81574 - Contemporary Architecture (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student acquires necessary knowledge to critically interpret contemporary architecture, in its various aspects: from space and structure to its programmatic and symbolic function, also in relation to the cultural, artistic and environmental context. In particular, the student has the methodological tools for the historical and critical understanding of the city and its major architectures.

Course contents

This course aims to provide students with the knowledge necessary to understand and interpret the artistic processes and the most characteristic technical systems of contemporary architecture. The course will deal with, from time to time, the study of the work of one or more protagonists, or one or more creative aspects fundamental to architecture. Studying the creative works and processes, they will be considered also the contributions of artists that contributed to define concepts sometimes essential for the architecture. Art and technique, idea and matter, creative processes and building logic will constitute starting points for discussing and analysing the works of various architects.

Monographic part: The Complete Work of Le Corbusier

No major protagonist of the figurative culture of the twentieth century such as Le Corbusier has been able to decline together: painting, sculpture, decorative arts, architecture and urbanism, with increasingly significant results for the evolution of individual arts. This course will critically examine the various periods of Le Corbusier work, from his formative years, focused on the grammar of ornament and the rules of visual perception, till the construction of Chandigarh and its monuments in "béton brut".

Topics of the course

Section 1: Ornamental composition and optical illusionism, 1902-1919

- The years of the École d'Art of La Chaux-de-Fonds under Charles L'Eplattenier: the grammar of the ornament and the application of the ornamental composition

- Truth about the "ornate building": the first trip to Italy, the confrontation with Vienna of the secession time, apprentices at Auguste Perret and Peter Behrens

- Studies in Germany: principles of spatial vision

- The manuscript of "Construction de villes": the beginning of urban planning reflections

- Seeing the ancient, journey of 1911 (Balkans, Istanbul, Athens, Pompei, Rome, Pisa)

- The villas in La Chaux-de-Fonds: building tales

- Domino Ossatura, garden city and first ideas of skyscrapers

- City silhouettes and towers city immersed in greenery

- Towards an industrial aesthetic

- The poster "Après le Cubisme" written with Amédée Ozenfant

Section 2: Purism and psychophysiology of vision, 1920-1928

- The magazine "L'Esprit Nouveau"

- The city project for 3 million inhabitants

- "Towards an architecture": diffusion of a poetics

- The first purist architectures

- Nature of colours and psychophysics of perception

- Esprit Nouveau Pavilion: Dioramas and the Voisin Plan for Paris

- The Stein-De Monzie villa, the houses in the Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart, and the villa Savoye: definition and demonstration of the "5 points d’une architecture nouvelle"

Section 3: City of Illusions, 1929-1939

- "La rue": filming of the models of the Plan Voisin

- New Vision: the aerial view

- Topography and City: Visions for Latin America

- Penthouse Beistegui, a diorama for Paris

- "Ville Verte" for Moscow

- The model of "Ville Radieuse"

- The "Plan Obus" for Algiers

- The "Paper of Athens", 1933

- The Pavillon des Temps Nouveaux: exposing urban planning

Section 4: "Espace indicible" and "béton brut", 1940-1965

- The yard of the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille: the vertical garden city and the invention of the aesthetic of the "béton brut"

- "Synthesis of plastic arts" and "espace indicible"

- For a "sculpture destinée à l'architecture": the "sculptures moulées"; "Plastique acoustique", sculptures by Joseph Savina; "Sand-casting" with Costantino Nivola

- Wall painting and upholstery "muralnomad"

- "New World of Space" and black and white photography; The project for a "laboratory" of the "synthesis of the major arts"

- The Ronchamp chapel: Shape the space and photograph the "espace indicible"

- Chandigarh: from Ville Radieuse to the construction of the contemporary city

- Unlimited growth museums in Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Tokyo

- "Boîte à miracles" for the spontaneous theatre; "Electronic games" on the coverage of the Habitat Unit in Marseille; "Poème électronique": the birth of the artistic installation

- Optical illusionisms in the way of Vasarely; "Automatic drawings": in Breton groove

- The second collection of wallpaper Salubra: Op Art and Pop Art walls and marbles

- "Transfert" of works and photographic enlargements; The convent of La Tourette, forms of "transfert"

- The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in Cambridge-Massachusetts: hands and head

Section 5: Le Corbusier after Le Corbusier

For additional information see 

 

Workshop: THE IMAGE FACTORY - DAMSLab

The CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE course will be completed, throughout its duration, by a workshop organized in seminars, and open only to attending students. The laboratory intends to provide the methodological basic and tools necessary to develop personal research projects. The laboratory activities will form part of the final exam for students who decide to take part in the initiative.

During the workshop it is required to:

- actively participate in seminars;

- collect the materials necessary for research;

- find the iconographic material useful to comment the research;

- prepare an accurate bibliography;

- develop reflections on one's subject of analysis;

- produce works that will be exhibited in an exhibition, curated by the students with the support of the teacher and collaborators.

Students enrolled in the laboratory must also draw up a written report on their research work, to be delivered one week before the exam.

Readings/Bibliography

Attending Students

Mandatory texts

Le Corbusier, Precisazioni sullo stato attuale dell'architettura e dell'urbanistica, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1979 (first edition, 1930)

R. Gargiani, A. Rosellini, Le Corbusier. Béton Brut and Ineffable Space, 1940-1965. Surface Materials and Psychophysiology of Vision, EPFL Press, Lausanne, 2011 (chapters and paragraphs on the topics covered in the course)

A. Rosellini, Le Corbusier e la superficie, dal rivestimento d'intonaco al béton brut, Aracne, Roma, 2013 (first and second chapters)

A. Rosellini, La Ville Contemporaine di Le Corbusier e Pierre Jeanneret, o del paesaggio svizzero sublimato in metropoli, in M. De Michelis, ed., La CittаNuova. Oltre Sant’Elia. Cento anni di visioni urbane, Milano, Silvana Editoriale, 2013, pp. 67-79 (available in AMS Campus [https://campus.unibo.it/243114/1/Rosellini.LeCorbusier.SilvanaEditoriale.pdf] )

Recommended readings

M. Tafuri, "Machine et mémoire". La città nell'opera di Le Corbusier 1, in "Casabella", 1984, n. 502

M. Tafuri, "Machine et mémoire". La città nell'opera di Le Corbusier 2, in "Casabella", 1984, n. 503

AA.VV., "Casabella", 1987, n. 531-532, monographic issue on Le Corbusier

S. von Moos, Le Corbusier. Elements of a Synthesis, nai010 publishers, Rotterdam, 2013 (first edition, Le Corbusier. Elemente einer Synthese, Frauenfeld, 1968)

Recommended readings (institutional part)

S. Giedion, Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1941

L. Benevolo, Storia dell’architettura moderna, Editori Laterza, Bari 1960

Non-attending students

Mandatory texts

Le Corbusier, Precisazioni sullo stato attuale dell'architettura e dell'urbanistica, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1979 (first edition, 1930)

AA.VV., "Casabella", 1987, n. 531-532, monographic issue on Le Corbusier

R. Gargiani, A. Rosellini, Le Corbusier. Béton Brut and Ineffable Space, 1940-1965. Surface Materials and Psychophysiology of Vision, EPFL Press, Lausanne, 2011

A. Rosellini, Le Corbusier e la superficie, dal rivestimento d'intonaco al béton brut, Aracne, Roma, 2013 (first and second chapters)

A. Rosellini, La Ville Contemporaine di Le Corbusier e Pierre Jeanneret, o del paesaggio svizzero sublimato in metropoli, in M. De Michelis, ed., La CittаNuova. Oltre Sant’Elia. Cento anni di visioni urbane, Milano, Silvana Editoriale, 2013, pp. 67-79 (available in AMS Campus [https://campus.unibo.it/243114/1/Rosellini.LeCorbusier.SilvanaEditoriale.pdf] )

Recommended readings

M. Tafuri, "Machine et mémoire". La città nell'opera di Le Corbusier 1, in "Casabella", 1984, n. 502

M. Tafuri, "Machine et mémoire". La città nell'opera di Le Corbusier 2, in "Casabella", 1984, n. 503

S. von Moos, Le Corbusier. Elements of a Synthesis, nai010 publishers, Rotterdam, 2013 (first edition, Le Corbusier. Elemente einer Synthese, Frauenfeld, 1968)

Recommended readings

S. Giedion, Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1941

L. Benevolo, Storia dell’architettura moderna, Editori Laterza, Bari 1960

Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars

Assessment methods

Attending students

Oral examination on the topics discussed during the course

During the interview, students are required to demonstrate to have acquired a critical understanding of the topics discussed in the course. The examination will begin with a question on a topic chosen by the students, and it will continue with questions on the book Le Corbusier, Precisazioni sullo stato attuale dell'architettura e dell'urbanistica (see bibliography), and on the course contents.

Non-attending students

Oral examination on the topics discussed during the course

To pass the oral examination, students are required to demonstrate to have acquired a critical understanding of the topics discussed in the course and those of the bibliography. The questions will be taken from the books listed in the bibliography for non-attending students.

Attending and non-attending students

It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, the use of a proper specific language, the originality of the reflection as well as the familiarity with the tolls for analysing the architecture.

It will be assessed as discrete the performance of those students showing mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, not articulated synthesis and analysis capabilities, a correct but not always appropriate language, as well as a scholastic study of the architecture. It will be assessed as barely sufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, lack of knowledge of the architecture. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography and inability to analyse the architecture.

Teaching tools

Students will be given the images projected during the lectures and part of the bibliography.

Links to further information

https://iol.unibo.it/course/view.php?id=23049 https://www.facebook.com/groups/HistoireArchitectureHistoireBeton/

Office hours

See the website of Anna Rosellini