Another type of skin rigorism, perceived especially if we look at the building from above, is that of Piano's teflon-coated fibreglass membrane used on the site of the old Schlumberger Industrial Plant on the periphery of Pans (pp. 120-23). asopposed to Frei Otto's tentsof the 1960s, or Michael Hopkins' translucent, teflon-coated fibreglass membrane of the Schlumberger Laboratories in Cambridge (pp. 124-25). where the structure supporting the tent is loudly proclaimed. In Piano's Schlumberger structure the supports of the protruding curves of the membrane remain a mystery, very much like the bones behind the taut skin of a young torso.

Piano is not only a poet and mathematician of the built skin, he is also a great experimentalist. In Bercy II. at IRCAM and in the housing project of the Rue de Meaux (Paris, 1988-91. pp. 264-67). he has investigated the possibilities of layers of skin that enjoy relative independence from the external wall of which it is a part. In contrast to previous ways of pressing and gluing the two together, this multi-layer approach, which exploits new developments in ceramics, plastics and metal, will without question revolutionize not only economic, technical and ecological aspects of architecture as they relate to the exterior of buildings, but also the quality of the man-made environment as a work of art.

Critical regionalism

After a long period of disrepute, regionalism once again emerged as a dominant architectural tendency during the 1970s and "80s. It had little to do. however, with the means and aims of the sentimental, scenographic. nationalist regionalism of the past, nor was it chauvinistic, as in the case of the various expressions of regionalism of the last two centuries. Yet there was a common thread linking the two versions: both aimed to create an architecture of 'place', in relation to which the individual does not feel alone or alien: regionalism tried to create an architecture of belonging, of 'community'."

As in the past, the regionalism of the 1970s and '80s identified particular and local determinants of design in opposition to general and universal norms. In conceiving the Mazzorbo housing project (pp. 198-201). for example. Giancarlo De Carlo proceeded to find shapes of windows, entrances, fireplaces and chromatic structures from houses of the Venetian Lagoon from which to develop the equivalent elements of his new project. As in the past, the new regionalism used the existing architectural attributes of a region to achieve regionalist aims, that is. to tag onto a building its 'place' and 'social' identity. Finally, as in the past, regionalism was used to express aspirations of liberation from the brute force of a priori dogmas imposed by a power perceived as foreign and illegitimate.

In his essay on German architecture. Goethe had set out to identify architectural elements from the Gothic cathedral of Strasbourg, an 'astonishing..., barbaric... mass of details', which he recognized, nevertheless, as 'German': 'our architecture'. He juxtaposed these elements with classical 'French' architecture which he considered to have been imposed from 'another region", producing a 'uniformity [which) presses upon the soul'.1* The alien oppressor that the new regionalism in the 1970s and '80s opposed was not an occupying authority, but the expanding realm of bureaucracy and technocracy as well as the centrifugal commercial forces liquidating the urban realm and its accompanying urban life. In this spirit. Luis Marin de Ter£n and Aurelio del Pozo's La Corza housing in Seville (1984-85) borrowed architectural elements from the local working-class district of Triana and the yellow ochre ground from the park of Maria Luisa in Seville, rather than applying the standard, official, technocratic housing types.

The sense of the longed-for 'place' and community, however, in the new regionalism was meant to be open and broad, not confined to ethnic constraints. The form of the court house in the Barrio del Canyeret by Amado and Domenech (Lerida. 1982-90, pp. 238-41) repeats elements from the fortification above the new building which correspond to the wave-like shape of the citadel and result in a form reminiscent of a wall enclosing a coherent old town. The new building, however, is not in the least suggestive of a new. fortified, closed society. What it provides, in addition to an 'image' of community, is in fact a promenade, a rambla just like the existing citadel wall offers. Consequently, it creates a generous and highly gratifying public space with wonderful views and good for strolling, an architectural/ urbanlstic opportunity conducive to human encounters. Once again, the project contrasts with the technocratic, bureaucratic alternative of official public complexes, surrounded by its car park and efficiently aggregating services within a compact volume.

The roots of the regionalism of the past, which can be called romantic regionalism, can be traced back at least to 19th-century English picturesque and its search for a genius loci. Goethe's notion of an architecture 'true to the region', as opposed to a 'paternalistically' imposed one from 'another region", employed elements from the buildings of a nationalisti-cally defined area whose identity it wanted to preserve. Romantic regionalism was the cultural counterpart of the 19th-century political movements of emancipation from a declining, absolutist and aristocratic world order. And in its effort to hammer home a sense of unity, romantic regionalism developed what is in fact an architecture of nostalgia and memory. In this architecture the viewer was meant to feel an almost hallucinatory sense of participation in a common ethnic past.

Long after traditional 19th-century regionalism based on ethnicity had gone, romantic regionalist architecture of remarkable technical ingenuity continued to be produced. It coexisted harmoniously with an advanced technological and socio economic infrastructure, in countries such as Finland, well into the 20th century. One can find, even today, such examples in the work of Imre Mackovecz and Beno Taba in Hungary.

The distinctive character of contemporary regionalism is not only 'adversary', as with romantic regionalism; it is 'critical' as well. This sounds like a contradiction in terms, since 'regionalism' connotes positive if not conservative values, while 'critical* implies negativism if not radicalism. Critical, in the sense we use this term, is closer to the Kantian critique, and also to the agitated writings of the Frankfurt School: it challenges not only the actual world, but also the legitimacy of possible world views. In other words, it challenges, it critiques, habits of thinking and the role of clichfes. In terms of architecture, this critical viewpoint is based cognitively. and aesthetically, on 'defamiliarization'.

Defamiliarization. a concept closely related to Brecht's Verfremdung ( estranging"), but also to the Aristotelian xenicon. was coined by the literary critic Victor Schklovsky in the 1920s. He defined it as aiming to "prick consciousness" and destroy the hypnotic effect of contemporary consumer culture.1* In the manzana patio of the Seville housing by Cruz and Ortiz (1974-76. pp. 82-83), the traditional regional rectilinear form is unexpectedly replaced by a kidney-shaped one. Consequently, while the spatial component remains the same, it reappears in an unexpected shape, thus precluding any sentimental and scenographic effects. By introducing such an architectural component traditionally associated with community, the intention of the architects is to remind its users of its meaning and warn of the potential loss of that community, which might occur in the process of technological advancement and the bureaucratic rationalization of the city. By using this element, the architects imply that they are trying to arrest this process. The same is the case with Luis Marin de Teran and Aurelio del Pozo's La Corza (Seville. 1985), where the regional elements are meshed with others reminiscent of Bruno Taut and Ernst May's social housing which create similar defamiliarization effects.

One of the most intricate uses of defamiliarization In the framework of critical regionalism is to be found in Rafael Moneo's Museo Nacional de Arte Romano in Merida (1980-86. pp. 148-51). The employment of regional elements is evident. The aura of romamdad is overpowering, created by the arched walls and naves which surround the visitor and which are constructed out of hand-crafted Seville bricks of the same dimensions as their Roman predecessors. But what is even more impressive is the deliberate conflict that is set up between the grid-system, on which these neo-Roman elements are laid, and the grid of the original Roman remains on which they rest. The two spatial schemata superimposed in confrontation not only prohibit a sentimental and scenographic identification with a chauvinistic past, as would have been the case in a romantic approach: they also elicit a chain of reflections about the continuity of urban life and community today.

In the first half of the 20th century, regionalism manifested itself, at times, in ways that were far from noble. This type of architecture was exploited by Nazis and Fascists with a view to neo-tribal. atavistic ends. Another exploitative form in which regionalism resurfaces in this century is tourism. While the ends of tourist-motivated regionalism are economic, as opposed to political, the means are the same - an architecture which is based on familiarization with the past. The products of tourist regionalism are ultimately as kitsch as those of political regionalism.

In the period after the Second World War. we encounter Stalinist neo-folkioristic regionalism, but also that of Lewis Mumford. which he proposed as an alternative to the creeping 'imperial order" of post-war 'technocracy' and "despotism", to the 'mechanical order', indeed to the international style and modernism in general which, he thought, had lost by then much of its original emancipatory and rational character. Mumford also reflected an anxiety over the free-wheeling maximization of choice in the United States based on mobility, or rather automobility. and electronic communications, and the contempt of a new generation of planners for what was perceived as the 'deep seated doctrine that seeks order in simple, mappable patterns', as the prominent sociologist Melvin Webber put it. While very little was built in the United States, in Europe a regionalism following ideas close to Mumford's resulted in a few buildings which still stand today, such as the Torre Velasca in Milan by Ernesto Rogers. Lodovico Belgiojoso and Enrico Peressutti (1950-58). James Stirling's Preston Infill Housing (1957-59) and Giancarlo De Carlo's apartment house In Matera (mid-1950s). The critical regionalist tendency of the 1970s appears as a continuation and amplification of that brief moment of the 1950s, as expressed in Mumford's writings and in the buildings of Europe. Furthermore, the technique of estrangement practised by the critical regionalist architects, defamiliarizing familiar regional elements in order to represent on a higher cognitive level the idea of regionalism, parallels an approach suggested by Robert Venturi in his celebrated essay. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966). In it. Venturi gave predominance to the desirability of using 'conventional element(s)'. but in place of strangemaking. Venturi proposed the concept of vividness and the employment of 'convention unconventionally'.,°

Critical regionalism did not result In an identifiable architectural style. That would have contradicted its very definition. The most deeply rooted way of expressing the identity of a place is by resorting to local myth and iconology. This is the case in Raili and Reima Pietiia's Tampere Main Library (1978-86, pp. 152-55) with its bird-like form. In this building, the very traditional regionalist design does not succumb to merely romantic folklorism. A primordial icon is married to contemporary technology and a contemporary, open way of life.

Although the design strategy used by the Pietilàs and others makes use of a particular region's unique topographical characteristic, this is done by reincorporating it into the design of the project in the way the building relates to the site. Antonio Follina's Sports Club in Nervesa della Battaglia (Italy. 1971-75). Roberto Gabetti and Aimaro Isola's Conca Bianca residential complex outside Turin (1976-89). Luigi Snozzi's Casa Kalman in Locarno. Switzerland ( 1974-76. pp. 80-81). and Josep Martorell. Oriol Bohigas and David Mackay's Thau School in Barcelona (1972-74) are excellent demonstrations of this technique. In Mario Botta s house at Riva San Vitale in Ticino. Switzerland (1971-73. pp. 64-67). the three-dimensional scheme of the building is extracted from the region, then transferred back to the new structure by using rustic constructions to be found locally. Once again, the result is far from being a form of nationalist or touristic romanticism, or commercial, consumerist degradation. Similarly. Aldo van Eyck in Hubertus (1982-87. pp. 196-97) introduces a more abstract attribute, extracted from traditional Dutch domestic architecture, that of transparency and spatial depth, so frequently pictured in 17th-century Dutch painting.

In the case of Spanish architecture, one of the most fascinating cases of critical regionalism, we find volumes of prismatic purity constructed in impeccable brick, in a relatively broad area from Rafael Moneo's Bankinter (Madrid. 1973-76. pp. 78-79) and Antonio Velez's housing cooperative in Madrid ( 19 7 9-82 ). to Clotet and Pancio's Banco de España in Gerona, near Barcelona (1982-85. pp. 132-33); this widespread occurrence reflects the fact that the regional element of the brick prism was broadly diffused through the Iberian Peninsula. On the other hand, the vivid colour of Antonio Barrionuevo's housing block in Pino Montano. Seville (1981-83. pp. 114-15). is unique, the product of a Sevillian regional architectural attribute. Equally unique are the granite panels used in the Galician projects of José Bar Boo's subsidized housing in Vigo (1977). as well as the Intriguing configuration of a humble communal wash-house and meeting place by Pascuala Campos Michelena (1984) in the relatively isolated village of Comparo near Pontevedra, also in Galicia, which is related to the regional horreo. a stone granary on stilts with a pitched roof.

Regional elements originating in local architecture are identified, isolated, schematized and finally made new when used in a new context in the above mentioned projects, a process left most often to the architect's intuition. However, in the Mazzorbo housing project of Giancarlo De Carlo, who Is committed to participatory architecture, the use of regional elements is not left to the architect's personal Intuitions (pp. 198-201). De Carlo's historical exploration is not a one way street; the users also have their say. It is here that his method which superficially resembles that of Aldo Rossi in its use of memory radically diverges from it. According to De Carlo, to identify the collective meaning of an architectural element one has to carry out a transaction, an interactive process requiring the participation of the place's inhabitants. It is only in this way that the resulting information can be put to an effective, emancipatory use. De Carlo believes. In this respect the Mazzorbo project might be considered part of - indeed at the forefront of - the populist as well as the critical regionalist movements. The work of Lucien Kroll, especially ZUP Perseigne (1978, pp. 92-95), also often combines populist and critical regionalist characteristics.

In its efforts to appeal to a wider public, or by succumbing to the pressures of commercialism, critical regionalism walked a tightrope during the 1970s and '80s. The danger it faced was often a reversion to earlier forms of regionalism - sentimental, scenographic. ethnocentric. There was as well the equally grave danger of deteriorating into an architecture of tourist commercialism. It must also be admitted that critical regionalism has appeared ineffectual in identifying a genius loci, in establishing 'placeness'. and in sustaining community in the highly hostile conditions of the contemporary no-man's-land that exists on the periphery of the post-industrial, post-agrarian, post-urban landscape, conditions of a seemingly uncontrollable chaos of form, meaning, function and human ties.

The call to disorder

In a very widely read book of the late 1980s by James Gleick entitled Chaos. Making a New Science ( 1987)." Heinz-Otto Peitgen, a physicist at the University of Bremen, is cited as observing that the attraction of the once very popular pure geometrical 'apartment blocks in the Bauhaus style... seems to have passed." Peitgen noted that an 'enthusiasm [for a] new kind of geometry ... a different perspective of looking at nature' was emerging in the mid-1980s, characterized by twisted shapes, by stretched, knotted and weird floating particles. These strange structures looked like parodies of Euclid in their application to 'intractable' problems, or they simply resembled celebrations of chaos itself.

In the design of the Schullin Jewelry Shop by Hans Hollein (Vienna. 1972-74. pp. 72-73). which is in all respects highly finished, polished and well formed, a major crack in the facade destroys the subtle classical coherence of the work. The spastic geometry of disintegration is not arbitrary. It is the product of a carefully studied design act. meticulously drawn and fastidiously executed. Hollein's example was one of the first rare cases of such a display of chaos during the early 1970s, despite the fact that the anarchic, polyarchic, antiplanning ideas of the period welcomed celebrations of what Richard Sennett called in a contemporary work. The Uses of Disorder (1970), 'the promise and the justification of disorder'. Peichl's ORF-Studio of 1981 is another early example. The radiant explosion of its plan also manifests the destruction of classical ideas of coherence, a concept which in fact dates back to the late-1960s. One has to remember that the populist movement was explicitly anti-classical, and so were expressions of lyrical individuality, such as Hundert-wasser s in the 1970s. But these cases of anti-classicism did not have the paradoxically systematic character of the chaotic structures of the 1980s."

It is only since the mid-1980s that the ideas behind Hollein scracked facade and Peichl's exploded plan are being understood on the level of principles, rules and system. An increasing number of projects, first on paper, then built, emerged which contradicted all the tendencies of the period: the populist striving for a politically engaged design: the rappel d I'ordre to re-establish an autonomous tradition based on architecture: the functional and structural rigorists' attempts to introduce a higher level of rationality in building: critical regionalism's attempts to maintain the shaping of places with a sense of community.

In the past, there have been periodic eruptions of love for disorder and a desire to escape from the ideas of coherence and system of the type observed by Peitgen. cited above. At such times, a whole world view emerges in science, in literature, in the arts and architecture, which tries to subvert the coherent systems for thinking and acting then predominant. Such was the period that Eugenio Battisti called the anti-rinascimento' (1989). embodied in the anti-classical. anti-Ciceronian prose style of Montaigne's essays (1571-92) and also in the anti-classical composition of Michelangelo's Laurentian Library." Another such period was Constructivism in the 1920s. Yet in each of these recurring appeals to disorganization, there lies behind this seemingly negative attitude to order a highly consistent design thinking, a strong thematic continuity, and possibly even an equally rational scope of investigation. Thus, in the experiments of spatial composition by Gustav Peichl. Klaus Kada. or Michael Szyszkowitz and Karla Kowalski. Zaha Hadid. or Frank Gehry. we can discern an anti-methodical method: the high predictability with which unpredictable events occur in the work. This is why it is possible to recognize their projects and why we can sense intuitively their high quality in comparison with superficial imitations.

As with the other cases of apparently disordered architecture in the past, the rule behind the arbitrariness is that of canonically undoing the classical canon. Each architect, each project, takes its own approach to unmaking the coherence of the classical edifice, each arriving in the end at a consistent method and creating a work that manifests once more consistency, but of a different kind. To borrow Wittgenstein's famous metaphor of the city, it is like when one part of the city is built and 'circumscribed' with its own ideas of perfection, then another area suddenly draws people into it where they can build a sort of 'suburb' in an altogether different manner and with a different sense of perfection."

Seemingly there is a destructive delight in this architectural exercise of shifting conceptions of order. It could be argued that there might even be a critical intention: that the architects of the 1980s are concerned with organizing anti-celebrations in opposition to those of mainstream architecture, or those of the architecture of other contemporary movements in praise of order. Yet these architects of the 1980s and '90s appear too positively predisposed to have the label 'critical' assigned to them. Their search for alternative spatial order does not seem to stem from their adversary stance so much as from their cognitive investigations.

At the same time, the hidden order of their works, their anti-classical 'chaotism'. should be distinguished from the tradition of functionalist anti-classicism, a tradition which also created awkward geometries such as the angular, tortured shapes of bastions, the hornworks and hoardings of military architecture, or the utilitarian irregular configurations of our time in projects such as Claude Parent's Villa Drusch (Versailles. 1961-63) and Ivry Town Centre by Jean Renaudie (1970-78).

In the chaos-loving projects of the 1980s, their anti-classicism has a cognitive character. They suggest a process of undoing regularity which can tell us much about how the mind understands regularity. Coop Himmelblau's design for the Merz School in Stuttgart (1981 -never completed) or Rooftop Remodelling (Vienna. 1983-89. pp. 220-23) are two most striking examples: once one has contemplated these two structures, classical architecture will never be the same. The building is made to appear like an intricately assembled mechanism which can only be explained once it has been disassembled. This approach can therefore provide an understanding of cognitive structures of ordering space which are broader and deeper than those of the conventions of the classical canon. If artifacts are the outcome of thinking which takes place in time, and not only in space, then clearly this thinking process can be much more easily analysed if one's interpretation takes into account the aspect of time. But since buildings are space constructs, to convey time through their fabric is possible only symbolically - in other words, if the fabric of the building represents time implicitly. Thus, the time and process aspects of architectural conception are reconstructed in the mind of the viewers as they experience buildings as representations of time and process.

This collapsing of the four dimensions into the three-dimensions of buildings has precedents, of course. Sigfried Giedeon has made this point very clearly in his book Space. Time and Architecture, and as Peter Collins has observed in his Changing Ideals of Modern Architecturethe 18th-century designers of picturesque landscapes very consciously Integrated the dimension of time in their projects. This was achieved by forcing the viewer to move through the spatial complex. In the architecture of chaos of the 1980s, the same object is achieved without necessarily making the visitors walk around the building. Instead.

Hundertwasser, house, Vienna (1985)
Michaol Szyszkowitz and Karla Kowalski, addition to the Technical School for Forestry. Pichl Castle, near Graz, Austria (1982-85)
Gunther Pomenig, Nlx-Nuz-Nix - 'Goodfor-Nothlng Bird', doslgnod as a symbol for the Z-Bank. Graz, Austria (1983)

Miralies Pinos Arquitectos, Archery Range for the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona (1990-92)

they gaze at the static, disordered patterns of these complexes in the same way that they would contemplate a dynamic phenomenon in a disturbed, viscous fluid or. on a large scale, in the galaxy itself. And this experience is what makes cognitively intriguing the last decade's architectural explorations of disorder.

Despite their highly abstract character, these spatial compositions very often include iconic elements, mimetic images. Thus, the image of the bird forms a strange leitmotif of this architecture. The body of the bird appears, for instance, in Günther Domenig's Ornamental Birds (1980-83) and his Nix-Nuz-Nix ('good for nothing') Bird (Graz, Austria, July 1983). Although more sculpture than building, these birds serve as models for more complex buildings such as Domenig's Stone House (Steindorf, Carinthia. Austria. 1984-86). The bird like geometry of his constructions implies time and process, not only because birds fly in time, but also because their very morphology results from a slow process through which the profile is carved and polished by evolution and time. This is why. in fact, in Domenig's designs the bird image echoes the image of craggy hills and rocks, and of broken tree trunks. These shapes are the outcome of natural processes of transformation, processes of destruction or growth, both dynamic phenomena occurring in time.

There is a strong zoomorphic character, picturing the formal explosion of a 'fractal dragon' rather than a bird in flight, which again implies movement as well as the natural process of evolution of form, in Aldo and Hannie van Eyck's ESTEC - European Space Research and Technology Centre (1986-89. pp. 230-33). Movement caused by the unleashing of the forces of nature is also suggested in the Archery Range of Miralles and Pinös (Barcelona. 1990-92). Its structures dug into their chthonic surroundings seem to wave and bend as if in the process of being rocked by an earthquake. The chaos wrought by Miralles and Pinös has a dynamic quality, each shed seeming to collide with the other in a mysterious propagation of movement.

Despite their apparent disorganization, the 'chaotism' of these projects was more obsessed with understanding in an abstract manner organization, construction and destruction, growth and decay. These buildings were not a comment on the distress and derangement of reality in the surrounding environment, either natural or artificial.


Architecture since the Second World War has come to be strongly associated with inhumanity, desolation and devastation. The mere mention of post war urban design invokes images of asphalt deserts and mean streets, nightmares of bureaucratic and technocratic know-how, 'anomic', 'atopic' graveyards of urbanity. Although these apocalyptic generalizations are not wholly accurate, they capture the way many architects- and non-architects - of the post-1968 generation feel about post war planning and construction in European cities, a devastation often judged worse than the war itself.

It was this devastation that the post-'68 generation of architects tried to arrest, by giving power to the users to decide their own architectural fate, by recourse to architectural tradition, or through the attempt to create an architecture of community. By the mid-1980s, however, none of these efforts seemed to be fulfilling their promise. Even worse, they had, occasionally, been used as fronts, alibis behind which technocratically and bureaucratically minded business was transacted as usual. The cult of the political as much as the cult of the cultural and the precious, the cult of fabulism as much as that of beautification. the cult of 'place', but also the cult of 'chaos', often seemed ineffectual, particularly in areas of urban obsolescence. It was in this context that an architecture of new vitality began to appear in the mid 1980s. It coincided with a number of projects of considerable scale emerging all over Europe after a period of relative economic recovery. They were located in a specific class of sites which suddenly became attractive because of their low land value and privileged location. These were mostly forgotten pockets of urban areas that had previously been occupied by industrial, transportation, distribution or institutional facilities of the pre-First-World-War industrial era. They were factories, railway stations, slaughterhouses for the mass food market, warehouses, control complexes, 'machines to govern", to use Foucault's expression, and occasionally military structures. Technological and socio-economic developments, combined with the ageing of the structures, had made such facilities obsolete. Similarly, many parts of inner cities, 'bombed out' through so called urban renewal schemes of the post-war years, were also obsolete. Their obsolescence and their subsequent piecemeal cannibalization by opportunistic commercial developments had led to anomic. atopic, irredeemable no-man's-lands, what Lewis Mumford called the 'anti-city'. It seemed impossible that any planning intervention or architectural ordering could give such areas any aesthetic appearance in the traditional sense, any character of 'place'.

The character of these sites was negative: hardness of materials, harshness of texture, roughness of shape, industrial colour, fragmentation of space. The realist architects made a world which represented the very negative, 'dirty' attributes of these sites. Indeed, they made them appear even more intense in projects such as Rem Koolhaas's Netherlands Dance Theatre (The Hague. 1984-87, pp. 182-85), Myrto Vitart's ONYX Cultural Centre (Saint Herblain, 1987-88. pp. 214-17), Jean Nouvel's Némausus (Nîmes, 1986-87. pp. 178-81). Matthias Sauerbruch and Elias Zenghelis's Apartment House at Checkpoint Charlie (Berlin. 1983-90. pp. 236-37). Héctor Fernández and Vetges tu i Mediterrània's Production Centre for Valencian Television (Valencia. 1986-89. pp. 234-35). Miralles and

Pinós's La Pista at Hostalets (1987-91. pp. 260-63). Gilíes Bouchez's social housing on the Boulevard Vincent Auriol (Paris. 1987-90. pp. 242-43). They implied that there was actually something intriguing in these negative qualities.

The selective representation in a project of characteristics drawn from the context of its site, even if these characteristics are considered 'negative' or 'lowly', has strong affinities, if not an underlying continuity, with the 'angry young man" brutalist architecture of the 1950s, such as James Stirling's Preston Infill working-class housing project (England. 1957-59) and with later buildings such as Alejandro de la Sota's masterpiece, the Colegio Maravillas (Madrid. 1961). not to mention Venturi and Scott Brown's pop realism of the late 1960s and early 1970s. There are further parallels with the adhocism' of the early 1970s, a term used by Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver with reference to architects working in a manner recalling the process of waste reclamation.**

But perhaps more than any other cultural tendency, these new architectural works bear similarities with a movement in American literature which in an issue of Granta magazine, its editor Bill Buford called the 'dirty realist' school of writing." Like their architectural counterparts, this generation of writers, disenchanted with their seniors' 'post-modern', 'deconstructionist' stance, set out to take a hard, critical look at everyday life in a world cluttered by the 'oppressive details of modern consumerism'.2* In a mood reminiscent of many of the post-war neo-realist writings and films, this fiction, 'informed by a discomforting and sometimes elusive irony', is 'so spare in manner that it takes some time before one realizes how completely a whole culture and a whole moral condition are being represented".

What was the meaning of this return to realism in architecture? Was it created by an attraction to the negative qualities of hardness, harshness, roughness and incomplete ness? Such an attraction can be found as early as the Renaissance in the notion of non-finito, and then later in that of the sublime, a concept that was perhaps associated with the beginnings of the crisis of confidence in the possibility of a perfect world of urbanity. Or was it because, to quote Kant's famous passage from Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime (1764). this 'portrayal of the infernal kingdom arousefs] enjoyment, but with horror'?**

To some architects, such as Hans Kollhoff. the answer is the latter. In his interview with film director Wim Wenders.** he appears to agree with Wenders. who - metaphorically, of course - calls Berlin 'a murderous city... but that's the way a city should be". The "excitement is really only created at the cracks, where suddenly everything goes wrong". 'Where it all perfectly fits together, there is nothing left.' Wenders observes.

It seems, however, that a different reading can be made of the intensification of 'dirty real' characteristics in these new buildings. Once again, one can recognize in their architecture the technique of defamiliarization. But this use of 'strangemaking' is uniquely strange. It does not resemble defamiliarization as applied by critical regionalism or any of the other movements of the past twenty-five years. Instead of making the world appear unfamiliar by inserting within it highly contrasting elements, pricking consciousness by confronting geometries, as Rafael Moneo did in his Museo Nacional de Arte Romano (Merida. 1980-86, pp. 148-51), by confronting different spatial schemata as did Coop Himmelblau in Rooftop Remodelling (Vienna. 1983-89, pp. 220-23), or by confronting the rectangular with the biomorphic internal court in Cruz and Ortiz's housing block on Doña Maria Coronel Street (Seville. 1974-76. pp. 82-83), realists make strange the characteristics of an area by carrying them over into the building and intensifying them in a mirror-like way. They hold up a convex mirror whose lens emphasizes rather than covers up reality, or. to use the expression of Schklovsky writing about Tolstoy, they 'make the stone stony". Thus, architecture seems once more, as in the 19th century, to be responding to what the art historian Linda Nochlin referred to as 'the call for truth, honesty and sincerity'.11 These concepts, however, have lost their 19th-century foundation on claims of absolute objectivity. What realist architecture is doing is responding, again, to the demand for 'contemporaneity', to be 'of one's own time". This does not necessarily imply only the use of industrial products, the colours, materials and images of industrially produced desolation. The conflicts of our time go much deeper. On the cognitive and on the moral level, this deeper realistic portrayal of the world recognizes and tries to represent what occurs when ideas about "well-formedness" and 'worldmaking' lead to not one but multiple possible worlds. Thus, the representation of this reality might employ Corinthian motifs together with plain commercial brick walls as the context requires, as Venturi's multi-faceted Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London demonstrates (1986-91, pp. 272-75). The building as a composition of incommensurable parts is not an endorsement of post-war urban disintegration, of the destruction of the sense of place or of belonging; it is rather a means of questioning them and an argument, if not always a means, for overcoming them.

The eighth tendency

Building in Europe since 1968, like building in many parts of the world, has witnessed an explosion of variety and individuality. Perhaps never before in history have so many alternative approaches to architecture been proposed and so quickly implemented simultaneously. There has been a plethora of morphologies, a cornucopia of typologies. For an era of proliferation of the technological means of production of buildings, for an epoch of triumph for the rights of the individual and freedom of expression, this should come as no surprise. The question still remains as to what, and how successfully, has been achieved in this architecture in the face of the new constraints that confront all people in their everyday lives in Europe today.

Undoubtedly architecture as a form of cognition has reached an extreme degree of sophistication: the buildings of the last two decades all over Europe implement intricate models of space organization in complex problem solving. They carry meanings, make statements about the world and about themselves in an unprecedentedly rich fashion. As we have seen, the endowment of memory and the competence of invention, apparently antagonistic, have reinforced each other and thus have soared in contemporary architecture. Parallel to this development runs the growing sophistication in discussing architecture as a cultural expression, as one can conclude from the essays which follow by Fritz Neumeyer and Jean Louis Cohen, as well as from the architectural projects themselves which we have analysed.

On the other hand, what limits these dynamic tendencies of the last two decades, seven of which we have identified here, is their propensity to bypass existing questions in their anxious effort to respond to fresh ones. Moreover, in several instances, the new questions have not always measured up, in terms of challenge, to those left unanswered, a point that both Peter Rice and Lucius Burckhardt make in their contributions on the current situation with regard to technology and ecology respectively.

Certainly, this is how history has always worked: most conflicts are never resolved: they are simply transcended. Yet the conflict between individuality and efficiency that populism addressed, between tradition and change that the rappel d I'ordre struggled with, between true and apparent functionality that neo rigorism confronted, between community and globality that critical regionalism tried to overcome, and between coherence and completeness that adherents of chaos in architecture and urbanism were engaged in, has proved particularly tenacious. It would seem that the 'end of history' is still a long way off in architecture. Thus the concern with reality by a younger generation of architects indicates the need to use the successful experiments of the last twenty years, but it also indicates the need to move beyond exclusive, insular, fragmented tendencies towards a more inclusive, coherent, global one. This is not to advocate a return to bygone totalistic simplicities in a world so clearly made up of a multiplicity of human beliefs, a world in which the integrity of each should be respected, in which the imperative of accepting the 'Other' - an imperative embodied in Daniel Libeskind's deeply moving design for the Department Jewish Museum in Berlin (1989-, pp. 290-93) - should be followed. It is rather to argue for a new tendency which recognizes the question of morality as central to an architecture which will have to grow rationally in a world made up of multiple worlds.

1. We are referring to Jean Jacques Rousseau's Les rêveries d'un promeneur solitaire (1776-78). so influential in creating a link between the new aesthetics of freedom associated with the pic luresque landscape and criticism of the Ancien Régime, and also to the Mémoire sur les hôpitaux by the philosopher Nicolas Caritat. Marquis de Condorcet (written 1786. unpublished until 1977). This was the first instance of an argument for participation of the users grouped in districts and of a multi-disciplinary team of experts in architectural design. Both texts are contained in our documentary history of architecture from 1125-1810. Origins of Modem Architecture (Nijmegen. 1990. in Dutch).

2. Le Carré Bleu was founded in 1958 by André Sctommerling. It published texts of members of Team x and its disciples and members of the Union International des Architectes. Among its collaborators were Giancarlo De Carlo. Shad-rach Woods. Alison and Peter Smithson. Arthur Glickson. A retrospective issue of the magazine was published In June 1989. It is still being published.

3. Founded in 1967 by Philippe Boudoo, Alain Sarfatl and 8ernard Hamburger, among others. See our bibliography on Sartati's housing project In Savigny le Temple (1982-86) for further reading.

4. See in particular Herri Lefebvro. Everyday Life in the Modern World. New York. 1971 (first pub lished in French. 1968).

5. Particularly as influenced by the writings of the Frankfurt School, especially such works as Theodor Adomo's Against Epistemology. Cambodge. MA. 1982 (first published in German. 1952).

6. Hypncrotomachta poliphili. Venice. 1499.

7. Henri lefebvro. op. cil

8. See L Lefaivre and A. Tzonis, 'In the Name of the People, the Populist Movement in Architecture", Forum. 1975, no. 3, for further reading on the history of the populist movement.

9. Vincent Scully. Postscript: Ideology in Form', in A Rossi s A Scientific Autobiography. Cambridge. MA. 1984.

10. Gyorgy Luköcs. The Historical Novel. 1962 (first published 1955); also his Studies in European Realism, 1950 (first published 1947).

U. See our The narcissistic phase in architecture". Harvard Architectural Review, vol. 1. Spring 1980. pp. 52-61.

12. The doctrines of Carlo lodoli. who never pub iished. were set down by his disciples in Count Francesco Algarottis Saggio (1756), Francesco Milizia's Princip* di Archttettura Civile (1781) and Andrea Memmo's Elementi di Architettura Lodoliana (1786).

13. Galileo Galilei. Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences. New York. 1914 (first published in Leiden. 1638).

14. "Servant" and "served" are terms coined by Louis Kahn.

15. Hilton Kramer. The Age of the Avant Garde. New York. 1973. pp. 244-46.

16. Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. New York. 1966.

17. See A. Tzonis, L Lefaivre and A Alofsin's "Die Frage des Regionalismus' in Für eine andere Architektur (M. Andritzky. L Burckhardt and 0. Hoffman, eds. Frankfurt. 1981); and "The grid and the pathway" in Architecture in Greece, no. 5. 1981: and 'El regionalismo critico en la arquitcctura esparioia actual' In AAV. no. 3. 1985. pp. 4-19. Kenneth Frampton has written perceptively about the movement in many of his articles and in Modern Architecture, a Critical History (London. 1985. 2nd ed.). See also S. Amourgis (ed.), Critical Regionalism. The

Pomona Meeting Proceedings. Pomona. CSP University. 1991.

18. See our "Critical Regionalism" In S. Amourgis, op. cit.. for further reading on the historical origins of regionalism in architecture.

19. Victor Schklovsky. 'Art as Technique". In Lee T. Lemon and M. Reiss. Russian Formalists, Un coin, Nebraska. 1965.

21. James Gleick, Chaos. Making a New Science. New York. 1987.

22. Richard Sennctt. The Uses of Disorder. New York. 1970.

23. Eugenio Battisti. L'anti rinascimento. Milan, 1989.

24. Ludwig Wittgenstein. Philosophical Investi gations. New York. 1958.

25. Sigfried Giedeon, Space. Time and Architecture. Cambridge. MA. 1959: Peter Collins. Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture. London. 1965.

26. Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver. Adhoclsm. London, 1972.

27. L Lefaivre has written about this aspect of contemporary architecture in 'Dirty Realism in European Architecture Today'. Design Book Review. Berkeley. Winter 1989. no. 17. pp. 17-20; and "Dirty Realism", Archithöse. Zurich. Jan. 1990 (special Issue ed. L Lefaivre with contributions by Richard Ingersoll. Fritz Neumeyer. Rem Koolhaas. Enric Miralles and Carme Pin6s. among others).

28. Bill Buford. 'Editonal'. Dirty Realism. Granta 8. Cambridge. England. 1983.

29. Immanuel Kant. Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime. Berkeley and Los Angeles. 1960 (first published 1764).

30. Hans KolIhoff. Quaderns. no. 177.1989.

31. Linda Nochlin. Realism, Harmondsworth. 1971.

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