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Thread: Distinguishing traditional from modern architecture in one easy step

  1. #51
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    But that is only one design feature of many more. What is the point of defining a "litmus test" for structures in order to help you, me, or anyone else to distinguish traditional architecture from modern architecture? That is the point of this thread, right?
    Dude... the edge detail comment was ironic. I agree that it's a bit 'systemic' to try to make it all about or absolutely abotu 'edge detail', as I 've already said in my posts.

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    Repose

    THX0097 http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fna...positions.html .
    DO YOU STILL BELIEVE THIS?
    If the product of Art is Beauty and the effect of beauty is repose as stated in the Propositions in Owen Jones', Grammar of Ornament (referenced above) it may account for the restlessness and high mobility in our society; would that not prove the proposition? This book is a classic in the literature of Art and Architecture and present conditions warrant its coming back into print in recent years. What are your objections?

    Furthermore, if the product of Science is Knowledge and the effect of that is technological advancement (indeed “knowledge has been greatly increased and many run to and fro” in the past 200 years) that accounts for the possibility if not demand for the new and more efficient and economical forms of construction which has engendered Modern Architecture. Owen Jones influenced Architects such as H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright who were the prime movers in Modern Architecture; these are now the classical forms, American Architecture, along with Greek and Roman (as in the International style) from which Contemporary Architecture arises.

    My concentration has been in City Planning rather than Building Design so I have not had much time to study Gehry (I need to see plans and sections - not just facades), and must refrain from judging him; however someone has already said in this thread that he does not claim to be Modern. I don’t know if any Architect does, other than one who has a profound sense of responsibility such as yours truly – sadly, there is no demand for that in the current marketplace.

    WHEN PEOPLE BORROW TO BUY A HOME THE BANK HAS NO SAY IN HOW MUCH "DECORATION" THEY CAN HAVE OR IF THEY CAN HAVE "EDGE DETAILING" OR NOT.
    Are you aware of the power of Money? There is an axiom, "The borrower is servant to the lender". There is pressure on the borrower merely from that; but also Bankers will not finance innovation and since they are the chief financiers in the building industry they are in effect like a heavy handed client; or the lender assumes to be and is (de facto) the Architect, especially since they control the site selection process through land ownership. I guess society has a lot of catching up to do and I do not want to blame the Bankers or anyone - it is a matter of social evolution - let us be aware of these things and everything will work out for the best, I hope.

    By the way, Architects do less than 10% of all building.
    Last edited by bud; 28 Jun 2006 at 11:35 AM. Reason: illucidat

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally posted by bud
    If the product of Art is Beauty and the effect of beauty is repose as stated in the Propositions in Owen Jones', Grammar of Ornament (referenced above) it may account for the restlessness and high mobility in our society; would that not prove the proposition? This book is a classic in the literature of Art and Architecture and present conditions warrant its coming back into print in recent years. What are your objections?

    Furthermore, if the product of Science is Knowledge and the effect of that is technological advancement (indeed “knowledge has been greatly increased and many run to and fro” in the past 200 years) that accounts for the possibility if not demand for the new and more efficient and economical forms of construction which has engendered Modern Architecture. Owen Jones influenced Architects such as H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright who were the prime movers in Modern Architecture; these are now the classical forms, American Architecture, along with Greek and Roman (as in the International style) from which Contemporary Architecture arises.

    My concentration has been in City Planning rather than Building Design so I have not had much time to study Gehry (I need to see plans and sections - not just facades), and must refrain from judging him; however someone has already said in this thread that he does not claim to be Modern. I don’t know if any Architect does, other than one who has a profound sense of responsibility such as yours truly – sadly, there is no demand for that in the current marketplace.

    Are you aware of the power of Money? There is an axiom, "The borrower is servant to the lender". There is pressure on the borrower merely from that; but also Bankers will not finance innovation and since they are the chief financiers in the building industry they are in effect like a heavy handed client; or the lender assumes to be and is (de facto) the Architect, especially since they control the site selection process through land ownership. I guess society has a lot of catching up to do and I do not want to blame the Bankers or anyone - it is a matter of social evolution - let us be aware of these things and everything will work out for the best, I hope.

    By the way, Architects do less than 10% of all building.
    THERE IS AN ASSUMPTION AND BIAS EMBEDDED IN YOUR RESPONSE.
    FIRST OFF THE PRODUCT OF ART IS BEAUTY...IS IT? THAT IS CERTAINLY AN OLD IDEAL AND WAY OF DEFINING ART ROOTED IN TRADITIONAL VALUES AND JUDGEMENTS. TODAY'S SOCIETY VALUES AND VIEWS ART DIFFERENTLY THAN THAT.1.ARE YOU SUGGESTING THAT A LACK OF BEAUTY IS SOME HOW THE REASON FOR RESTLESSNESS AND HIGH MOBILITY IN TODAY'S SOCIETY. ALSO CAN YOU ELABORATE, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY RESTLESSNESS AND MOBILITY? IN WHAT FORM? MENTALY PHYSICALLY ECONOMICALLY?

    2.WHAT PRESENT CONDITIONS WARRANT THE REPRINTING OF THIS BOOK?

    3. NONE OF THE 3 NAMED ARCHITECTS WAS A MODERN ARCHITECT LET ALONE A PRIME MOVER OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE. WALTER GROPIUS, MIES VAN DER ROHE, LECORBUSIER WERE PRIME MOVERS IN ARCHITECTURE.

    4.YOU DEFINE BEING MODERN AS HAVING A PROFOUND SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY? THAT'S A VERY LIMITED AND NARROW DEFINITION NO? WOULDN'T YOU SAY THAT ALL ARCHITECTS HAVE A PROFOUND SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY HENCE THE NEED FOR LICENSES? BEING RESPONSIBLE IS NOT LIMITED TO ONE STYLE.
    5.IF SOMETHING IS TRADITIONAL IT IS BY DEFINITION NOT INNOVATIVE, THEREFOR HOW COULD EDGE DETAILING BE PRESSURED OUT OF HOMES AND BUILDINGS BY THE BANKS. IT'S DROPPED TO THE WAYSIDE BECAUSE IT IS NO LONGER RELEVANT TO TODAYS SOCIETY. PEOPLE DON'T NEED OR WANT IT. IT'S TIME HAS COME AND GONE.

    5.OWEN JONES'S PROPOSITIONS ARE AS RELEVANT AS THE PYRAMIDS. ANY STYLE WHICH IS LAID OUT WITH A POINT BY POINT WAY OF DESIGNING IS DOOMED TO FAIL. THERE IS NO ONE ANSWER OR THESIS FOR DESIGN AND IF THE GRAMMAR OF ORNAMENT WERE THE ASWER WE WOULDN'T BE HAVING THIS DEBATE, THE POINT WOULD BE MOOT.

  4. #54
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    Peter Behrens

    Quote Originally posted by THX0097


    1.WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY RESTLESSNESS AND MOBILITY? IN WHAT FORM? MENTALY PHYSICALLY ECONOMICALLY?

    2.WHAT PRESENT CONDITIONS WARRANT THE REPRINTING OF THIS BOOK?

    3. NONE OF THE 3 NAMED ARCHITECTS WAS A MODERN ARCHITECT LET ALONE A PRIME MOVER OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE. WALTER GROPIUS, MIES VAN DER ROHE, LECORBUSIER WERE PRIME MOVERS IN ARCHITECTURE.

    4.YOU DEFINE BEING MODERN AS HAVING A PROFOUND SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY? THAT'S A VERY LIMITED AND NARROW DEFINITION NO? WOULDN'T YOU SAY THAT ALL ARCHITECTS HAVE A PROFOUND SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY HENCE THE NEED FOR LICENSES? BEING RESPONSIBLE IS NOT LIMITED TO ONE STYLE.
    .
    1. I had in mind the Corporate practice of moving people around the country and indiviuals who change jobs for various reasons that result in a lot of real estate exchange - that demands resell value. Banks would not finance houses designed by FLW because they "had no resell value". Today Wright's buildings are rare and precious gems of art while the other is in the landfill.

    2. Ask the publisher - referenced in my first reply to this thread.

    3. When Wright's work was published in Germany, it was picked up on by Peter Behrens who introduced it to his young students Mies, Gropius and Corbu. I believe they all acknowledged Wright, et al as the leader.

    4. See my original post, "Introduction" on Cyburbia - http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...76&postcount=2 . There is more to Architecture than designing buildings. I find that Architects neglect the site selection process - that is professionally irresponsible because, as they say, "We have to make a living". Kevin Lynch in the book Site Planning, which is required reading for architects seeking registration and license to practice, has an article on Site Selection, page 64 (ibid.) or see "site selection" in the index to the book. Lynch said, "It sometimes happens and should happen more often that the site is not yet selected before a designer is called in.... Although site selection and "best use" analysis are somewhat less common than the analysis of a given site for a given purpose, site designers always engage to some degree in both of these modes of thinking, or at least they should do so. That is, they must be prepared to advise a client that his chosen site is (mistaken or) inadequate for his purpose and that he must seek a new one... While advice of this kind may terminate the designer's employment still it is his responsibility." It is a long story which I have tried to explain on my website.
    Last edited by bud; 28 Jun 2006 at 2:31 PM.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally posted by bud
    Owen Jones', Grammar of Ornament ... is a classic in the literature of Art and Architecture and present conditions warrant its coming back into print in recent years. What are your objections?
    Speaking for myself only, of course, my curiosity is now piqued and I wouldn't mind seeing it come back into print - simply as a peculiar artefact of history. Whether a dated set of seemingly arbitrary and dictatorial rules has any implication or use in today's relativistic society is another question, of course.

  6. #56
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    Grammar of Ornament

    Quote Originally posted by RSW
    Speaking for myself only, of course, my curiosity is now piqued and I wouldn't mind seeing it come back into print - simply as a peculiar artefact of history. Whether a dated set of seemingly arbitrary and dictatorial rules has any implication or use in today's relativistic society is another question, of course.
    Re:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/078...43206?n=283155
    and
    http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fna...positions.html

    It has been back in print for about the last 30 years. Before that it was available in some large libraries and in rare book stores.

    These are propositions, not arbitrary and capricious rules. The Author sets out to prove them in the content of the book leaving it to the reader to judge and use them as they saw fit - a trained Designer would understand that better than a novice. FLW's Unit system and abstract geometrical machine age ornamentation (e.g., Midway Gardens) as well as Sullivan's (e.g., Carson Pirie Scott) reflect that influence. I find them useful. I think Gropius probably derived his Modular system from Wright if not from Owen Jones.

    http://www.press.uillinois.edu/s98/kruty.html
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Mid...&cop=&ei=UTF-8

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/022...lance&n=283155
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=lou...L.BgABAA%40%40


    Now days, Science assumes too much, Art is impoverished, Religion is smug and degenerate. These essential elements of human Culture are apparently out of balance. Let us be aware of that and seek a solution. When Science produces Truth, Art produces Beauty and Religion produces Goodness. This imbalance is probably rooted in the love of Money, which produces avarice and greed.
    Last edited by bud; 30 Jun 2006 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #57
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
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    3. When Wright's work was published in Germany, it was picked up on by Peter Behrens who introduced it to his young students Mies, Gropius and Corbu. I believe they all acknowledged Wright, et al as the leader.

    Though Wright was important, Behrens was more influenced Albert Kahn and the everyday architecture of silos and industrial buildings. That was the driving force behind early Moderns.

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    Cost of Money

    Quote Originally posted by Howard Roark
    ... architecture of silos and industrial buildings. That was the driving force behind early Moderns.
    Wright was ahead of Kahn in that type of structure and ornamentation was integral to FLW buildings. A building can be modern but it should not be called architecture if it doesn't fully employ the principle of Art including the fine detailing of painting, poetry and sculpture as an integral part of the building - that is what makes it come alive, giving it a spiritual quality.

    http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildi..._Building.html

    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Lar...&cop=&ei=UTF-8

    Thomas Jefferson, as architect, advocated an original architecture indigenous to America not in the Classical tradition as in Europe; he observed that there was a malevolent spirit of architecture gripping America. Emerson, Whitman and Thoreau and others carried on with that theme. Developing an indigenous form of Architecture was what the Modern Movement at the end of the 19th Century was all about.

    And thou, America!
    Thou too surroundest all
    Embracing, carrying, welcoming all, Thou too, by pathways broad and new,
    Approach the Ideal

    The measur’d faiths of other lands—the grandeurs of the past,
    Are not for Thee—but grandeurs of Thine own;
    Deific faiths and amplitudes, absorbing, comprehending all,
    All in all to all
    .

    Transcribed from Walt Whitman
    http://www.bartleby.com/142/254.html

    Can the impoverishment of Art have anything to do with the fact that the cost of the money to finance it can be equal to the cost of the building itself? Thereby doubling the cost of construction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_money
    Last edited by bud; 05 Jul 2006 at 12:49 PM.

  9. #59
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
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    Wright was ahead of Kahn in that type of structure and ornamentation was integral to FLW buildings.

    Kahn was not really in to ornament outside of some decorative brick work, his job was to make really large quality buildings for industry, Behrens was impressed by the amount of natural light and open space and to a lesser extent mass and form. A look at many 19th century buildings will explain why this interested him.

    A building can be modern but it should not be called architecture

    Errrr…. And what authority grants this power,

    Thomas Jefferson, as architect, advocated an original architecture indigenous to America not in the Classical tradition as in Europe;

    What was indigenous? All the builders and primary ideas came from Europe, evolved here in a different climate (social and practical) Lots of Jefferson’s stuff is Classical and Palladian in nature, where is source for this?

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    Quote Originally posted by Howard Roark

    Thomas Jefferson, as architect, advocated an original architecture indigenous to America not in the Classical tradition as in Europe;

    What was indigenous? All the builders and primary ideas came from Europe, evolved here in a different climate (social and practical) Lots of Jefferson’s stuff is Classical and Palladian in nature, where is source for this?
    I wondered about that statement (UVA MURP Grad here). What was indgenous? Log cabins, perhaps. Maybe southwestern Pueblo architecture. Not really considered architecture or known by Jefferson.

    Heck, the UVA Rotunda was not "inidgenous" in any way-it's basically the Pantheon. Monticello is Palladio

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    Indigenous

    Quote Originally posted by Howard Roark
    ”A building can be modern but it should not be called architecture” (bud)

    Errrr…. And what authority grants this power,

    What was indigenous? All the builders and primary ideas came from Europe, evolved here in a different climate (social and practical) Lots of Jefferson’s stuff is Classical and Palladian in nature, where is source for this?
    Architecture is the Art as well as Science of building. Engineers can design modern structures and buildings but if architects do not make their buildings a work of art they are no different than an engineer. I wonder if the architects’ failure to fully employ the principles of Art to include the fine detailing of all the fine arts integrated into the building is not another form of professional irresponsibility that grips the profession.

    Indigenous is used in the sense that Classical Greek Architecture was indigenous to Greece. Wright’s architecture was or is a Classical American Architecture as it was intended to be indigenous to America – Sullivan said it was and I believe that is what Jefferson had in mind although he himself could not express it and resorted to the Classical Tradition of Greece and Rome. Wright used the term, Organic. Mayan Architecture was indigenous to America.

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Heck, the UVA Rotunda was not "inidgenous" in any way-it's basically the Pantheon. Monticello is Palladio
    Yes, and so was Monticello. Like the Capital building in Washington and in many States it was in the form of the Pantheon on top of the Parthenon, which was taken from St. Peter’s basilica in the Vatican in Rome designed by Michelangelo and others.

    The breakthrough came at the end of the century by way of Richardson, Sullivan and Wright with modern building technology and materials, especially in the uses of glass and steel and especially steel in tension such as the Robie house in Chicago where the roof is canilevered - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robie%5FHouse and later in "Falling Water" - http://www.paconserve.org/index-fw1.asp .
    Last edited by bud; 07 Jul 2006 at 12:00 PM. Reason: clarification

  12. #62
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    I wondered about that statement (UVA MURP Grad here). What was indgenous? Log cabins, perhaps. Maybe southwestern Pueblo architecture. Not really considered architecture or known by Jefferson.

    Heck, the UVA Rotunda was not "inidgenous" in any way-it's basically the Pantheon. Monticello is Palladio
    The "Federal Style" architecture was in fact indigenous to America. It was obviously inspired by classical models in Europe but every form of indigenous architecture is similarly inspired. There's no such thing as pure invention.

  13. #63
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    Natural beauty.

    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    The "Federal Style" architecture was in fact indigenous to America. It was obviously inspired by classical s in Europe but every form of indigenous architecture is similarly inspired. There's no such thing as pure invention.
    The Federal Style was based on French and Italian Renaissance and English Palladian –that is eclectic architecture, not indigenous.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclecticism_in_art

    Indigenous is based on Nature – it follows the laws or principles that regulate the distribution of form in Nature; this is expressed in terms of available materials and technology. The tepee, the igloo, the cliff dwellings are primitive forms of indigenous building; whether we call it architecture it was done in an artful manner, I think. That is probably how Architecture evolves if in time an advanced civilization develops from it – Egyptian architecture may be an example. So, it is by way of observing forms in Nature that indigenous art and architecture is developed. As civilizations gather into large cities they loose contact with Nature; could that be why they resort to copying classical art forms from the past?
    Last edited by bud; 11 Jul 2006 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Grammar

  14. #64
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Bud, In find your definition of 'indigenous" a bit tendentious.

    Anything developed and prevalent in a place can be ermed indigenous. By your definition only tribal 'buildings' are indigenous.

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    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    Bud, In find your definition of 'indigenous" a bit tendentious.

    Anything developed and prevalent in a place can be ermed indigenous. By your definition only tribal 'buildings' are indigenous.
    A good criticism, but claiming that Federalist architecture is somehow unique when it is just a minor local variant of international neoclassicism is also tendentious.

    Let's face it: there is no such thing as vernacular or native architecture anymore.

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    Art

    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    Bud, ... By your definition only tribal 'buildings' are indigenous.
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...69&postcount=1

    You misread me. I spoke in terms of art and architecture and meant to show how primitive people living close to nature instinctively follow the principles of beauty revealed in nature just as other animals do in building their nest or dens. Humans do not build their dwellings as lower animals build their nest or dens but they should honestly follow the same principles. Once the method is perfected or routinized in the course of Civilization there is an overwhelming tendency to copy manmade forms rather than follow the principles of beauty revealed in nature.

    Architecture is modern only insofar as it creates new forms in harmony with natural principles of beauty rather than copy the great works of the past. A building can be modern but it is not architecture unless the fine detailing of painting, poetry and sculpture are an integral (built-in) part of it as in Classical Architecture. To be modern it must use the best and most efficient materials and methods of construction available.

    My opinions are based on those of other Architects and Design and Building Professionals whom I have learned from in the course of my academic as well as private study and thought concerning the cause of Architecture. How can you disprove them? The greatest architects are, as art and science is, always creative in terms of the principles of Natural beauty rather than being hidebound to Tradition; such creativity and honesty always commands universal admiration in spite of a few hardened conformist and critics.

    I'm using the term indigenous in the sense of denotation rather than connotation. I might have said organic or natural.

    What do you mean by this: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...23&postcount=3

    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    A good criticism…
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...31&postcount=1

    What do you mean, "good criticism"? Did you also misread me?
    Last edited by bud; 12 Jul 2006 at 2:00 PM. Reason: elucidate

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