Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby gunter » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:31 am

OK, what is the right term for this kind of stuff, if it's not 'Shape-ism'?

Jenks seems to be using the term 'Fractal Architecture', but that's too mathematical a term for expressionist stuff like this. You can't tell me this stuff doesn't start off with an old fashioned Biro sketch on the back of an envelope. They only get out the fractal geometry programmes later on, to make it work.

There have been mundane examples, as well as 'Art' centres, from nearly the start, Gehry did a jumpy melted / moulded office block scheme in Dusseldorf in the ninties and that twisted 'Fred & Ginger' scheme in Prague?, but these examples of the genre don't enthral, or convince, the way the great one-off 'Shape-ist' Art Gallery / Museum / Opera House does. This is also where the absurdist accusation comes in.

Maybe we're back to a situation where there's one architectural expression for the public building and a different architectural expression for everything else. That's the way it always was, it's only in recent times that every kitchen extension felt the need to look like a miniature Civic Centre.
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby gunter » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:00 pm

and another thing,

from the 'President's Column' in the current RIAI journal (June):

'Many forces, not least an uncritical acceptance of a mutant strain of market economics and a questionable definition of value for money, conspire to place the profession as purveyors of a commodity'.

Probably true, but no mention that many in the profession seem more than happy to purvey their commodity and 'market economics' wouldn't be the only 'mutant strain' at large on the streets at the moment, what about mutant planning and 'Hulk' architecture?

On a positive note, less impenetrable than usual, a bit less jargon, and only 3 notwithstandings!
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby johnglas » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:51 pm

gunter: I know this is old hat now, but I'll try and give a view on the Baltic Barnacle (that's not a judgement!). I've been detained (and not by the gendarmerie) in Paris over the last short while and haven't had a chance to reply.
Uncharacteristically, I've got to sit on the fence on this one. The whole melange of Baltic redbrick, crow-stepped gables and green copper roofs gives me a hard-on (well, something has to), so anything interfering with the palette makes me uneasy. So, this new-build is a barnacle (if not a carbuncle) which may sit uneasily in its setting. But we have no idea of scale and its real impact on the wider townscape. Equally, it may be at the end of a quay or pier, and may be affected by water reflection and,indeed, may look very different at night.
It's greyness worries me; the Baltic can be very grey and gloomy (a bit like its inhabitants) and the steel cladding may look very dull in a few years. Shape-ism is not my thing, but it can work every once in a while.
I'd need to see this, which sounds like a good excuse for a trip to Stralsund; Luebeck is as near as I've ever got - though it would be interesting to compare Luebeck (badly bombed but in what was prosperous West Germany), Stralsund (East Germany) and Szczecin (ex-Stettin, now in Poland).
There, I can't make up my mind, but that's the seductive effect of Paris I suppose.
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby gunter » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:11 pm

johnglas: Sorry to here about your malfunctions. I think Lubeck may have escaped the worst of the bombing, either that or they've done an amazing job putting it back together. There's another little Hanseatic gem between Lubeck and Stralsund called Wismar you might be interested in. You have to change trains in some authentic DDR railway siding, but that's a small price to pay.

Your instinct was right about the Deutsches Meeresmuseum in Stralsund, it is on a detached 19th century section of harbour joined by bridges to the old city. I should have taken more shots of the context, I was a bit mesmerized by the steel details.

On the topic of 'Shape-ist', or 'Absurd-ist' architecture, what do you make of the point that it has staked a persuasive claim in the context of the 'special' public building, but once you depart from that very limited category, it just doesn't have a credible role to play, or am I displaying a limited mind-set?
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby johnglas » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:59 am

gunter: perish the thought - you limited?!
Given my dirigiste tendencies, I am wary about the loss of the straight line and the perpendicular, but I have to say that I loved the Bilbao Guggenheim, with two reservations: (1) it's a one-off and (2) it's totally useless as an art gallery - the building, marvellous as it is, overwhelms the exhibits. It also depends on context and it is 'accommodated' within the topography of the city. I've seen the Gehry building at Duesseldorf and, although I liked its quirkiness, I thought it was in danger of becoming 'nursery architecture' (as in kindergarten). So, I'm not even convinced that 'Shape-ism' is acceptable for public buildings (I think we need to get away from the pc fear of the monumental and rediscover public buildings as both serious and not ordinary). I don't want a primary school looking like the Palais de Justice (Justitie Palais) in Brussels*, but nor do I want it to look like a misshapen shoe box crouching into the landscape. (In Paris, schools and public offices merge into the general streetscape, but remain instantly identifiable.)
About whether shape-ism should appear in the private realm, I'm much more relaxed; it's a matter for architect and client, but trends in house-extensions for example seem to demand a rigid orthography. The odd wobbly shape or even a gable (shock, horror) would be a relief. However, I don't think your mindset is limited, just a bit uneasy - like mine.
*see below; don't throw litter on the street in Brussels!
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby missarchi » Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:32 pm

gunter wrote: 'Hulk' architecture?

On a positive note, less impenetrable than usual, a bit less jargon, and only 3 notwithstandings!


I like his old style.. he is meeting the 6 wise men now : )
hulk architecture now thats a good one ;)
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby gunter » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:06 pm

Have a guess which is the latest town to try and get a slice of the 'Bilbao effect'?

That's right! . . . Kenmare

Image
from Thursday's Evening Herald

Any suggestions on what exhibits might make it into a ''Centre of Contemporary Irish Culture'' ?
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby spoil_sport » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:32 pm

Breakfast rolls....
It is a bit generic as a term, I also never quiet understood this thing about attracting "90,000 visitors a year", who are these "visitors"? It sounds like a communal fund that can be dipped into, or like a currency:
that will be 497 visitors please.
here's 500, keep the change.
thank you come again....

Who estimates these things? But putting aside questions of content for a minuit, I think from these images, it seems to make a reasonably elegant form in the landscape, at least in the first image, the second is far less convincing. It seems to be just on the right side of contrast with its setting, although, given that the severe angles and straight lines and cuts establish this strong contrast, perhaps it could be tempered by the material selection, something more earthy, as opposed to shiny, sheet metal suggested by these images, corrugated iron even?
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby missarchi » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:39 pm

It's very sin city, we all know the major targets and the potential
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby ctesiphon » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:47 am

gunter wrote:Any suggestions on what exhibits might make it into a ''Centre of Contemporary Irish Culture'' ?


"...and 138 car parking spaces."
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby parka » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:15 pm

NMcL can be a bit hit and miss with his schemes.
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby missarchi » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:25 am

I would like to know is there a

"Line on the Horizon" or "No line"

in other words is the emperor wearing clothes...

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0220/1224241487052.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aosd%C3%A1na
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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby missarchi » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:58 pm

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Re: Architecture Of The Absurd : How Genius Disfigured a Practical Art

Postby missarchi » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:41 am

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