Jørn Utzon | “The essence of architecture”, 1948“The very essence of architecture can be likened to the seed in nature, and some of the transparency of the principle of growth as found in nature ought to be a fundamental concept in the architectural process.
In order for the architect to be able to master his means of expression, he has to experiment.He must practice like the musician does, experiment with masses, with rhythmic forms made up of masses grouped together, combinations of color, light, and shadow, etc. He must use his senses intensely and by all this train his ability to create new forms.
What is needed is the ability to create a harmony out of all the demands that are raised in connection with a project, the ability to make all these demands melt together and form a novel entity—as in nature—compromises are not known in nature; all difficulties are accepted, not as difficulties but just as new factors which, without conflict, grow to a unified whole.
To understand all the inspiration that can be found in man’s numerous forms of expression, to work on the basis of our hands, our eyes, our feet, our stomach, on the basis of the way we move, and not on the basis of statistical norms and rules formed on the principle of averages, this is the road to a varied and human architecture.
At the same time, the architect must possess the ability to give his imagination free rein, this ability that is sometimes called creativity, sometimes daydreaming.”
Diseñada por la pintora Lilly Steiner y su marido Hugo. La llevó a cabo el arquitecto Adolf Loos. Está situada en un suburbio de Viena. La casa Steiner no sólo se convirtió en un ejemplo muy influyente de la arquitectura moderna, siendo una referencia obligada para los arquitectos de los años 20 – 30s, sino que desempeñó un papel importante en el establecimiento de la reputación de Loos como arquitecto moderno y audaz dentro y fuera de la comunidad vienesa. Es un edificio radicalmente desordenado, con una composición de los huecos simétrica en la fachada del jardín, cuyos volúmenes se articulan mediante dos cuerpos salientes que delimitan una pared central.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Villa Tugendhat, (1930)
The Villa Tugendhat was commissioned by the wealthy newlyweds Grete & Fritz Tugendhat, a Jewish couple with family money from textile manufacturing companies in Brno. The couple met Mies van der Rohe in Berlin in 1927, and was already impressed by his design for the Zehlendorf house of Edward Fuchs. As fans of spacious homes with simple forms, Mies’ free plan method was perfect for the Tugendhats’ taste; however, he was not their only interest in an architect for their own home. They originally confronted Brno’s foremost modern architect at the time, Arnost Wiesner, but after visiting various projects by each architect, the Tugendhats ultimately went with Mies.
Mies visited the site in September of 1928, and had already produced plans by December of that same year. He shared his design with the Tugendhat family that new year’s eve, and with a few minor changes new plans were drafted and set into motion. Mies deployed his new functionalist concept of iron framework, doing away with load-bearing interior walls and allowing for more open and light spaces. The villa was composed of three levels (including the basement), with different floor plans and forms, each relating differently to the sloping site. The Southeast and garden facades were completely glazing from floor to ceiling. The villa Tugendhat was a rather large house, complete with two children’s bedrooms and nanny’s quarters that shared a bathroom at the front of the house, while the master bed and bath were at the rear and connected to the terrace. A housekeeper’s flat and staff quarters were also included in the design.
The villa was exceptionally expensive for its time considering the lavish materials, abnormal construction methods, and extraordinary new technologies of heating and cooling. The house was very advanced for a private residence, and while the overall cost was never known, estimates fall somewhere near five million Czech crowns. In 1930, that amount could have built at least 30 small family homes. Brno was already a hub of modern Architecture for Czechoslovakia in the 1920s, and the Villa Tugendhat was only met with moderate praise at best among the avant garde in its time. Many of the left wing elite in the art world viewed the new home as snobbish and overdone because its lush interior design and furnishings.
Mies designed all the furniture in the house and chose precisely the placement of each piece and fixture. Although there was no art on the walls or decoration in or on the house, it never came across as bare or plain because of the rich materiality of onyx and rare tropical woods used throughout the home. The villa was built by building contractors in Brno, but the iron framework was constructed by contractors from Berlin. Steel frame construction was unusual for homes at that time, but brought with it many advantages that Mies was very occupied with and had already used in his famed Barcelona Pavillion – thinner walls, a free plan that could differ from floor to floor, large walls of glazing to open up rooms and connect them to the garden, etc. Over all the minimal and stable design became a hallmark in Mies’ residential accomplishments.
In the latest episode of Ask The Experts we get five different perspectives on the menswear mainstay, the suit. Here, the founders of Art Comes First (Sam Lambert & Shaka Maidoh) reflect on the origins of their style, and discuss how men can inject a little personality into their own look.