is architecture converging with art?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION is architecture converging with art?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Leslie B Wagle 8 years, 5 months ago.

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    Trace One

    Leslie B Wagle

    This brings to mind the “cloud through the twin towers” debate going on about the design of a proposed building in S. Korea that seems to some people to resemble the 9/11 tragedy. The architects claim it is unintended. There are other articles than this link which show the connection area with lots of gardens, which I guess lets me ties it into an LA forum.

    I’m kind of conflicted about the cloud duo myself; I can’t see how anybody could miss the eerie possible reference yet I recall the controversy about the Vietnam Memorial where some saw a “gash of shame” and others saw a serene form. In that sense monumental architecture is like art (not so much your usual stock in trade building).

    It seems like this twin towers or not? structure will be one that some people will boycott and others will use to vent national hatreds, etc. which just underscores what those complaining already suspect it represents (the same architects have designed a house for post-Katrina that nobody could live in due to it looking like it was split by a storm). If it is a case of the designers really not being able to predict the reactions, the fallout is instructive to all creators of how we can get “too close” to our work and why maybe we need to seek out criticism before we go too far with something. I’ve noticed how many proofreaders and editor credits most well-written books have at the preface, and there is a good reason for that.


    Jason T. Radice

    Sounds like a bad term paper to me.

    The whole premise that architecture IS art has been settled since the Greeks of antiquity. Architecture is indeed a fine art, in fact it is considered the “Mother Art” from which all other classifications and media developed from. Classical architecture also combines the various art forms of painting, sculpting as decoration. It also used to be true that the Architect was an artist. They had to master multiple media in order to get their structure built. Pen work and sculpture were common, with the final piece being the building. Because it is an art, it subject to the same fluctuation of style or “schools: through time, and also revivals when the “schools” go to far.

    One must keep in mind that there is a difference between architecture and designing buildings. They are not one and the same. The same way that there are classifications of vernacular art known collectively as “folk art”. Most art falls into this category. Many buildings, even if designed by and Architect, can be considered ‘vernacular’ because of a lack of style or design.


    Trace One

    Jason, I think what you describe is historically accurate but not necessarily relevant to this essay, or to these times. We are a long way from the beautiful frieze on the Parthenon, and from construction methods like those used for the Parthenon, when your words were undoubtably true.

    I think Burle Marx taking his inspiration from painting produces distinctly different results from Olmstead, taking his inspiration from Democracy.

    I also think that modern architecture seems ever further removed from human behavioral needs, and to try to understand it in terms of their taking their inspiration from painting seems to have some validity.

    As a side  note, my heart was broken this weekend when I learned that my favorite structure of all time is nothing but a set..The North by Northwest Mt. Rushmore structures have always seemed to me some  kind of height of elegance, combined with that marvelous Parks Department feel..

    They are sets!

    I am crushed..


    Tosh K

    ?  Is this supposed to be a criticism of modernism or post-modernism?  Art has traditionally pushed the bounds of a cultural “comfort zone,”  literature and afterwards architecture tends to take on their own take.  Foster’s point can seem valid in light of Bauhaus and it’s influences, but even then the art was informed by spatial composition (even when the product was in 2D), and mutually informed from the visual and aural and spatial – many of which had social and political undertones.  While mainstream architectural education still includes compositional art focused components the understanding of systems and their adaption in ecology, economics and manufacturing -seems in my understanding- to be taken on more critically.  Focusing on a select group builds his case, but any survey of emerging practices would undermine his position – the deliberate avoidance of Buechel and  Eliasson would point to a rather weak academic position.

    Good designers understand art theory, history and the contemporary discourse in art; when they reference it, it is not solely as a visual commodity; this seems like a strange book, many of the architects he cites were educated and trained under post-Bauhaus ideas and are looking to artists of the same tradition, to say that things have changed late in the 20th century and deny the influence of that particular school and the predecessors and successors to it seems bizarre.


    Trace One

    So do you consider Zaha Hadid a good designer? How about Gehry? Ever tried to negotiate their buildings, as a human being?

    Compare and contrast their philosophy of design to the ‘organic ‘ architecture of good old Frank LLoyd Wright. Different or the same? In what way?


    Architecture is as artsy as it wants to be. I think the obvious difference between architecture and art is function. If somethings function includes being ground breaking, new, or expensive then art has a lot to do with the function of the architecture, however if the function is to not stand out, be economical or cheap then architecture is not art but craft.  An architect is a designer craftsman, no more than the person who makes door handles is a designer craftsman, it depends on the use or function.


    Jason T. Radice

    When you look at a Gehry, Meier, Piano, or Calatrava, are you not looking at art? The sculptural elements are all there. The careful arrangements of volumes, the colors, and material choices, just as Michelangelo carving marble would do. It is the same as it ever was. Inspiration is a moot point, as the same exists in painting or sculpture. Process is process.


    Again, there is a difference between fine art and folk art, just as there is with high-level archietcture and vernacular architecture. It has been said that art must first serve no purpose. Well, some of the “artistic” buildings function terribly…so there you go!  


    Trace One

    The point the author is making, I think, is that in Gehry and Zaha Hadid, function is absolutely nowhere, the canvas and the stage are the predominant form..


    (Piano and Calatrava are different..)..He is saying that the stage, the painting, are paramount for these BUILDING designers – they could care less about humans or the environment..

    It is really the same old argument about ‘starchitects.’ with a bit more analysis of where they get their inspiration from..

    Vernacular architecture is, to my mind, Jason, so far below Gehry, we are not talking about the same thing at all..It just is not part of this topic..

    The topic is why Zaha Hadid and others are designing this weird anti-human landscapes, and where their inspiration is coming from, compared to other architects (famous ones..not the ones who do malls..) get their inspiration from.

    zaha Hadid, Burle Marx, look at paintings..FL Wright looked at SITE,and human nature..

    It is different..


    Trace One

    I think what piques my interest is the future..If you know any young people, they are all about their image, they are oN top of it – I am wondering if this ‘stage centered’ starchitecture (all image, no function) is what they will like..


    Alan Ray, RLA

    the two should converge…..

    all buildings are not architecture….

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