Tutor: Bart Hollanders
Semester 3, Ghent
Image: Elements of Neue Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, James Stirling
Searching for an architectural project through
the history of architecture
Walter Benjamin’s thesis that the aura of a work of art weakens in the age of mechanical reproduction has become a truism. Industrialization, in addition to the arts, has shaped architecture in the 20th century. The Corbusian conception of architecture as machine à habiter or the Dom-ino as a design model for prefabricated buildings are textbook examples.
But why should the concept of prefab be merely the architectural answer to a housing crisis? Eagles of Architecture see another architectural meaning in prefab. Let us call prefab everything architecture conveys: materials and techniques, images and colors. Beyond the description of a material condition, prefab becomes for us a modus operandi of the architectural discipline itself. The built as a repetitive gesture: a prefab.
If the confrontation with architectural discourse is a showdown, we choose the drawing as our weapon. Under the motto Friday I’m in Love, we propose Friday sessions where we stop ongoing projects and bring out the pencils. The potential of redrawing and recontextualizing explored design in practice. In redrawing Alberti’s Palazzo Rucellai, we explore the relationship between façade and interior.
The apparent break between legible surface and internal structure has materialized concretely in our project of the Dendermonde house. By redrawing several works by Mies van der Rohe and Shinohara, we discover the way the structural column can also deconstruct an interior. This strategy translated into the addition of the pink column next to the classical columns in the house at Maarschalk Gérardstraat.
Specifically, we want to use drawing as a method of prefabrication as an architectural way of thinking.
As a result, we approach architectural history as a horizont of design intelligence. Finally, drawing becomes architectural culture by involving architectural and art theorists in these Friday sessions. In this way, we desire to use the BWMSTR label to engage in a contemporary discourse on design intelligence, so that architecture becomes an input into how we all stand in the living world.