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Architecture: Critical Regionalism Essay

2335 words - 10 pages

From my opinion off what I have gathered, I came to an understanding that Critical regionalism can be seen as an approach to architecture that tries to stand up for places culture and identifies the identity of a place where Modern Architecture has failed to, by using the building's geographical context and reference of vernacular architecture. The term critical regionalism was first used by Alexander Tzonis and Liane Lefaivre and, with a somewhat different meaning, by Kenneth Frampton. Critical regionalism could be considered as a particular kind of post-modern response. This response developed as a result of the failure of Post-modernism, together with the influence of Globalization and ...view middle of the document...

Their architecture is clearly critical regionalist.

Le Corbusier

image 1(source: http://www.cf4u.ca/Le.Corbusier)
Le Corbusier is a man that believed purely in the Modern aesthetic and that the building’s facades should be pure, giving it a title being, ‘machine-like’. Machine purity, as a stylistic interpretation of machine aesthetics, emerged in the United States in the early thirties. This style was a simplified elemental, geometric forms.
He was passionate about reinforced concrete, experimenting and manipulating it to express its different qualities. This was clearly expressed in all of his works, shocking viewers, giving them different experiences upon viewing his buildings. Most of his buildings did not have any exterior finishing, allowing for this ‘purity’, and appreciation of the formality and slick appearance of reinforced concrete. The floating effect was perfectly portrayed, having concrete columns that elevate a large mass above, allowing for a different type of interpretation beneath.
He overlooked any idea of using decoration for no functional reason as the interpretation of art would lead towards weightlessness. Advances in construction techniques and materials (both evident on the exterior), allowed for a shift in structural support. Whereas walls were once weight-bearing, and thus massive, support was now given by skeletal frame which he called the “dom-ino” system, this system is seen as the most important of modern architecture. It is reinforced concrete which allows the plan and elevations of the building to be independent of the structure. This led to a new aesthetic principles and also led to a free plan an¬¬d facade.

Image2(source: http://enlosalpesnohaygnus.wordpress.com/2008/06/21)
This change provided greater flexibility in window placement; once nothing more than holes cut in a wall, they could now be located almost anywhere. This was somewhat of a breakthrough, as glazing could now easily assist in creating comfortable interior spaces. He capitalized on this, generating specially designed square bay windows, which were usually deeply recessed and well proportioned in accordance to each other and the building as a whole. It also generated the notion of modulating solid and transparent surfaces.
Le Corbusier applied the 'Modulor', a system of proportion based on the male figure and the Golden Mean, he used it to determine the proportions of units in architecture and technology. The proportions on the exterior were to such perfection, especially to the public, that many felt comfortable without even being inside the certain buildings.
Three building types to be discussed are:
The ‘Unité d'Habitation’ ,The Shodan house,( India),and the Dominican Monastery of La Tourette
The ‘Unité d'Habitation’ (Marseille)

Image 3-4(source:http://downtowncreator.files.wordpress.com.jpg)
The ‘Unité d'Habitation’ in Marseille brings together Le Corbusier's...

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