In the postwar period, during the first revisionism of the modern movement, some schools of architecture coincided in approaching the abstract analysis of the architecture, affirming that the actors fundacionales assimilated in his development the pictorial operations expressed by the cubism.
One of the propellents of this thought was Bernhard Hoesli who, after Corbusier left the study of Him, I occupy a post in the School of Architecture of Austin1. From this academic place, Hoesli developed a theory that I confirm in a university memorandum, where it affirms that two three-dimensional drawings had a precise incident in almost the totality of the architectural operations of the period between the wars, and were determinant in the conception of the modern space: The perspective of the Dom-ino structure and the axonometrías of the counter-neoplastics constructions2.
The perspective of the Dom-ino structure I Dominate formulated by Le Corbusier together with Max Dubois in 1914, it arose as an alternative to facilitate the reconstruction of the housings devastated by the first world war. Corporiza by means of six columns of concrete that support two horizontal planes, low and top. The series of columns of re-bring several centimeters of the perimeter to allow that a mortar of rubbles of the destroyed housings should close the wings in all his perimeter. Synchronously, the vertical traffic is formulated externally of the three-dimensional counterfoil.
The module could form a pair in different ways, as if it was a question of cards of dominoes. This disposition was never used for the reconstruction of housings, but it generated the conditions necessary for the formulation of the “free plant” and the formal independence of the vertical paraments.
In this operation the space remains defined by the stratification of horizontal planes. The walls stopped being structural to reach a freedom of movements till then known. The stairs, on having remained exempt from the structure, also is promoted as plastic element. This way,
the elements components of the architectural space demonstrate, in an individual way, an analogous quality to Malevich’s paintings: planes liberated of any function that are promoted as primary elements of representative character. Of this form, the space remains defined as the volume limited by horizontal stratified surfaces and vertical planes that, on having been liberated of the structural support, can reach pictorial dimension3.
The dialectical relation between plant and elevation reaches a structure compositiva that governs every part for his own laws.
Another drawing is a result of a plastic search that will not have correlato with a later work, but it exposed a new way of thinking the architecture. The axonometría of the maisón d’artiste of Theo van Doesburg and Cornelis van Eesteren presented in the exhibition of the L’Effort Moderne gallery of Paris in 1923 is born of an abstract reflection on the architectural form.
Van Doesburg and Van Eesteren Doesburg catches the three-dimensional implications of the geometric abstraction and proposes the break of the axial schemes of the classicism. The vertical space is a result of the combination of planes defined as floating entities. These planes are treated as pictorial elements of individual character, in positions, proportions and changeable situations, so that the space is constructed by means of the continuous three-dimensional one of result fix quotas.
In this sequence, the color plays a preponderant role defining the character of every entity:
“the color has revealed a new formal terms of reference of the architecture: the relation topológica and proyectiva between volumes, planes, lines, color, mathematical elements that for yes same are neither components nor fragments of architecture”.4
Some years later, in the design of the pavilion of Barcelona, Mies van der Rohe reinterprets these concepts. The rhythmic structure of columns supports a horizontal plane that stratifies the space, but the vertical planes arrange with absolute freedom propitiating spatial simbiosis that invades the whole set. The pavilion, complete representation of the ideal ones of the modern movement, brings together qualities observed in both drawings.
These graphs of antagonistic conceptions, one produced in the exploration of the technical solutions and other one in the search of the abstraction of the language, are actually schemes on which there germinates the practice of the modern movement: a geometric language simple and diminished to few elements, where the space is flexible, the paraments has his own law compositiva and the color joins as a definitive component.
Marcelo Gardinetti . architect
La Plata. January 2018
1 In 1951 Bernhard Hoesli occupied a post in the school of Austin’s architecture. One year later it took up office as dean Harwell Harris, who promoted the incorporation of Colin Rowe, John Hejduk and Robert Slutzky. This group of architects formed an equipment of work known as Texas Rangers, they adopted an abstract vision of the architecture, tied to the painting forefront and elaborated memorable texts as “Literal and phenomenal transparency” by Rowe and Slutzky.
2 “It is reasonable that an academy is fixed by his position symbolized by two pictures, one the production of a structure of Corbusier’s frame, and another the counter-construction in the space of Doesburg Goes. Both illustrations have more than thirty years of age. They offer the graph of the contemporary situation. Very little it has been generated from this moment that is not involved in these drawings.” Memorandum of the University of Austin’s Architecture elaborated by Bernhard Hoesli, Colin Rowe y Harwell Harris, of date March 13, 1954.
3 Planes of pictorial nature; Tecnne, august, 2014.
4 Escaño Rodríguez, Teresa. Theo van Doesburg and Cornelis van Eesteren, three projects for the L’Effort Moderne Gallery in París ; Notebook of notes, Department of architectural composition ETSAM, July, 1998.