23 June


The latest iteration of Gerhy's new development for Toronto made me start thinking of John Hejduk's 'high-rise' designs from Adjusting Foundations (1995). Could the Hejduk designs portend 'subsequent steps' sometime in the future?


Was it Fred and Ginger (1992-96) that pushed Hejduk into a new direction to begin with?


inspirational mix:

Jun 23, 13 12:11 pm

I think original content scares people. I think it especially scares people that want to be original themselves. For example, originality in design makes other designers feel inadequate, although mimesis is guaranteed to follow. There is also the guarantee that some will immediately steal the original content and then quickly try to somehow pass it off as their own.

The notions of research vs. method and a theory/practice dichotomy sounds very similar to a thread that transpired here sometime within the last six months:
The debate was whether "the tools we use determines the way we think" OR "the way we think determines the way we use tools."
Don't miss a chance to sharpen your design skills by exploring, spelunking, a dangerous work of architecture on the verge of collapse...(and then went on to more or less specify the fate of the WTC as code compliant hazard).

There is a lot of structural and spatial and design innovation going on that makes 'signature buildings' more than only a commercial backdrop. Many 'signature buildings' actually make significant contributions to architectural history. Perhaps a more real issue it that the distinction between hype and history is completely ignored to the point where the hype is what becomes a much distorted history.
Going to Stotesbury Mansion (really named Whitemarsh Hall) in the early-mid 1970s was very much "exploring, spelunking, a dangerous work of architecture on the verge of collapse." Maybe my design skills got some sharpening there.
The world's tallest building record holders in order are:
Great Pyramid at Giza
tower of Beauvais Cathedral (collapsed)
Great Pyramid at Giza (again) or
possibly the second Pyramid at Giza
Washington Monument
Eiffel Tower
Chrysler Building
Empire State Building
World Trade Center Towers (collapsed)
Sears Tower
Petronis Towers

I espoused the latter, and I am struck by the similarity of the latter to what G. said: "What you think determines what you do and how you do it. In short, ideas really do matter." The point I wish to make now is that I have lately come to believe that BOTH of the above approaches are intertwined and perhaps even co-dependent, hence signifying a duality instead of a dichotomy.
...I only presented those "world's tallest building" record holders that made a significant 'leap' in height beyond a previous record holder. There is a distinct pattern of heights going from 500' to 1000' to 1500', and I (again) wonder if 2000' will ever be achieved.
As to design-talk, maybe there will always be two sides to ever story, or, more exactly, two opposite sides of roughly equal measure and a third slim marginal side that is circular and perpendicular to both of the others.

Here's a few images of Stotesbury very much the way I remember it--it was a sort of personal quest for me to at least get into every room of the place, thus many visits--only went into one of its three basements, however; rumor had it that the bottom two basements were flooded out. The art treasures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art were stored here during World War II.
So, within the 'star system' who then are the "stars" and what form-buildings got the press? As large as the realm of architecture is, it's still a finite set, so we can actually be specific rather that general. Gehry, Koolhaas, Eisenman, Hadid--are these at least on the list of 'who is a starchitect'?
How buildings get press is what should be much more studied. For example, having "Guggenheim" attached to any building design will get lots of press because the Guggenheim already has a whole staff department devoted to generating press, besides the fact that the major mission of the institution itself is to exhibit. Ironically, the "Virtual Guggenheim" by Asymptote was pretty much literally just press.
If starchitects are really just pseudo celebrities, is that then already a sign of just how relative starchitect status is?
Is "a style" really such a bad thing? I actually see a lot of diversity from architect to architect, and even with a specific architect's oeuvre there is often diversity at least via nuance, if not actually just plain diversity. I thus question the full validity of "same bag of (increasingly superficial) formal tricks."
One could also argue that there is now-a-days a whole lot more critical architectural criticism going on, but it all right away falls into various camps--New Urbanism, Bilbao effect, anti-starchitect, etc.(?)
Most people I know know absolute nothing about architectural style. I'd go so far as to say that even most architects don't know all that is really going on design-wise now-a-days.
"Lesser known architects follow the public's new tastes."--that sounds very subjective to me.
"Architecture" loses yet another battle." --Is an imaginary battle really a battle? Can an imaginary battle really be lost?
I'll leave it at that, but I think the second set of points of regarding Archigram and backlash casts much too large a net, with big holes. Somewhat insular itself even.
parting shot:
Architects can well design buildings, put I don't think they'll ever be able to design clients.

Jun 25, 15 3:39 pm

Within architecture, however, there are many topics to document: the Parkway project, the museum of architecture project, the architectural promenade, and just the documentation of each of the unbuilt buildings computer models.

Seroux -- museum of architecture
After looking through Seroux’s book, it would be beneficial and also possible to scan the plans and the elevations therein and then compose the data all at the same scale. The final document, so to speak, might be a part of Scale and Architecture.
I read some of Vidler’s The Writing of the Walls, the last chapter, and it is full of good information that reinforces the idea behind Scale and Architecture. The whole notion of a “museum” of architecture is exactly what's being done with the computer and CAD models. The historical background provided by Vidler brings the issue of “museum” to the fore, and the role of the computer in the whole process is heightened.

...the notion of a virtual museum of architecture... as a museum... ...both creator and curator... ...designing and organizing and managing a Museum of Architecture.

another museum of architecture reference
Another reference to the “virtual museum of architecture” came from reading some in Rossi’s The Architecture of the City. I am reading the chapters (headings) in reverse order and in the introduction to the 2nd Italian edition, Rossi makes reference to the Canaletto painting Capriccio.
From Rossi, p. 116:
“After I wrote this book and from the concepts I postulated in it, I outlined the hypothesis of the analogous city, in which I attempted to deal with theoretical questions concerning design in architecture. In particular I elaborated a compositional procedure that is based on certain fundamental artifacts in the urban reality around which other artifacts are constituted within the framework of an analogous system. To illustrate this concept I gave the example of Canaletto’s fantasy view of Venice, a capriccio in which Palladio’s project for the Ponti di Rialto, the Basilica of Vicenza, and the Palazzo Chiericate are set next to each other and described as if the painter were rendering an urban scene he had actually observed. These three Palladian monuments, none of which are actually in Venice (one is a project; the other two are in Vicenza), nevertheless constitute an analogous Venice formed of specific elements associated with the history of both architecture and the city. The geographic transposition of the monuments within the painting constitutes a city that we recognize, even though it is a place of purely architectural reference. This example enables me to demonstrate how a logical-formal operation could be translated into a design method and then into a hypothesis for a theory of architectural design in which the elements were preestablished and formally defined, but where the significance that sprung forth at the end of the operation was the authentic, unforeseen, and original meaning of the work.”
Immediately think of the Strasbourg, Dusseldorf, Hurva composite building created in 3-d model form --the composite is perhaps an analogous building. Furthermore, Rossi’s point provides fuel for future manipulation of the models, and Canaletto’s painting in particular provides inspiration and a grounding in terms of a “plan” for the “virtual museum” itself.
Overall, I see the analogous city concept working in tandem with the “virtual museum of architecture” idea, and, at this point I'm also interested in adding the collage city idea/methodology to the “museum” idea. I could say that there are three historical ideas at the foundation upon which to build the “virtual museum.”

Jun 23, 16 10:58 am

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