Communicating the architecture (I) | Íñigo García Odiaga

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Le Corbusier was saying that it preferred drawing to speaking. It is more rapid and leaves less space for the lie. As the architects, also the own discipline prefers expressing in the drawing, in the image, to demonstrate his raison d’être. The architecture, maybe for his need to express and make concrete a still imaginary future, his better ally has found always in graphical to communicate.

Different photographies of the Ville Stein, in which there appear cars that seem to cross the scene

When in 1923 Le Corbusier published the first edition of the book, Vers une Architecture, this one resorted to the image of the car and to his production in series to explain what the modern housing had to be. There are great his works photographed with the presence of a car of epoch, which in addition introduces certain tension to the composition of the photography, or if it is preferred, it transforms it into a species of cinematographic sequence.

The photographies that the study of Le Corbusier de la Ville Stein in Garches, is a good example of this one idea. In several captures the vehicles appear partially, giving idea of the direction that they will take and entering conversation with the architecture. Also we might remember that photography in which a car executes the draft of the ground floor of the Ville Savoye, in his tour towards the garage of the villa, or different that one in which the own one Him Corbusier was posing supported opposite to a car, with the Swiss pavilion of bottom.

Ground floor of the Ville Savoye with Le Corbusier to the steering wheel / Zone of access of vehicles of the Pavillon Suisse

The construction or the production in series of vehicles, is not a system thought to optimize the industrial process of production, but it introduces to the own product in a dynamics of constant development. Every model corrects the mistakes of his predecessor, is perfected, evolves there being known a link of a chain of constant improvement.

This process of design and construction of the modern car, it represents for Him Corbusier, the reading industrializes of the stylistic development carried out throughout the centuries in the design and construction of the Greek temples. From this point of view, the proportions, the styles and the forms of the Greek temple, they might explain as result of a slow, but constant process of development and refinement. A process that has ended in the concretion of a few exquisite architectures, in those that all the elements take place, his function and his raison d’être. There is present everything pertinent and nothing more than the strictly necessary thing.

“I admire The Parthenon. This exact beauty today obtains machine, which is not a fright since some of them believe, but an instrument of perfection.”

Pags 124 and 125 of Vers úne Architecture of Le Corbusier

The construction of the Weissenhoff in Stuttgart in 1927, took as an aim the establishment of the modern canon, and as minimally to the eyes of Mies van der Rohe, the director of the event and to those of the own one Le Corbusier the exhibition was fundamental to leave witness of the “essence” of the modern housing.

In this respect, the importance of the event was not taking root only of the more or less lucky buildings that there were constructing themselves, but maybe in major degree, of the debate, the texts and the images that of there were becoming detached. With sendos cars and accompanied of two models, the buildings of both were immortalized for the eternity. With these photographies Corbusier and Grain seem to echo the saying, an image costs more than thousand words.

These images “produced” for the occasion have a clear advertising aim, in the etymological sense of the word. These photographies chase to do of public domain, that the architecture can and it is necessary to to make alike in his production to that of a car in series, since from the optics of the modernity, the architecture, it is to serve and not to represent.

Building photographies in the Weissenhof Siedlung, opposite to works of Le Corbusier and Grain vander Rohe

In occasions, it is difficult to measure the impact of the spread and only by means of the response that is received, idea of the successful thing can be had.

Really, the image of the white architecture of the Weissenhof was used for of Philip Johnson and Henry Russell, to lay the foundations of the modern movement, in the exhibition Modern Architecture: International exhibition celebrated in the MOMA of New York in 1932. But also the same white architecture, of pure volumes, was used by the device of propaganda Nazi, to discredit the modern rationalism, and his disability to represent what the National Socialism was claiming. Stugartt’s neighborhood was transformed by means of a collage, in an Arabic settlement, to illustrate an advertising cartel that was rejecting of plenary session the architecture of the Weissenhof Siedlung.

Photography of the Weissenhof de Stugartt / Propaganda Photomontage anti-Weissenhof

In 1936, Albert Speer I design for Adolf Hitler’s order, the pavilion of the third german Reic, for the international exhibition of Paris. The building, it does not try to be another thing, any more than a representation. The representation of a country that wants to be an empire established on the idea of the third Reich, which lasts more than 1000 years. For this motive, Speer centred his anxieties of architectural representation on the works of the Roman empire, buildings that enclosed across his ruins were capable of expressing the greatness of those who raised them.

Undoubtedly, the ideal one very removed from the rationalism and the funcionalismo of the modern movement. But for against, to show the industrial and technological power of Hitler’s Germany, inside the building there were appearing the best examples of this technical potential.

Interior of the Pavilion of Germany in the International Exhibition of Paris of 1936. Albert Speer

Still there remains a photography that shows with brightness the interior of the pavilion of Germany, in which a fascinating car stands out. It is a question 1936-1937 as a Mercedes-Benz of careers of the season, that in view of his aspect minimalísta and futurist it emphasizes in the baroque environment that it wraps it.

Raised in a pedestal it is not waited at all of, there is wanted that it walks, neither that starts, nor that works. Le corbusier is not treated as one of the dear machines . The car is here a simple object belonging to another different time, to another mentality, is a distant form to that of the architecture that receives it.

íñigo garcía odiaga . architect

san sebastián. january 2014

Íñigo García Odiaga

Arquitecto. Editor de NOMU. 1/5 del estudio de arquitectura VAUMM. Vivo en Donosti.

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