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ARCHI T E CT URE THROUGH THELENS OFMODERNI TY

F e n gj i eI I I ( Mon u me n t t oP r ogr e s san dP r os pe r i t y ) , Ch on gqi n gMu n i c i pal i t y , 2007


ARCHI TECTURES TRI VESFOR BEAUTYI N ORDER. T r adi t i on al ar c h i t e c t sof t e ns u ppor t t h e i r j u dge me n t byas s e r t i n gt h ear gu me n t of pr opor t i on al i t y . I nWi t t k owe r ’ ss t u dyof P al l adi anar c h i t e c t u r e , i t i sr e v e al e dh ow t h egol de nr at i opl ay saf u n dame n t al r ol e i nh i swor k s . P al l adi o’ swor k sh av ebe e n h e l dt oah i ghr e gar dbe c au s eof t h e s y mme t r yan dh ar mon i ou se l e me n t st h at t h e‘ r i gh t ’ r at i osbr i n g, an di nt h at t h ou gh t , wear ec on f r on t e dwi t ht h equ e s t i onof wh e t h e rt h i si saf or mu l at h at gu ar an t e e s be au t yi nar c h i t e c t u r e .

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On epr obl e mwi t hh av i n gas e t of n u mbe r st ogov e r nt h epl i gh t t oac h i e v e ar c h i t e c t u r al be au t yi st h at , asWi t t k owe r poi n t e dou t , t h ear c h i t e c t me r e l yu t i l i z e s “ r e adymadeu n i t s . ”T r u l y , i mi t at i on ’ s pr i n c i pl ei n s t r u me n t i spr opor t i on . As P al l adi owor k swi t has e t r at i oof pr opor t i on s , h i sf ac ade sdon ot e v ol v e an dar eme r e l yv ar i ou ss i z e sof t h es ame de s i gn –wh e t h e ri t beat e mpl eora h ou s e . On ec anar gu et h at t h i st ak e s awayf r omac or egoal of ar c h i t e c t u r e , wh i c hi st ode s i gnac c or di n gt ot h e bu i l di n g’ su s e( an dn ot ac c or di n gt o pr opor t i on s ) . T r u l ygr e at wor k sof ar c h i t e c t u r ewou l dbet h ear r i v al at a bal an c eof pr i or i t i e s –ac h i e v i n gbe au t y ( wh e t h e rwi t ht h ee mpl oy me n t of t h e ‘ i de al ’ pr opor t i on sorn ot )an dh av i n gt h e bu i l di n gs e r v ei t spu r pos ee f fi c i e n t l y ; be i n gbot ht h epr odu c t of n e c e s s i t yas we l l asof ar t i s t i ci n t e n t i on .

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ARCHI TECTUREWRI TES HI S TORYI N MONUMENTS. Mon u me n t al i t yc anbeac ompl e x i de ai nt h edi s c i pl i n eof ar c h i t e c t u r e . F u n dame n t al i nt h i sc on c e pt i st h e wor dmon u me n t , an dwi t ht h at , al l t h e c on n ot at i on st h at t h i swor dh as . Mon u me n t c ome sf r omt h eL at i nv e r b mon è r e , me an i n g“ t or e mi n d. ”Wh e n wet u r nt oi t se t y mol ogi c al or i gi n s , we be gi nt ou n de r s t an dh owa mon u me n t i sn ot me r e l yanobj e c t , bu t anobj e c t t h at doe s ; anobj e c t t h at , de s pi t eh av i n gn oph y s i c al f or c e , s t i l l ac c ompl i s h e sr e al wor kwi t h i ni t s s u r r ou n di n gs . T h i si sani mpor t an t n ot e–t h at i s , t or e c ogn i z ea mon u me n t i nr e l at i ont oi t s s u r r ou n di n gs . Mon u me n t al i t yi sn ot i n h e r e n t an ddoe sn ot h appe nona pe r s on al l e v e l ; r at h e r , wear r i v et h e r e asac ol l e c t i v e . Mon u me n t al i t yi s c r e at e dt h r ou ght h ei n t e r ac t i onof t h e pe opl ean dt h i n gsar ou n di t .

I nt h i ss e n s e , mon u me n t al i t yi sa de v i c eof s oc i al me mor y . I t i s , i n s omeway , ar e c or dof t h ei n t e r pl ay be t we e npol i t i c al an ds oc i al dy n ami c spr e v al e n t at t h et i me pe r i odof amon u me n t ’ sf ou n di n g. Mu c hc anber e adan du n de r s t ood t h r ou ghwh at an ys oc i e t yc on s i de r s t obemon u me n t al . I t i sas t at e me n t of s omeof t h ev al u e st h at dr i v et h at s oc i e t yi nt h at par t i c u l arpoi n t i n t i me .

Wor t he x pl or i n gi nt h i st opi ci st h e as s e r t i ont h at mon u me n t al i t yi sn ot i n h e r e n t an dc an n ot bec r e at e d. Wh i l e mon u me n t al i t yh asal ot t odowi t ht h e s t r u c t u r e ’ sr e c e pt i onbyt h es oc i e t yi t r e s i de si n , t h eaf or e me n t i on e d s t at e me n t down pl ay st h ei mpor t an c e of mat e r i al i t y , s c al e , an di n t e n de d me an i n gi nt h ec r e at i onof s ome t h i n g mon u me n t al . Ar c h i t e c t u r e , asVi c t or Hu gowr i t e s , i s“ t h egr e at h an dwr i t i n g of t h eh u manr ac e . ”T owr i t eh i s t or y wi t ht h eme di u mof s pac ean df ori sa pu r pos e f u l an di n t e n t i on al ac t i on , an d wh i l eanar c h i t e c t c ann e v e rbes u r ei f s ome t h i n gwi l l bec on s i de r e d mon u me n t al i ni t st i me , t h e r ei s c e r t ai n l yani de aof h owt oac h i e v ei t .

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T h er e l at i on s h i pbe t we e nf or man df u n c t i oni sbot ha c or ev al u ean dadi l e mmai nt h eageof mode r n i s m. Wh i l en ot al l mode r n i s t sagr e e donh owt h e yr e l at e d pr e c i s e l y , t h e r ewasu n dou bt e dl yagr e at awar e n e s s of t h e i rr e l at i on s h i pwi t h i nt h ewh ol emov e me n t . Br u t al i s m, de fi n e dbyi t se mph as i sons h owi n gt h e i n t e r i ors pac e ’ sf u n c t i on st h r ou ght h ee x t e r i orof t h e bu i l di n g, pon de r st h i sf or man df u n c t i onr e l at i on s h i p. T h es t y l ei sal s oc h ar ac t e r i z e dbyt h eu s eof mat e r i al s s u c hasc on c r e t e , gl as s , me t al i nt h e i rr awf or ms( t h at i s , wi t h ou t at t e mpt i n gt omak ei t l ookl i k emat e r i al ot h e rt h anwh at i t i s ) .

Cr i t i qu e sf ort h i ss t y l eof t e nf oc u s ont h ebu i l di n gsappe ar i n g c ol dh e ar t e dori n h u man . T h e ydo n ot agegr ac e f u l l yan dar epr on et o s t ai n s , gr af fi t i , de c ay s . Mas s pr odu c e dmodu l e sr e n de r e di n pl ai nf aç ade ss u ppos e dl yl ac k c h ar ac t e r , wh i c hi su n de r s t an dabl y pr obl e mat i cf ort h os ewh os t r on gl y be l i e v et h at af u n dame n t al r ol eof ar c h i t e c t u r ei st os h owi t s i n di v i du al i s ml i k eanope nbook .

T h ec r i t i qu e sagai n s t t h es t y l ee x pos eade l i c at ef r agme n t of man ’ s c on c e r nf orar c h i t e c t u r e : weai mt opar al l e l an ds e eou r s e l v e si n ar c h i t e c t u r e , aswi t hal l c r e at i on sbor nof ou rh an ds . Cr i t i c swan t t os e ebu i l di n gst h at agegr ac e f u l l y ; t h e ywan t t of e e l a c on n e c t i onbe t we e nu san dt h ebu i l di n gs , i n s t e adof c ol dh e ar t e d f aç ade sal l ov e r . Wewan t t h e mt of e e l mor eh u man , mor el i k eu s . I t i si n t e r e s t i n gt os e et h at t h emor eh on e s t –asBan h ampu t si t –t h e bu i l di n gsar ewi t ht h e i ru s eof mat e r i al s , an dt h emor ei t e x pos e s t h eme s s yr e al i t i e sof bu i l di n gc on s t r u c t i on , t h el e s sgr ac e f u l we t h i n kt h e mt obe–i . e . t h el e s sh u man , orat l e as t , t h el e s sof an i de al h u man . St i l l , wes e eh owwor k sof t h i ss t y l es t r i v e dt oc r e at e h on e s t ar c h i t e c t u r ei ni t sde e pc on t e mpl at i onof f or man df u n c t i on .

ARCHI TECTURE PONDERS FUNCTI ON ANDFORM.


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ARCHI TECTURE RECORDSCOLLECTI VEMEMORY. Me mor yi ss u c hane l u s i v ec on c e pt an dy e t i t i ss o i n t r i c at e l yi n t e r t wi n e dwi t har c h i t e c t u r e . Wor k sof ar c h i t e c t u r ear eal i v ei nt h es e n s et h at t h e yac t i v e l y par t i c i pat ei nt h ec r e at i onof me mor yov e rt i me . Mon u me n t san du r banar t i f ac t s , asR os s i c al l st h e m, ar es i mpl yc on c r e t ef or msof t h ec ol l e c t i v eme mor yof t h ec i t y . Ar c h i t e c t u r ec anbes e e nasbot hf or man d e v e n t .

R os s i mak e sani mpor t an t poi n t wh e nh es t at e s t h at u r banar t i f ac t sar ewor k sof ar t . T h e ar c h i t e c t u r eof t h ec i t yi st h i spar t i c i pat or ywor k be t we e npe opl ean dt h edi f f e r e n t u r ban ar t i f ac t s . St r e e t s , mon u me n t s , par k s -t h e yar e ph y s i c al man i f e s t at i on sof abs t r ac t t h i n gs , of r e l at i on s h i ps , of s oc i al , pol i t i c al , c u l t u r al , an d r e l i gi ou sh appe n i n gs . L i k ewor k sof ar t , t h e y ar emadeof mat e r i al s( c on c r e t e , wood, s t e e l , gl as s ) , y e t t h e yar es ome t h i n got h e rt h ant h e s e mat e r i al saswe l l .

Man k i n dh asal way sbe e nc on c e r n e d, may bee v e naf r ai d, of l os i n gt h epas t . Heh asl e ar n e d t owr i t e , t omak ear t , t ot ak eph ot ogr aph s , t obu i l dmon u me n t s al l i nt h epu r s u i t of i mmor t al i z i n ge v e n t s , mome n t s , me mor i e s . T h ee x pe r i e n c eof s pac ei squ i t eane mot i on al e n c ou n t e rf orman , an dass u c h , as pac eh ast h ec apac i t yt ot api n t oape r s on ’ sme mor i e s t h r ou ght h e i re mot i on s . I nt h i sway , wes t ar t t or e me mbe rt h at t h ear c h i t e c t h asani n t i mat e , de l i c at er ol ewi t ht h et h ei n di v i du al . T h ei n di v i du al f e e l sc on n e c t e dt ot h ewh ol eof t h ec i t y t oan yv as t ar e at h r ou ght h edi f f e r e n t s pac e sh ee x pe r i e n c e san dr e s on at e swi t h . Me mor yi s c r e at e donani n di v i du al l e v e l , an dat t h es amet i me , e ac han de v e r ye x pe r i e n c eof s pac e c on t r i bu t e st ot h ec ol l e c t i v eme mor yt h at t h es pac er e pr e s e n t s . I t i st h i se n dl e s sc y c l eof me mor ys h api n gs pac ean ds pac es h api n gme mor y . Ar c h i t e c t u r ebe c ome sawor kof ar t t h at i si nc on s t an t pr ogr e s st h r ou ght h ede v e l opme n t of t h ee n t i r ec i t y .


ARCHI TECTURE DESI GNS RESI LI ENCE. T h eme t abol i s t mov e me n t i sa t e s t ame n t t oh owar c h i t e c t u r e c on s t an t l ys t r i v e st oof f e rs ol u t i on st o wou n dsi nou rs oc i e t i e s , r at h e rt h an s i mpl ybe i n gpe r s on al ar t i s t i c e x pr e s s i on sof i n di v i du al ar c h i t e c t s . Me t abol i s mwasar e s pon s et ot h e c at as t r oph i cbombi n gi nJ apan , wh i c hl e f t t h er e gi onv u l n e r abl e . Ar c h i t e c t u r es awat r an s f or mat i onof J apan ’ sf u t u r e–pol i t i c al l y , s oc i al l y , ph y s i c al l y –t h r ou ght h eu s ean d e x pe r i e n c eof s pac e .

L ook i n gat t h eme t abol i s t mov e me n t , wec anadmi r ei t s goal san di n t e n t i on s . I t v e e r sawayf r omt h ef oc u sof s t y l eorbe i n gc l as s i fi e dasas t y l e , wh i c hweof t e nt al k abou t i nar c h i t e c t u r al h i s t or y , an di n s t e adi t t r u l ys h ows ar c h i t e c t u r e ’ sge n u i n eambi t i on sasame di u mof s oc i al c h an ge . Wear ewi t n e s s e st oi t spowe rt ol i t e r al l yan d fi gu r at i v e l yc h an get h el an ds c apeof s oc i e t yt h r ou ght h e me di u mof s pac e .

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Me t abol i s t s t r u c t u r e sar ean c h or e di nt h ei de aof r e s i l i e n c e . T h egoal i st oc r e at eas y s t e mt h at adapt swe l l t o c h an ge , an dt h i si sac h i e v e dt h r ou ghar e or gan i z at i onof u r bans pac ei n t oon ebi gor gan i s mwh i c hh e l d s mal l e rn ook sorf u n c t i on al u n i t sof v ar y i n gl i f ec y c l e s . Byr e or gan i z i n gt h es y s t e mat i cs pac ei nwh i c hwer e s i de , weaf f e c t t h epol i t i c al an ds oc i al l an ds c apeof t h er e gi onaswe l l . T h ebe au t yof t h eme t abol i s t mov e me n t i st h at i t r e c ogn i z e st h ec i t yasl i v i n g, br e at h i n g, an de n dl e s s l y e ph e me r al . T h ec i t ypu l s e swi t hl i f e . T h i si smos t e v i de n t i nt h es mal l e r , i n t i mat es pac e swi t h i ni t , wh i c har e oc c u pi e dbyc i t i z e n san ds pe c t at or sl i v i n gi n di v i du al l i v e sbu t al s oc on v e r gi n gwi t h i nt h ec i t y . I nt h es ame man n e r , modu l arc aps u l e si n , f ore x ampl e , ame t abol i s t s t y l eapar t me n t bu i l di n g, e n abl epe r s on al e x pr e s s i on s an dt ai l or i n gt oe ac hpe r s on ’ ss pe c i fi c at i on s , wh i l es t i l l be i n gs e t i nas y s t e mi z e dor gan i z at i onof s pac e .

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ARCHI TECTUREMOVES WI TH TECHNOLOGY. Wi t ht h eadv e n t of t e c h n ol ogy , wear e i n c r e as i n gl yi n t e r e s t e di nu s i n gt h eh ou s easan i n s t r u me n t f ordi s pl ay i n gt h ebe s t e n gi n e e r i n g t e c h n i qu e sav ai l abl ei nou rt i me . Wef e e l we mu s t t ak eadv an t ageof t e c h n ol ogyan dmak e ou rdwe l l i n gss t r u c t u r al l yc on t e mpor ar y . T h i st h e n t ak e si n t oc on s i de r at i ont h et e c h n ol ogyof mobi l i t y , of be i n gmobi l e .

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Bu c k mi n s t e rF u l l e r ’ sc on c e pt of t h e ‘ t r an s por t abl es t an dar dof -l i v i n gpac k age ’ i n du l ge st h i si de abypr e s e n t i n gt h ec on c e pt of ah ou s easar e du c t i ont ot h eme c h an i c al wor k i n gst h at i t e n c l os e s , an di ns odoi n gi t c l ai mst obe t t e rs u ppor t t h en e e dsof t h e pe opl ebyge t t i n gr i dof wh at i sn ot n e c e s s ar y . F u l l e r ’ ss t an dar dof l i v i n gpac k age addr e s s e sani mpor t an t i s s u et h at f ac e s ar c h i t e c t st oday : s u s t ai n abi l i t y . Hi spr opos al of t h i sbu bbl eh ou s et ak e st h epos s i bi l i t i e sof t e c h n ol ogyan dal l owsi t t omak et h e de c i s i on si nt h ec on s t r u c t i onof t h es t r u c t u r e . Hee s s e n t i al l yde v e l ope dt h i swayof l i v i n g t h at u s e dt h ef e we s t pos s i bl er e s ou r c e s .

I t i sc e r t ai n l yas i gn i fi c an t mat t e rt oc on s i de rt oday . Howe v e r , t h i si de aof amas s pr odu c e ds t r u c t u r ebr i n gs i n t oqu e s t i ont h er ol et h at ar c h i t e c t u r eh asc on s i s t e n t l y t ak e ni ns oc i e t y , wh i c hi st ode s i gnwi t hc on s i de r at i ont o c on t e x t an dt h eph y s i c al e n v i r on me n t . I f y ouh av et h i s on emode l s t r u c t u r epr e s e n t i ndi f f e r e n t ar e as –i magi n e , i nal l ar e as –i si t r e al l yt ak i n gt h es u r r ou n di n g e n v i r on me n t i n t oc on s i de r at i on ?AsHas s anF at h ys t at e s , t h ear c h i t e c t “ h asr e s pon s i bi l i t i e san ddoe sv i ol e n c et o t h ee n v i r on me n t bybu i l di n gwi t h ou t r e f e r e n c et oi t ” wh i c hi sa“ c r i meagai n s t ar c h i t e c t u r ean dc i v i l i z at i on . ” Wi t hr e f e r e n c et owh at r ol e ar c h i t e c t u r es h ou l ds t r i v et ot ak e , we mi gh t as ki f ar c h i t e c t ss h ou l dat t e mpt t os ol e l yc r e at ewi t ht e c h n ol ogy . I t wou l dbei n t e r e s t i n gt os e eh owt h e pr i or i t i z at i onof t e c h n ol ogyt oc r e at e s pac e swou l dc h an get h el an ds c ape of t h epr of e s s i onof ar c h i t e c t u r ean d, c on s e qu e n t l y , t h er ol eof ar c h i t e c t sof t odayan dof t h ef u t u r e .


I nt h ede c on s t r u c t i v i s t mov e me n t , wes e ear c h i t e c t u r ebol dl yqu e s t i oni t s ownl an gu aget h at i st os ay , t h ege ome t r i e s , t h en ot at i on s , an d pr e c on c e i v e dor de rof s t r u c t u r al e l e me n t s . De c on s t r u c t i v i s t ar c h i t e c t u r ei s c ommon l ymi s u n de r s t oodt obeade mol i t i onof pu r ef or m, ar an dom ar r an ge me n t of s t r u c t u r al e l e me n t st os i mpl y , pu r pos e l yde v i at ef r om or de r . Y e t byt h ev e r yn at u r eof wh at i t ac h i e v e s , on ec ans e et h at de c on s t r u c t i v i s t ar c h i t e c t u r er e qu i r e sat h or ou ghk n owl e dgeof t r adi t i on , of c l as s i c al f or ms , an dof t h ewe l l k n ownc ompos i t i on al r u l e s . On l yby h av i n gac l e argr as pof t h e s eas pe c t sc anon ebe gi nt oqu e s t i ont h e m. De c on s t r u c t i v i s t doe sn ot ai mt ode s t r oyf or m, bu t r at h e rt odi s r u pt i t by c h al l e n get h epr e v ai l i n gn ot i on sof h ar mon yan ds t abi l i t y ; i t s e e k st ode fi n e an ddi s c ov e rmor ede e pl yt h en at u r eof t h efi e l dof ar c h i t e c t u r eby i n t e r r ogat i n gi t sl on ge s t abl i s h e dr u l e s .

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ARCHI TECTUREQUES TI ONS I TSOWN RULES.

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AsT s c h u mi wr i t e s , “ Ar c h i t e c t u r ewi l l s av ei t s pe c u l i arn at u r e , bu t on l ywh e r e v e ri t qu e s t i on si t s e l f , wh e r e v e ri t de n i e sordi s r u pt s t h ef or mt h at ac on s e r v at i v es oc i e t ye x pe c t sof i t . ”Be c au s ef or mal pu r i t yi sas s oc i at e dwi t h f u n c t i on al e f fi c i e n c y , de c on s t r u c t i v i s t wor k s c anbes e e nase x c e s s i v e , e v e nu s e l e s s . Bu t “ i f ar c h i t e c t u r ei su s e l e s s , t h i sv e r yu s e l e s s n e s s wi l l me ans t r e n gt hi nan ys oc i e t ywh e r epr ofi t i spr e v al e n t ”( T s c h u mi ) . I nawor l dc on c e r n e d, pe r h apsobs e s s e d, wi t hobv i ou sgai n san d l ogi c al r e as on i n g–t h i sf u n c t i on sf ort h at r e as on , t h i se l e me n t wi l l gi v ey out h at r e s u l t –de c on s t r u c t i v i s t ar c h i t e c t u r er e f u s e st o s u c c u mb. Ul t i mat e l y , i t i sbyqu e s t i on i n gt h e e s t abl i s h e dbou n dar i e st h at t h e yar e i n e v i t abl ypu s h e d. P e r f e c t i oni ss e c r e t l y mon s t r ou si nt h at s t r u c t u r e swi t hs e e mi n gl y pe r f e c t an dr e s ol v e df or msh ar borc h aot i c pot e n t i al sal l al on g, r e be l l i ou st ot h e e s t abl i s h e ds y s t e m.


Byl ook i n gat t h e s ek e yc on c e pt s of t h emode r nmov e me n t , wec an s e et h ee v e re l u s i v e , c on t i n u al l y e v ol v i n gf ac e t sof ar c h i t e c t u r e . E v e nwi t h i nt h es amemov e me n t , di f f e r e n t s t y l e spoi n t t odi f f e r e n t pr i or i t i e san di de al sh e l dby ar c h i t e c t u r eat t h et i me . Mode r n i z at i oni squ i t eadmi r abl e , asi t ar i s e sou t of apr oc e s sof i n s t r os pe c t i on , of s e l f r e  e c t i on an dt h i si samaj or r e as onwh yf u n c t i onmov e st ot h e f or e f r on t of t h edi s c u s s i on aswe l l asane v al u at i onof t h ec u l t u r al an ds oc i al c on di t i on ss u r r ou n di n g t h emov e me n t .

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Profile for Mikee Naval

Modernity Atlas  

Modernity Atlas  

Profile for mnaval
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