Jorge Otero – Pailos Architecture’s Historical Turn – Phenomenology and the rise of the Postmodern

kennethframptonpg 231 – “Framptons own turn toward history occurred as part of this larger rethinking of the methods of architectural histriography. “Industrialization and the Crises in Architecture” represented his own take on how architectural history should be written… Disconnected from building, architecture degenerated into Utopian, speculative,unbuildable projects, such as those of Boulee. Architecture and building had been divided, but architecture remained more culturally important that building engineering.

The Crystal Palace was essentially designed by Charles Fox, a railway engineer, even though the architect Joseph Paxt

on took most of the Credit. For Frampton , this was the symbolic moment when building engineering overtook architecture in terms of cultural significance. “with the Crystal Palace,” he wrote, “The question of ‘how’ began, at a public level, to take precedence over the issue of ‘what’ (, “Industrialization and the Crises in Architecture,” Oppositions, no.1 (September 1973): 61, pg 65 – 80

The Instrumental thinking of ‘homo faber’, to use Arendt’s terms, and his singular obsession with the “how” of things, had become common place in European culture of the the mid-nineteenth century. “Equipped with a surplus of means over needs,” he wrote, architects tried to dress utilitarian buildings with “instant culture,” applying meaningless hisoricist styles to them. By doing so, bourgeois culture reduce architecture to the worthless pretentiousness of kitsch. For him, the emergence of architectural kitsch was evidence of a desperate attempt by architect to compensate for the “disintegration of the public realm”  by stylistically recreating, however deceitfully, the image of past “coherent and authentic culture.”


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