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I think it is a compliment that our very best architects make people seem stupid.
— Mark Wigley introducing Jacques Herzog at Columbia GSAPP
It's telling that fine art was such an inspiration to these architects. It seems that the merging of architecture with art in the early modernist era still holds sway. The abstraction and conceptualization of art in the early part of the 20th century seems to be holding firm where the intention of the artist/architect takes precident over the end user.
In referring to the four inserted 'anchor' spaces of the Espacio Goya project, new spaces which replicate other (original) spaces throughout Spain that contain in situ murals painted by Goya, Herzog more than once used the word 'reconstituted.' To reconstitute means "to build up again by putting back together the original parts of elements." Since the original spaces are still entact, the proposed 'anchor' spaces of the Espacio Goya design are not a reconstitution. The correct word to describe the four 'anchor' spaces of the Espacio Goya is reenactment, as in, the four original spaces that contain Goya murals are enacted again at the Espacio Goya.
In separate contexts and almost just in passing, Herzog described both Stirling and Rossi as having "lost their [architectural designing] way" [as their careers matured]. This caught my attention because it is exactly the "lost ways" of Stirling and Rossi that have interested me the most over the last 30 years. Sixty years ago, many critics thought Le Corbusier 'lost his way' with Ronchamp, yet it is exacly the late (unexecuted) work of Le Corbusier that is now often a paradigm for current architectural works (including some works by Herzog and de Meuron).
Right now I'm wondering what projects will (or already do) indicated Herzog and de Meuron having lost their way. Perhaps Actelion Business Center is a leading indicator, or maybe it's the purposefully mis-described 'anchor' rooms of the Espacio Goya.
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