Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Why I Love Bernard Tschumi

Here are some quotes from Architecture and Disjunction.


Architecture is never autonomous, never pure form, and similarly, architecture is not a matter of style and cannot be reduced to a language.

An architectural space per se (space before its use) was politically neutral: an asymmetrical space, for example, was no more or less revolutionary or progressive than a symmetrical one. 'The [1968] Guerrilla building was architecturally just a shelter, a barrack on a building site, but it was called "The House of the People" and thus referred to meanings of freedom, equality, power, and so on. The space in itself was neutral.'

Just as graffiti or a pornographic image bears an obscenity that the real thing ignores, the architectural drawing can support specific meanings that everyday experience of the actual building prevents.

Duchamp's urinal, after all, is now a revered museum artifact; revolutionary slogans of 1968 Paris walls gave new life to the rhetoric of commercial advertising. ... Someone's critical proof using absurdist gestures could always become someone else's sincere proposal.

Architecture and its spaces do not change society, but through architecture and understanding of its effect we can accelerate [or slow] processes of change under way.

The internal contradictions of architecture had been there all along; they were part of its very nature: architecture was about two mutually exclusive terms - space and its use or, in a more theoretical sense, the concept of space and the experience of space.


And here are two pictures of his superb Rouen Concert Hall.

I love the simple beauty of the exterior.

When building a theatre/concert hall, the question should be asked, When was theatre at its best? Greek times, then Shakespeare and Moliere. So this building features these beautiful, terraced, concrete benches. But those attending a show need some back support these days, so he put some clear plastic seats in - clear so as to not disrupt the lines of the terraces. This is ingenious. Though the chairs don't stun, they're meant not to.

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