“Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen” at Serralves Museum

“Besides, History” is a three-party conversation that took place over the past year, involving Go Hasegawa, based in Tokyo, Kersten Geers and David Van Severen (OFFICE), based in Brussels, and the history of architecture.

 

Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen. Installation view, 2017 © CCA

Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen. Installation view, 2017 © CCA

 

This conversation was initiated by the CCA, an institution that was founded on the conviction that studying architecture’s ideas involves using the past and the present as tools to envision the future. (more…)

“The books of The Architecture of the City” at Archizoom-EPFL Lausanne

Victoria Easton, Kersten Geers and Guido Tesio are the curators of an exhibition focused on the many different texts, references and graphical excerpts present in Rossi’s 1960’s acclaimed work, aiming to clarify the basic ideas of the original text.

 

"The books in The Architecture of the City" Archizoom. EPFL, 2016 © Giulio Boem

“The books in The Architecture of the City” Archizoom. EPFL, 2016 © Giulio Boem

 

The exhibition, curated by Victoria Easton, Kersten Geers (from KGDVS) and Guido Tesio, attempts to break down the main ideas of Rossi’s book by reorganizing and putting together the many texts and visual information contained in the original work, while proposing some new content that may help to better understand it: photographs, bibliography and facsimiles. The exhibition was made in collaboration with Form – ENAC – EPFL and the Fondazione Aldo Rossi.


 

Practical information

“The books of The Architecture of the City”
February 21 – March 11, 2017
Archizoom. EPFL.
SG 1211 (SG Building)1015 Lausanne
Switzerland

 


In 1966, Aldo Rossi published a book that refuted the then current arguments on the city and its design, and whose reception exceeded all expectations: L’architettura della città was fast internationally hailed as a classic.

 

"The books in The Architecture of the City" Archizoom. EPFL, 2016 © Giulio Boem

“The books in The Architecture of the City” Archizoom. EPFL, 2016 © Giulio Boem

 

Built upon a combination of unconventional fragments from various disciplines, cultures and authors, the book engendered a conceptual framework – as opaque as it appeared – for effective exploration of the complexity of the contemporary city, the success of which persisted at least until the work of Rossi himself, with all its later simplifications and cartoonesque positions, began to colour people’s perceptions of his theories. Now, on the 50th anniversary of the original launch of L’architettura della città, this exhibition presents itself as a formal exercise both in celebrating this ‘mythical’ work and taking it off its pedestal, dusting it down so as to be able to (re-)engage with its tenets.

 

"The books in The Architecture of the City" Archizoom. EPFL, 2016 © Giulio Boem

“The books in The Architecture of the City” Archizoom. EPFL, 2016 © Giulio Boem

"The books in The Architecture of the City" Archizoom. EPFL, 2016 © Giulio Boem

“The books in The Architecture of the City” Archizoom. EPFL, 2016 © Giulio Boem

 

The importance of the book manifests in the uncertainty that accompanies us still, when interpreting and designing the city today. The issues raised by Rossi in the 1960s have by no means been resolved: cities are still complex; their physical configuration still mirrors their history in a non-linear, contradictory manner; and urban phenomena remain inexplicable unless approached in the light of the city as a whole. Is Rossi’s ‘city-as-a-book’ or ‘book-as-a-city’ a metaphor we need to hang on to? Perhaps it is, given that the construction of this book results in many ways from the construction of the architect: the architecture of the city built Aldo Rossi, so to speak. Or should it perhaps be dismissed or deconstructed once and for all? We – in presenting here a Difficult Whole, scrutinised but not unravelled – take the liberty of not letting that happen.

 

"The books in The Architecture of the City" Archizoom. EPFL, 2016

“The books in The Architecture of the City” Archizoom. EPFL, 2016

"The books in The Architecture of the City" Archizoom. EPFL, 2016

“The books in The Architecture of the City” Archizoom. EPFL, 2016

 

In returning to the sources on which Rossi drew in order to construct his book, in recovering the original editions so as to expound both their literary and iconographic value, The Books of the Architecture of the City exhibition celebrates the generosity of the book, beyond the fame of its author, and therewith proposes that Aldo Rossi be regarded as only one among many contributors to an intimately multifaceted and collective project called L’architettura della città: a book made of books.

The Books of the Architecture of the City does not present a thoroughly researched ‘new’ claim regarding the truth (or not) of Rossi’s flawed masterpiece. It is rather, a simple survey of all that Rossi explicitly included within its pages. Thus, the exhibition shows everything and nothing simultaneously. Here, all the books of The Architecture of the City are brought together and made accessible for the first time. They are displayed alongside a set of books made of facsimiles in which all the quoted text excerpts and graphical excerpts from the original editions are compiled. A photographic essay by Stefano Graziani visually resonates with the fragments of text. In drawing on more than 150 books, on a multiplicity of origins and references, L’architettura della città is resolutely an organism that prompts the on-going mutation of its own content as well as ample opportunities for a continuous internal and external dialogue. By showing nothing but what was already there, The Books of the Architecture of the City plainly exposes the contents of the original text, thus calling upon the visitor to explore Rossi’s fiction as well as to venture into building new sets of analogies and correspondences.


 

News source: EPFL
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“The Difficult Whole” A Reference Book on Robert Venturi, John Rauch and Denise Scott Brown

This edition, published by Park Books, features analysis of twenty-eight projects by Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown, re-evaluating Venturi’s idea of the “difficult whole” in the context of his work: a significant contribution to a contemporary architectural discourse.

 

"The Difficult Whole" © Park Books

“The Difficult Whole” © Park Books

 

In 1966, architect Robert Venturi published Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, a manifesto that became one of the twentieth century’s most important statements about architecture. Drawing on both vernacular and high-style sources, Venturi introduced new lessons from the buildings of architects who were well known, like Michelangelo and Alvar Aalto, and those whose work had then been forgotten, like Frank Furness and Edwin Lutyens. Arguing against the diagrammatic forms that dominated the field at that time, Venturi made a case instead for “the difficult whole.” (more…)