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Monthly Archives: March 2014

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pg 8 – On what points of view but is our Today’s architecture?

pg 8 – About this question can give us a look back at the best teach the way they in their recent develop-ment sections, but mainly in the nineteenth year has a hundred taken.

pg 8 – One has the nineteenth Century the century of transport, electricity, the natural sciences, the historical research, the Century of the People’s armies of labor, machinery mentioned.

pg 40 – Been using the individual Styles. 

But also have other modern demands in the course of the last century in architecture asserted and have – for the large quantity, although unnoticed and compared to the well in the foreground standing style bustle also quite in secret, we- kend – but caused a kind of undercurrent a determining part of a dawning new Architecture promises to deliver. There are the demands, resulting from the new economic and transport ratios, the new design principles and the new materials show. In the latter respect us the nineteenth century, two new building materials ge- introduced: iron and glass, for once in the un ^ common advanced traffic and other modern Conditions, the use revealed. These ratios brought us some important new building genera, before all of the station, the exhibition building. In two was the vast space treatment with feeding a maximum Masses of light, the fundamental condition. Iron and glass seemed the materials given here.

 

 

“RELATING on exhibition architecture has England by the set up for the first World Exhibition of 1851 Crystal Palace the world pointed the way, and for his Time completely unique dastehendes company, a wonder- factory of the then blossoming English undertakings tion humanities. The building was designed by a gardener the later ennobled Joseph Paxton built the his Experiences of greenhouses on the peculiar con- struction of iron and glass installed. They ranked it his time hardly a in the works of architecture, and yet be paved example of a new architectural American publication of the following decades the ways: the wide arched iron hall. They came especially to Validity in the exhibition palaces of a series of World’s Fairs, the France of that time held, and France, where the brilliant architect Labrouste already earlier in his Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve and the National Library of the iron in rich Maasse access”

 

41 – RELATING on exhibition architecture has England by the set up for the first World Exhibition of 1851 Krystallpalast the world pointed the way, and for his Time completely unique dastehendes company, a wonder- factory of the then blossoming English undertakings tion humanities. The building was designed by a gardener the later ennobled Joseph Paxton built the his Experiences of greenhouses on the peculiar con- struction of iron and glass installed. They ranked it his time hardly a in the works of architecture, and yet be paved example of a new architectural American publication of the following decades the ways: the wide arched iron hall. They came especially to Validity in the exhibition palaces of a series of World’s Fairs, the France of that time held, and France, where the brilliant architect Labrouste already earlier in his Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve and the National Library of the iron in rich Maasse access

 

 

 

 

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It is my hope that just
of the necessary and undemanding
Buildings new and genuine architecture,
which we expect will come out much
rather anyway, as from the experimental
animals with more or less,
sophisticated architectural styles.

William Morris.

Extracts from Glass Architecture –

pg 41 – We live for the most part in closed rooms. These form the environment from which our culture grows, Our culture is to a certain extent the product of our architecture. If we want our culture to rise to a higher level, we are obliged, for a better or for worse, to change our architecture. And this only becomes possible if we take away the closed character from the room in which we live. We can only do that by introducing glass architecture, which lets in the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars, not merely through a few windows, but through, ever possible wall, which will be made entirely of glass.

pg 41 – We already have glass architecture in botanical gardens. The Botanical Gardens at Dahlem near Berlin show that very imposing glass palaces have been erected. But – colour is missing, In the evening sunlight, however, the Palm House and the Cold House look so magnificent… the Palm House is particularly interesting: outside, the seemingly unsupported iron construction; inside, the framework of wood glazing bars, sot hat no rust-water accumulates and the iron can be repainted again and again…. The worst thing, thought, is that the glass walls are single glazed not double; in consequence, the expenditure on winter heating is simply enormous.  

 

 

 tropical house

tropical house

pg 42 – The Iron Skeleten and the Reinforced Concrete Skeleton 

An iron Skeleton is of course indispensable for glass architecture. This will inevitably stimulate an extraordinary upsurge in heavy industry.

pg 43 – The inner Framework of glass surfaces. 

The Iron or reinforced concrete skeleton virtually frames the glass, but the glazed surfaces must have another smaller inner frame. For this purpose in the Botanical Gardens, as already mentioned, impermanent wood was used.

Various Other new building Materials might be considered, but these have not yet been sufficiently tested for them to be thought of as entirely credible materials suitable for framing glazed surfaces.

 

pg 43 – (in reference to not being able to hang ornaments on the wall of a glass house) Ideas derived from our grandparents must no longer be the deciding influence in the new environment. Everything new has to wage an arduous campaign against entrenched tradition. It cannot be otherwise, if the new is to prevail.

 

pg 44 – The ancient Arabs lived far more in their gardens than in their castles. For this reason garden houses and kiosks were very quickly developed by them. Unluckily, since perishable wood was their constant choice of building material, nothing remains of this Arabian garden Architecture.

pg 45 – The Functional Style

For a transition period, the functional style seems to me acceptable; at all events it has done away with imitations of oler styles, which are simply products of brick architecture and wooden furniture. Ornamentation in the glass house will evolve entirely of its own accord – the oriental decoration, the carpets … will be so transformed that in glass architecture we shall never, I trust,have to speak of copying.

** Introduction** pg 46

2931-Glass-City-954

The Face of the earth would be much altered if brick architecture were ousted everywhere by glass architecture. It would be as if the earth were adorned with sparkling jewels and enamels. Such glory is unimaginable. All over the world it would be as splendid as in the gardens of the Arabian Nights. We should then have a paradise on earth, and no need to watch in longing expectation for the paradise heaven. 

19- Gothic Cathedrals and castle pg 46

Chester_Cathedral_glass_038

Glass architecture is unthinkable without Gothic. In the days when Gothic cathedrals and castles were rising, an architecture of glass was also tried. It was not completely realized, because iron, the indispensable material, was not yet available.

Future?? 

pg 50 – so called glass bricks makes a wall material … should make many iron skeletons superfluous.

pg 53-54 The Developments made possible by Iron construction

Iron Construction permits walls of any desired form. Vertical Walls are no longer inevitable. The developments made possible by iron construction are thus quite unlimited. One can shift the overhead dome effect to the sides. so that, sitting at a table, the only has to glance up sideways to appreciate them. Curved surfaces are also effective for the lower parts of the walls.

pg 56 Mountain illumination

(talk about scheerbart being a futurist) So much sounds fantastic, which actually is not fantastic at all. If one suggests applying mountain illumination to the Himalayas, this is just a ridiculous fantasy outside the reals of practical discussion. Illumination the mountains near the Lake of Lugano is quite another thing. There are so many hotels there which would like to be part of the scenery. that they would be well disposed to glass architecture, if the proposition were not beyond their means. 
pg 70 – The influence of coloured glass on the plant world (where scheerbart got it wrong… maybe? ) Glass Architecture will also exercise an influence on botanical gardens; entirely colourless, plain glass will be gradually abandoned. Coloured glass will only be used externally, where it does not absorb too much light. The plants will then be exposed experimentally to coloured light, and the expers may well have some surprises 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faustean outbursts against an inimical
world cannot create new levels of
achievement. …. The expressionist
influence could not be a healthy one
or perform any service for architecture.
Nevertheless it touched almost
every German worker in the arts.
Men who were later to do grimly
serious work in housing developments
abandoned themselves to a
romantic mysticism, dreamed of
fairy castles to stand on the peak of
Monte Rosa. Others built concrete
towers as flaccid as jellyfish.1

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Extracts taken from (title) : pg 20 – The best one can say in defining the Expressionist style in terms of its forms is that no inhibiting principles seem to have been adopted. It appears to be the first style without at least a few rules. This freedom – or what some might characterize as lawlessness. in Expressionism is conventionally assumed to be an indication of extreme self-expression.

Most Expressionist Projects were produced after World War one by a group of architects belonging to the circle around Bruno Taut and the Arbeistrat Fur Kunst. Loosely based on the worker’s soviets active in Germany during the November Revolution of 1918

21 – Many Expressionist projects have in common the use of glass or crystal as proposed construction material. The fact that glass is a viscous material that can be molded into any desired shape may lead us to assume that it might have been chosen as the perfect  embodiment of Expressionism’s idiosyncratic forms. Concrete,
however, could also have been used to do the same job. Hence another property of glass, aside from its malleability, must have been the reason for its frequent use

A recurring motive in many of these designs (in addition to glass and crystal as material) is
transparency and flexibility. Such projects, had they been built,would have produced a rich, shimmering, and illusory world of reflections.

if not always continuous history of glass and crystal symbolism. Bruno Taut’s statement “The Gothic cathedral is the prelude to glass architecture” and one of the couplets written by the poet Paul Scheerbart for Taut’s Glass House of 1914, “Light seeks to penetrate the whole cosmos / And is alive in crystal

pg 32 –

At the outset of his career in the i89os, Scheerbart’s imagery is not far removed from that of Symbolism or Jugendstil: crystalline architecture is introduced as the metaphor of individual transcendence. But in
his writings of the early zoth century (Scheerbart died in 1915) this symbolism is less solipsistic. As his proposals for glass structures grow more architectonic, there is a concurrent increase in these buildings’ flexibility. Scheerbart describes a mobile glass architecture of rotating houses, buildings that can be raised and lowered from cranes, floating and airborne structures, and even a city on wheels. This interest in the literal flexibility of architecture
is further augmented by the suggestion of apparent motion through the use of constantly changing lights, reflecting pools of water, mirrors placed near buildings, or glass floors which reveal the movement of waves and fish of a lake below (the last is very much like the effect of the Grail temple in the Younger Titurel). Such actual and apparent transformations of glass and crystal architecture-terms used interchangeably by Scheerbart-in his later works come to stand for the metamorphosis of the whole  society, an anarchist society, which through its exposure to this
new architecture, has been lifted from dull awareness to a higher mode of sensory experience and from political dependence to a liberation from all institutions.

pg 33 – The Expressionist architectural style is difficult to define precisely because its forms are not perceived as fixed and measurable. There is not an ideal conjunction of forms. On the contrary, if there is an ideal, it is incompletion and tension: shifting, kaleidoscopic forms are forever moving out of chaos toward a potential perfection, a perfection which is, however, never fully attained.

pg 33 – While most of Scheerbart’s architectural proposals appear to spring full-fledged from his unfettered imagination, he was in reality quite aware of historical precedents. For instance, he saw his suggestions for glass architecture as improvements on 19th century botanical gardens and on Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in particular. But he considered the mystic effect of Gothic stained glass with its suffused, colored light more suitable as a model for the synaesthetic experience he himself wished to achieve than the clear glass of 19th-century industrial architecture.

pg 32 –

Around 1912, in the circles of Herwarth Walden’s periodical Der Sturm, Scheerbart met the young architect Bruno Taut who was to become one of the central figures of Expressionist architecture.
During Scheerbart’s few remaining years their friendship became truly symbiotic. Scheerbart dedicated his book Glass Architecture of 1914 to Taut, and Taut that same year dedicated
to Scheerbart his Glass House, a pavilion at the German Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne (Figs. 7 and 8).57 In the Glass House, the literary fantasies about glass architecture are, for the first
time since Gothic architecture, again reinstated as built form.

pg 33 –

This gem-like Glass House, with its colored glass dome set in a
concrete frame, is a replica of Scheerbart’s architectural ideas. Its
small scale is reminiscent of late Gothic chapels and its pearshaped
dome recalls Moslem architecture. The exterior aspect of
the Glass House is curious and insignificant, except for the glass
spheres resembling crystal balls placed mysteriously around its
base.

pg 34 –

The contemporary architectural critic, Adolf
Behne,a friend of Taut, clearly understood the mystical intention
behind the Glass House when he wrote:

“The longing for purity and clarity,for glowing lightness, crystalline exactness, for immaterial lightness, and infinite liveliness
found in glass a means of its fulfillment-in this most bodiless,
most elementary, most flexible, material richest in meaning and
inspiration, which like no other fuses with the world. It is the
least fixed of materials transformed with every change of the
atmosphere infinitely rich in relations mirroring the “below”in
the “above,”animated full of spirit and a live”

 

pg 36 – Taut’s own evolution in giving the crystal-glass metaphor architectural
form leads him from the egocentric image of the crystal
brain as used in the Glass House to the utopian socialism of
Alpine Architektur. Glass, transparency, and flexibility all signify
here a purified, changed society. This new attitude was no
doubt a reaction to the devastation of the war.

 

Crystal Palace and Hot Houses

pg 33 – The fully glazed structure,whose environmental attributes were exhaustively discussed by J.C Loudon in his “Remarks on Hot Houses” (1817), had little chance of having a more application, at least England, until the repeal of the excise duty on glass in 1845. Richard Turner and Decimus Burton’s Palm House at Kew Gardens, built in 1845-1848, was one of the first structures to take advantage of the sudden availability of sheet glass.

pg 34 – 35 – … For where the issues of cultural context could scarcely arise the engineer reigned supreme. This was never more so than in the case of the Crystal Palace in London, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 …  developed through a rigorous application of Loudon’s hot house principles… A revised scheme had to be prepared in order to retain a group of mature trees. Since the remaining public opposition to the Great Exhibition of 1851 turned on this question of tree preservation, Paxton was quick to realize that these troublesome items could easily be accommodated by a central transept with a high curved roof and thus the double symmetry of the final form emerged

 

Books to look at:

P.Beaver , The Crystal Palace – 1851 – 1936 (1970)

 

S. KoppelKamm , Glasshouse & winter gardens of the 19th Century, (1981)

J.C Loudon, Remarks on Hot Houses (1817)

H. Schaefer, 19th Century modern (1970)