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张在新

John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Modernist and Postmodern Architecture  

2009-05-26 22:03:21|  分类: 空间 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Sources:

http://architecture.about.com/od/20thcenturytrends/ig/Modern-Architecture

http://architecture.about.com/od/greatbuildings/ig/Modern-and-Postmodern-Houses/Glass-House.htm

http://www.idehist.uu.se/distans/ilmh/pm/moore-piazzaditalia.htm

References:

Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity.

Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism; or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.

Morgan, Diane. “Postmodernism and Architecture.” Ed. Stuart Sim. The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism. London: Routledge, 2001. 78-87.

Venturi, Robert. Learning from Las Vegas

[For pictures 1-7, see the “Modernist and Postmodern Architecture” folder in the photo album of my blog]

 

Modernist Architecture

 

Modernist architecture has these features:

-    Little or no ornamentation

-    Factory-made parts

-    Man-made materials such as metal and concrete

-    Emphasis on function

-    Rebellion against traditional styles

 

1.      Gropius House - Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA

Bauhaus is a German expression meaning house for building. In 1919, the economy in Germany was collapsing after a crushing war. Architect Walter Gropius was appointed to head a new institution that would help rebuild the country and form a new social order. Called the Bauhaus, the Institution called for a new "rational" social housing for the workers. Bauhaus architects rejected "bourgeois" details such as cornices, eaves, and decorative details. They wanted to use principles of Classical architecture in their most pure form: without ornamentation of any kind.

Bauhaus buildings have flat roofs, smooth facades, and cubic shapes. Colors are white, gray, beige, or black. Floor plans are open and furniture is functional.

 

2. United Nations Headquarters - New York, New York, USA

International Style is a term often used to describe Bauhaus architecture in the United States. The name came from the book The International Style by historian and critic Henry-Russell Hitchcock and architect Philip Johnson. The book was published in 1932 in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The term is again used in a later book, International Architecture, by Walter Gropius.

While German Bauhaus architecture had been concerned with the social aspects of design, America's International Style became a symbolism of Capitalism: The International Style is the favored architecture for office buildings, and is also found in upscale homes built for the rich.

One of the most famous examples of the International Style is the United Nations Secretariat building, designed by the Bauhaus architect Le Corbusier. The smooth glass-sided slab dominates New York's skyline along the East River. The United Nations Secretariat building was completed in 1952.

 

3. Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut, USA

When people come into my house, I say "Just shut up and look around." – Philip Johnson

The glass house designed by Philip Johnson has been called one of the world's most beautiful and yet least functional homes. Johnson did not envision it as a place to live so much as a stage... and a statement. The house is often cited as a model example of the International Style.

The basic concept for Johnson's glass house was borrowed from Mies van der Rohe, who was designing the glass-and-steel Farnsworth House during the same period. Unlike the Farnsworth House, however, Philip Johnson's home is symmetrical and sits solidly on the ground. The quarter-inch thick glass walls are supported by black steel pillars. The interior space is divided by low walnut cabinets and a brick cylinder that contains the bathroom. The cylinder and the brick floors are a polished purple hue.

Philip Johnson used his house as a "viewing platform" to look out at the landscape. He often used the term "Glass House" to describe the entire 47-acre site. In addition to the Glass House, the site has ten buildings designed by Johnson at different periods of his career. Three other older structures were renovated by Philip Johnson and David Whitney, a renowned art collector, museum curator, and Johnson's long-time partner.

 

4. The Centre Pompidou - Paris, France (borderline modernist and postmodernist)

High-tech buildings are often called machine-like. Steel, aluminium, and glass combine with brightly colored braces, girders, and beams. Many of the building parts are prefabricated in a factory and assembled later. The support beams, duct work, and other functional elements are placed on the exterior of the building, where they become the focus of attention. The interior spaces are open and adaptable for many uses.

The High-tech Centre Pompidou in Paris appears to be turned inside out, revealing its inner workings on the exterior facade.

 

Postmodern Architecture

 

5. Piazza d’Italia - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Communicating with the setting: [...] this piazza is set in a mixed area of New Orleans. To one side is a Modern skyscraper, the black and white graphics of which have been taken up as a motif to generate a graduating series of rings.

Many audiences: For historians there are references to the Marine Theatre of Hadrian and the triumphal gateways of Schinkel; for the Scilians there are references to archetypical piazzas and fountains; for the Modernists there is an acknowledgement of skyscrapers and the use of current technologies (the neon and concrete); for the lover of pure architectural form there are cutaway imposts finished in speckled marble and a most sensuous use of polished stainless steel.

A convincing example of Radical Eclecticism: [Conceptually Piazza d'Italia] is a convincing example of Radical Eclecticism: it fits into and extends the urban context, it characterises the various functions, symbolic and practical, with various styles, and it takes its cues for content and form from the local taste-culture, the Italian community. Moreover it provides this community with a centre, a "heart", to repeat the Post-Modern catchword. While engaging a mass-culture with recognised stereotypes, it manages to use them both straightforwardly and in an inventive, distorted way. Finally, and on a predictive note, it foreshadows an architecture like the Baroque, when different arts were combined together to produce a rhetorical whole. Clearly the success of this rhetoric depends on an area outside of architecture: the belief in a credible social or metaphysical content.

                                                               – Charles Jencks, Postmodern Architecture, p. 146.

"Within the context of a new block of buildings covering a substantial area and featuring relatively regular, smooth, and angular windows, Moore has inserted a large circular piazza that represents a kind of negative form and is therefore all the more surprising when one enters through the barrier of the surrounding architecture. A small temple stands at the entrance and heralds the historical formal language of the piazza, which is framed by fragmented colonnades” (Harvey 94).

 “It conceives of history as a continuum of portable accessories, reflecting the way the Italians themselves have been ‘transplanted’ to the New World. It presents a nostalgic picture of Italy’s renaissance and baroque palaces and its piazzas, but at the same time there is a sense of dislocation. After all, this is not realism, but a façade, a stage set, a fragment inserted into a new and modern context. The Piazza d’Italia is a piece of architecture as well as a piece of theater… This piazza must count as one of the most important and striking examples of post-modernist building in the world” (Harvey 95-6).

 “The example of spectacle suggests certain dimensions of social meaning, and Moore’s Piazza d’Italia is hardly innocent in what it sets out to say and how it says it. We there see the penchant for fragmentation, the eclecticism of styles, the peculiar treatments of space and time (‘history as a continuum of portable accessories’)…. The theatricality of effect, the striving for jouissance and schizophrenic effect (in Jencks’s sense) are all consciously present. Above all, postmodern architecture and urban design of this sort convey a sense of some search for a fantasy world, the illusory ‘high’ that takes us beyond current realities into pure imagination” (Harvey 97).

 

6. The Seattle Public Library - Seattle, Washington, USA

Deconstructivism, or Deconstruction, is an approach to building design that attempts to view architecture in bits and pieces. The basic elements of architecture are dismantled. Deconstructivist buildings may seem to have no visual logic. They may appear to be made up of unrelated, disharmonious abstract forms. Deconstructive ideas are borrowed from the French philosopher Jacques Derrida.

 "… the eclecticism and pop imagery that lie at the heart of the line of thinking that Moore represents have come in for strong criticism, precisely because of their lack of theoretical rigour and their populist conceptions. The strongest line of argument now comes from what is called ‘deconstructivism.’ In part of a reaction against the way that much of the postmodern movement had entered into the mainstream and generated a popularized architecture that is lush and indulgent, deconstructivism seeks to regain the high ground of elite and avant-garde architectural practice by active deconstruction of the modernism of the Russian constructivists of the 1930s. The movement in part acquires its interest because of its deliberate attempt to fuse the deconstructionist thinking from literary theory with postmodernist architectural practices that often seem to have developed according to a logic all their own. It shares with modernism a concern to explore pure form and space, but does so in such a way as to conceive of a building not as a unified whole but as ‘disparate “text” and parts that remain distinct and unaligned, without achieving a sense of unity,’ and which are, therefore, susceptible to ‘several asymmetrical and irreconcilable’ readings. What deconstructivism has in common with much of postmodernism, however, is its attempt to mirror ‘an unruly world subject to carooming moral, political and economic system.’ But it does so in such a way as to be ‘disorienting, even confusing’ and so break down ‘our habitual ways of perceiving form and space.’ Fragmentation, chaos, disorder, even within seeming order, remain central themes (Godberger, 1988; Giovannini, 1988)” (Harvey 97-8).

 “Fiction, fragmentation, collage, and eclecticism, all suffused with a sense of ephemerality and chaos, are, perhaps, the themes that dominate in today’s practices of architecture and urban design. And there is, evidently, much in common here with practices and thinking in many other realms such as art, literature, social theory, psychology, and philosophy” (Harvey 98).

 

7. Las Vegas – Nevada, USA

Surfaces and images in Las Vegas.

See Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas.

Also see Morgan, “Postmodernism and Architecture”:

 "Mocking the rigid and minimalist purity of modernist architects such as Mies van de Rohe, who had proclaimed earlier on in the century ‘Less is more’ – Venturi’s response is ‘less is a bore’ – he celebrates the ‘messy vitality’ of places like Las Vegas. The casinos, diners, hotels and bars of Las Vegas are often mainly composed of enormous signs designed to catch the eye of touring motorists prowling the strip for somewhere to spend their money. As Venturi remarks in another of his books, Learning from Las Vegas, ‘The sign is more important than the architecture … The sign at the front is a vulgar extravaganza, the building at the back, a modest necessity.’ The signs are not just words but pictures, shapes and figures illustrating the enticing nature of the place” (86).

 

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