Dio Padre Misericordioso, progettata da Richard Meier, nel quartiere Tor Tre Teste

Are churches built in the last 50 years ugly?

Are modern churches ugly?
For the Vicariate and cardinals as Gianfranco Ravasi, Minister of Culture of the Holy See, the churches built during the last twenty years in the suburbs of Rome are “conference rooms, similar to sports halls, brutalized and vulgar spaces …”.
The last famous person to jump on the bandwagon of criticism was the Director of the Vatican Museums and Superintendent of the artistic heritage of the Holy See, who, during the presentation of the book “Churches in the Roman suburbs”, published by Electa, said, “Churches? Parishes? At the most we can talk about exhibition spaces, environments that do not call for prayer or meditation” and continued with” Nothing to do with the baroque churches that for centuries have been speaking of Christian faith with visible tabernacles, domes, icons, images of life of the Church that help pastors in their catechesis. Even the Orthodox churches of Russia perform to the tasks of formation and catechesis ”

It’s nice to discover that the Vatican has noticed the new sacred buildings, rather than representing the divine, appear to represent a new deity “Saint Apartment block Administrator.”

New churchs most resembls the buildings of the suburbs than divine and sacred places.

The evolution of architectural thought in a comic book

Architecture, before being a building is a thought, If only because it is extremely cheaper than a skyscraper

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Modernism, Minimalism. He was, together with Le Corbusier, one of the fathers of modern architecture and a revolutionary cigar lover who replaced the prevailing architectural styles thanks to a steady abolition of all ornament.
He created a tabula rasa on which volumes and pure concepts such as the glass used in its buildings could soar. But modernism, over time, lost its imagination, transforming into a straitjacket to which you could not rebel.

Robert Venturi. Postmodernism was the natural reaction to modernism. He considered the contemporary city as outside the framework of modern architecture and reintroduced symbolism, contradiction and complexity ignoring the previous values ​​such as simplicity and consistency. Postmodernism produced a forest of uninteresting skyscrapers.

Philip Cortelyou Johnson. Opportunism and eclecticism. As a curator he was able to identify and absorb architectural styles and had the ability to capture the spirit of his times. Later he was able to iinnovate materials. forms and even vocabulary into his works. His Glass House is a compendium of the history of the twentieth century.

Rem Koolhaas. Cynical realism . He was nicknamed the Le Corbusierof our times and an attentive observer. With his essays he investigated phenomena as The Berlin Wall, the Generic City, the problem of Large Size, China, Globalization, Shopping, etc..
By saying “More is better” recognizes the fact that accumulation and bundling have replaced higher forms of organization such as the hierarchy of space and composition. Understanding precedes action.

Barack Hussein Obama. Unity and optimism. Proposes a change through unity . There’s no reason to choose between Democrats and Republicans, when you can choose the United States of America.

Bjarke Ingles. Utopic pragmatism. The history of architecture has always been dominated by two different trends: the avant-garde with crazy ideas, often far from reality, and the strict organization of associated firms that build predictable and boring blocks of excellent quality. Ingles is among these two opposed schools of thought with the aim to create the perfect places from a social, economic and environmental point of view.

Taken from: Yes is more, Taschen 2011

Dalí and his hairy architecture against Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier is the twentieth century architect that started a revolution that has changed our lifestyle and our cities forever.

His idea of a house as a machine for living in is a simple but revolutionary concept for his time: a house had to be functional to a man’s life and not vice versa.

Le Corbusier used the word machine to define the house because architecture should be as efficient as a factory assembly line,.suggesting the building industry should adopt the methods of the mass production automobile industry.

The first works of the great architect were abstract, his new rules would lead the architect always to refine and simplify design, dispensing with ornamentation, it’ll the function its ornament and above all the houses had to loose any symbolic superstructure and unconscious meanings.

Casa atelier per l’artista Ozenfant progettata da Le Corbusier
Immagine tratta da lablog.org.uk

And that’s why a lively Catalan painter Salvador Dali said:

Le corbusier was a pitiable creature working in reinforced concrete. Mankind will soon be landing on the moon, and just imagine: that buffoon claimed we’d be taking along sacks of reinforced concrete. His heaviness and the heaviness of concrete deserve one another. [….] …because of his reinforced concrete and his architecture,the ugliest and most unacceptable buildings in the world.

Salvador Dali created his erotic buildings ​​which were not justa place to live in, but to live well and, with the permission of Le Corbusier, to dream in, opposed to rationalist thought.

For this very reason Salvador Dali said that the architecture of the future will be “soft and hairy”, and looking at the British Pavilion in ‘Expo 2010’ , made by Thomas Heatherwick, we can say that the hairy architecture concept of the old Catalan has hit the mark.

Padiglione inghilterra expo shanghai 2012

Biennial international architecture exhibitions in Venice – Dutch Pavilion

Before changing your curtains at home, find out what’s happening whithin the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012.

The Netherlands want to show that architects have more and more often to design within old buildings with tight budgets and several architectural constraints.

Wide open spaces and huge budgets are only for archistars and their pharaonic projects. Fortunately most architects desing their project in the real world trying to combine the needs of the community with an aesthetic pleasure.

Within the Dutch Pavilion, this concept is synthesized by curtains, any kind of them: transparent, opaque, shiny, etc. They are hanging on ceiling tracks that allow engines to change their position 12 times a day.
All the spaces in the pavilion are created in this way, therfore they are fragile and delicate, always provisional, changing as our mood.

Biennial international architecture exhibitions in Venice – USA Pavilion

The USA pavilion has always been one of my favorites, but I’m slightly disappointed this time.

America wished to achieve an exhibition of architecture that looks like a big infographic entitled design actions for the common good

No more big buildings requiring large economic investments designed by famous superstars, but small acts of design by creative citizens. The focus has shifted from a select few privileged to the community.

The exhibition seeks to show how the American city of the future, shaped by countless micro-projects carried out by ordinary people, might be. To show this process they use a color chart similar to a bar code with the size of each strip representing the prevalence of a specific category in connection to the project: information (blue), accessibility (orange), community (pink) economy (light green), sustainability (dark green) and pleasure (blue).

image © designboom

Biennial international architecture exhibitions in Venice – Russian Pavilion

The 13th International Architecture Exhibition “Biennale” has began in Venice

I think I’ll write a rage of topics dedicated to the Biennale, which is around the corner from my house.

The Russian Pavilion is the first topic I want to present. Divided into two floors, you can find a dome reminiscent of the Pantheon covered with QR codes upstairs. Every code can be read with a smartphone to find out about the new city of science that’s being built and all the new ideas in it.Downstairs you can peek several images of the old Soviet city of science through some lens.

There’s an evident difference between the two different concepts of the city of science: the one is open, collaborative and transparent while the past one was closed, secret and impenetrable.

Let’s speak evil of Frank Lloyd Wright

Let’s gossip today.

Let’s speak evil of Frank Lloyd Wright, idolized by crowds of Surveyors and Construction experts and enthusiastic students of architecture (but only up to sophomore year, because later on it becomes, oh, so wrong).

For those who don’t know Wright, he’s the designer of the famous Falling Water House (Fallingwater, 1936)

He was a poor student ar school when he was young.

He was an engineer, he has attended only to engineering courses (when he was 15, as an external student) but he never graduated in architecture, She married at age 21 with Catherine, 18. He had dropped her to the ground at a party and that’s how their friendship began.

He made 1141 drawings.

He left his family to pursue his own dream of being architect in Chicago.

Frank Lloyd Wright had always hated Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

He designed 17 skyscrapers, but only one was built​​.

We will speaking ill of other famous architects very soon.