BREVE HISTORIA DE LA ARQUITECTURA EUROPEA NIKOLAUS PEVSNER PDF

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It is necessary to situate the gaze in the criticism of architecture to throw a certain light on the issues that this discipline deals with. The story, the logos , fulfills a double function both descriptive and constitutive of the reality. The historiography of modern architecture played an active role in conformation of styles, focusing its targets. Some of the main architectural tendences of the twentieth century were consolidated through publications and exhibitions.

To show this, it is enough to remark the importance of Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson in the developement of the International Style, and the role of latter in the Deconstructivism. The critics actively participated in the construction of the theoretical framework of this new architecture and promoted their analysis of historical events from contemporary clues that contributed to their programmatic and ideological equipment Where the author tries to analyze both illocutionary and perlocutive acts of the texts, that he considered most influential in the evolution of modern architecture.

In fact, Zevi in Profilo della critica Architettonica , affirms that the text by Tournikiotis is one of the scarce books that deals with this topic. Following this argumental line, the following article tries to highlight how critics of modern architecture have understood the resistant structure in their respective works.

That is, it stands as something necessary to realize an idea. Thus, the study of technology and, therefore, of science turns to be fundamental to understand how architectural projects have been conceived.

This article presents a part of the conclusions of my doctoral thesis [2] , From Empiricism to Invention, Engineering and Design in Modern Architecture, where the question of the resistant structure is studied more extensively.

The terms used in this article must be defined. Referring to the purely technological field, for s.

The concept of formal s. Also the architectural use has its s. The solution is found, generally, by abstracting from it the spatial consequences and, therefore, translating it into an isomorph formal s. This comes from a historical development, that corresponds to the diffusion of structuralism, after the Second World War. From that time, the term structure is understood, in almost all disciplines, as the internal rules that allow a coherent relationship between the parts and the whole.

In this article it was decided to talk about structure as formal structure and resistant structure as technology , that refers to any assembly of materials that resists certain loads. Once the terms were delimited, an analysis of the texts of architectural criticism proposed by Tournikiotis was carried out. However, due to their heterogeneity, different analyzes were made in order to better study each of them.

On the other hand there was both a qualitative and a quantitative approach to some of the books. In which it was quantified: the quantity of buildings in which the authors talks about resistant structure, its uses, the architects of those buildings, and also the terms in which critics refers to those questions. And The Story of Post-Modernism , by Charles Jencks, were added to include opinions on what happened in the last decades of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st.

In the following pages the analyzes of these books and their conclusions are presented. In the analyzed texts, at least four different critical lines can be found: the mechanist, the structuralist, the organicist and the metacritical.

The mechanistic attitude considers that the modern architecture is the logical and universal result of the socioeconomic and intellectual conditions after the Industrial Revolution. Among those who defend this perspective, are: Hitchcock, Pevsner, Benevolo and Giedion.

However, the texts studied by the last two authors evolved towards a structuralist attitude, in which Jencks is also situated In addition, in the analyzed books of Pevsner and Hitchcock, the architecture prior to World War I is studied in one, and World War II in the other. Therefore, they only develop a mechanistic perspective. However, the evolution of these authors deserves a separate treatment.

For Pevsner, technological development was one of the foundations of modern architecture. Although other issues such as aesthetics, etc. Therefore, more than mechanist, one could affirm that he was a convinced positivist; that considered that he had to operate through reason. However, in he published The Anti-rationalists where he recognized the value of art nouveau and expressionism, not as isolated and marginal styles; but as a case that deserved to be studied.

However, in An Outline of European Architecture, he affirmed from the experiences of the s [4] :. There are other buildings of recent construction in which the challenge is accepted and fully overcome without dispensing with the conquests of They are those that in a future history of twentieth century architecture will represent evolution in the face of the revolution illustrated by Ronchamp That is to say, Pevsner continued betting on an architecture that started from reason. In this way, his position on the purpose and responsibility of architecture hardly changed during his career.

On the contrary, Hitchcock did evolve from his initial mechanistic stance. What led him to recognize the influence and importance of the American master, beyond his role as the father of modern architecture, as he had done in Modern architecture: Romanticism and Reintegration and also in The International Style: Architecture since [7]. Later, in he published Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. It is a text that he expanded in and in which he affirmed [8] :.

This fragment gives a key to the criticism that Hitchcock developed in that book. His speech no longer advocated exclusively an architectural style based on the machine; but he described the different tendencies that developed until the middle of the 20th century. As it has been said, the texts by Benevolo and Giedion were revised and expanded several times.

What allows to observe an evolution in the discourse of these authors; from a position that advocated architecture based on reason and industry and that developed an aesthetic close to cubism ; to accept radically different approaches.

Thus, Giedion affirmed that the third generation included in its works: psychological and cultural components, etc. On the other hand, Benevolo maintained that, in the decade of , the invention was reached, thanks to combining the different factors that came together in the buildings.

That is, both critics ended up understanding that architecture was a language composed of different signs that could generate a coherent code. What reveals certain points in common with the structuralism. However, unlike Giedion, Benevolo hardly addressed the symbolic component in his text. Charles Jencks also admits that structuralist interpretation; in fact, he recognizes the influence of Michel Foucault.

In this way, the historian understands and reveals that architecture is a code, which must respond to the symbolic needs of a plural society in which minorities have a great importance. Perhaps, Giedion was the one who best knew how to combine the evolution of the machine with the development of the third generation.

Thus, the author accepted the necessity of the monument and the symbol and understood that the architecture was based to achieve it - to a large extent - in the development of the structures towards aerodynamic forms. That is to say, the historian was able to unite an almost mechanistic perspective, with the new concerns of the architects for the psychology, the simbology, and so on. Kenneth Frampton goes a step further in the integration of mechanistic and structuralist criticism.

With a wider historical perspective than the previous authors except Jencks , Frampton adopts the concept of tectonics as a way to resolve the conflict between both positions.

The historian gives a double meaning -constructive and symbolic- to technique and detail. The critics by Bruno Zevi, were developed according to an organicist perspective. The historian understood that architecture was a complex organism, which evolved according to its internal needs and its boundary conditions. The criticism of this author was not only organicist; it was also organic. That is to say, he did not only present organicism as the most accurate response to architecture, but also his discourse was evolving and adapting itself to each topic that the author dealt with.

In addition, since - as the same historian claimed - Frank Lloyd Wright did not define the concept of organicism, Zevi maintained an open criticism of change. What allowed him to develop a calculated ambiguity with which he could carry out a coherent and quite unitary discourse when analyzing all periods and architectural experiences. Finally, metacritical perspective is the one that carries out a critique of criticism.

In it, it can be inserted the texts by Banham, Collins, Tafuri and Tournikiotis. However, Collins and Banham were not reduced to analyzing exclusively the different criticisms of architecture; but, also, they studied the different aesthetic, philosophical theories, etc.

In this way, they did not propose an analysis of architecture through its examples, but -mainly- through its theoretical evolution. This does not mean that Banham did not carry out a review of the characteristics of the most representative buildings. Curiously, all these critical lines -except the metacriticism- have a parallel with the work of the Master of Modern Architecture.

Thus, Le Corbusier evolved from the mechanism of the Dom-ino system, to the symbolism of Chandigarh. On the other hand, the work of Mies van der Rohe would have inspired Frampton. And Wright would be responsible for the organic criticism. Among these designers should be added the work of Alvar Aalto, who was halfway between organicism, the International Style and constructivism.

Now, what is the role of the resistant structure in each of these types of criticism? In that sense, the mechanistic critic defends a positivist attitude.

According to which, the architecture gives a scientific response to the problems that arise. So the evolution of the technique which includes the calculation of structures, new materials, etc. Because of this, Hitchcock, Pevsner, Benevolo and Giedion supported the aesthetic derived from Cubism, which was followed by some architects of the modern movement; since industry and abstraction seemed to coincide formally.

However, Banham maintained that, in reality, industry had less influence on the formation of modern architecture than the mechanists claimed. For which, the critic argued that this formal coincidence between cubism and the machine was temporary. So, when the technique evolved, they could not continue to defend a positivist stance - in terms of choosing that aesthetic for scientific reasons.

However, there is a question that the critic did not develop at all; although it is latent in his speech: the machine as a symbol and not as an object. It could be interpreted that, when referring to it, modern architects appealed to the new economic and social order that appeared after the Industrial Revolution. Something that William Morris apparently recognized when, on a theoretical level, he rejected the use of the machine; because it had led to the degradation of artisans into workers.

In this way, modern architecture may use the image of the machine as the metaphor of a society polarized into the proletariat and bourgeoisie, as well as the symbol of new technical and scientific developments.

So, one could say that industry influenced modern architects beyond the coincidence between science and abstract art. However, little by little, the evolution of thought since the late nineteenth century influenced architects and critics.

So psychoanalysis, the Theory of Relativity, phenomenology, the Frankfurt School, structuralism and semiology, advances in psychology, and so on. Those facts indicated new perspectives and psychological, cultural and symbolic needs.

For all this, positivism - the machine - ceased to be a reference symbolic and formal for architects. For this reason, structuralist criticism was developed, which appeals to the possibility of the architect to choose a series of signs to work with.

These levels have not an a priori hierarchy, but are decided by each designer, at each moment. This caused Benevolo to adapt his criticism to each situation, to each example analyzed after the s. And Giedion, when analyzing the third generation, made a great emphasis on the idea of monumentality.

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Breve Historia de La Arquitectura Europea

It is necessary to situate the gaze in the criticism of architecture to throw a certain light on the issues that this discipline deals with. The story, the logos , fulfills a double function both descriptive and constitutive of the reality. The historiography of modern architecture played an active role in conformation of styles, focusing its targets. Some of the main architectural tendences of the twentieth century were consolidated through publications and exhibitions.

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