Emergence of Modern Architecture: A Documentary History from by Liane Lefaivre

By Liane Lefaivre

A cognitive heritage of the emergence of recent structure. slicing throughout disciplinarian and institutional divisions as we all know them today, this book reconstructs advancements in the framework of a cognitive background of the earlier. glossy is right here taken to intend the unconventional re-thinking of structure from the top of the 10th century in Europe to the top of the eighteenth century. one of the key debates that mark the interval are those who oppose culture to innovation, canon to discovery, geometrical formality to normal picturesqueness, the useful to the hedonistic.

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Extra resources for Emergence of Modern Architecture: A Documentary History from 1000 to 1800

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97, Fig. 98) and Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (Fig. 108, Fig. N. Loyer (1762) reveal. All of these developments manifest an increasing tendency towards subjective variability of individual forms and a decline in the belief in universal, objective norms. They are forerunners of current computer-based Anticlassicism, informalism and the unmaking of the canon [21] experiments in architecture such as those by Renzo Piano, Frank Gerhy and the generator of the CAD ‘blobs’. Finally, these opticogeometrical experiments will be applied to display an ‘antirennaissance’ – to use Eugenio Battisti’s (L’Antirinanscimento, 1962) term – counter-reformation message: the impossibility of a perfect world on earth and the rejection of the humanistic promise of perfection on earth one might find implied in the classical canon.

The diagrams suggest that to have a viewer perceive the right proportions, the architect must correct the real dimensions of the various parts of a building and, using the new opticogeometrical tool to adapt them, according to the viewer’s position. Among these commentators of Vitruvius was Blondel who found in the theory of optical illusions the explanation of Desgodetz’s documented absence of concordance of proportions in antique buildings, thus a means to save the doctrine of universality and invariance of proportions.

He did not hesitate to dismiss observations made by Degodet, even ridiculing them as insignificant, too tediously concerned with ‘details’. The origins of the techniques used by Desgodet are to be found in the major revolutionary achievements of the Renaissance: Alberti’s egocentric perspective system of representation (1435–1436) and Raphael’s (1519) later development of an orthogonal projection system. Insightful as always, Vasari celebrated Alberti’s ‘invention’ of this ‘instrument’ for ‘representing landscapes and diminishing and enlarging figures’ as equivalent in importance to Gutenberg’s discovery of ‘the most useful art of printing books’.

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