their limits; they can migrate from fashion design to interior design and vice versa. A velvet draped dress can share the embellishment of a room, the pattern coinciding with the paintings and the furniture. We can go as far as considering that interior design is merely the dress up: we “clothe� the room the same we clothe ourselves daily, imprinting upon it a piece of our personality.

‘02/contextile/villa hvittrask

The relationship between interior and exterior is well articulated through the wooden trellis. The transparency and materiality of the “boundary” create a sheltered interior space which, at the same time, is one with the surrounding nature outside, with its context. The small, somewhat crowded space has a very intimate feeling, reminiscent of the Japanese interiors, presenting a clear tendency towards linearity, clarity and simplicity.

‘03/contextile/hill house

The simple lightweight furniture, with its bright colours, seems to oat in the large amount of sunlight coming through the windows. Light, in its entire connotation, is the essence of this interior. The soft mural ornate the room without adding weight. The sleeping chamber appears immaterial, as if seen through a thin veil.


Both the wide glass roof and the steel structure were a breakthrough at the time of the construction. The two materials provide the necessary specifications in order to build “in the future”. An innovation was also comprised in the highly industrial look of the interior: visible bolts, fixtures and welding. The translucent domed ceiling allows a great quantity of light to fill the grand hall.

‘05/contextile/open window

The immediate environment of a house, its context, it is almost as important as the interior itself. The windows are framed “paintings” of the surroundings, omnipresent in the inhabitants’ lives. By opening a window, we open ourselves to the exterior, to the environment we allow the outside inside.

‘06/contextile/casa mila

The exterior facades appear like a stormy sea with a surface of metallic foam, a movement which was smoothly transferred to the inner courtyards or to the white roofs oating like ethereal clouds on the top of this unique and singular stone mountain. The balance between materials assists in the creation of this dynamic poetry.

‘07/contextile/fortuny fl oor lamp

Taken from their usual context, fabrics and textiles were used for their smooth reflective capacity in the creation of lamps and light fixtures. The unlikely combination between artificial light and textiles, proved to be a real success. Thus is invented a system of naturalistically diffused lighting based on reflecting light from a fabric dome.

‘08/contextile/design for a living room

The form can be easily understood without the necessity of drawing the limits of the walls. The uniform treatment of the surfaces and the absence of borders seem to give the feeling that the room is bigger than it actually is. Due to the pattern of the embroidered tapestry the obvious perspective creates the limits instead of actual edges.

‘09/contextile/goldman & salatsch building

The classic oak panelled lounge is transformed through a simple optical illusion. The area is doubled by the use of large mirrors which give the impression of space and air. The repetition of the columns and light fixtures seems natural even when reflected in the virtual plane of the mirror. The contrast between the dark panelling and the bright plaster only comes to highlight this duplication.

‘10/contextile/fagus factory

The segregation between industrial design and classical, more conservative design is not yet complete in the ‘10s. In this case, the resulting hybrid seems out of context as this elegant staircase with a brass handrail and wood-clad stairs is actually part of a shoe factory.


Natural exterior light accentuates the lace-like concrete structure. Circles of alternating light and concrete appear to float up above connected by thin skeletal ribs, as the massive dome, provides both shelter and sufficient amounts of sunlight. The rough texture of the concrete has a smooth appearance given the scale of the space.

‘12/contextile/coonley villa playhouse

The lack of visible structure and the low ceiling give a cave-like appearance to the interior. The prevalent use of wood and warm materials helps in creating a friendly, liveable space. The centrepiece ďŹ replace, along with the various decorations and textures used, reinforces the intimate feeling of the room and its introvert impression.

‘13/contextile/unique forms of continuity in space

This expression of movement and fluidity is in contrast with the heaviness of the material used, it is massive without weight. The flowing, windswept drapery cast in bronze creates a unique appearance and a stunning play of light and shadow. This portrayal of speed and forceful dynamism is depicting a “synthetic continuity” of motion, embodying the urge toward progress.

‘14/contextile/glass pavilion

The high domed rooďŹ ng is constituted by several polygonal panels. Once Luxor prisms, now each panel has a pastel coloured glossy ďŹ nish with simple decoration, giving the feeling of different textures. Though diverse, the panels form a unitary arched ceiling, a reinterpretation of the classic stained glass.

‘15/contextile/the double dream of spring

Duplicity is present in every level of our existence. We live a dual life between dream and reality, between wish and what is accomplished. No matter what the reality is, we always imagine a different scenario in the same context, we sketch our aspirations in a different texture, in different colours.

‘16/contextile/villa schwob

The double height living room with the glass wall has a very modern feel and is contrasting with the oriental-like trellis of the front door and small portholes between rooms. Due to the almost transparent texture of the drapes, the light coming through is ďŹ ltered and softened, drawing attention to the elegant, subtle details of the design.

‘17/contextile/fiat lingotto

Armed concrete proves to be the suitable material to be used in the construction of the spiralling factory. Groundbreaking at its time, the structure draws an array of beams on the ceiling of each floor. Just like a piece of fabric, the beams intertwine in order to create a radiant texture.

‘18/contextile/red and blue chair

This well-known design manipulates rectilinear volumes and examines the interaction of vertical and horizontal planes. Though made of wood, a material often used for its “warm” feel, in this case seems cold and somewhat uncomfortable. Due to its matte, hard finish, and in spite of its colourful appearance, the overall impression is of a minimalist, austere product.

‘19/contextile/grosses schauspielhaus

The cavernous, domed space of the theatre has a very rich and unique decoration. Almost like the frills on old oriental carpets, or like stalactites descending towards the oor, the lace-like texture is in perfect harmony with the interior space giving the sense of a stylized cave.

‘20/contextile/einstein tower

The waves and curls which characterize the exterior of the observatory combine themselves in such an organic manner, defying the stiffness of the material used. It almost seems like the entire construction was draped with a piece of canvas embracing the structure and bringing its curves to light.

‘21/contextile/watts tower

A fantasy world comes to life in this complicated composition, in an explosion of form, texture and colour. The fanciful spires, pieced together over a period of thirty-three years from steel reinforcing rods and wire mesh, are colourfully decorated with seashells and fragments of broken dishes and bottles.

‘22/contextile/notre dame du raincy

The materiality of the stained glass and intricate woodwork, along with the low ďŹ ltered light, provide the chapel an intimate space of worship. The Japanese inspiration is obvious, providing the visitors with a sense of warmness and spiritual well-being, a balance between body and soul, between interior and exterior.

‘23/contextile/maison la roche

The different planes which create the area of the room give the sensation of a well crafted scenography. The inhabitants seem mere actors in a play in which the leading role is played by the house itself. The lighting, the colours, the textures intertwine in order to generate a complex weave of spaces.

‘24/contextile/brick country house

A simple and elegant composition of lines which come in complementing, intersecting and interweaving one another like strands of thread in a piece of textile fabric. The end result is a prototype, an optimal starting point in creating a monument of the Modern Movement, such as the Barcelona Pavilion.

‘25/contextile/house for tristan tzara

The two materials used in the construction of the house belonging to Tristan Tzara, initiator of the Dadaist movement, are symbolic even from a historic point of view. The brick base reminds of the roots and fundament whereas the concrete used for the upper floors signifies the future, the aspiration towards a new, sturdier world.

‘26/contextile/the frankfurt kitchen

In a world once ruled by boisterous decoration and characterized by clutter, the stainless steel, functional kitchen brings a new order. Cleanliness, simplicity and organization are the key words which, along its uses of new materials, portray it as an avant-garde to the future layouts.


The “big top” has always been a place of fantasy and wonder. Jugglers, clowns, musicians, acrobats, elephants and giraffes, all combined within the confines of an ordinary tent. The thin canvas enclosure delimits two contrasting worlds. It is a symbolical frontier between the harsh real world and the phantasmagoric atmosphere of the circus, ruled by fantasy and eccentricity.

‘28/contextile/german pavilion

The alternating two worlds reflecting one upon the other through the surface of the water enhance the effect of the materials. The marble’s already mirrored pattern is given a new dimension thus creating an optical illusion of an everrepeating model. The sculpture seems to float in this ethereal context, in this scenographic poetry.

‘29/contextile/villa savoye

Materiality, or better yet immateriality, is the quality which differentiate glass from other construction materials. A wide sheet of glass with the minimum ďŹ ttings possible blurs the limits between interior and exterior space, as light is allowed freely inside the room and nothing else impairs the vision towards the outside.

‘30/contextile/tugendhat house

Decoration can be achieved not only through heavy plaster mouldings but merely through a well arrangement of the marble slates which form an internal wall. The glossy surface reects the light but also creates an excellent background on which other shapes are easily legible. The mixture of marble, stainless steel and leather create a surprising environment, simple in form yet complex in emotion.

‘31/contextile/atlantis house

The pattern used in decorating the domed roof of the chapel bears a close resemblance to the traditional woven quilts and embroideries. In this case, said embroidery, isn’t made in the usual thread but in glass bricks which ďŹ lter the light in order to bring balance to the space below.

‘32/contextile/maison du verre

The use of new materials (at the time) such as glass bricks within a metal frame in order to build entire walls, standardized industrial components, or tubular steel furniture distinguishes itself in comparison with the classical feel of the pianoforte and the massive bookcase. This contrast embodies the divergence between old and new, traditional and modern.

‘33/contextile/paimio chair

Sometimes, the properties of a certain material don’t fit its look or its usage. For example, the plywood used in the making of this chair resembles a curled piece of paper, and its thin, fragile appearance doesn’t fit the classic idea of a “sturdy” wooden chair.

‘34/contextile/kocher canvas house

Canvas plays a whole new role in the construction of the house, not being used only for furnishing, decorating or protection against the sun, but as an exterior sheating material, used to wrap the entire exterior of the building. This industrialized material proved to withstand even a hurricane, thus obliterating common misconceptions on its versatility and strength.

‘35/contextile/city interior

Emphasizing the visual rhythms created by the web of pipes and railroad tracks and by the repeated rectilinear elements of windows and steel girders, the architecture is instilled with a lively, organic energy regardless of the obvious lack of people. There is no hint of the grime or pollution in spite of its industrial context.

‘36/contextile/fallingwater house

Nature’s four basic elements: earth, fire, air and water can be easily identified in Wright’s renowned house. The burning fire in the inglenook creates a warm, comfortable place to live, whilst surrounded by stone, earth’s most solid material, at the same time as the river flows under the house and fresh air is welcomed through one of the great windows.

‘37/contextile/golden gate bridge

America’s most famous bridge is worthy of being associated with a piece of elaborate lace, as its overall look bears great resemblance to complex embroideries. It seems to be suspended by mere strands of thread whereas the actual steel rods have a significant diameter.

‘38/contextile/pfeiffer chapel

The double glass roof allows a great quantity of light to bathe the interior of the chapel, providing a minimal filtration. While light is permitted in freely, the dense fittings give the impression of imprisonment, where we are allowed to see the sky but are unable to actually reach it.

‘39/contextile/ďŹ nnish pavilion

Composing individual elements into one symphony, the architect provided the densest possible concentration of display, next to, above and beneath each other, agricultural and industrial products, often just a few inches apart, making use of the materiality and neutrality of the wood.

‘40/contextile/chamberlain cottage

Wood panelling and a stone ďŹ replace are the classic ingredients in designing a rustic inspired look for the room. Adding the rocking chair only makes the atmosphere complete, resulting a simple yet homey space, easily inhabitable, relaxing and comfortable.

‘41/contextile/dora maar au chat

Even in paintings, patterns, materials and textures play a vital part in transmitting a certain emotion or feeling. Just like colors have different meaning and effects, patterns and textures can imply a certain message. A busy colourful fabric can suggest a person’s open, extrovert spirit, a sense of adventure and risk.

‘42/contextile/wwii tent

In the gruesome context of the Second World War, canvas and textile tents proved to be essential, as they were the soldiers’ home, keeping them shelter when needed. Though lacking on the aesthetic, design or inner poetry levels, their portability and versatility made them irreplaceable.

‘43/contextile/palazzo della civiltĂ italiana

Depth and perception, light and shadow, proportion and composition are the main attributes of the façade. It is a modern reinterpretation of the classical coliseum in which it loses its round shape in favour of a square outline, but keeps the surrounding porticos and statuary tradition. It is a transgression of the old, an evolution towards the new.

‘44/contextile/jacobs house

While most houses have a tendency to stand out, there are others which choose to hide themselves to such an extent as to blend in with the natural scenery. With the help of a very natural material such as stone, the entrance of the house is almost invisible, merging with the surrounding environment through osmosis.

‘45/contextile/eames house

Facades of the buildings can be considered blank canvases on which one can create or recreate a work of art through materials and colours. The black borders, alternating transparent and opaque panelling, and the use of the three primary colours: red, yellow and blue along with the overall composition, bear a close resemblance to Piet Mondrian’s works.

‘46/contextile/farnsworth house

Boundaries between inside and outside are given different interpretations: the solid limit represented by glass permits perfect transparency while the real separation is made by a mere piece of fabric in the form of a owing white drape. The rupture between interior and exterior is even further highlighted by the detachment from the ground, making it seem like the house is hovering in an ethereal plane.

‘47/contextile/casa luis barragan

Elegant and simple, the composition makes use of straightforward elements such as colour, texture, light and shadow. The components complement each other perfectly in order to acquire some of the tradition, some of cultural spirit of the environment in which it is built.

‘48/contextile/new gourna

Tradition has been the guideline in creating a new village with the aid of local materials and techniques, and sustainable human development. The goal of social adhesion was met in the light of vernacular architecture, in which past and present meet in creating a minimal yet comfortable dwelling.

‘49/contextile/glass house

Most of the time a fireplace symbolises the core of the house, its figurative heart. This role is highly emphasized here, by the lack of solid walls or confines. Thus is becomes the axis-mundi, the centrepiece of the house around which the rest of the world grows.

‘50/contextile/kresge auditorium

Taking into account the lack of interior supports due to the innovative overarching dome, every seat in the concert hall has an unobstructed view towards the stage. Instead of the traditional plaster, the architect employed free-hanging acoustic “weaving clouds� that absorb and direct sound, also containing lights, loudspeakers, and ventilation.

‘51/contextile/central lutheran church

The distinctive bell tower resulting from a series crisscrossing wood stacked boxes that celebrate the natural materials, incorporates simple, elegant modernism into an ecclesiastical context with exceptional visual, sculptural poetry. Open on two sides, it gains a look of strength without bulk. The counterpoint of vertical lines and horizontal lines, of round and rectangular shapes, is delicately balanced.

‘52/contextile/saynatsalo town hall

Filtered light can be achieved in order to give quality to a certain space or just to create a more intimate atmosphere. There are countless ways of obtaining it, ranging from the most sophisticated state of the art mechanisms to the simple common plastic blinds. Given the translucent quality of the material, the interior space is scarcely illuminated and at the same time isolated from the exterior.

‘53/contextile/unam library

The coloured stone mosaics decorating the blind walls of the archives confer the construction a bit of traditional Mexican character. With the appearance of embroidery, the spirited and colourful mural sets the building apart in the bland context of the University City.

‘54/contextile/notre dame du haut

The rough masonry walls faced with whitewashed sprayed concrete create a unique texture which reflects and at the same time absorbs the light. The diffused natural lighting brings to life a secluded atmosphere in the sacred space of the chapel where illumination comes both literally and figuratively from above.

‘55/contextile/bavinger house

The outer wall seems to grow out of the ground before moving out and around to surround and enclose a garden and an adjoining living area before spiralling in an up to form and fix itself to the climactic vertical pylon from which the roof and floor ‘pods’ are hung. The shape and organization of the house are highly unusual, standing out in whichever context.

‘56/contextile/berlin philharmonic hall

The construction rejects both rectangular organization and symmetry and its curved roofs and ceilings are reminiscent of some vast nomad textile tent. The exterior of the building is subordinated to the requirements of the interior where the audience is seated around the orchestra in accordance with precise laws of acoustics.

‘57/contextile/sidney myer music bowl

The Bowl’s canopy consists of a thin membrane made out weather-proofed plywood sheeted on both sides with aluminium attached to a cobwebbed frame of steel cables and supported by masts pivoted to the earth. The tensile structural system combined with a free-form roof provides the perfect covering for musical events, its organic form being in perfect accord with its function.

‘58/contextile/los manantiales

The graceful arches of the restaurant along with the thin flowing membrane bear a close resemblance to traditional Mexican dancers’ dresses. In a fluid motion, the structure seems nothing more than a piece of white fabric distorted by centrifugal forces. The withdrawal of the glass enclosing helps create much needed shade in Mexico’s warm climate.

‘59/contextile/guggenheim museum

The continuous spatial helix, a circular ramp that expands as it coils vertiginously around an unobstructed well of space capped by a at-ribbed glass dome, generates a dynamic interior, a clear architectural promenade. Its forceful motion is somewhat in contrast with the context of the function, which usually requires still spaces in order to absorb the works of art.

‘60/contextile/sainte marie de la tourette

In spite of the general austere feel of the convent, the chapel is quite colourful. The brut concrete was layered with coats of red, yellow black and white paint, in order to create a scenographic effect worthy of an altar. The ceiling illuminators have a symbolic light of sacred knowledge.

‘61/contextile/center for atmospheric research

The crisp and angular masses of unfinished concrete of a dark reddish-brown, aggregate to match the colour of the mountains and make it seem almost like rising out of the mesa and its defining slopes. The forms are cut apart by vertical strips of gray tinted glass and sculpturally capped by concrete hoods, which act as sculptural accents.

‘62/contextile/twa terminal

The main lobby’s soaring, swooping walls, its carefully modelled staircases and seating areas are a blend of graceful sculptural forms. It is a fully-designed environment, in which each part arises from another and everything belongs to the same formal world, a continuous ribbon of elements, all whisking themselves in from the exterior, so that ceilings continuously run into walls and those walls become oors.

‘63/contextile/st. mary’s cathedral

Simplicity, austerity and elegance are the words best used to describe the interior of the cathedral. The swooping hyperbolic walls create a tent-like covering: a concrete membrane on the inside and metallic aluminium ďŹ nishing on the exterior. The entire curvature of the space focuses the outlook towards the altar.

‘64/contextile/castelvecchio museum

The sculpture on the raised pedestal is a strong signal of the museum itself. A mosaic of materials and textures characterizes Scarpa’s intervention. Its bold parallel between the old and the new create almost an escherian space. Reinforced concrete, bricks, wood, marble and travertine come together in creating a symphony of materiality in this unique space.

‘65/contextile/green landscape seating

This organic concept of living pods makes use of an innovative material such as a type of foam rubber which moulds itself in the body’s shape. Foam chairs though appearing spherical, conform to the sitter, who could obtain a seated position in variation of angles.


These playful, pop-inspired visions of a technocratic future are a manifest, a refusal to be shackled by the past. This inatable, nomadic house was conceived to be worn as a suit providing a living envelope whenever and wherever desired. The transparency of the plastic allows visual contact with the exterior but at the same time creates a dwelling able to support the necessities of a single individual.

‘67/contextile/united stated pavilion

The most efficient structure ever created in terms of material weight was enclosed by transparent outer shell of steel and tinted acrylic cells. An elaborate system of retractable shading screens in accordance with the sun’s rays was used to control the heat within. The overall look of the construction is that of a fine needlework, a complex stitching of steel rods.


The innovative acrylic canopy mounted on stainless steel cable net covers the main stadium and big part of the Olympic Village. The transparent plexiglas covering the tensile structure has the look of a transparent fragmented tentlike canvas and creates a unique shelter underneath. The aerial view uncovers a different perception, the resemblance to a textile covering being even stronger.

‘69/contextile/apollo 11 space suit

The evolution in time of materials and textiles played an essential role in the one of humanity’s most impressive feats: the 1969 moonwalk. The high-tech suit is not only a symbol of skill, knowledge or proficiency, but a symbol of expectation and hope in the future.


This fabric like texture is a metaphoric interpretation of the advancement of technologies. The resulting grid is almost like a puzzle that the artist himself tries to solve. This mesh hanging over the inhabited space is similar to a net, imprisoning the world below.

‘71/contextile/centre georges pompidou

The steel structure, the ventilation system, along with all other equipments are at the same time “decoration”, on the façade and inside the building. While most buildings try to hide the unsightly installations, here they are emphasized, highlighted with different colours, mounted with stainless steel fittings fulfilling their part as a “high-tech-21st century-style” embellishment method.

‘72/contextile/freeway park

Opposite worlds come together in a communion of man and nature, in the creation of a concrete park. For the first time cement is used to build a base for nature instead of an artificial habitat. Designed to draw together city neighbourhoods divided by a freeway this long park weaves over a garage and a street, its waterfalls masking the sound of traffic.

‘73/contextile/douglas house

The machine like house seems an object landed in the natural world. The dramatic dialogue between the whiteness of the house and the primary blues and greens of the water, trees, and sky allows the house not only to assert its own presence but to enhance, by contrast, the beauty of its natural environment as well.

‘74/contextile/piazza d’italia

A mosaic of colours, materials and textures creates this unique square. Just like a theatre scenographic design, the collage like “piazza” uses a wide range of resources: marble and bright yellow, ochre and red surfaces cover the facades, treatments which were used frequently in Roman buildings, while others, such stainless steel, neon, and light-transmitting water, were not.

‘75/contextile/pa technology center

Contrast between natural and artificial, has been the basis in creating the edifice. The structure is a visible central liner spine propelled towards the sky. Thread like cables keep the construction together, the complex structure being the centrepiece in the context of the environment.

‘76/contextile/monument of the three generations

Dominating the skyline, the monument celebrates the liberation movement, the communist uprising and the socialist revolution. It integrates well in the context due to its construction material, the simple, primordial rock. It inspires strength and also optimism thanks to its upward spiralling shape. Once imposing, it now lays abandoned, overgrown with weeds, its proud bronze wreath stolen, a silent symbol of the forgotten past.

‘77/contextile/best notch showroom

Suggesting a process of dematerialization, the segmented corner of the building is like a jigsaw puzzle: intended as a stage for interaction in the social context. As a form of commentary on positive and negative elements, its imagery is based on interaction and displacement, which establishes an entirely new relationship between art and architecture.

‘78/contextile/gehry house

A forerunner of the “deconstructivism”, the entire composition lies in a state of paradox, seemingly unfinished yet complete. It is a collision of parts, built with the most mundane materials such as corrugated aluminium metal siding, plywood, glass and chain-link fencing, with randomly slanted lines and angled protrusions.

‘79/contextile/lloyd’s building

Buildings give public performances both to the user and the passerby. Thus the architect’s responsibility must go beyond the client’s program and into the broader public realm. In this social context, the client’s program only offers the architect a point of departure. Though seeming rigid, this high tech building offers a real treat to the public, with its exuberant mechanical adornments.

‘80/contextile/robson square

Quality design can stand within the littlest or simplest of things. A basic ight of stairs can turn into a scale sculpture by combining it with the access ramps. The merging of the two elements creates an elegant upright motion, looking like they have been stitched together resembling two patches of fabric.

‘81/contextile/koshino house

Even through simple in its essence, the design creates a veritable maze of lights and shadows. The lack of decorative elements only accentuates the austerity of the environment. The shadows cast by the narrow openings and skylights along with the smooth texture of the concrete, operate as the only meta-ornamentation.

‘82/contextile/thorncrown chapel

A sense of sacred space is given by the quality of the structure set against the calm magnitude of nature. Repeating diamond shapes lift upward to its overhanging peaked roof, bathing the chapel in a reďŹ ned ďŹ ltered light. The wooden beams, in an overhead cross-lattice system, hold the structure together, emphasizing the fragility of the building and its surroundings, as life and nature itself are fragile and special.

‘83/contextile/consumer’s rest

Most objects are versatile and have the ability to transform, to digress from their original function, through minimum changes. Such is the case of an old shopping kart, symbol of the capitalism and the consumerism nowadays, evolving into a wire-mesh chair, with a simple plexiglass covering. The materials used are basic and raw, but what really matters is their use out of the original context of the supermarket.

‘84/contextile/neue staatsgalerie

Playful in appearance, the building incorporates warm, natural elements of travertine and sandstone to contrast with the industrial pieces of green steel framing system and the bright pink and blue steel handrails. Due to the wide range of bold colors used, the overall impression is friendly and open, not in the slightest rigid and solemn, as some museums tend to be.

‘85/contextile/benthem house

The steel structure, sandwich panels and the wide panes of glass create a machine like environment, where the industrial feel of the interior is implicit with the use of prefabricated modules. In spite of the rough, cold feel of the industrialized components, the furniture and decorations make it look more like a home, giving it a more human appearance.

‘86/contextile/well tempered chair

When ďŹ rst thinking about the usual materials used in creating a chair, metal is not one of them and yet this cold industrial material has crept its way in, with the creation of this armchair. The material strayed from its usual context in order to create something unique and out of the ordinary.

‘87/contextile/chambre a air

The use of a rubber air chamber in order to create a piece of furniture is both interesting and out of the ordinary. Both rubber and steel are mainly industrial materials and seem to have little to do with furniture. The inated air chamber looks like cushioning, metaphorically trying to break free from its boundaries.

‘88/contextile/rooftop remodelling

The context is not deďŹ ned here only by proportion, material or colour; in this project the context is the relation between street and roof. Hence the inverted streak of lightning, which represents the line of energy that arches over the roof and tears it open. The outstanding sculpture like futuristic addition is in great contrast with the rest of the building, in a seemingly precarious balance.

‘89/contextile/louvre pyramid

A dialogue between old and new is established amid the Louvre and its underground entrance, signalled above through the glass pyramid. The two objects contrast on many levels: interior-exterior correlation, transparencyopacity, lightness-heaviness, structure, materiality, symbolism. The ancestral pyramidal shape desires to be homage to the history of the Louvre Palace.

‘90/contextile/fort thunder

Even detritus and decay can become house style as broken toys, old Christmas decorations, posters, stickers can become decoration. The original white walls are nowhere to be seen as everything was covered in a diseased like manner. In the given context it’s impossible to say what decoration is and what is debris, as only occupants could tell for sure.

‘91/contextile/guggenheim museum ii

Designed to catch the light, the composition, continues a curvaceous, free form sculptural style. The apparently random curves are covered in reflective titanium panes closely resembling fish scales. Materials are of great importance, almost as groundbreaking as the construction itself. The entire composition seems to be frozen in a precarious balance, just like the metaphorical sculpture in front of it.

‘92/contextile/concert hall

The street façade above the largely glazed ground floor is clad in black rubber over an insulating layer of glass wool, real compact discs serving as fastening points. The materials used in designing the “cushioned” concert hall are innovative and fascinating, shaking up the traditional choices. The metaphorically used CDs look like buttons on a conventional, albeit overgrown, armchair.

‘93/contextile/vitra conference pavilion

The balance between the curved concrete wall and the straight glass one is crucial in sculpting the interior shape. The transparent glass wall bathes the concrete in light, transforming the material otherwise known as “cold” or “harsh”, providing it with more appeal as its waxed-like surface reflects the light. Wood is used to encase the stairs, a contrasting material which complement the concrete rather than conflict with it, giving it a warmer feel. The concave wall creates a dynamic environment endorsed by the presence of the vertical circulation.

‘94/contextile/gare de saint-exupĂŠry

Transparency is the key word which can describe the organic shell of the train station. The skeleton like structure frames perfectly the scenery outside, blurring the line between interior and exterior. The concave covering gives the impression of protection and shelter in spite of its striking dimensions. Glass steel and concrete work together in creating this impressive construction, surprising all of its visitors.

‘95/contextile/curtain wall house

The utopian textile curtain is an architectural element associated with traditional Japanese design elements such as shoji and sudare screens and fusuma doors. Showing a surprising, simple and beautiful amalgam of old and new, it operates for ventilation, is aesthetically seductive and poetically allows the natural ow of air. The interior and exterior can be merged into one comfortable space for the inhabitants

‘96/contextile/nike pavilion

Imparting great visual impact by means of a simple synthetic gesture, the installation doubles as a mountain refuge and a shop while its roof is used as a ramp for snowboarding. Its versatility makes it easy to insert in any given context, as intended, having no speciďŹ c location in mind. Conceived as a giant aluminium shell that blends with the landscape, the scheme introduces another dimension to the trademark’s symbolic force.

‘97/contextile/dominus winery

The aesthetically new but functionally correct way of using materials generates a combination of sensorial and intellectual pleasure. The building’s “skin” is made of modular gabions of wire mesh “containing” masses of locally quarried stone of different shapes and sizes, a sort of stone wickerwork with varying degrees of transparency, more like skin than traditional masonry.

‘98/contextile/v2 lab

The offices in the media agency become an unstable organization of spatial elements hallmarked by a transparent membrane and a rippling floor construction. The transparency of the material allows seeing through but at the same time creates an isolated artificial environment. Almost quarantine like, the enclosed space is given further perceptual separation by the uneven ground.

‘99/contextile/tree trunk bench

Experimenting with unexpected combinations of materials and components, the design successfully managed in becoming a crossing between nature and culture. The simplicity of the idea of embedding traditional bronze chair backs into a trunk of a tree is straightforward, subtly poking fun at the over-complicated objects clamouring for our attention in crowded markets.


Materials are the metaphorical words that formulate the worldwide “architectural language”, hence the built space surrounding us daily. Their characteristics, limits and uses are defining the world as we know it. Nevertheless, some of those limits and uses are dictated by people, and their contextual use is literally “in our hands” ready to be changed. We are in need of going beyond traditional boundaries set in place, with the purpose of making an unequivocal up to date model.


‘01 Reception Dress Henry van de Velde “Gesamtkunstwerk and Gender”, Jennifer Barrows in, 2009. ‘02 -’04 Villa Hvittrask, Helsinki (Finland) Eliel Saarinen “Eliel Saarinen House (Villa Hvittrask, Log Dwelling)”, ph. Robert Hermanson in www., 2005. ‘03 -’04 Hill House, Helensburgh (Scotland) Charles Rennie Mackintosh “Bedroom”, Caroline Minis in, 2009. ‘04 -’06 Postsparkasse,Vienna (Austria) Otto Wagner ”Die österreichische Postsparkasse”, Jan Tabor, Falter Verlag, Vienna, 1998, p.67. ‘05 Open Window Henri Matisse “ARCADIAN FANTASY: Mediterranean State of Mind” in, 2010. ‘06 -’10 Casa Mila, Barcelona (Spain) Antonio Gaudi “Geniuses of Art –Gaudi “, Juan-Ramon

Triado Tur, Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid, 2005, p. 55. ‘07 Fortuny Floor Lamp Mariano Fortuny “Fortuny”, in ‘08 Design for a Living Room Heinrich Tessenow “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 121. ‘09 -’11 Goldman & Salatsch Building, Vienna (Austria) Adolf Loos “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 124. ‘10 -’14 Fagus Factory, Alfeld (Germany) Walter Gropius, Adolf Meyer and Edouard Werner “Walter Gropius”, Gilbert Lupfer, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 19. ‘11-’13 Jahrhunderthalle, Breslau (Poland) Max Berg “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 154.

‘12 Coonley Villa Playhouse, Riverside (Illinois, USA) Frank Lloyd Wright “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wasmuth Portfolio”, David Jameson in www.architechgallery. com, 2007.

‘19 Grosses Schauspielhaus, Berlin (Germany) Hans Poelzig “Ernst Wasmuth - Past Auction Results”, ph. Ernst Wasmuth in, 2007.

‘13 Unique Forms of Continuity in Space Umberto Boccioni “Umberto Boccioni:Unique Forms of Continuity in Space - Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History”, Lydia Winston Malbin in www., 1989.

‘20 -’21 Einstein Tower, Potsdam (Germany) Erich Mendelsohn “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 164.

‘14 Glass Pavilion, Cologne (Germany) Bruno Taut “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 166. ‘15 The Double Dream of Spring Giorgio de Chirico “The Collection - The Double Dream of Spring” in ‘16 Villa Schwob, La Chaux-de-Fonds (Swizerland) Le Corbusier “Le Corbusier (La Villa turque)”, ph. Jurasix,, 2006.

‘21 -‘55 Watts Towers, Los Angeles (California, USA) Simon Rodia “Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern”, Sylvia Hart Wright, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989, p. 111. ‘22 Notre Dame du Raincy, Raincy (France) Auguste Perret “Notre Dame du Raincy”, ph. Kevin Matthews in ‘23 Maison La Roche, Paris (France) Le Corbusier Personal archive, ph. Cristina Neagu, 2010

‘17 Fiat Lingotto, Torino (Italy) Matte Trucco “Fiat Lingotto”, Donatella Biffignandi, in, 2009.

‘24 Brick Country House Mies van der Rohe “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 203.

‘18 Red and Blue Chair Gerrit Rietveld “What I Learned about Rest and Motion in Myself”, Anthony C. Romeo in, 1985.

‘25 -’26 House for Tristan Tzara, Paris (France) Adolf Loos “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 204.

‘26 The Frankfurt Kitchen Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky “The Frankfurt Kitchen”, Robert Rotifer, Lelo Brossmann in, 2010. ‘27 Circus Alexander Calder “Arts and New Media”, James R. Beniger in projects/comm544/index.html. ‘28 -’29 German Pavilion, Barcelona (Spain) Mies van der Rohe “Barcelona Pavilion”, ph. Bruno Struck in ‘29 Villa Savoye, Poissy (France) Le Corbusier Personal archive, ph. Cristina Neagu, 2010 ‘30 Tugendhat House, Brno (Czech Republic) Mies van der Rohe “Mies van der Rohe”, A. James Speye, Art Institute of Chicago, 1968, p.42. ‘31 Atlantis House, Bremen (Germany) Bernhard Hoetger “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 274. ‘32 Maison du Verre, Paris (France) Pierre Chareau “Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre Bookcase”, Sarah Coffey, ph. Dominique Vellay in, 2008. ‘33 -’29 Paimio Chair, Paimio (Finland) Alvar Aalto “Model No. 41 lounge chair - Heilbrunn

Timeline of Art History” in, 2006. ‘34 Kocher Canvas House, New Port (New York, USA) Albert Frey “Albert Frey, Architect”, Joseph Rosa, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1999, p. 46. ‘35 City Interior Charles Sheeler “Arts and New Media”, James R. Beniger in projects/comm544/index.html. ‘36 -’39 Fallingwater House, Bear Run (Pennsylvania, USA) Frank Lloyd Wright “Frank Lloyd Wright”, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2003, p. 112. ‘37 -’33 Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco (California, USA) Joseph Strauss, Irving Morrow and Charles Ellis “Golden Gate Bridge”, ph. Christian Mehlführer, in www.commons.wikimedia. org, 2008. ‘38 Pfeiffer Chapel, Lakeland (Florida, USA) Frank Lloyd Wright “Frank Lloyd Wright”, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2003, p. 134. ‘39 Finnish Pavilion, New York (New York, USA) Alvar Aalto “Finnish Pavilion”, ph. Ezra Stoller in www.

‘40 Chamberlain Cottage, Wayland (Massachusetts, USA) Marcel Breuer “Marcel Breuer: Architect and Designer”, Peter Blake, Architectural Record/Museum of Modern Art, 1949, p.71. ‘41 Dora Maar Au Chat Pablo Picasso “Pablo Picasso”, Art Experts, Inc. in www. ‘42 WWII Tent, Rockford (Illinois, USA) Armbruster Manufacturing Co. “Armbruster displays WWII Tents at Rockford WWII Days”, in, 2010. ‘43 Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, Rome (Italy) Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula and Mario Romano “Colosseo Quadrato”, ph. Santi Rodriguez in, 2007. ‘44 -’48 Jacobs House, Middleton (Wisconsin, USA) Frank Lloyd Wright “Frank Lloyd Wright”, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2003, p. 146. ‘45 -’49 Eames House, Pacific Palisades (California, USA) Charles Eames “Eames House”, ph. MC Mr. E. In www. ‘46 -’50 Farnsworth House, Plano (Illinois, USA) Mies van der Rohe “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 1”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 324.

‘47 Casa Luis Barragan, Tacubaya (Mexico) Luis Barragan “Anada Alanis”, Luis Barragan, ed. Luis Barragan: Clásico del Silencio, p.242. ‘48 New Gourna, Luxor (Egypt) Hassan Fathy “New Gourna”, ph. Jeff Rosier in www., 2000. ‘49 Glass House, New Canaan (Connecticut, USA) Phillip Johnson “Icon: Philip Johnson’s Glass House”, Alice Rawsthorne in ‘50 Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA) Eero Saarinen “Kresge Auditorium”, ph. Jack E. Boucher, in ‘51 -’50 Central Lutheran Church, Portland (Oregon, USA) Pietro Belluschi “The Northwest Architecture of Pietro Belluschi”, Jo Stubblebine, F.W. Dodge; First Edition edition, 1953, p.50. ‘52 Saynatsalo Town Hall, Saynatsalo (Finland) Alvar Aalto “800 Years of Finnish Architecture”, J.M. Richards, David and Charles, 1978, p.154. ‘53 UNAM Library, Mexico City (Mexico) Juan O’Gorman “UNAM Library”, in ‘54 Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp (France) Le Corbusier .Personal archive, ph. Cristina Neagu,

2010. ‘55 -’50 Bavinger House, Norman (Oklahoma, USA) Bruce Geoff “Bavinger House” in www.openbuildings. com.

tions in America”, Paul Heyer, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993, p.322. ‘62 -’56 TWA Terminal, New York (New York, USA) Eero Saarinen “ADClassics: TWA Terminal”, Adelyn Perez, in

‘56 -’63 Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Berlin (Germany) Hans Sharoun “Comprende l’Architecture Universelle: Volume 2”, Henri Stirlin, Office Du Livre, 1977, p.471.

‘63 -’64 St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo (Japan) Kenzo Tange Kenzo Tange: Works and Projects, Udo Kultermann, St. Martin’s Press, Gustavo Gili, S.A., Barcelona, 1989, p. 175.

‘57 Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Sydney (Australia) Yunken Freeman “Sidney Myer Music Bowl”, ph. Tim Buckley in

‘64 -’56 Castelvecchio Museum, Verona (Italy) Carlo Scarpa “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 425.

‘58 Los Manantiales, Xochimilco (Mexico) Felix Candela “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 359.

‘65 Green Landscape Seating Roger Dean “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 375.

‘59 -’56 Guggenheim Museum, New York (New York, USA) Frank Lloyd Wright “Frank Lloyd Wright”, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2003, p. 150.

‘66 Cushicle Michael Webb “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 373.

‘60 -’56 Sainte Marie de La Tourette, Lyon (France) Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis “Personal archive”, ph. Cristina Neagu, 2010.

‘67 United Stated Pavilion, Montreal (Canada) Buckminster Fuller “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 363.

‘61 -’67 Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Ieoh Ming Pei “Architects on Architecture: New Direc-

‘68 -’72 Olympiapark, Munich (Germany) Otto Frei “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005,

p. 453.

Press, 1986, p 93.

‘69 Apollo 11 Space Suit NASA “Space suit”, ph. Neil Armstrong, in www., 2011.

‘76 Monument of The Three Generations, Perushtitza (Bulagria) Lubomir Dalchev “Forgotten Monuments From the Communist Era in Bulgaria”, Alison Furuto in www., 2011.

‘70 Imprisonment Gianni Pettena “Radical Design”, Gianni Pettena, Maschieto &ditore, Florence, 2004, p. 24. ‘71 -’76 Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (France) Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers Personal archive, ph. Cristina Neagu, 20010. ‘72 -’76 Freeway Park, Seattle (Washington, USA) Lawrence Halprin “Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern”, Sylvia Hart Wright, John Wiley & Sons, 1988, p.42. ‘73 -’71 Douglas House, Harbor Springs (New York, USA) Richard Meier “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 411. ‘74 Piazza d’Italia New Orleans (Louisiana, USA) Charles W. Moore “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 395. ‘75 PA Technology Center, Hertfordshire (United Kingdom) Richard Rogers “Richard Rogers”, Peter Cook, St. Martin’s

‘77 Best Notch Showroom, Sacramento (California, USA) SITE Project Inc. “SITE: identity in density”, Steve Wornerslay, The Publishing Group, 2005, p. 47. ‘78 Gehry House, Santa Monica (California, USA) Frank O. Gehry “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 508. ‘79 -’86 Lloyd’s Building, London (United Kingdom) Richard Rogers “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 461. ‘80 Robson Square, Vancouver (Canada) Arthur C. Erickson “Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern”, Sylvia Hart Wright, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989, p. 27. ‘81 -’79 Koshino House, Ashiya (Japan) Tadao Ando “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 495. ‘82 -’80 Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs (Ar-

kansas, USA) Fay Jones “Was architect Fay Jones a Vulcan?” Donald Johnson in cmarch2013.wordpress. com, 2009. ‘83 Consumer’s rest Stiletto Studios “Radical Design”, Gianni Pettena, Maschieto&ditore, Florence, 2004, p. 196. ‘84 -’77 Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (Germany) James Stirling and Michael Wilford “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 486. ‘85 -’83 Benthem House, Almere (The Netherlands) Jan Benthem and Mels Crouwel “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 473. ‘86 -’87 Well Tempered Chair Vitra “Radical Design”, Gianni Pettena, Maschieto&ditore, Florence, 2004, p. 122. ‘87 Chambre a air Reinhard Muller “Radical Design”, Gianni Pettena, Maschieto&ditore, Florence, 2004, p. 173. ‘88 -’83 Rooftop Remodelling, Vienna (Austria) Coop Himmelb(l)au “Architecture in Transition: Between Deconstruction and New Modernism”, Peter Noever, Prestel, 1991, p. 24. ‘89 Louvre Pyramid, Paris (France) Ieoh Ming Pei Personal archive, ph. Cristina Neagu,

2010. ‘90 Fort Thunder, Providence (Rhode Island USA) Brian Chippendale “X-treme interiors”, Courtenay Smith, Anette Ferrara, Prestel, Munich, 2003, p. 22. ‘91 -’97 Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (Spain) Frank O. Gehry Personal archive, ph. Lorenzo Bologna, 2009. ‘92 Concert Hall, Tilburg (The Netherlands) Benthem Crouwel Architects “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 531. ‘93 Vitra Conference Pavilion, Weil am Rhein (Germany) Tadao Ando Personal archive, ph. Cristina Neagu, 2010. ‘94 Gare de Saint-Exupéry, Lyon (France) Santiago Calatrava Personal archive, ph. Cristina Neagu, 2010. ‘95 Curtain Wall House, Tokyo (Japan) Shigeru Ban “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 500. ‘96 Nike Pavilion Lievore Altherr Molina “Space-Identity-Company”, Stefano Colli, Rafaela Perrone, Editorial Gusavo Gilli, Barcelona, 2003, p.74.

‘97 -’95 Dominus Winery, Yountville (California, USA) Herzog & de Meuron “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 541. ‘98 V2 Lab, Rotterdam (The Netherlands) NOX Architects “Architecture in the 20th Century: Volume 2”, Peter Gossel, Taschen, Cologne, 2005, p. 555. ‘99 Tree Trunk Bench Jurgen Bey “Radical Design”, Gianni Pettena, Maschieto&ditore, Florence, 2004, p. 226. ‘own (background collage) InterfaceFLOR Geyer, Gray Puksand, Housemouse, Moth Design, Spaceleft, Trout Creative, Whitehouse, Woodhead and Y2 Architects InterfaceFLOR”, in

INTERIOR WOR(L)DS. This work is part of a collection of books realized by the students of the course of “Interiors Architecture”‚ of class 2010 - 2011 and edited by Professor Gennaro Postiglione; it takes its origins from the participation in the Second Interiors Forum World 4 - 5 October 2010, hosted by Politecnico di Milano. Every student selected a paper among the words presented at the IFW and chose 99 projects, represented by just one image, covering 99 years, from 1901 to 2000; the 100th image had to be a personal interpretation of the word chosen.

CONTEXTILE is my chosen word and paper from IFW. It is an obvious hybrid between the words “context” and “textile”, representing the transformations and alterations that the world of materials has suffered in the past century. The fundamental characteristics and virtues of a certain material define the space in which it is being used. Materiality has played a key part in the development of construction and design, and continues to do so. As time passes more and more materials go “outside the box” as they are used in contexts that at first sight seem unlikely or even impossible.


re-upload - final delivery Cristina Neagu


re-upload - final delivery Cristina Neagu