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bellbottom blues again, again
four low cost houses South Korea
net house Taipei
Van Doesburg noted at the time that Corbusier, whose distinctive style was already well known, was strongly influenced by the Neues Bauen architects at the Weißenhof estate. Functionalism was out in full force, and van Doesburg had no illusions about its origin: “Principally this trend came from Russia, and therefore it concurs with the communist philosophy of life.” His intuition wasn’t too far off, and indeed the Nazis would denounce the settlement ten years later for its “Bolshevik depravity.” Wolfram von Eckardt, the architectural historian, recalls that the fascists installed pitched roofs onto the flat terraces in order to render them more palatable. Bombs dropped by Allied planes during World War II destroyed several of the buildings. Restoration since has only been partial.
The main watershed instigated by postmodernism in its widest sense was that of the end of the grand récits. In parallel with François Lyotard’s analysis of the postmodern condition, Manfredo Tafuri deconstructed the claims of the avant garde in modern arts and architecture in his seminal study Progetto e Utopia). Since then, utopian ideas or belief in necessary progress have been likely to be received with scepticism if not outright rejection. The consequences of this for architecture have included an embracing of the idea of autonomy and a ‘sublime uselessness’, instead of a measure of concern for social issues. This turn in the architectural discourse implied the veiling of the close interaction between everyday practice and moral questions, and the choices that always have to be made in this respect.Team 10
The resurfacing of the issue of morality and utopian thought in relation to architectural practice is of a recent date. Among others, it is prepared in the studies of modern architecture by Hilde Heynen and by Sarah Williams Goldhagen. The latter’s anthology Anxious Modernisms argues that we should try to identify what she calls ‘the interlocking cultural, political, and social dimensions that together constitute the foundation of modernism in architecture’. In Heynen’s profound study Architecture and Modernity. A Critique and her anthology Back from Utopia, the author arrives at a reconceptualization of the utopian dimension of the Modern Movement. She draws the conclusion that the patent failure of many of modern architecture’s social claims cannot be taken to mean that all social aspirations are necessarily outside the realm of architectural practice. To Heynen, the notion of a Utopia still figures as a critical and energizing factor in the realm of everyday architectural practice. Rem Koolhaas too, the unsurpassed critic of any positivist inclination in architecture, affirmed the necessary link between architectural conception and utopian thought in his latest book Content.
Painting your house black
mineral house Tokyo
By purchasing acreage on an outlying block and designing the place to be built inexpensively, Shannon and the Fords found the ideal alchemy of site and structure to keep build-out costs to $170 per square foot for each of the around-1,900-square-foot units. “This project is really the sweet spot of all the different experiences we’ve had,” says Matthew. He and Tina have built and designed scads of houses and run a custom fabrication shop in Houston, both of which gave them the know-how to design homes that would be inexpensive to actually produce. An easy-to-build roof allowed them to hire a solid but inexpensive work crew; designing the cabinets themselves and having them made 90 minutes outside of Houston eliminated retail markup; nixing finish work like moldings reinforced the modernist ethos but also saved money on labor; and relying on their own custom design shop and fabrication savvy let them cheaply build the large, dramatic windows that give the simple form an aesthetic boost.
576 sf loft/apartment London
with compact kitchen
Since the 1990s, we have not seen the emergence of an original collective style that has survived longer than one season. Has fashion simply become both more ephemeral and more violently eclectic, or do those who shape the cultural landscape indeed prefer to look backwards rather than forwards? Perhaps with the exception of the Renaissance, the glorification of the past has tended to be driven by escapism – think, for example, of the Romantic idealization of all things Gothic. It is no coincidence that Spitz’s account commences with the 1950s, a period that occupies a special status in the Twee canon.
architect's residence Miami
flat roof, full height shade shutters, tropical down-town refuge
12K house Ghent
The first steps taken by the architect and the client start with the search of a suitable building site. Under the architect’s advice, two neighboring houses were purchased, which exceeded the budget of the client. However, this allowed them to redefine the plot boundary and construct a new house on one of the two plots. During the construction of the house, the client could continue living in the adjoining house before selling it.
cubo roblas Argentina
great cinderblock residence / about 645 sf living space
metal roof, metal siding, barn shaped house in Germany
about 970sf living space