Opposite, left) Site plan

Opposite, right, top to bottom) First floor pUn; ground floor plan; two sections

(Above) Exterior view of the library's entrance

The frames and mullions of the wooden windows of the Tampere building have 'tree-trunk'. circular sections and the columns are circular or semicircular, 'bending down as trees do' and 'thereby giving the impression that the external space continues into the large main hall'. Situated at the crossroads of two parks, the book halls open towards both directions allowing the green spaces to continue into the interior, uniting the parks visually and symbolically creating 'a cosmic interior, with configurations [which] are as mysterious as the signs of the Zodiac'. Pietilà continues. 'As the trees grow, the park-like atmosphere will intensify as the building isolates itself from the rectilinearity of its neighbouring houses, thus allowing for a close relationship with nature.' And he concludes. 'All the building materials are of Finnish origin. The basement cladding and steps are of granite, the facades and curving eaves are of copper, the windows of greenish impregnated pine."

Neither the symbolist aesthetics nor the regionalist elements, however, are a replay of pre-First World War themes. Rather. PietilS's concerns echo the 1960s views of Team X. held by theoreticians such as Aldo van Eyck

who. through buildings highly charged with poetry and myth, criticized the reductive, utilitarian. over-regimented post-war modernism. In a similar vein, Pietiia stresses that the grouse-shaped building 'is no functionalist form. Form follows the hints of expression and composition.' The PietilSs" melancholic dissent. however, is expressed in lyrical rather than rhetorical terms. As architect-poets the Pietilds are interested less in the art of convincing and more in the act of contemplat ing. Rather than trying to press on the viewer a striking, persuasive image, they have composed a memorable icon which, like the black bird in Wallace Steven's famous poem, is open to many interpretations. The images projected by this building are changeable and relative, and each reading is a response to the changing context in which the building is seen at different seasons of the year. The architects themselves, in the process of conceiving the building, were actually undecided about its image and envisaged at different times a building in the shape of a bending branch, a lamb's head and. finally, the Finnish woodgrouse. believing that architectural form is a projection of the designer's and viewer's world-image.

Ico VPt'ic FLyiui

(Opposite) Three conceptual drawings, Including a volumetric sketch (left) and a sketch of the plan (below right)

(Above) Interior view

Richard Rogers LLOYD'S OF LONDON

(London, England) 1978-86

Just as Richard Rogers' and Renzo Piano's Pompidou Centre seemed to bring the space age to the middle of Renaissance Paris, next to its medieval and Roman quarters (pp. 84-89), so did Rogers' Lloyd's of London in the equally historic part of the British capital almost ten years later. The circumstances could not have been more different. The Paris building was a high tech Parnassus, a 'people's centre', as the architects interpreted it. Lloyd's, by contrast. was a temple to Hermes and Tyche. the centre of a global market place.

President Pompidou and his advisors saw the Cultural Centre as an opportunity to revolutionize the stagnant waters of French culture and revitalize the declining area of Les Halles and Le Marais. In London. Lloyd's, a private 'society of underwriters formed into syndicates'. asked for an owner-occupied' building which would help to take the established, dynamic and essentially commercial Institution into the 21st century; it should also help Lloyd's maintain its leading world position and allow for its continuing expansion. At the same time. Lloyd's wanted a building contributing to the environment of the City of London'. Open ness. flexibility, innovation were priorities in the programmes of both facilities.

Architecturally, the two projects may appear similar, and not only because they are both designed by Rogers. Other, more specific common programmatic considerations contribute to their physical similarities. The need for large, open exhibition areas, in the case of the Pompidou Centre, and the requirement for a single underwriting room (reinstating the old Lloyd's Adam Room, but many times larger), together with large, open floor areas for offices in the case of Lloyd's, led to schemes with a characteristic topology. Both locate most structure, movement and sen/ice elements in special 'servant' zones in the outer edges of the 'served' core. Equally important In this decision to establish distinct service zones in the outside of the building was the belief in technological 'legibility', the credo that all components of the building should be 'movable and express their movabillty'.

Behind this design concept - defining a new building type, polarizing its zoning between 'servant' and 'served', as well as turning inside out traditional locations of sen/ices within the building volume - lies an important precedent in the architecture of Louis Kahn. But whereas Kahn gave these duct-filled, outside towers the romantic, histoncist look of medieval castles.

Rogers, reflecting Reyner Banham's ideas to an architecture of 'the second Machine Age j and Buckminster Fuller's "liberated attitudes» those mechanical services', made syca 'packed together" equipment not only vistft I but also symbolic.

In the case of Lloyd's, the topological co» cept of 'servant' and 'served' satisfied need for a major central space, a "pantheon. J for the workplace. In cases such as Pet'js I Berlage's Main Hall of the Amsterdam Stod Exchange (1903). Frank Uoyd Wright's Lata Building in Buffalo (1904-05) and. men] recently. Herman Hertzberger's Beheer (pp. 48-51) the central space acts «; a mechanism for sustaining a corporate k»v I tity. but also as a de-alienating device. 11 provides an icon of community over a drvtsn« I world of private enterprise and division 41 labour. Hence, in Lloyd's, the memoraM|I inward-facing great atrium overlooking tnel new Adam Room and surrounded by »1 outward zone of six service towers.

For this 'package of services'. Rogers i highly expressive construction details, a I universe of 'nuts and bolts', as well asa\ high standard of finish and cladding in • less steel. All this contrasts favourably wthl

Opposite, left) Extorlor view

Oppotlto, right) Roof plan and surroundings

Right I Section blow right) Plan of gallorios

surrounding new but traditional looking, pseudo-modernist, stony "monolithic blocks'. But. as the British architectural critic Colin fcnery remarked in an article in the London Financial Times, commenting on the newspaper's presenting to Lloyd's the Architecture a Work Award, 'a whole city of Lloyd's buildings »cold not be an entirely agreeable place'. From lie urbanistic point of view, what seems jjestionable is the idea of dressing a building nan envelope, which, whatever its sculptural, symbolic or functional character, leaves no Significant openings from which to look out at tie neighbouring buildings or open areas, as iraditionai architecture does. While this is acceptable, if not actually commendable, for a cultural complex like the Pompidou, it is infelicitous for a workplace. Thus while Lloyd's m its well-formed structure offers a highly civic image, in its highly introspective topology it tacks an urbane character.

One of the most carefully studied, designed and manufactured components of the building -a true feat of innovation in building history -nvolved a transfer of technology from other ndustries*. For instance, a contractor had to be Vxnd with qualifications beyond those of the building industry for the 33 prefabricated

(Opposite) Tho uppor lovols of tho atrium

(Loft) Escalator* link tho dealing room totto lower tiers of the atrium toilet modules that 'clipped on' to the core of the complex. The one selected specialized In the fabrication of vessels for the nuclear industry. Discovery and invention often folio« strange paths. Seemingly specialized rwe! ties, such as those involving the prefabricated toilets, used by the architect and Ove Arup¿ Partners, are likely to have implications in building beyond the limited problems at hand. Even so. when a building represents so few o1 its other functions in its overall appearance, to assign to these units such an important position seems quite deliberately to invite controversy.

The project has been criticized for the claustrophobic quality of the work spaces.] their lack of contact with the outside, their minimal dimensions. Such complaints led Lloyd's in 1990. less than two years after trie occupation of the building, to reorganize these spaces. Of coure. complaints such as these are often resistance to the new; it takes time for the users of a building, who have set habits, to enter the new lifestyle that a new building creates. However, other problems a^o emerged which could not be easily solved, such as the use of new technology by r* brokers and underwriters and. most irr.por- i tantly. the unforeseen massive growth of the j organization. These complaints were magr> , fied by the loud, mostly negative, publicity the j project received in connection with its comm: J ment to technology and its corollaries, lity and change. On a deeper level, critici: may also lie in the limitations of the sc topology which places the zone of sti and sen/ices at the periphery of the volume - limitations which, in the case of Lloyd's, are even more restrictive and circum-j scribing than in the Pompidou Centre. P the problems of Lloyd's lie. ultimately, not much in its newness or radicalism, but in its! conservatism. In the last analysis. vt scheme's rationale is iconological. and therefore restrictive, a preservation of the ideal of the temple, albeit a Futurist-C tivist one. whose peripheral columnar on are. in addition to support elements, risers, toilets, pipes, ducts.

Located between memory and i raising as many questions as the in, answers it offers, a building of superb ct manship and sublime effect. Lloyd s is a stepping stone in the history of the and its adventures of discovery.


(Opposite) Tho uppor lovols of tho atrium

(Loft) Escalator* link tho dealing room totto lower tiers of the atrium

Atelier Peter Zumthor

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