Friday, 22 February 2013

Arty Architecture

It's been a bit of a stressful week, a funeral took out a whole day Wednesday, I took my favourite chair to be reupholstered (small things stress me out) I did some 'crits' (hate that word) had Le Corbusier to do for my 9 o'clock this morning and I've got a nagging book proposal in my head. Of all of these things, LC was the most enjoyable, I don't think we teach him enough at all, even though that makes me about ninety two. So I made a special effort to reline back to 1969 on the daybed this afternoon with the new headphones, which are spectacular. My only problem is that when I close my eyes I think that somebody has broken in to the house and is about to kill me. This was an unforeseen problem with the new headphones.
If Mies reduced architecture to one thing and Gropius incorporated it (or vice versa) it is LC who demonstrated a synthesis of ideas that appeals to your inner dancing hare. OK the buildings may be ugly but that never did anybody any harm. There is something about LC that is the complete package, our Achilles with tap heels. They have virtues. I think his advantage lies in the fact that you have this slightly barmy totally Faustian urbanism, and then the approximations of it, compromised one way or the other, that is actually the beautiful work. I love to show the plans of his Nungesser et Coli apartment building (above). No amount of looking at Mies will ever give you a clue about planning under pressure, and Gropius couldn't draw in the first place, so what you get with LC, vestigially of course, is the architecture you've always wanted, the arty kind, the kind that divides two bedrooms with 's' form single lines, under pressure.

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