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Chora 3

Chora 3: Intervals in the Philosophy of Architecture

Alberto Pérez-Gómez
Stephen Parcell
Copyright Date: 1999
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    Chora 3
    Book Description:

    The thirteen essays in this collection include historical subjects as well as speculative theoretical "projects" that blur conventional boundaries between history and fiction. Ricardo Castro provides an original reading of the Kogi culture in Colombia; Maria Karvouni explores philological and architectonic connections between the Greek demas (the political individual) and domus (the house); Mark Rozahegy speculates on relationships between architecture and memory; Myriam Blais discusses technical inventions by sixteenth-century French architect Philibert de l'Orme; Alberto Pérez-Gómez examines the late sixteenth-century reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by Juan Bautista Villalpando; Janine Debanné offers a new perspective on Guarino Guarini's Chapel of the Holy Shroud in Turin; Katja Grillner examines the early seventeenth-century writings of Salomon de Caus and his built work in Heidelberg; David Winterton reflects on Charles-François Viel's "Letters"; Franca Trubiano looks at Jean-Jacques Lequeu's controversial Civil Architecture; Henrik Reeh considers the work of Sigfried Kracauer, a disciple of Walter Benjamin; Irena ðantovská Murray reflects on work by artist Jana Sterbak; artist Ellen Zweig presents a textual project that demonstrates the charged poetic space created by film makers such as Antonioni and Hitchcock; and Swedish writer and architect Sören Thurell asks a riddle about architecture and its mimetic origins.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6707-8
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Invention as a Celebration of Materials
    (pp. 1-24)
    Myriam Blais

    IN THE SPIRIT OF MEANINGFUL EXCHANGE suggested by Serres, this article explores the possibility of thinking about technology as a place For celebration.² For that purpose, technology is defined here as the prudent use of techniques and implies a careful consideration of both thought and materials. This proposition relies on the sixteenth-century works of François Rabelais, doctor and novelist, and Philibert de 1’Orme, architect, for their useful suggestions about providing a space for this celebration. Indeed, de 1’Orme claimed to have contributed many beautiful and useful inventions to architecture, inventions that were supported by poetical illustrations relating to his interest...

  5. Sounding the Path: Dwelling and Dreaming
    (pp. 25-44)
    Ricardo L. Castro

    Our life is marked by continuous movement through space. Standing upright, on two legs, and looking forward contributes to our mobility and has a significant influence on our existential condition. The act of moving is an everyday affair that acquires a poetic dimension in creative domains such as dance, theatre, literature, and architecture. Paths constitute the basic physical support for movement. As one of the first and most basic communal manifestations of humankind, they also link us to other species whose existential movements leave definite traces (paths) on the landscape.

    Following a path means following an already established order, or...

  6. Surface and Appearance in Guarino Guarini’s SS. Sindone Chapel
    (pp. 45-78)
    Janine Debanné

    AN EARLY CHRISTIAN FRESCO in a chapel near Baouît, Egypt, contains an intriguing depiction of the Madonna and Child, flanked by two angels. The fresco, contained in a half-circle motif, is damaged in parts, and bare stone shares the surface with the solemn faces of Byzantium centred in their halos. A prayerful image, its iconography is typical in every way, except that the Virgin is not holding a child in her arms. Rather, She is holding animageof the child on a rigid oval disk.² The ambiguities of this representation are manifold: with the christ child appearing twice removed,...

  7. Human and Divine Perspectives in the Works of Salomon de Caus
    (pp. 79-102)
    Katja Grillner

    THESE LINES FROM WITTGENSTEIN’STractatus logico-philosophicusacknowledge the human desire to step outside one’s world in order to find a neutral viewpoint which has always been impossible to attain. Wittgenstein valued the experience of art because it enabled man to contemplate the world as a limited whole - to see the world from the viewpoint of eternity,sub specie aeterni.²He considered the controlled experiment and the fictional proposition important to questions of ethical and aesthetic value. Through the experience of art, man might learn to live and act as an ethical being. Only by showing, and never through saying,...

  8. Demas: The Human Body as a Tectonic Construct
    (pp. 103-124)
    Maria Karvouni

    NAMES, ACCORDING TO PLATO, ARE INSTRUMENTS that help us distinguish and teach the essence of things.¹ With a similar notion in mind, many of us architects wonder from time to time about the meaning and origins of our architectural expressions. Tracing back terms to their origins offers a way to reach an initial, and perhaps authentic, state of things, to rediscover threads of continuity and to reaffirm their importance. Words such as “architect,” “architecture,” “tectonics,” “technology,” “technic,” “dome,” and “domicile” are among many architectural terms of Greek origin. Among all these technical terms one can also find the oldest (known)...

  9. Juan Bautista Villalpando’s Divine Model in Architectural Theory
    (pp. 125-156)
    Alberto Pérez-Gómez

    THE BIBLICAL DESCRIPTION of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem has generated many diverse architectural speculations throughout our history. According to tradition, the Temple followed the designs of God and therefore could be interpreted as the archetypal work of architecture - a work that revealed a true order beyond the whimsical tastes of man and any temporal expressions of political power. In diverse times and cultures, mythical accounts of technological making and building demonstrated mankind’s keen awareness of the problems involved in transforming a given “sacred” world for the sake of survival. In the Christian tradition the Temple of Solomon...

  10. Fragmentation, Improvisation, and Urban Quality: A Heterotopian Motif in Siegfried Kracauer
    (pp. 157-178)
    Henrik Reeh

    Towards the end of the second millennium, the issue of whether fragmentation is part of modernity is no longer in dispute. In many spheres of human endeavour and perception, phenomena linked with fragmentation express a general diversification in social and cultural life. One only has to think of the social division of labour which has distanced architecture from engineering, and both of these professions from urban studies in the social sciences as well as in the humanities. Furthermore, fragmentation has had profound spatial consequences, since privately owned parcels of space are used for construction rather independently of one another. In...

  11. Vitruvius, Nietzsche, and the Architecture of the Body
    (pp. 179-200)
    Mark Rozahegy

    THIS TEXTUAL RUMINATION will compare two different stories concerning the beginnings of society and social existence. The first is drawn from the earliest surviving architectural treatise in the Western tradition,The Ten Books of Architectureby the Roman architect Vitruvius; the second is taken fromOn the Genealogy of Moralsby the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, a text that is both temporally and theoretically much closer to us. The purpose of this unlikely juxtaposition ofThe Ten Books of ArchitectureandOn the Genealogy of Moralsis to consider the relationship between philosophy and architecture, a relationship that I feel...

  12. A Grand Piano Filled with Sand: A Transmorphic Study
    (pp. 201-220)
    Sören Thurel

    If I am concerned with conveying to you the uncertainty of things, not as a sign of the failure of meaning but because of its fullness, this cannot be stated in an unequivocal manner. It is something which has to be shared, worked on together.

    In this process I happen to be the speaker and I cannot know what you perceive, no matter how clear I am. I can propose a number of clues which I find relevant and hope that you can construct something out of them. I cannot prescribe what that would be and do not even want...

  13. Origins and Ornaments: Jean-Jacques Lequeu and the Poetics of the City in l’ Architecture Civile
    (pp. 221-254)
    Franca Trubiano

    JEAN-JACQUES LEQUEU was a most meticulous and gifted architectural draughtsman. The briefest glance at any one of the hundreds of plates given in bequest to the Bibliothèque Royale will bear witness to his great skill. During a lifetime dedicated to the representation of architecture and its historical allegories, ornamental drawings were Lequeu’s principal means of expression. Many scholars have come to see, in the eyes and hands of this late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth-centurydessinateur,the profile of the modern architectural technician. His adoption of descriptive geometry for drawing the human head and his overly exacting and analytical precision undoubtedly have contributed to this...

  14. Architecture and the Vegetal Soul
    (pp. 255-280)
    David Winterton

    TO STRIVE TO UNDERSTAND the significance of the physical world is to enter into the discourse of natural philosophy. This discourse holds a privileged yet variegated position in the flux of Western thought, and studying the various meanings that natural philosophy has attributed to the world throughout the epochs reveals how humankind has placed itself in its self-defined cosmos. Such study also reveals, however, that the human subject has always been an integral part of that cosmos and that this integration has rooted culture toplace.But we moderns know well the unease that comes with trying to comprehend our...

  15. Domesticity and Diremption: Poetics of Space in the Work of Jana Sterbak
    (pp. 281-302)
    Irena Žantovská Murray

    JANA STERBAK IS A VISUAL ARTIST, but she would make a good writer. She might find verbal expression “limiting and not always subtle,” as

    she says, yet her notebooks are fraught with literary excerpts from Mallarmè to Marx, and her attachment to language is palpable. Her own texts, such as the one accompanying her installationI want you to feel the way I do,are equally revealing.³ They establish an extra imension, simultaneously space-defining and space-defying, a dialectic between the visual and the verbal, an inward-directed view.

    The body as a focus of Sterbak’s work has been frequently discussed, most...

  16. Absent Bodies Writing Rooms
    (pp. 303-334)
    Ellen Zweig

    1. The camera waits outside the building, examining a façade. Inside, someone is dying.

    1.1 The camera stops at a wall, covers the distance, survays the flat, opaque surface, caresses the protuberances the holes.

    1.2 When the camera encounters a window, a gate, or a door, it takes the opportunity to look in or to enter. Inside, it looks around the room, looks out again through the window, goes out again through the door.

    1.3 The camera is writing rooms, moving like a hand with a pen. The camera draws curved or straight lines from its fixed centre. Inside is...

  17. About the Authors
    (pp. 335-340)