The Schlumberger oil company required a scientific facility for testing machinery for oil exploration, drilling and fluid mechanics, rock and wellbore physics, and related computer-based research. Accordingly. Hopkins' building contains scientists' offices, laboratories, a kitchen, computer stations, a service yard and a drilling test station, as well as administrative offices, a restaurant and a terrace.

The concept of the plan is indebted to a spatial schema developed by Serge Cher mayeff in his work on the prototypical organization of buildings. Hopkins' building is a skilful application of this most functional model, first reflected in projects by the members of the Team X group at the end of the 1960s, then exemplified with ingenuity by Piano and Rogers' Pompidou Centre (pp. 84-89). and in part by the Medical Faculty of Aachen of Weber, Brandt & Partners (pp. 168-71). Following Chermayeff's model, the Schlumberger Laboratories are divided into parallel zones, the outer ones reserved for activities which are the most service orientated and private In nature, while the central spine is taken up by communal and general purpose functions. The space in between these two topological extremes of the spectrum is alio cated to activities which are functionally intermediary. The merits of such a layout are evident in Hopkins' plan. The scientific researchers are offered the maximum of privacy, tranquillity and view, the laboratories the best accessibility. Researchers and personnel are provided with opportunities for contact in conveniently central areas. Without any major disruption in the organization of function and services, the building can be expanded at the two ends of the spine, reproducing the same principles of the basic plan.

Demountable. PVC Iaced. ship board panels make up the internal partitions and also form a storage wall system. 50 per cent of the corridor walls are glazed while doors are plate glass. The ceilings are covered in acoustic metal tiles. Servicing is earned out from the floor. This is also the case for the complex machinery for the drilling test station and underground high pressure pump chamber, as well as the ventilation system which draws fresh air from the outside and serves all areas, including the

Opposite, top to bottom) Cross sections ttirough the winter gardon nnd tost station; longitudinal soction; plan

iTop) Ootall of the construction

(Abote) Two vlews of tho structure from a distance sealed, air-conditioned. Internal laboratories. Most of the heating of the spine areas of the building comes from the surrounding zones of the laboratories, an additional benefit of the layout. Functionally, as Peter Rice has pointed out. the suspended roof system enhances the ambience of internal areas of the spine. The translucent teflon membrane hoisted above the flat roof of the building, or above the winter garden and restaurant, which have no intermediary roof, admits high^uality natural light.

As in the case of the buildings of Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, the structure is deliberately exposed to view from the outside. Three zones of construction coincide with the tripartite functional division of the plan. The two zones formed by the research wings are spanned by trusses from which a flat roof, covered with a single-layer polymeric membrane on a profiled steel deck, is hung.

But if this kind of suspended roof is strongly reminiscent of many of Mies van der Robe's buildings, the main, central zone with the larger span, containing the winter garden, restaurant and test station, owes more to Buckmmster Fuller's vision of roof structures suspended by cables from a mast. What is suspended in this case, however, is an altogether different kind of roof from, for instance.

the metallic hood of Fuller's Dymaxion House. It is a tensile material, a translucent teflon-coated glass-fibre membrane. It rises in great contrast to the rigid geometry of the steel truss structure of the two outer zones. Although structural elements, again, remain on the outside of the building and the roof is suspended, the mam medium here is not the truss and the flat roof but the cable and the tensile material. The latter is suspended through a system of cables from twinned masts forming a tent like envelope. The masts in turn are stabilized through another system of cables and interconnecting three dimensional trusses anchored to the ground.

There is a romantic aura to this tensile structure that is rare in buildings characterized by so called 'high-tech' architecture, founded upon the faithful exhibition of all technological elements and the promotion, as a solution, of the most advanced technological means. Indeed, the main core of the present building recalls the tents which explorers used to set up in uncharted parts of the world in bygone days, an image which seems apt for an institution which, like the Research Laboratories for Schlumberger. is devoted to advanced research Into natural science and technology.

James Stirling, Michael Wllford and Associates NEW STATE GALLERY

(Stuttgart. Germany) 1977-84

(Loft) Conceptual diagrams showing circulation and volumetric relations

(Opposite) Exterior view and site plan

(Loft) Conceptual diagrams showing circulation and volumetric relations

(Opposite) Exterior view and site plan

In September 1977 James Stirling and his partners were informed that they had won the competition to design an extension for the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie. The client was the local government of Baden Wurttemburg. The project included, in addition to an art gallery, a theatre, a museum school and a library. The site. 90 metres by 140 metres of abandoned space, was separated by a dual carriageway from the Staatstheater south of the existing Staatsgalerie. The anonymity of this characterless area was not unlike what one often finds In most technologically developed cities in Europe and around the world. As a result of rapid and ruthless economic growth, built structures are often abandoned as soon as they appear unable to keep up with mounting demands for efficiency, without much consideration for social and cultural costs. In this case, the site contained in its fragmentary, existing structures a latent but strong urban potential. Stirting and his partners decided to make this potential manifest: they succeeded with great inventiveness and wit.

The Staatsgalerie extension is one of the best examples of a shift in attitudes in the mid-

1970s away from both the self-destructive excesses of the populist tendencies of around 1968 and the alienating, bureaucratic and technocratic mainstream of so-called modernist design. Here we have an architecture whose urban character was expected to restore a public face to the buildings and a civic consciousness to the users - or. as the American sociologist Richard Sennett has put it. to restore the 'fallen public man".

Such considerations played an important role in Stirling's decision to move away from the post-war stereotypical attitudes about museums that were predominant among cura tors, designers and critics, who saw them as simply well-controlled environments whose fundamental task was to preserve and present information about art objects with a minimum of interference. As a consequence of such attitudes, the museum was still regarded as cut off from its surroundings, even when site conditions and factors of context were taken into consideration. By contrast, the leading consideration for Stiding's design of the Staatsgalerie extension was the building's urban identity.

A promenade, like the ones in a tradition* city, was designed to bring pedestrian visitors through the building itself. The route cuts diagonally across the site, providing 'meaningful contact with the new building". The public can descend into the sculpture yard-and gaze at the sculpture without actudiy visiting the gallery, an act of urban voyeurism-and down to the entrance terrace, then through the theatre arch to the Eugenstrasse corner. The entrance to the gallery and theatre atso makes visible an uninterrupted pedestrian walkway network latent in the present site. This makes the gate to the building part of a syster. of public "squares', thus serving as an interface between roads and built complex. Ths inventive urban-architectural device functions as a spatial rhetorical prologue to the museum's activities. It also suggests a kindof theatrical setting: the visitors become actors, the building a public stage. In addition, th<s walkway relates the basic layout of the exien sion. a U-shaped plan, to the H shape of the original building.

Participation in cultural activities is per ceived here as a public, 'urban' event a

secular ritual for citizens - what Harold Rosenberg called the contemplative experience of the post war museum, rather than a private, •mímate, confessional experience. This spirit of ©viedesign led to the principles of frontality. seriality and hierarchy determining the spatial, formal composition of both the outside spaces and the internal areas of the new gallery. This gfies the building an objective and ceremonial, rather than an individual, confessional character. The museum's programme, a straight-ior*ard. 'chronological journey through the listoryof painting and sculpture', dictated the topology of the exhibition rooms. The orthogo nalpnsmatic configuration of the rooms seems equally objective.

The restaurant, an important feature socially and commercially in most contempor ary cultural facilities today, is placed apart from cultural events, but not. as in many moseums. in a secluded, private internal yard, nthe tradition of the piazza, it is attached to the terrace where performances and lempor ary shows take place.

Equally 'public' and 'objective' is the lighting of the exhibition areas inside the gallery -

natural light controlled by adjustable, motorized louvres mounted in the ceiling, together with high-efficiency, fluorescent lamps in the fibrous plaster ceilings. This combination avoids an atmosphere of interior cosiness. The external exhibition areas are endowed with their civic character by virtue of their geometry and texture; 'dressing' them appropriately in colourful local marble and sandstone creates a festive, joyful atmosphere which emphasizes the impression of everyday action having become, once again, acting.

A further contribution to the civic-theatrical character of the project was made by deliberately recycling architectural antecedents from known, strong civic successes of the past. Stirling, who had led a succession of contradictory architectural trends, is, in the Stuttgart museum, once more attuned to the emerging historicist mood of architecture of the 1970s. This project is without doubt the most extreme, and also his most successful example of the Intensive exploitation of cannibalized fragments of antecedents from the past twenty years.

There have been many kinds of retrospective uses of past architecture: 'a variation on a theme' is what Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown have done at the Sainsbury Wing of London's National Gallery, employing as a motif the Corinthian column from the original Wilkins Gallery next door (pp. 272-75). There is an abundance of antecedents in recent buildings - citations, references, allusions or even collages. In some cases, as a result of cross references and semantic cross fertilization. meaning is blurred and the idea of meaningfulness in architecture is trivialized and debased. In other cases, however, different contexts are joined together to enhance the horizon of interpretation, thus enriching the meaning of a work: for example, the Banco de Esparta headquarters by Clotet and Paricio (pp. 132-33). Stiding. in the Stuttgart gallery, has done precisely that. He has invented a new urban setting, rediscovering motifs and spatial structures in British. German and Italian buildings. It is noteworthy that he has done so with erudition and an implicit spirit of comic irony, not tragic heaviness.


Opposite, top to bottom) Gallery level plan; Mbance level plan; «actions

«CM) Exhibition space Inside the gallery

Opposite, top to bottom) Gallery level plan; Mbance level plan; «actions

«CM) Exhibition space Inside the gallery

But why this irony? To imply that every act repeats itself in history, once as tragedy and once as joke? is he saying that the dream of restoring civic architecture and an urban society by reinventing "the relation between stage and street' is chimerical? Or is it self-mockery. hinting at the silliness of the eclectic, nostalgic retro-fashion which emerged in architecture at the beginning of the 1970s -as it had in the post-May '68 adversary culture (a fashion which, to some extent, some of Stirling's ex-collaborators had helped to launch)? Claude Parent, the French modernist architect and critic, has taken this view, commenting that 'in Stuttgart. Stirling has built the tomb of post-modernism, no longer by criticisms without effect, but by giving a second look at the exemplary modern architecture liberated from the arid codifications of the 1950s-1960s. ready for adventures that will permit him to measure up to the past.'

There is. however, another possible, parallel critical interpretation of the building's 'histori-cist' character - and from a certain point of view more convincing - which explains the undisputed sense of joy the gallery evokes.

This interpretation has to do more with the basic level of spatial cognition, and of design as an act of invention, which the gallery embodies. Accordingly, the project is seen as born from the fusion of two fundamental, formal spatial canons, the classical and the anti-classical. Like the 1838 Staatsgalerie. the extension is organized along the constraints of a classical tripartite division schema and a half-atrium spatial formula. Over this classically composed arrangement, and at the open side of the half atrium, lie a crowd of architectural elements whose configuration is alien to the classical rules, a Niemeyer-type streamlined, double wall of curved glass in the foyer, an oblique Construc-tivist steel lattice canopy, curved zig-zag ramps, each element breaking, in its own way. the classical canon and collectively making up a counter canon. The two systems, classical/ anti-classical, may be contradictory, but the historical confrontation creates a third canon, a meta canon, that makes thinking in and about space more encompassing, and makes the world, according to Stirling's optimistic message, appear richer and more familiar.


(Gerona, Spain) 1982-85

The Banco de Espafla headquarters is an exercise in urbanity. The entrance faces onto a small park, in a small street. As one moves clockwise towards the corner on the left, one soon realizes that this corner, and not the front, is the most important exposure of the building. At this awkward point, the site opens onto the Gran Via Jaime I. a major 19th-century avenue of the ensanche. or extension, of Gerona. with a vista stretching for several hundred metres. Clotet and Pancio's problem was how to be faithful to the real facade while avoiding the impression that the building was turning its back to the rest of the city. The remarkably simple cylindrical form was an agile solution to the dilemma. It allows the bank to present an all round, continuous, genial facade to its surroundings and at the same time allows the avenue to preserve its character.

The building's elemental, rounded arcaded forms reveal clearly the influence of the architecture of Louis Kahn. who was himself inspired by Roman models. Kahn's style is perfectly attuned to the strong element of critical regionalism which is characteristic i Clotet and Paricio's work. Its indebtedness» the Roman tradition of large-scale brick constructions. which still loom large in Ibe«* landscapes and cityscapes. is great. Tie Roman «heritage is apparent In the ancier aqueducts, in the amphitheatres and in tu craftsmanship demonstrated in their use d brick. Spanish buildings of the 19th and 20tt centuries, most particularly the bull • rings, sc beloved by the Spaniards, also draw on these Roman precedents.


OpposHo. left and top right) Extortor viow Md dotall of tho facade

Oppo»Ko. right contro and below) Ground floor plan and soction tWtpage) View* of tho bank's Interior

OpposHo. left and top right) Extortor viow Md dotall of tho facade

Oppo»Ko. right contro and below) Ground floor plan and soction tWtpage) View* of tho bank's Interior

Mat is most distinctive about the Banco de Espafla building isthe extraordinary and incongruous metaphor which gives it its visual identity: a bank in bull-ring's clothing. It is the same kind of unexpected association, a Luis 8/iuel kind of metaphor, revealing discrete fiective affinities, as one finds in the Belvedere Georgmaof 1972, of which Clotet was one of nearchitects (pp. 54-55).

Superficially, the form of the building and it^ node of detailing have very little to do with its 'actional programme as one of the many branches around the world of the Banco de Esparta. all of which have more or less similar organizational requirements. Within the framework of the critical regionalist movement, however, this seemingly arbitrary choice of form in terms of the building's function serves to create a necessary and desirable identification of place and community. In Clotet's words, this idiosyncratic-looking, anti-monumental 'monument', whimsically at odds with its institutional role as a bank, is far from being 'the product of nostalgia for a lost paradise that never existed". On the contrary, the semantic dissonance it has set up is intended as a playfully subliminal means of reminding the viewer about 'our own origins and roots'.

Oswald Matthias Ungors Archltokt ARCHITECTURAL MUSEUM

(Frankfurt-am-Main. Germany) 1981-84

In this building within a building. Ungers succeeded in capturing the obsessive self-reflective preoccupations of post-modernism probably more than in any other project of its kind. The fact that this is a museum of architecture helps significantly in giving the impression that such preoccupations have found a natural home.

The Architectural Museum is located on the left bank of the River Main, a mainly 19th-century residential area occupied by villas which the city of Frankfurt planned to turn Into an area of museums, the so-called Museum-ufer. Located inside a nondescript villa of the turn of the century whose interior has been gutted, the building consists of a simple four-storey structure painted white and constructed like a schema, a spatial, cognitive abstraction of a building.

The building within a building is one of the oldest themes in the history of architecture and is associated with archaic cosmological structures of macro-microcosm analogies. In the tradition of Christian architecture, it Is often seen in the design of baldaquins. It is also encountered in the tradition of domestic architecture, especially In sleeping areas which are defined as a kind of building within a building with obvious erotic connotations. A recent current example is a project by Charles Moore who has imbedded inside his house (1960-62) at Orinda. California, two aedicu-/ae(small dwellings) which resembled not only each other but the house as a whole. Here the intention was to comment on the idea of place and architecture rather than make a statement about cosmology, or simply an associative. mood-inducing design. It is with this tendency of architecture reflecting on itsef that Ungers' aedicula belongs.

Ungers had been concerned over a long period with the idea of the origins of architectural rules and architectural typology. Like*« Rossi (pp. 56-63). he had searched toidenty generic structures to which architecture <*es its development, what came to be known as 'morphological design method'. This led him:: formulate the notion of what he called Nf» Abstraction in architecture. He hoped that tw would 'revive basic concepts of space' which as 'universal orders of abstraction reprc sent a quality of permanence'.

Despite its abstraction and the care* avoidance of scenographic effects to give i dimension of time to the building and inw duce the historical dimension - an effect or which Moneo's museum (pp. 148-51) rete

w a great extent - this building within a tolling represents more a nostalgia for such »type than a type itself, probably the result, «wcally, of a lack of abstraction and analysis desptte lingers" intentions. In the context of a nuseum of architecture, it is as if the enclosed twiiing became the museum's first item to be cdiected. the ancestral, original prototype of architecture. Topological^, as it is placed in •he centre, it is positioned like the seed out of »nich all architecture grows, as well as the villa «rtcti encloses it. Any building other than an architectural museum that played such mirroring games might be criticized as self-indulgent. But for an architectural museum, and especially one under the directorship of the »st-modern theoretician Hemrich Klotz. the ; dea was most felicitous.

(Opposite) SHo plan and conceptual drawing for linger*' Architectural Mueeum

(Above) Axonometric section through the building

(Left) The top of the modieulm

(Opposite) SHo plan and conceptual drawing for linger*' Architectural Mueeum

(Above) Axonometric section through the building

(Left) The top of the modieulm

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