Charles Jencks Postmodern Classicism the new synthesis November 5 1980

see if they in a position I was totally stood I promise I shot it with a Polaroid in Medinah you were there with me yeah you just popped out and did it it's not bad and that's rather nice - then I make comments there what I'm trying to do is in every case something else [Music] that one's gonna count pity it's done because I'm sure that most of you are familiar I can show you this copy of Charles says the subject of your lecture today will be this very subject Thank You Roland I'm sorry about the moving forward the time of this lecture from 4:00 to 3:30 but I have one of these amazing tickets which Pan Am offers it's a round-the-world standby ticket and when I bought it in London I was meeting a plane at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning but they've changed it to 8:30 so I have to leave now I mean after this lecture literally I have to run to the airport in order to get back to standing by at various other hair so I have to really end promptly at about 4 4 4 35 I'm sorry for that and in doubly sorry in as much as I'll be presenting things which raise questions and it's always annoying to have a speaker say things that are somewhat polemical and then run out without you know facing the music as it were but well I'll be back in January if anyone wants to disagree privately what I'm going to be discussing today is postmodern classicism the new synthesis may and make an argument this is the first time since the 20s 1922 if one wants to market a date when Korb Mies Gropius others simultaneously came to the International style formulated as a consensus in 1927 by Mies van der Rohe who managed to get a lot of different designers even expression it's like honcho roon to toe that to toe the party line and produce the international style and that lasted I think that synthesis lasted for another three years at any rate before Corbusier went his way and and Mies went in another way and Gropius came to the United States one in the third way and the modern movement split up into different factions there was a period that is to say when from roughly 1922 to 1930 the heroic period or I suppose high modernism when there was a consensus among architects as to the proper style to practice proper form system language of architecture and of course that was disseminated to the schools and so even though that perhaps the leaders had agreed and and formulated a system of communication so on after they broke up nevertheless in the schools of architecture and profession at large and probably still in school modern architecture was taught so that you had a situation where modernism lasted as a at least in certain senses from 1930 to 1960 and it's again my argument that it started to break up around 1960 into its two major offshoots latent post-modernism and only recently maybe in the last year or even more briefly in the last six months has it crystallized into a style which is being practiced by 20 or 30 leading architects around the world in a semi-classical style not neoclassical not Renaissance classicism not any of the classical styles of the past except perhaps closest to freestyle classicism but something that really has to be called postmodern classism or well or freestyle nineteen 1980s classicism it's not as you'll see a typical classicism we have the lights off turn off the Sun please and mr. first two slides because I'll have to be so brief I'll just use slides as symbols unless they're important buildings and these are two symbols of problems of modernism Glasgow and London and Amish to look obj and tearing apart of the could someone focus these things that would save time to Glasgow which had a wonderful downtown area Georgian buildings Victorian buildings they were slums but they were nice city spaces and they were as architecture was very pleasing and urban and urbane then with the modern theories of Sam and so on the city in the park fragmented apart Glasgow and created slab blocks and point blocks and as you can see at the top really dispersed the population into modernist dwellings for a while it was a step up for a lot of people and they enjoyed it but then very soon thereafter as in so many other cases in this country the these areas became slums themselves and the crime rate went up and they were vandalized and not in Glasgow but in other British towns the slabs were in fact blown up so it doesn't only pruitt-igoe which I visit every year to plant plastic flowers on the grave of modernism but it's also in Britain and around the world that the same kind of experiences have happened and I think one should point to the to the the theory of modernism which led to these things rather than any particular group of architects or you know scapegoats I think it we we now realize that not only were these central historic areas which provided a certain kind of space in life destroyed but certain other things were created on the basis of the city in the park which became of course the city in the parking lot that's the reality or the parking lot in the city which were socially and it's and in many ways negative well just one principle of modernism separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic reduced to a semi purist style here in London designed over a 20 year period which was supposed to be low-cost housing but over that 20 year period and because of the expense of producing modern architecture it's turned into an upper middle-class ghetto really a bastion as you can see almost a fortress it's designed by some of the great modern architects in London Chamberlain pal and bomb and they won medals for it in the 50s when it was designed as a direct homage to look obj but now it's only people who are well the director of the National Theatre for instance lives in one of the penthouses and it's really is middle class and upper middle class housing but designed for the brave new world and for you know the egalitarian future but turning out to be expensive unfunctional and destructive of traditional urban fabric so symbols of the end of modernism and one could point to many you know the way in which functionally this building didn't work both in terms of its glare and its heat gain and so on and how its oppressed the designers in the basement and how very recently has turned into a ruin with all of these elements falling off it this is of course Mies van der Rohe zion.t crown Hall a building which which stanley tiger Minh collaged in 1978 to symbolize the end of modernism as the SS Titanic sinking into the sea drawn actually a collage in its purest State before IV had grown up with all the eye beams in it and the other parts of it had almost turned into a ruin it's Stanley of course was trained in the me Chien style and all the Chicagoans really told the the me scene party line up until really it was the center look rather if if Mies was the Pope than Chicago was the Vatican the modern movement in this country and it still is I mean the hardliners are still in Chicago so this was quite a shocking juxtaposition and yet and this is I think an important symbol although post modernists may see modernism sinking late modernists see it rising out of the water so you can read the symbol both ways and I won't go into late modernism but I want to really emphasize that it is a living language as post-modernism is and I believe any living language has a legitimacy to live on it I mean whether one likes the values or what's being symbolized particularly it's it is a very strong style today practiced not only in the Bois Bork Center the Pompidou Center in Paris but in this country by Richard Meier and lots of other architects who take early modernism is a language and make it very Barack or fragmented or tense and elastic and dynamic I mean look at how the language is really instead of being a simple Villa Savoye of Corbusier it's now a collision of many geometries skewed at five degrees and creating dissonance and suspensions and tensions and a kind of contrast and even complexity and contradiction if you like that Corbusier would and a modernist in it early modernist people they would have a higher death or other late modern attempts to humanize the language of modernism particularly that those of hermann hertz burger and all Deven I can Holland take the the boring box the bureaucratic large office building and fragmented in this case into many small little boxes or work islands which however are still designed in the purest aesthetic or nothing that's a purist but modernist language of concrete block and glass and steel infill and an abstract language so this is if you like lake modernism trying to get over some of the problems with modernism that is to say it's lack of identity its lack of personalization and it's just anonymity by by fragmenting it down by ending a bureaucracy by creating internal streets and designing functions in such a way that it approaches a say hill town but because the architect is still committed to an abstract language of form because he can't use conventional forms symbolic forms and a traditional language or mix it in with its forms as a postmodernist would he has nevertheless certain problems of communication for instance notably the entrance to this rabbit warren is very hard to find and the streets are very hard to navigate sue and it's hard to understand exactly what happens in different parts of the building on a functional level in other words it still is in a way modernist aesthetic of integration in a single style so in spite of the fact that hurts Berger talks about democracy and participation and getting over the problems of a modernist corporate design as instance inference is the CBS building or any number of it as you know any number of large buildings he's still because if others choice of this system it still faces some of the problems but I don't want to talk about any of that and I don't want to talk I just want to mention that late modernism is a valid living language and I want to concentrate on postmodern classicism the new synthesis the new consensus and just show you at the start very many different types of it occurring in different countries to underline the fact that the major architects 20 or 30 major architects in different countries who I mean how does one say major well major because they're some of the most creative architects sometimes major because there's some of the most noteworthy architects of course a difference and some and major because some of there's some of the best architects so their major for in different kinds of ways for instance sterling acknowledged he you know as one of the the great architects of the 60s and 70s is now producing this kind of building in Houston for Rice University School of Architecture and of course and I don't think and I think many people would argue that it's a great building in fact it's rather mediocre building but it's in the postmodern classical style in a semi Romanesque manner because the this the area of this campus is designed in that style and it's and more importantly even in the style and it's trying to be in keeping with that is the fact not shown by the section here that it is forming interesting urban spaces on a campus which has been fragmented a car into pieces by the notion of the city in the park or freestanding towers or slab blocks so if you look at the plan you can see that sterling is starting to think urbanistic Lee first and starting to think actually in almost traditional terms of forming piazzas you see part of one here with with its arcade and streets and squares he's trying to suggest to Houston and Rice that if they follow this policy that they'll begin to create a true urban situation and that I think is more important than the style or the or the particular handling form on another level entirely in in this country Stern Roberts Stern's entry to the Chicago Tribune Tower which I think he talked about here last year is is an obvious example of the overlap between his preoccupations and so many others in America I mean if one looks at this as postmodern classism an American variety which obviously relates to the work of Michael Graves and others then it should really be distinguished from what's happening in Japan and Europe which is much less colorful less which doesn't use ornament which is less explicit less vulgar and if you like has less monosodium glutamate in it but having said all that I think it's a better building in fact than a doleful osis original entry which it is a in some sense a modification I don't floss as you'll see later had a high base which was out of proportion to his column this one takes a traditional tripartite organization of the skyscraper fits the base into the existing fabric and then plays a rather interesting game with a Mesa in glass and steel aesthetic this is actually glass and steel building mimicking a masonry building so it's it's a rather that's what investigates it it's a double entendre it's a it's an architectural double meaning with taking Michelangelo's order from the far nazy palace and in these strong colors of what great what Stern thinks of as Republican colors not Republican Party but Republicans and Civic colors symbolizing like the Roman Empire the important Civic importance of this institution the Chicago Tribune which is of course the newspaper Chicago Tribune column which has newspaper columns and all of those puns are built also into the shape saying that he's basically saying that like the City Hall or like any public Monument it can have this this coloring this almost imperial coloring in any case is strong coloring vibrant coloring because of and symbolism because of its building task well in the Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill is building several cities now in prefabricated classical styles this one is near Versailles it's called ARCA Duloc the lot the lake is here the arcades are here he's taking again a an existing historic building types the u-shaped palace which is basically what Versailles is and since that's only six miles away it's you know a reference that it's meant to be communicated to the people who live here and he's using it in in another context of course it's in a context for medium to low cost housing so instead of saying using the factory image for a housing or saying how's the machine for living in or all of those metaphors of deprivation or metaphors of a mechanism which the modern movement applied to housing which did prove somewhat negative he's mapping it unto a palace and he's prefabricating for instance his plasters here four stories high swinging them and you know prefabricated in the ground swinging them into place between columns of Windows and underneath a attic course of concrete and a balustrade of prefabricated concrete while corner columns made out of Thailand as you'll see other prefabricated tiles occur in places which aren't possible such as the bathroom cores or stair cords and so forth so he's mapping then to analogy in a very interesting way present functions and constructional techniques on to past systems of meaning in order to overcome certain problems associations which people have with who don't like living council housing or mass housing or estates housing estates they just find it negative so you can see that that's one of the reasons another one and more again a more important one is that he's trying to pull back the traditional street the traditional Piazza the traditional parterre that is to say elements again that we're lost in modernist planning and as either lost through direct theory of Corbusier and cm and Gropius and all of them or through developers that is to say through just the natural system of you know development that occurs in all countries today and it's this rediscovery of those kind of fundamentals that on an urban level which underlies European postmodern classism much more than it does an underlies American another view of that archive Duloc and here very vividly you can see he travelling cranes swinging you know broken pediments into place I even see the kind of primitive astounding of the column with its a very primitive t-shaped capital a broken pediment there and then another mass housing by another architect named suriani another new town quite recently both feel has designed this thing at 18 stories he's building one now at 18 stories where his columns he's prefabricated columns at 12 stories so you can really see and main and the most incredibly lustrous chemically treated oxidized concrete so that it has a patina so you may say that that's crew and of course it isn't finished in the ochres and the colors that remind one of the classical idea of relating to nature are not there and certainly the classical finish is not there that you would expect at fair side and you'd expect in any classical architecture worthy of the the great tradition you can say that this is very crude on the other hand this is not only one one part of the modernist part of post-modernism it's intentionally made to look straight forward and in a kind of way dumb but it's part of the intention is to slowly understand how the stock can be prefabricated and and perfected so that there is if you like another dimension to the way it's evolving towards an interest in proportion and interest in beauty whereas most the examples you'll see kind of play with the console with ugliness well Thomas not playing with ugliness necessarily but certainly playing with modernism in interesting ways if this is clearly a a rusticated base with a with a cello over it a square box the two four six eight holes cut in it on the sides and a triangular top so in a sense we have a primitive Hut the one of the ultimate signs both of modernism and the classical tradition if one goes back to both the speculative origins of the first hot the first house which is you know almost a square on columns and then a pitched roof over it that lesson and wreaths re taught by low J and then fed into modernism we have that whole tradition or we have it just straight taken as a classical idea a classical temple idea or the most fundamental house well now that is then clearly made combined with modernism with these a symmetrically placed elements and even more directly the the D style handling of these of the wood elements or the red blue and yellow primary colors of the Bauhaus or you know the token to solar energy over the front door and where you enter so not only does it collect the real heat but it acts as an entry symbol like some kind of a Keystone well then this is what I mean by saying that postmodern classism is not like Renaissance or neo classism it isn't looking for stylistic purity it's looking for other things well semantic things as we'll see a little bit later Marielle Bottas fundamentalist classicism also is a made up of a series of rusticated elements reminding us of the base of a building which doesn't have its piano nobly and attic above so it's a conceptually speaking it's the ground floor of a building which has this asymmetrical hole cut out really a late modern touch rather ambiguous shape carved into it to reveal a glass middle but then around the side the place where the garage is the garage as it were gets the classicism pretty straight with a completely symmetrical entrance and and symmetry in the windows so once again more a Mannerist classicism than a canonic classism this is a very important difference between a normative classicism of Vitruvius and Palladio and a classism today in Japan there are six or seven architects who were closer to the Europeans than the Americans in the sense they're practicing a fundamentalist classicism with in this case fujimi country-club be Sasaki using classical barrel vault a the villa malcontents --is a key keyhole window to focus the view on that part of the country club and then around this side another palladium villa the villa piranha with its curved arch here held by edge columns that are round instead of as Palladio has them vertical members what ishizaki argues is that there is no structural necessity in the twentieth century to have to structural vertical members so he only suggests the other one and stops it here so that your mind completes it and says I yes Palladio but we can get you know we can do it this way placing it asymmetrically to the them even the moment of inertia because with this as a single structural element it is strong enough to do that and of course this makes us Nash our teeth it's not you know it's not a harmonious arch and think of you know any view of a palladium building on axis is the harmony of a bit simple on the landscape this one is a Mannerist version of that one that is dissonant it's also as you can see in the form of a gigantic question mark even having it period here a question mark which characteristically of a lot of this work is so slightly surreal it raises the question why do the Japanese play golf why why did they you know beat the Americans at baseball and that sort of thing it's a culture which is undergoing you know for 300 years had no Outsiders and then for the next hundred years does the whole outside world better than the outside world does it so here's a culture where you know everybody is changing even their body in a sense to be ultra Western at the same time they become extra Japanese and it's when you look at the Japanese school of postmodern classicists you get always this irony this questioning this surrealism which says why do we have Palladio in fact as one of our references more recently it's Michelangelo here's the Campidoglio sunken by Issa sake and here's a wonderful version of a Capitol and column which he couldn't afford to actually construct so he's represented there in an anamorphic projection perspective so that from certain angles the Capitol comes into into being and from others it just looks like a funny piece of painting on the ceiling but these are the this is being built now there's a fantastically large scheme sorry this isn't a lighter slide another Japanese postmodern classes Shinto ki who's an older architect worked with Tong gay as Issa sake did is obviously referring here to the Mannerist villa of michelangelo and others which has a flat entrance back here which gives way surprisingly and suddenly to a curved garden so the contradiction then between flat and curved urban and garden and axis and then you can't all of a sudden have to get off the axis and drops 30 feet those set of surprises and contradictions are being done in a different way by shin Toki who takes a square built-in and puts a curved building in front of it to welcome you in if you could see this you would see that the the horizontal bands of rustic ation actually are running vertically rather than horizontally and the facades have a run upwards you know without a cornice which is even a stranger contradiction to all canons of Vitruvius and then he punches holes in the wall he doesn't have you know classical moldings and windows and he does all of that again in a Mannerist way by suggesting a face so you drive through the mouths you enters through the nose you look through the eyes up there all of that being slightly subliminal and a typical Mannerist distortion of a normative language well you could see in the bayon alley at Venice this summer that most of the architects invited to design these facades on the street and one should just say in passing here's the return of the street and the return of the facade as a double idea that is something to be thought about and considered seriously in other words the facade is a representational element as well as well as the modernists couldn't of course couldn't really deal he didn't want to think about facades as an abstract form of representation he thought a facade was the result of an insight or more less argued that often here of the facade is representational different kinds of things I don't have time to go into the kinds of things they are representational of and they've differ in each case the Arctic's were designed where asked to design facades as display elements for their own work and as indications of the past the presence of the past was the subject of the overall show so that either they relate to Venice and we'll see later that whole line is relating these existing Venetian columns here and there or they relate to some ideas that are being developed Stern's ideas on mass culture and commercial design so they use these then the facades are representational or semantically motivated and and most of them I would say not all of them but something like 80% of them are in a postmodern classical style but a lot of that is considered to be rather irrelevant or superficial or not very positively directed and I think part of the reason for that is that the Biennale didn't insist that there be more content to the design of those facades there should have been a stricter program as in the past there used to be if there isn't a strong program coming from society then of course the architect is at a loss as to know what to represent and how to represent it in a sense and so some of the things became a little bit superficial because there wasn't a program whereas in this housing low-cost housing for London the architect Jeremy Dixon definitely had a more serious intention and he's used a prototype of housing that exists in the area that's an area of Edwardian London but because he couldn't afford the size of space that an Edwardian mansion has he's used a single family house formed to house three families one family lives in this part one lives in this and one down some steps in the basement adopting a single-family house form for the reasons of the overall street morphology to hold a street line and to relate to existing buildings it's more complicated than that and there are lots of different references in it and reasons for the the design it's of course London vernacular brick with the Dutch gable element and the Dutch gable is actually absorbed into 19th century English housing so the kind of ways to French to be English is to be Dutch but it's also to be Greek and it's the presence of this element repeated the edik you'll the little house the ultimate sign of the home and security and as it were in at least in the Western in Europe coming from the great tradition and as you probably know stemming to even the Gothic architecture with it with its heels here you see the edik you'll doubled tripled quadrupled transformed from these two entrance gates which are in fact also garbage holders you put the garbage behind there through the entrance gate up to one side different kinds of EDA cules over the windows different again over the whole building and then most importantly over the front door which in fact is a double front door because the two families that live in there so there's a redundancy then of signs saying reinforcing this idea until one becomes quite conscious of it also there are other signs which related to modernism I suppose the the grid the the stained glassed in a slightly new style way the handling of certain of the of the brick elements and again back to the classical tradition something that relates the the user or the viewer to the natural continuum the architects to be an ally were asked to provide self portraits and here Jeremy Dixon has given the portrait of his single-family house just a double family house it has a face so it has two eyes nose mouth and so forth so you could see here quite explicitly then the idea which all classical architects had considered from Vitruvius on that not only were the columns related to human body but also other parts of the building were and as in California where the bungalow and the face are related by maybach and others you find this idea being picked up in anglo-saxon countries I want to look very briefly at the notion of how post modernists have treated the column the orders and argue that it isn't the necessarily the way say leo or payroll and other treatise writers of the 50 16th centuries treated it as a system of beautiful proportion and a beautiful syntax but more into question of semantics that is to say the fact that the Doric ionic and Corinthian formed a system of meaning which could be mapped on to assisting system of building types or temples for instance the Doric order considered masculine simple and straightforward is used for the God of War or later it was used on prisons or buildings that were meant to be a highly rugged and brutal or blunt or straight forward saying Corinthian would be used on churches or more well more elevated if you like socially or conceptually more important buildings now it's that semantic aspect which is reoccurred with postmodern classes and it's produced as you can see quite not beautiful results quite intentionally the ordinary ugly celebrated by venturi as a comment on consumer society and as a comment on the primitive uses the ionic order here without any transition to the base or the top although he uses it in proportion to the corner entrance of a museum you could say that the volumes those giant volumes are proportioned appropriately to that corner but characteristically and this is true of most of these designers he goes back to the primitiveness of the first ionic orient Porta which had these almost Mickey Mouse like ears or blown up almost balloon like elements sticking on them penny does the same with his designs for the historic a house which again blows them up in proportion in size so that they become on one level obtuse and an ill proportion and squatting really offensively ugly as the colors are and these blob diagrams here these kind of shrew-like elements comic-strip elements which look like even the modular man has been distorted and extruded and pulled warped as these a criteria have been in these Goethe and everything here in these very vibrant colors so in a way it is an assault on classicism it is the ultimate I mean you know any class assistive I think before the century would have shot venturi for this sort of thing he's broken the canons in the most outrageous way not only he's made it looking at six the columns are there only in fact section columns there plasters so there are all sorts of violations but after one's gotten over the shock and after one's understood the semantic reasons for this that is to say the mass culture which turns so much classicism into kitsch after one understands those kind of references then I think one starts to read the signs differently one starts to see the inter calumny Asians as important Stern is doing this to as positive elements and you start a scene of beauty of primitive Beauty as you see I think primitive Beauty in other things of his that are ostensibly ugly so going back to origins as Gaudi said origination originality going back to the origins of things can produce a kind of strange beauty that looks ugly first sterling dis lifespan Therese work particularly and he's produced this as a kind of answer this is being built now for his neoclassical more neoclassical Museum in Stuttgart again it doesn't have a transition though and that's of interest that it he's almost collaging the element onto a modernist system and here in these high-tech columns you do see it direct collage on to a more classical system that's in New Orleans well more and others at the Piazza d'Italia and use the five word is because it's an Italian Piazza rather than the three orders which would be Greek and use Italian colours but in terms of the basic intention I think it again goes back to a primitive its notion of what the orders of architecture are connecting a piece of architecture either with nature and sit in a certain sense now here nature is symbolized by water and we have these for instance these Tuscan columns being made up the flue being made up of water spilling down as I guess everyone in California note by now the meta peas here are cold wet appease and a lot of other bad jokes are played with around the building which have to do with water in fact of course Charles Moore as one modernist said puking out water here kind of his math there are you know water is being used in many different ways it's not just a fountain but it's it's an architectural the five orders doing their water thing but and it's quite ugly in many ways and shoddily built in many ways but it has elements moments of interesting beauty and I think again there's a primitive ax stiff you look at the section column of lebra's which led to section columns of venturi and then you see these sections elements you see that here is almost an old architects obsession with cross hatching the drawings of an oven are pure architectural element like an impost molding and rendering it in because you can't afford to actually build it you can afford to pay the money for just a part of it you do that very well so you have those moments of celebration even in something that is quite commercial and it seems to me that that you know finally the focus on the what he calls the delicatessen order because it it's the place where the the restaurant will be hanging italian sausages it's not unlike in the 19th century speculation about what the parthenon really looked like it wasn't Corbusier when he spent six weeks drawing it lovingly you know measuring the stones he says six weeks spent night and day drawing the white stones that speak with the purity the lesson of whitewash he says well he as it were conceptually speaking was looking at this part of it but as this bows are reconstruction and this is hypothetical no one knows the actual colors but it was colored in some way has made it into a kind of really awful contrast at vulgar vibrant Las Vegas you know this is a vine those are vibrating colors those blues and reds if you get too close to them this is a bad slide but believe me that you know it's those they do oscillate and here's you know a really awful story of a lapis in the center is the ultimate in okay melody Hollywood melodrama it's quite true that these are beautifully done these these these natural elements you know the ornament there is it's kind of high stuff but it's mixed with if you like a low style and in a sense I mean if this is the reality and who knows what the reality is but this is worth at least the 19th century so it's the reality was so in a sense it is a reality for us in any case it is in this funny way close to this so maybe by you know by more taking me on as a fact of commercial life and the italian a-- subcommittee that really wants to express itself in you know in new orleans which is basically a french city or an anglo-saxon city or spanish city or a black city but here come the italians he's going back to you know what i meant when you as you'll see later the victims of one society became you know the heroes of one sided I needed the victims of another Society well so commercial Kitsch postmodern classicism and there is that of course exist in the drugstore and it's quite inventive and I mean this is where one should show the continuum and shouldn't try to cut off our society I think here is a rather inventive capital which again makes the natural connection hands holding capital war in Houston Texas and the absent column represented by peeling back the stucco here but with a capital now of a lipo clearly because a classicism is a probe is expected in a municipal building of this kind and be it couldn't be afforded in reality so it's the presence of its absence is being represented quite clearly but hold on I think is the one of the most committed to exploring the semantic reasons for the column and here in his transformation of the existing Venetian columns in that building from Vermont ace column as as showing its wooden origins afraid that's out of focus but it shows Bramante's column in Milan appreciated column with little bits of wood sticking out of it and here is that proportion to this one then a doleful OSIS Chicago tribute count then the column you'll enter through cutaway and hanging there so an antique column column you know I mean come should support things and then a tree column or a bush column and in fact back to the original column of the place well that come series of comments in the columns and then on the inside of his exhibition a collage that he made showing how it relates to his previous investigations into the column all of these you see are quite different in in radical ways from the way 15 16th and 17th century treatise writers wrote their chapters on the five orders or the way any classicist previous I think to this time would consider them except some odd designers such as this one Wendel de lijn of 1597 wrote this wonderful book on architecture where he takes the pure orders and proportions of Vitruvius transforms into a representation then because it's Tuscan column represents it as a Tuscan man rather enslaved here and strapped work and odd elements and then shows it half in stret enslaved in strap work and then takes you through the column into the window into the living room into the chimney and Sue the house with a Tuscan order so he transformed the semantics of the Tuscan element into everything including even the grotto that is to say like Peter Eisenman who takes the same thing same tactically and transforms it to a thousand ideas he's he's he's seen the mood of something or the meaning of something I go into architectural form until it finance a in the kitchen with with a cook here represented as a fat man holding peace while a Boar's Head and other elements suggesting food and gustatory delights surround him well this clearly is offensive to all the classical architects because Vitruvius and others said he had to be a perfectly proportioned man not sort of an overfed disconsolate cook here looking unhappy I think you see with detail in then where the kind of interest in in the orders that we have today that is a semantics rather than syntactic interest I'll look very briefly now at some other typical figures of speech or figures of rhetoric that postmodern classicism are developing like late modernism it's using erosions you saw the eroded door of Bacchus building here's an eroded side of sentries one of his houses another figure that constantly reoccurs like Queen Anne style of the 1890s is a symmetrical symmetry that is to say a basic symmetry and here again it's basic symmetry of which one element is a symmetrical one element a symmetrical so a symmetrical symmetry and was a form it was a sign of Queen Anne housing say that the wooden houses of San Cisco because they wanted a symmetrical organization but you had to enter them from one side and it was just that contradiction between two absolute programmatic requirements which led to that being a recurrent figure then today there are those reasons they're functional reasons but they're also symbolic ones because venturi is very much brought up in the modern movement and still has one foot in it he you know because asymmetry was one part of modernism it's one part of his work a symmetrical symmetry in graves and Thomas Gordon Smith combined with the kind of rare architectural jokes the column here that is leapt out of the center and landed here or the capital that's leapt off here and that it there or a symmetrical situation started here and then instead of continued here where you'd expect a square if this is surely on it and it is necessarily on up to here you find a circle and nope no column and the same kind of rhythms or asymmetrical rhythms created above so then a reviving of the cliche which is the Sara Lee Honor one of the most repeated motif in classical architecture but reviving it in a distorted way so that it is alive so that it is as if we're both using the cliche which communicates and and its distortion which revives it Roberts turn in his temple to love this building design for a friend who lived in a garden and wanted a green temple a green thought in the green shade as it were for himself and his loved one gets all sorts of strange distortions of classicism the most strange of which is this column which is an annus trophic column that it's a column which it can be inverted and it doesn't matter - its top as its bottom and its bottom as its top and it has a double and Isis so this kind of surreal an annus tropic change again in the language is something that well Magritte would do in his paintings if you know his painting for instance remember the mermaid where he paints the the head and torso of a fish and the legs of a beautiful woman and said if they're your usual mermaid which has you know all no mermaid so these what's happening in postmodern classicism is very except close to these distortions that Magritte introduces into everyday reality again I think one of the most interesting usage is the semantic usage of coline who takes this column used in the kitchen of the Brighton Pavilion because it's hot uses a Moroccan palm and in the kitchen here to signify Heat uses it this whole line uses it here a travel bureau to signify travel to say exotic places the the deserts of Morocco or he uses cliches of Rome and Greece impaled by cliches of late modernism sending up a certain tension to signify though a travel to those countries or travel to Egypt India travel by air signified by flying birds so again you know well it isn't a straightforward use of cliche it's a beautifully crafted use of cliche and that's what rescues it from Kitsch if you look at travel by boat for instance you notice that the boat flag is made at a beautiful marble so you pay for boat tickets here's where you buy theater tickets and he signifies that if you really you know are a tourist and tourist is absolutely I mean when you read articles on mass culture and Kitsch you realize that the tourist animal is the most is the exemplifies this above all the man with a with the camera who takes snapshots of other cultures then you realize that and online is very is treating the most risky subject and treating it in a way which both communicates directly to that culture but uses it to send messages which aren't quite expected and one is that you can actually tour by not leaving home by staying right in Vienna and seen one of the great buildings of all time Otto vogner's pensions building which is not too far away so that sign is built into the building as well and you pay for all of this fantasy behind Rolls Royce radiators so he's using that semantically this is the cashier's desk well once again then the semantics use of form so it isn't just a stetic use of form and this really distinguishes it I think from late modernism and from aestheticism it's you know this is directed design which gives a certain rigor to the two of the forms which rigor which is underlined by this incredible well detail I mean if you look at the way the solar topia and the Indian domes the Taj Mahal and so on are being detailed here it doesn't devalue of the buildings at all it's also modernist I mean it's colleages symbols are Co lodged on a modernist grid and in many ways this is this is relates to the modern movement so another reason why we call postmodern classicism rather than neoclassicism but two slides to symbolize that it isn't that there are many different aspects to it and some of them aren't classical here just two well-known buildings which I won't even comment on but just point out that post modernism like late modernism is a movement with many strands and part of the interest I think today as opposed to the consensus in the 20s is that it any officer or maybe any individual architect may only be practicing the classical mode of it on part of the buildings those buildings which are which accept it more appropriately and will be doing other styles for other jobs so it's a much more plural situation than it was in the 20s when a consensus was formed and has the virtues of a consensus well I'll get to later but it also has the virtues of pluralism which doesn't demand that a kind of ultra conformity that I think you found in the 20s well Jim sterling summarizes many of these strands on a European level with his designs for the Dusseldorf Museum 1975 or Stuttgart Museum now under construction 1977 a building which relates to a previous museum and it's additions by also forming a traditional U shape which is distorted in certain ways instead of although it makes use of the basic grammar of Schinkel which almost every German associates with culture and museums so it signifies museums and culture it takes the primitive Hut and forces you to go off axes to get through the building secondly it's knitted into the fabric so instead of being a free-standing monument even as 19th century bill and 20th centuries slabs in the park are it tries to relate as this building I think that's even more successfully to its existing fabric like both buildings in fact are very much urban buildings providing a focus of heart to a to modern cities which notably lack hearts downtown's centers and fossa so it is giving a Piazza as well as a street then it's to say traditional forms finally it's taking those stereotypes of a mass culture which you saw whole line reusing and using them in a way that both goes back to their primitive sources and and as yet still perceived by us today we approached the dome and then when we get there it's a domeless dome that is to say it's a paradoxical dome it's like the Magritte dome that isn't there when you get there it's or it's squaring the circle it's it's an it's an outside circle that it's open to the heavens or an inside square that's closed but open at the base in Christian designed the dome of heaven of course representing being represented over the cross over the transept crossing a representation of the sky often painted as the sky here going back as it were to the original notion of that of the clearing in the woods a round circle cleared in the woods which frames the sky so there's that the Domus dome is forming that primitive meeting of the heavens one which is even more I suppose explicit in the in the pantheon where you get the round circle as a symbol of direct symbol of the Sun in this country I think Michael Graves has summarized a lot of the ideas with his competition winning design for Portland Oregon again a building which is very well-known in this country less so in Europe but because of its controversy I suppose fairly familiar to you I'll just point out a few aspects in contrast to the urbanism and architecture which surrounds it in which in a sense attacked at the late modernist slab blocks of Pietro Beaulieu ski of Skidmore Owings and Merrill and downtown Portland the slab blocks these cities in the park or the parking lot which in a sense destroyed the old fabric of 19th century and 18th century Portland a city which did have a strong Civic and urban tradition of arcades has many cast-iron arcades Michael Graves spent some time there drawing them studying them and in a sense has incorporated that older classical tradition into his building with again once again primitive estando Mentalist our case of original arcade he's going to include on his building ornament traditional ornament and writing and symbolism which relates it to the locale and of course like other skyscrapers in this tradition he's organizing it not like a a dumb box which is unarticulated more or less from bottom to top but he's giving it a base a shaft and a capital as he said legs torso and head to once again you know under under score the way in which endemic to all classical periods is this notion of the projection of the human body into inanimate form well it relates also to the city whole here and to another public service building to one side picking up the morphology of that building in its basic shape and holding the street lines so that definitely it's a it's an urban building in that sense well it won the competition also because it was the cheapest building by five million dollars and this aspect brings out an interesting kind of contradiction within the synthesis conceptually speaking it's a very lumpish building it's the maximum packing of real estate down on the site as opposed to say a late modern mounted tower or slab block which leaves over part of the site it gets it all down on the ground and in the minimalist way and when one does that of course it naturally produces a sky lump as opposed to a skyscraper or Scott any soaring thing that goes up and when one sees sky lumps they look really ugly and awful and and the depressing because you realize how awful capitalism is or socialism or any system of building today that its maximum economy

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