Archives for category: Archi-Books

Loos asserts that, with regards to cladding, no material should appropriate the forms of another:  ‘Art has nothing to do with forgery, with falsehood.’  Even if you (as I) do not believe in a ‘divine soul’, the following passage rings true.

‘But no, you are wrong, all you imitation-and-substitute architects. The soul is too high, too sublime to be taken in by your devices and petty ploys. True, you have our bodies in your power. They have only five senses to rely on to distinguish genuine from false. And where human senses fail, this is where your domain begins. Paint your best inlays, high up on the ceiling and our poor eyes will accept them for what they appear to be. But the divine soul does not believe your fraud. Even in the best of your ‘looks-just-like-any-inlay’ stencils all it will feel is paint.’

(Also, this has to be one of my favourite architectural insults:

‘Come along, come along, all you champions of imitation, you creators of stencilled inlays, house-ugliful windows and paper-mâché tankards, a new field awaits your talents in Vienna, the ground has been freshly manured.’)

‘Architecture immortalises and glorifies something. Hence there can be no architecture where there is nothing to glorify.’ Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1947.

But maybe the event can glorify the architecture? A blank stage becomes animated through use and play.

‘Space and Time become Place and Occasion.’ Aldo van Eyck

‘Where there is no necessity, there can be nothing to celebrate (a folly is not architecture).’ Colin St John Wilson

If a building is designed not with an intended use, but an intention for use: when is it architecture? A building with only a potential for use, but not a current use, also only has the potential for architecture, for the use ‘glorifies’ it and transforms it from empty space into architectural space. But is it architecture which makes the potential uses possible?

‘This Great Age… bereft of imagination, where man is dying of spiritual starvation while having no feeling of spiritual hunger.’ Karl Kraus