Kingston university session 2000/01



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  • Bodily movement

    Villa Mairea represents a conceptual link between the rational-constructivist tradition of the 20th century. The initial sketch for this L-shaped building makes explicit reference to National Romanticism movement.



    The basic phase of modern architecture is to give buildings and places individuality, with regard to space and character. This means to take the circumstantial conditions of locality and building task into consideration, rather than basing the design upon general types and principles. The new approach become manifest in Alvar Aalto works, who in general wants to adapt the spatial structure of his buildings as well as the surrounding space, and thus he reintroduced topological forms which were hardly admitted by early functionalism. Aalto also aimed at giving his architecture an outspoken local character. Mairea may be considered the first manifestation of the new “regional” approach. The works of Alvar Aalto are eminently “romantic”, and illustrate how this attitude was able to free modern architecture from the “cosmic” abstraction of early European modernism. Thus Aalto satisfies Wright’s “hunger for reality”. 12
    In the other hand, Zumthor Peter as a contemporary architect believes that architecture today needs to reflect on the tasks and possibilities which are inherently its own. Architecture is not a Vehicle or a symbol for things that do not belong to its essence. In a society, which celebrates the inessential, architecture can put up a resistance, counteract the waste of forms and meanings, and speak its own language. He believes that the language of architecture is not a question of a specific style.13


                    1. Materiality


    Aalto’s massive monumental designs both rich in surface textures and traditional materials were showcased with his control of flowing spaces, natural light, sureness of volume and combined with a great attention to detail. He has influenced many through an international style that he so adorned. As he once said, “nothing is ever reborn, but it never completely disappears either, everything that has ever been emerges in a new form." His belief that buildings should be individual solutions to a given set of problems became the driving force of his architecture, a belief that has become internationally recognized and accepted.

    in the similarly way Peter Zumthor mention that ‘every building is built for a specific use in a specific place and for a specific society’.14In the same way finally, we touch the object and feel the materiality of it and a holle expression of specific meanings, which can only be perceived in just this way in this particular object or architectural context.



    In contradiction of Le Corbusier, Aalto said, "Nature not the machine should serve as the model for architecture." This was very much in compliance with the thoughts of Frank Lloyd Wright. He also marked " Architecture cannot disengage itself from natural and human factors; on the contrary it must never do so. Its function is to bring nature ever closer to us."15

    Concerned to Aalto’s work and style, which is contextual and vernacular, it is presenting sensitivity to contours of the land, angles and direction of the sunlight. He is very conscious of the need for social settings linked directly to natural surroundings with the use of natural landscape. Moreover, he achieved this through natural living conditions, the use of natural materials, and integration within the boundaries of landscape and vegetation. Nature, sun, trees, and air all served as functions in creating a harmonious balance between natural and artificial.

    With a common sense, if looking from outside, the Art Museum reveals itself differently from others by using translucent glass panel to absorb the light and act as a live form. As Peter Zumthor says “what impresses me about Joseph Beuy s and some of the Arte Povera group, is the precise and sensuous way they use materials. It seems anchored in an ancient, elemental knowledge about mans use of materials, and at the same time to expose the very essence of these materials which is beyond all culturally conveyed meaning.

    He believes that if materials are used like this, they can assume a poetic quality in the context of an architectural object, although only if the architect is able to generate a meaningful situation for them, since materials in themselves are not poetic… The sense that he tries to instil into materials is beyond all rules of composition, and their tangibility, “smell and acoustic qualities are merely elements of the language that we are obliged to use”.16 Something that is well described in the Art museum.

    Currently, its matter of different ways of perceiving and treat to a building. It can be an object, conclusion of the use of different mediums (I am therefore I think-Heidegger), or a subjective idea built from symbolic meanings (I think therefore I am-Descartes).

    From “The Critique of Pure Reason” Kant states that the immediate objects of perception are duepartly to external things and partly to our own perceptive apparatus(dualism). Locke said that secondary qualities (colour, sound, smell, etc.) are subjective and do not belong to the object as it is itself. Kant goes further and says that primary qualities are also subjective. Our sensations do have causes, things-in-themselves that he calls “noumena”. What appears to us in perception, which he calls a “phenomenon”, consists of two parts: that due to the object (sensation) and that due to our subjective apparatus (the form of the phenomenon). The latter is not itself sensation and therefore not depended upon the accident of environment. We always carry it around with us, and it is a priory in that it is not dependent upon experience. A pure form of sensibility is called a “pure intuition” and there are two such forms, space and time, one for the outer sense, one for the inner.17

    With mind the determinant of truth, man comes to see him self as the hub of reality18, WHAT IS THE NATURE OF HUMAN BEINGS BETWEEN THINGS?





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