Issue 7 - On Canetti
Literature and Architecture: Letters, Words, Buildings (March 2012)
Historically, knowledge has been distributed through the written word stored in books. The building that kept, protected and allowed its access was since the Enlightenment considered a kind of secular temple – a place of worship for the cult of intelligence and knowledge. The widespread diffusion of the book and the emergence of new digital media that carry information directly and without weight, transform the historic aura of the library into a more domestic, but also more mysterious place.
Loss of Weight
by Josep Lluís Mateo
The last semester we were involved in a project that tried to connect literature – written knowledge – with architecture. Of course, knowledge has been transmitted until very recently or until now by books, by letters, by printed forms invented in the Renaissance. So, the fact that books have...
by Ramias Steinemann
Until the nineteenth century the Winkelwiese, originally part of a vineyard located on the southeastern boundary of the old town of Zurich, remained open land without buildings. The explosion of the Geissturm in 1652– one of the main fortification towers of Zurich, and located in the actual...
Excerpts from Elias Canetti's The Tongue Set Free: Remembrance of a European Childhood
Zurich – Scheuchzerstrasse, 1916-1919
“I was never told that one does something for practical reasons. Nothing was done that might be “useful.” All the things I wanted to grasp were equally valid. I moved along a hundred roads at once without having to hear that any was more...
Student: Patricia Lehner
The long building sits perpendicular to the topography in the middle of the open land, separating the green in a public park infront and a private garden in the back. Inspired by Luigi Moretti's studies about space-sequences of internal rooms in sacral buildings, Patrica Lehner imagined spaces with...
Student: Guillermo Dürig
Confronted to the specificity of the site, Guillermo Dürig’s project avoids the common rethoric of the genius loci. Instead it provokes an immediate engagement with the urban scale, operating in a multi-scale condition that intends to solve the main problems of both city and site. As a long and...
Touching the Earth Lightly
Student: Sandro Elmer
Minimizing the building’s footstep on the bounteous ground, Sandro Elmer’s library soars in form of a light steel-structure into the air. Using the surrounding vegetation as a curtain and the elevated view towards the surroundings as a main asset, the project’s ease also epitomizes today’s de-materialization of books into lighter modes of knowledge transfer.
The Name of the Rose - The Monastic, Labyrinthine Library and a Comparison of its Illustration in the Book and the Movie
by Vanessa Werder
"Hunc mundum tipice laberinthus denotat ille ... Intranti largus, redeunti sed nimis artus.“
Alinardo of Grottaferrata in The Name of the...
Learning from the Vernacular
Lecture by Martin Videgård
The work of Tham & Videgard answers to the architectural conditions that operate in every local context without any kind of heroic attitude. Avoiding the typical Postmodern rhetoric of the 1980s, their projects relate to vernacular approaches, where the problem of form is addressed not as language...
Small or Big?
Student: Safia Hachemi
Safia Hachemi really tried to make a kind of big house, but without any kind of domesticity in the concept. It was like an enormous house in-between domestic and non-domestic, in-between connected and disconnected.
Text + Project
Interview with Pier Vittorio Aureli
Besides your practical activities, you have written a lot. Theory and Practice go sort of hand in hand. How would you differentiate or relate these two forms of architectural expression?
It is a good question. First of all I do not believe in the separation of theory and practice, which...