By Gevork Hartoonian
Looking again over the 20th century, Hartoonian discusses the paintings of 3 significant architects: Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry and Bernard Tschumi, in connection with their theoretical positions and historicizes present architecture within the context of the continued secularization of the myths surrounding the traditions of 19th century structure in most cases, and, particularly, Gottfried Semper's discourse at the tectonic.
Providing a helpful contribution to the present debates surrounding architectural historical past and theory, this passionately written book makes helpful examining for any architect.
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Additional resources for Crisis of the Object: The Architecture of Theatricality
45 Now, we should ask if the tectonic is attainable only when the duality between structure and the skin is established. Should we associate Semper’s distinction between the core-form and the art-form with the historical division between the object and the subject? For it turns out that in monolithic structures the tectonic does not necessarily reveal its poetry through an actual separation of the load-bearing members from the enclosure. 46 The case can be made for arguing that the embellishment of the art-form might, at some point, attain a degree of autonomy that, without referring to its initial dualistic origin, can still stand for the tectonic.
Now, putting behind the architecture of the machine age, the question to ask is what the implications are of the idea of wish-images for the present architecture. More specifically, how should we discuss the neo-avant-garde’s apparent esteem for an expressionism that is motivated either by computer technologies, or by the hybrid formulation of an abstract and yet vigorous form of the kind that might be associated with constructivism? If the distraction Benjamin alludes to is caused by the everyday experience of the metropolis, then architecture stands outside of such experience and, paradoxically, architecture has no choice but to internalize some aspects construction of the conditions of life: The integration of architecture with life is intense enough to suggest that one cannot separate it from the habits developed through collective experience.
2 introduced to architecture by Semper, but also because of the communicative dimension of architecture: the way a person relates to architecture by experiencing a building’s space as well as appropriating its form. The communicative dimension of architecture, however, has changed since the crisis of the object induced by modernization and the introduction of new technologies into the process of architectural production. We no longer understand the classical language of architecture as pre-modern architects did; nor do we understand a building as an integral part of a coherent ensemble.
Crisis of the Object: The Architecture of Theatricality by Gevork Hartoonian