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Why are people so fascinated with classical architecture?

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Eke,

Then why not call them as such. Eg. Art Deco, a modern movement,  can remain as such and we can pay attention to the factors specific to a milieu. If "beauty" is a constant it would behoove us to understand the differences in order to identify the consistencies.

Jul 3, 15 12:49 pm  · 
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TIQM

Marc, I'm not sure what you are getting at.  Can you restate?

Jul 3, 15 1:04 pm  · 
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Volunteer

Nothing looks as old as yesterday's vision of the future. Look at Brutalism - gone, and people are standing in line for the privilage of blowing up the remaining examples. Post-modernism - gone. Deconstruction - gone. Parametricism - going fast, the ancient chief proponent will likely outlast his drafty, leaky, unfunctional, loathed structures. Yet the classics remain, beloved by a literate, educated, and well-travelled public as well as many highly-educated architects for their grace and proportion.

Jul 3, 15 1:14 pm  · 
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TIQM

Quondam-  

What you've proven is that you are able to go back and grab all sorts of old posts, and repost them.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what your point is.  Maybe if you come out and succinctly state it, then I could respond and we could have a real dialogue.  I'm interested in that if you are.

Jul 3, 15 1:31 pm  · 
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Good_Knight

methinks EKE isn't going to fall for the old tired ad hominem nonsense.  Its a horrible waste of time and energy which are in short supply given entropy.

The Classical Ideal is the antidote for entropy actually.

Jul 3, 15 1:50 pm  · 
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tintt

an example of "an antidote for entropy".

edit: picture won't post, nevahmind. It was a pic of mousilini's square coliseum. 

Jul 3, 15 2:09 pm  · 
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Apologies Eke. I've exploring the beauty of acid, sugar and protein prepared with smoke. 

What I am getting at is that if beauty is hardwired, would it not be beneficial to look across cultures to examine what and why it is beautiful and I order to discover its origins, rather than ascribing a specifc term from a specific place and time to all of it.

"You wake up white, and you think about certain things every day. You wake up black, and you think about certain things. You wake up Chinese, and you think certain things - but those things aren't major. What's major is that you are good at your craft."

So why can't we look at the good, look at the when's and where's to have better understanding of beauty. I just don't buy the claim that classical= beauty/truth.

Jul 3, 15 8:18 pm  · 
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classical has certain traits in general in common regarding general proportions. Our natural sense of beauty comes straight out of nature in itself.

Jul 3, 15 9:45 pm  · 
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TIQM

Marc-

I agree with everything you have written in your last post.  I've said many times that I an a both/and rather than an either/or guy.  I believe that beauty and truth exist as things "out there", independent of us.  We can use art and architecture as one way to access them.  Classicism is one well established, very efficient method for achieving this.  There are many others.  

Jul 4, 15 11:39 am  · 
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borowiecki

I think because of its integrity, wholeness. And shapes which while time is passing are more and more distinguished. There's a bit of nostalgy when you stand before the calssic building like this one http://bn.org.pl/palace/history-of-the-palace

Nov 25, 16 10:06 am  · 
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accesskb

don't bitch until you can design something better ;)

Nov 25, 16 8:05 pm  · 
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Akni

1. We may not want to erase our history and the good things discovered in the past.


2. We can't deny our present and any technological advance achieved as well. 


So why don't we keep all the learnings from past and present and use it all depending on our objectives.


Why don't we quit using the wheel since it's such and old invention? Instead we are smart and learn from history. Why not to use the good things from the past and the good things from the present?

Nov 10, 17 10:26 pm  · 
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TIQM

traditions = the collective intelligence of mankind

Nov 12, 17 1:12 pm  · 
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x-jla

People are drawn to quality craftsmanship.  We have collectively accepted the idea that new stuff is poorly crafted.  While many new things are very fine crafted, that sentiment is true for the bulk of the architecture and objects we encounter in everyday life. Most Old things were built better than most new things.  Very simple.  

Nov 12, 17 1:53 pm  · 
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randomised

Most Old things were built better than most new things.  Very simple.  




Nope...only a few old things remain, the things that were built better...they got rid of the crappy things, or let time take care of that.

Nov 12, 17 4:03 pm  · 
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x-jla

That's very true. Should have said that the surviving old things are well built. Natural selection of sorts.

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TIQM

There are many, many cities where almost all of the old buildings survive, because they were built to last for hundreds of years, and because people value them.  Venice, Siena, Florence, etc.  

Nov 13, 17 1:34 am  · 
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randomised

Those are just a couple of cities with only a concentrated core of old museal buildings. The majority of cities have more recent buildings and the majority of people live in more recent buildings too. I lived in a building that's probably older than the United States, it leaked just like any other Koolhaas.

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JLC-1

they were built to either worship a very angry god or to protect whatever the owner of the city wanted to protect, all other buildings were disposable. They lasted because the occupants have been the same (family, institution, congregation) for 700 years and were/are not as infatuated with "money" as the new world and its dwellers, because they had it all....btw, I wouldn't call any residential buildings in those cities "classical", more "vernacular".

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Volunteer

Highly-educated, sophisticated people pay a premium to live in the old, restored parts of cities like St. Augustine, Key West, Pensacola, New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston SC, Alexandria, Va., Georgetown, DC, Montreal, Quebec City, and dozens and dozens of other cities and towns. Nobody pays a premium or would chose to live or visit in a modern wasteland like Crystal City, VA.

Nov 13, 17 7:03 am  · 
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randomised

But those aren't classical buildings.

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randomised

Oh and one more thing...people also pay a premium to live in modern contemporary buildings designed by the Koolhaasen, Herzogs & de Meurons, Zahas or Franks etc. etc. in so-called modern wastelands.

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TIQM

"But those aren't classical buildings."

Classical architecture doesn't just mean buildings that look like Greek temples.  There is a spectrum from the vernacular ("low" classical) to the high classical.  The high classical is usually reserved for very important public or institutional buildings.  The others are regional vernacular buildings, which draw heavily from the language of classical architecture.  Their "deep structure" is classical.


Nov 13, 17 5:58 pm  · 
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randomised

In my opinion it's the other way around, it's the classical architecture that takes its cues from regional vernacular buildings and other Primitive Huts and turning those into a dogmatic style rather than embrace their Whatever Works attitude.

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TIQM

It's possibly true that the Greek Doric buildings were based on vernacular "primitive huts". I say "possibly", because the evidence for this is conjectural, and there is much disagreement about that origin myth.

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TIQM

It's possibly true that the Greek Doric buildings were based on vernacular "primitive huts". I say "possibly", because the evidence for this is conjectural, and there is much disagreement about that origin myth.

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TIQM

The language of classical architecture is certainly not "dogmatic", any more than English is dogmatic because there are rules on how to conjugate verbs. And good writers break those rules all the time, as do good classical architects.

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randomised

When the language of classical architecture is spoken today, totally out of context (it's 2017), it is very dogmatic, in my opinion, trying to recreate a past that never was. Classical architecture died together with their dead languages centuries ago.

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TIQM

Well, that's just not true. There's an unbroken line of work inspired by the classical language from ancient times to about WWII. And even after that, it was never really broken, It simply went underground after the academies abandoned it.

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randomised

You make it sound like architects using a classical design language went into hiding like they're Anne Frank.

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TIQM

:)

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AdrianFGA

curtkram:

01000011 01101100 01100001 01110011 01110011 01101001 01100011 01101001 01110011 01101101 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100100 01100101 01100001 01100100 

Or

436c617373696369736d2069732064656164

basesixteen is a language perhaps slightly less spoken in architectural circles, baseten is probably more user-friendly:

5 873 403 187 625 954 575 704 903 077 621 875 763 143 012

or

5 tredecillion 873 duodecillion 403 undecillion 187 decillion 625 nonillion 954 octillion 575 septillion 704 sextillion 903 quintillion 77 quadrillion 621 trillion 875 billion 763 million 143 thousand 12




Nov 14, 17 9:32 am  · 
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cipyboy

also, classical buildings provided more substance and depth (and construction time) that are simply too impractical to attain these days. were in the period where things are assembled and prefabricated. 

Nov 14, 17 11:31 am  · 
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TIQM

In the realm of high-end institutional and custom residential work, that's not really true. On those projects, the budgets are large enough, and the will to create beautiful things is high enough.

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TIQM

But the truth is you don't need huge budgets to create buildings inspired by the classical tradition.

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cipyboy

high end is a special niche. B

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cipyboy

budget and buildability isn't the issue. The thread asks us why were still fascinated w architecture. I'd like to say the reason being is that modern architecture changes frequently that it lacked the same substance and depth.

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randomised

There's nothing beautiful about e.g. using ionic or doric columns these days, if anything it cheapens the original classic masterpieces.

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TIQM

If they were beautiful then, why are they not beautiful now? If they were beautiful in Greece in 400 BC, are you saying they weren't beautiful when used by Palladio or Michelangelo in the 16th Century? Or McKim, Mead and White in the 19th?

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randomised

Are silicone breasts beautiful? They might look like the real deal, belonging to some glorious past and even cause initial arousal but one squeeze and the mirage is in shambles.

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TIQM

You are making a category error. Silicone breasts are never the real deal, because they are not human breasts. The classical orders are an architectural ordering system, a language. They are real for any architect who uses them, whether it's the ancient Greeks, Palladio, Stanford White or you and I. It's like saying I can't use integral calculus because Isaac Newton died in the 18th century.

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randomised

Well, those silicone breasts are supposed to look real but aren't. Just like those classical ordering systems, when applied nowadays, are used to make something look like its really from a bygone classical era while it obviously isn't. You can use it nowadays but it will always feel fake and artificial (to me)...it is like lip syncing like Milli Vanilli or hanging a digital print of Van Gogh on the wall and admiring the brush strokes or the way light hits the 'painting' on the wall. You can admire Mondriaan, copy his paintings, try painting new ones that should look like a Mondriaan or pretend you are Mondriaan himself when you paint, it's never going to be a Mondriaan though. That's my 'problem' with current classically inspired architecture. I believe architecture should reflect the society, conditions and technology of the time of its conception, otherwise it's just sculpture or set design at best, in my obviously biased and inarticulately typed up opinion.

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TIQM

When Michelangelo used the classical orders, was his work beautiful?  How could it be, when he was using a design language laid out 2000 years before he was alive?

Nov 16, 17 9:14 am  · 
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randomised

I don't think Michelangelo's work is that beautiful, it is sublime. The thing with his chosen design language is, that it in a way was fresh and new and perhaps even modern because Vitruvius' writings were only then distributed widely and 'discovered'. To be still using that same design language today is like ignoring everything around us, our society, our era, our advancements, like a kind of Amish doctrine. I just don't get that, but maybe it's just me.

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The non architects (clients and users) like what classical and traditional architecture signals in the culture these buildings are being built in today. The style is a visual language and is one that most people are comfortable with and may even understand.  For example the prominence of the main entry, symmetry horizontal ordering of a base shaft and cap. When the building before someone has the visual language that reads "house" or "bank" or collage campus then people are comfortable with the architecture and can interact with it with some level of understanding. When architecture redefines the visual language and the people misread the architecture they tend to not like it on a visceral level. Not everyone want's to live in a house that is anything more than a house or bank in a bank that is something more daring than a bank. 

But modernism of the 50-60s has captured the narrative in a few building typologies. One example gas stations, people don't buy into a colonial revival gas station, those have a distinctly non classical visual language and any attempt to deviate is not always looked at favorably by the public. 

People other than architects commission buildings. Sometimes people want what is familiar and signals what the client intends to communicate to the public.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Nov 16, 17 10:06 am  · 
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randomised

Love those Classical banks, like your money is kept safe there since Alexander the Great. Especially that one archetypical bank on the Acropolis is my favourite. The one with the cocaine sniffing suits as columns.

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cipyboy

simple answer to the thread question:

we love classical architecture like the way we love any type antiquity. period. now, whether you have something against the contemporary or anything pseudo or faux-classical is another subject. 

Nov 16, 17 4:27 pm  · 
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