Previous Calls for Papers
Issue #11: "Primitive Architectural Anatomies"
(Scheduled for publication in December 2018)
On 29th January 1927 Walter Benjamin was wandering along Shabolovka Street in Moscow looking for his beloved Asha. During his search he came across a new radio station tower. He wrote down the discovery in his Moscow Diary which he described as a very different structure to any he previously knew. That anatomy of metal bars sewn into the skyline of the Russian capital was the tower designed by the engineer Vladimir Shukov.
Today, in our time of architecture resolved using skins and enclosures, we propose a journey back in time to discover that architecture with its visible anatomy. Anatomy that aims to give origin to a place. These are architectural structures that recover the Hegelian concept of a primitive anatomy. This primitivism appeals to the most basic and essential side of architecture, making the structure a revelation of the site it occupies. A structure that aspires to an order that gives rise to its occupation as a site. An order that has taken a journey from modernity where hierarchy was given to space, and contemporaneity which appears to reject that kind of hierarchy.
For our atlas of anatomies, we are seeking structures that were built and also those that never became more than drawings. We are interested in the radiographic visibility of anatomy that Mies dreamed about for the first skyscrapers in Berlin and his towers on 848 in front of the lake in Chicago. The anatomy that Kahn also wanted to make dance in the wind in the middle of Philadelphia, or the one lighting up Kimbell museum. The table on which Ishigami sleeps or the constellation of white pillars describing the room of a university laboratory. We praise structures whose entrails are evident in the expression of their occupation, and structures that are installed as exoskeletons on the outside of the building. If Paxton made a wire structure the inside of a glass palace, Foster gave shape to the Gherkin thanks to a diagonal mesh anatomy in London itself. Our aim is therefore to find out which architectural anatomies have become the visible soul of new sites that architects and unknown engineers dreamed about, and which we do not want to forget now. All of them converted the technical novelty into the primitive anatomy of a new world and structure into true architecture.
After the unexpected architectural discovery, the German philosopher found his beloved again.
Javier Pérez Herras, Eduardo Delgado Orusco
Issue #10: "Centenaries of the Third Generation"
(Scheduled for publication in September 2018)
This issue of ZARCH celebrates the centenary of the birth of four Third Generation exponents: Jørn Utzon (1918-2008); Paul Rudolph (1918-1997); Aldo van Eyck (1918-1999) and Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza (1918-2000). In addition, this celebration expands in the theoretical scope with the centenary of the prominent critic Bruno Zevi (1918-2000). The ephemeris is not only the pretext to vindicate their legacy, but the opportunity to study in depth the values of their work and study shared circumstances and procedures. Despite their diverse interests and backgrounds Jørn Utzon, Denmark, Paul Rudolph, United States, Aldo van Eyck, Holland, Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza, Spain and Bruno Zevi, Italy, they all share the critical exploration of the modernity legacy, putting the tectonic and social character before form. Their work is not only a continuation of modern tradition but a reinterpretation and critical reflection of that tradition.
Considered by Sigfried Giedion as the exponent of the Third Generation, the work of Danish master Jørn Utzon has been forged by his fascination with constructive experimentation and landscape integration, in an architecture that condenses vernacular construction and lyricism, flowing from his incipient platforms of the early years to the additive and standardized geometry of his later works. Trained by Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer at Harvard, Paul Rudolph, Chairman of the Yale School of Architecture (1958-1965), shared with Utzon the formal investigation, structural audacity and plastic use of reinforced concrete, and his work shows how it is possible to expand both the expression of modernity and the relation of the project with the city. Aldo van Eyck’s critical revision of modernity focuses on its social aproach, renowned member of Team 10 with a work that illustrates the flexibility and vigor of Dutch structuralism and claims, like Utzon, the wisdom of vernacular constructions and the legacy of tradition. Chronologically Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza also belongs to the Third Generation and his work moves from the modern commitment of his first works to the reinterpretation of modernity linked to Team 10 and from the organicism of the 'School of Madrid' to the intellectual greed and constant formal exploration, that he combines with teaching as Architectural Design Professor at the Madrid School of Architecture. After studying at Harvard with Walter Gropius and Sigfried Giedion and discovering the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect and critic Bruno Zevi vindicates organic architecture in his works and makes a relevant contribution to the architectural culture of the 20th century, as author of The Modern language of architecture, Architecture as Space. How to look at Architecture, History of the modern architecture and Spaces of the modern architecture, among others, as publisher of the journal ‘L'Architettura: Cronache e Storia’ and as Professor of History of the Architecture in Venice and Rome.
ZARCH intends, with the celebration of the centenaries of the Third Generation, to expand the understanding of the diversity that modernity reaches. This choral commemoration brings together the variety of views of a whole generation of architects born in the inter-war period who, as Philip Drew asserts, seek their own identity and bring about a change in the meaning of modern architecture, introducing it into a new phase of criticism and maturity. In the article Jørn Utzon and the Third Generation published in 1965, Sigfried Giedion summarizes some of the traits that define the Third Generation: the social role of architecture, the flexible condition of the work understood as an open system, the relation to the social context and environmental issues, the intensification of the relationship with the past and the will to expression above function. In the article A la conquista de lo irracional published in 1966, Rafael Moneo writes on the architects of the Third Generation and emphasizes their common interest in communication, through an area without the limitations of reason, which distinguishes two aspects: those who believe in the expressive capacity of form, represented by Paul Rudolph, and those who believe in the symbolic content of form, as materialization of the function, shared by Aldo van Eyck, Jørn Utzon and Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza. This change of formal paradigm, as Josep Maria Montaner points out in the journal El Croquis núm. 35 of 1988, abandons the aesthetics of the machine to favor open to the context, natural or social models, in which the conception of architecture changes from the idea of space to the idea of place. That is, to understand architecture as a physical, plastic, rational and functional space to interpret it as a concrete, real and human place, loaded with culture, history, symbols and materiality.
Taking advantage of the centenary, this issue of ZARCH reflects on what has meant the Third Generation for the history of architecture and the possible validity of their contributions, from multiple approaches, from historiography to theory; from the analysis of the architectural project to the drawing as a project instrument, from a social and urban approach to constructive innovation and from the theoretical dimension to the teaching contribution.
Jaime J. Ferrer Forés, Noelia Cervero Sánchez