Jean Tschumi, Bernard Tschumi & DOCOMOMO

    On Wednesday evening I attended a party at Vitra celebrating the publication of a long overdue monograph on architect Jean Tschumi, written by Jacques Gubler and published by Skira. Jean Tschumi: Architecture at Full Scale documents the brief career of the Swiss architect who eschewed his Beaux Arts training in favor of "the polemical field of modernity and its technological expression." In the US, the name Tschumi is more well known prefaced by Bernard, rather than Jean, who died in 1962 at the age of 57, when his son was only 18 years old. His early death may have cut his architectural career short, but the quality of the architecture that he produced is evidenced in the pages of this monograph and in the Archizoom exhibition last year, curated also by Gubler.

    jtschumi1.jpg

    I'm especially taken by the image on the party invitation of the Aula de Cèdres, a conference center and auditorium at HEP Lausanne:

    jtschumi2.jpg

    On Wednesday Gubler spoke of Tschumi's architecture relative to color (embraced by the architect, but rarely captured in documentation of buildings) and scale, referring to the book's subtitle and the architect's consideration of design from furniture to the city. The book offers an in-depth exploration of Tschumi's career, which includes a number of office headquarters, for Nestlé, La Mutuelle Vaudoise, and the World Health Organization. (This blog post at New Switzerland gives a decent overview of the qualities of Jean's architecture.)

    One is tempted to break down how the father's architecture influenced Bernard Tschumi's, though if an influence on the latter is evident, it is in the year's since his father's passing. Some brief words on Wednesday by the architect of the new Acropolis Museum pointed to little discussion between the two regarding architecture. In fact Bernard admits that he didn't decide to pursue architecture until a trip to Chicago, only a few weeks before his father died. But with time to study his father's buildings, and a role in Architecture at Full Scale, it would be difficult not to find Jean's influence on his son.

    tschumi-acropolis.jpg
    [new Acropolis Museum | image source]

    Looking at the two buildings shown above, I would say the influence of Jean on Bernard happens primarily with thinking about site. The above clearly illustrates how the new Acropolis Museum's top relates to the distant Parthenon, while the lower floor contends with the ruins preserved below. In between, the museum is all about movement and the clarity of the exhibition, but it can be seen as the byproduct of contending with the site below and distant. The elder Tschumi's HEP building skillfully addresses the site's topography (as can be seen here) and adjacent buildings, standing out formally but fitting into the multi-faceted landscape.

    docomomo_us.jpg

    In the Wednesday-night party's introduction by Nina Rappaport, Chair of DOCOMOMO-New York/Tristate, the preservation of Jean Tschumi's architecture in Switzerland was commended, an unspoken difference between an appreciation of Modernism's gems and the demolition of the same in part or in full an ocean away. The US chapter of DOCOMOMO (international working party for DOcumentation and COnservation of building sites and neighborhoods of the MOdern MOvement) includes ten regional chapters (all tolled the international DOCOMOMO is 53 chapters strong), but fights for preservation seem to be lost more often than won.

    While this fact points to a limited appreciation in this country for architecture produced in the middle of last century, I can't help but wonder if this situation is more about ideology than taste. Modernism was predicated on progress and responses to the changes sweeping across the developed world from industrialization and world wars, so the preservation of the movement's buildings seems anithetical to their origin. That people equate modern architecture with the tabula rasa clearing of neighborhoods, towards the erection of towers in the park in that time does not help matters.

    A couple issues further complicate matters: how many modern buildings were not built with the longevity of buildings centuries before; the open plans and platonic forms of modernism did not turn out to be as flexible as envisioned. These point to the necessity of preservation less than 75 years after many buildings of the era were completed and the creativity needed by architects to propose and carry out the adaptive reuse of modernist structures. I think the latter is key in efforts to preserve modern architecture, especially when faced with opponents arguing that demolition and new construction is cheaper and therefore better. The fact that many modern buildings are ingrained and important elements in their neighborhoods (ironically, like the older buildings many modern structures replaced) is perhaps the strongest argument for DOCOMOMO's continued relevance today.Source URL: http://threemoonsevolving.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

Jean Tschumi, Bernard Tschumi & DOCOMOMO

    On Wednesday evening I attended a party at Vitra celebrating the publication of a long overdue monograph on architect Jean Tschumi, written by Jacques Gubler and published by Skira. Jean Tschumi: Architecture at Full Scale documents the brief career of the Swiss architect who eschewed his Beaux Arts training in favor of "the polemical field of modernity and its technological expression." In the US, the name Tschumi is more well known prefaced by Bernard, rather than Jean, who died in 1962 at the age of 57, when his son was only 18 years old. His early death may have cut his architectural career short, but the quality of the architecture that he produced is evidenced in the pages of this monograph and in the Archizoom exhibition last year, curated also by Gubler.

    jtschumi1.jpg

    I'm especially taken by the image on the party invitation of the Aula de Cèdres, a conference center and auditorium at HEP Lausanne:

    jtschumi2.jpg

    On Wednesday Gubler spoke of Tschumi's architecture relative to color (embraced by the architect, but rarely captured in documentation of buildings) and scale, referring to the book's subtitle and the architect's consideration of design from furniture to the city. The book offers an in-depth exploration of Tschumi's career, which includes a number of office headquarters, for Nestlé, La Mutuelle Vaudoise, and the World Health Organization. (This blog post at New Switzerland gives a decent overview of the qualities of Jean's architecture.)

    One is tempted to break down how the father's architecture influenced Bernard Tschumi's, though if an influence on the latter is evident, it is in the year's since his father's passing. Some brief words on Wednesday by the architect of the new Acropolis Museum pointed to little discussion between the two regarding architecture. In fact Bernard admits that he didn't decide to pursue architecture until a trip to Chicago, only a few weeks before his father died. But with time to study his father's buildings, and a role in Architecture at Full Scale, it would be difficult not to find Jean's influence on his son.

    tschumi-acropolis.jpg
    [new Acropolis Museum | image source]

    Looking at the two buildings shown above, I would say the influence of Jean on Bernard happens primarily with thinking about site. The above clearly illustrates how the new Acropolis Museum's top relates to the distant Parthenon, while the lower floor contends with the ruins preserved below. In between, the museum is all about movement and the clarity of the exhibition, but it can be seen as the byproduct of contending with the site below and distant. The elder Tschumi's HEP building skillfully addresses the site's topography (as can be seen here) and adjacent buildings, standing out formally but fitting into the multi-faceted landscape.

    docomomo_us.jpg

    In the Wednesday-night party's introduction by Nina Rappaport, Chair of DOCOMOMO-New York/Tristate, the preservation of Jean Tschumi's architecture in Switzerland was commended, an unspoken difference between an appreciation of Modernism's gems and the demolition of the same in part or in full an ocean away. The US chapter of DOCOMOMO (international working party for DOcumentation and COnservation of building sites and neighborhoods of the MOdern MOvement) includes ten regional chapters (all tolled the international DOCOMOMO is 53 chapters strong), but fights for preservation seem to be lost more often than won.

    While this fact points to a limited appreciation in this country for architecture produced in the middle of last century, I can't help but wonder if this situation is more about ideology than taste. Modernism was predicated on progress and responses to the changes sweeping across the developed world from industrialization and world wars, so the preservation of the movement's buildings seems anithetical to their origin. That people equate modern architecture with the tabula rasa clearing of neighborhoods, towards the erection of towers in the park in that time does not help matters.

    A couple issues further complicate matters: how many modern buildings were not built with the longevity of buildings centuries before; the open plans and platonic forms of modernism did not turn out to be as flexible as envisioned. These point to the necessity of preservation less than 75 years after many buildings of the era were completed and the creativity needed by architects to propose and carry out the adaptive reuse of modernist structures. I think the latter is key in efforts to preserve modern architecture, especially when faced with opponents arguing that demolition and new construction is cheaper and therefore better. The fact that many modern buildings are ingrained and important elements in their neighborhoods (ironically, like the older buildings many modern structures replaced) is perhaps the strongest argument for DOCOMOMO's continued relevance today.Source URL: http://threemoonsevolving.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

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New Local Worlds in Section

    [Image: "Moravian Mount" from New Local Zlín by Margaret Bursa].

    In a recent post I included an image from Margaret Bursa's project New Local NY, which she produced while a student at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Bursa's tutors for that project were Mark Smout and Laura Allen, of Smout Allen; and I should right away that I'm consistently amazed at the quality of work coming out of Smout Allen's studios.

    I thought, then, that I should take the occasion to share more images from Bursa's projects. You can check out her website here.

    [Images: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa].

    New Local NY features "a ‘landscape of movement’," Bursa writes. It "takes the form of a condensed urban playground on the west side of Manhattan, overhanging onto the River Hudson," and it was at least partially inspired "by the ongoing relocation of immigrants and cultures to America, in particular Sokol, a Czech mass-exercise movement, promoting togetherness, flocking, fresh air and cultural pride."

    The result is an intensely colorful, wind-powered megastructure, sitting comfortably astride the worlds of home craft and experimental architecture.

    [Image: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa].

    Here are some amazing sectional sketches:

    [Images: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa; larger version one and two].

    Then there is New Local Zlín, an earlier companion piece to New Local NY.

    Zlín, Bursa explains, is the fading capital of the Bata shoe-making empire:
      The Czech town of Zlín is the site of a social, industrial and architectural experiment begun by Tomas Bata in 1894. However, his shoe-making factories that were once the town’s driving force no longer operate and so the social and commercial structure of the town and its suburbs are in decline. Responding to the New Local Manifesto, a layer of facilities is laid over and interwoven into the residential neighborhoods where seven housing typologies are afforded dual functions of work and domestic life such the House of Drink, where both production and consumption are combined.
    The images, again, are drenched in color and extraordinarily detailed.

    [Images: "House of Drink," "Greenhouse," and town plan from New Local Zlín by Margaret Bursa].

    The next project is a kind of tube-diorama: you look into the miniature landscape and see autumn trees, a ruined Greek temple, and a many-windowed architectural section standing in silhouette.

    The project seems to come with the implication that, when you look inside a telescope, perhaps it's possible that you might simply be seeing a world inside the telescope—that is, an optical device that, instead of revealing new worlds from afar, actually contains local worlds within it.

    [Image: From Layered Landscapes by Margaret Bursa].

    Called Layered Landscapes, the project is a "compositional map," Bursa writes, and it comes complete with hardcover book and poster.

    [Images: From Layered Landscapes by Margaret Bursa].

    Finally, I have a weird affinity for sketches of archways, and so I'd be remiss if I didn't include this short series of brick studies—called, unsurprisingly, Brickscape.

    [Images: From Brickscape by Margaret Bursa].

    In any case, there's some great work in there. Check out Bursa's site for a bit more.Source URL: http://threemoonsevolving.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

New Local Worlds in Section

    [Image: "Moravian Mount" from New Local Zlín by Margaret Bursa].

    In a recent post I included an image from Margaret Bursa's project New Local NY, which she produced while a student at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Bursa's tutors for that project were Mark Smout and Laura Allen, of Smout Allen; and I should right away that I'm consistently amazed at the quality of work coming out of Smout Allen's studios.

    I thought, then, that I should take the occasion to share more images from Bursa's projects. You can check out her website here.

    [Images: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa].

    New Local NY features "a ‘landscape of movement’," Bursa writes. It "takes the form of a condensed urban playground on the west side of Manhattan, overhanging onto the River Hudson," and it was at least partially inspired "by the ongoing relocation of immigrants and cultures to America, in particular Sokol, a Czech mass-exercise movement, promoting togetherness, flocking, fresh air and cultural pride."

    The result is an intensely colorful, wind-powered megastructure, sitting comfortably astride the worlds of home craft and experimental architecture.

    [Image: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa].

    Here are some amazing sectional sketches:

    [Images: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa; larger version one and two].

    Then there is New Local Zlín, an earlier companion piece to New Local NY.

    Zlín, Bursa explains, is the fading capital of the Bata shoe-making empire:
      The Czech town of Zlín is the site of a social, industrial and architectural experiment begun by Tomas Bata in 1894. However, his shoe-making factories that were once the town’s driving force no longer operate and so the social and commercial structure of the town and its suburbs are in decline. Responding to the New Local Manifesto, a layer of facilities is laid over and interwoven into the residential neighborhoods where seven housing typologies are afforded dual functions of work and domestic life such the House of Drink, where both production and consumption are combined.
    The images, again, are drenched in color and extraordinarily detailed.

    [Images: "House of Drink," "Greenhouse," and town plan from New Local Zlín by Margaret Bursa].

    The next project is a kind of tube-diorama: you look into the miniature landscape and see autumn trees, a ruined Greek temple, and a many-windowed architectural section standing in silhouette.

    The project seems to come with the implication that, when you look inside a telescope, perhaps it's possible that you might simply be seeing a world inside the telescope—that is, an optical device that, instead of revealing new worlds from afar, actually contains local worlds within it.

    [Image: From Layered Landscapes by Margaret Bursa].

    Called Layered Landscapes, the project is a "compositional map," Bursa writes, and it comes complete with hardcover book and poster.

    [Images: From Layered Landscapes by Margaret Bursa].

    Finally, I have a weird affinity for sketches of archways, and so I'd be remiss if I didn't include this short series of brick studies—called, unsurprisingly, Brickscape.

    [Images: From Brickscape by Margaret Bursa].

    In any case, there's some great work in there. Check out Bursa's site for a bit more.Source URL: http://threemoonsevolving.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection