Between The Concrete And The Metaphysical

THE ART OF ARCHITECTURE is a platform for non-architecture students to develop an understanding and appreciation
of the strategies and conceptual basis for the production of architecture.

As architectural discourse is historically situated within the limits of the particular society and culture [ethos] that has sponsored its terms, the influences upon the pro-duction of architecture have traditionally been circumscribed within the economic, political, philosophical and artistic-symbolic territory of that culture.  As such the lectures in this course will ex-plore the societal and trans-cultural influences on the various modes, systems and scales of architectural production. These may include systems of structural, spatial and formal organization, modes of representation as well as the critical analysis of such traditional concepts as beauty, proportion, truth and harmony.


In order for the student to become proficient in the study, appreciation and analysis of architecture this course will concentrate on three conditions of architectural construction:

The Art of Architecture                   

Syracuse University                        
School of Architecture
Professor Valdes  Spring 1995

A  R  C  H  I  T  E  C  T  U  R  E    3  9  3

1 -    Syntax
Architects throughout the ages have contributed to the production of the language of architecture. As language architecture is manifested in the various systems of formal, structural, semiotic [ornament] and conceptual organizations that inform and/or govern the arrangement and distribution of space. By analyzing canonical architectural and urban structure[s] the student will develop an awareness and under-standing of the multiplicity of those systems of organization that lead to the various provinces of spatial composition, formal contrast and gradation, conceptual hierarchy and compositional [i]regularity inherent in the making of architecture.

2 -    Context
For purposes of discussion, specific buildings will be analyzed out of their context; that is, as abstract objects devoid of a direct relationship to site, geography or climate. The dependence of a building to its environment however will be considered of paramount importance. In this respect the student is encouraged to layer his or her understanding of the specific architectural principles under consideration with the perceptual and conceptual characteristics of place; that is, with orientation, qualities of light, views, signs and symbols, local history, etc. 


3 -    Space
Central to the study and appreciation of architecture space is the preferred agency of architectural expression.  The concept of space however is the least under-stood component of architectural production. Space has peculiar characteristics: it is container as well as contained and while not having the characteristic of form or frame-work for form it is the background that gives form substance. It is also the abstract that gives meaning to the particular. In the twentieth century space is the component of archi-tecture that has attained an unparalleled level of theoretical fascination and seductive-ness. Partly because of its  theoretical importance and partly because of its illusive conceptual framework we will concentrate on the various systems of building construction and planning, for any suggestion into the structure of space, by analyzing the changing quality of the wall through history.  We will also examine the historical significance of pictorial space and the artistic-aesthetic manifestations offered by the manipulation and administration of space. In short we will probe the history of art for any clues and suggestions into the paradoxical nature of one of the primary mediums of architecture.

LECTURES:

FIRST MOVE
January 18.............................                
January 20..............................                  
PRIMARY CONCEPTS
January 23..............................                  
January 25..............................                  
REPRESENTATION
January 30..............................              
February 1..............................                  
CONCEPTS
February 6..............................                 
February 8..............................                  
FIGURAL / ABSTRACT 
February 13............................              
February 15............................                                    
PLAN AND SECTION
February 20............................                
February 22............................                                
COMPOSITION

February 27............................               
March 1..................................                     
BALANCE
March 6..................................                       
March 8..................................                           
BODY and TEMPLE
March 20.................................

March 22.................................                  

ON THE SURFACE
March 27................................                       
March 29................................                                         
NUMBER - BEAUTY
April 3.....................................                       
April 5.....................................                      

TYPOLOGY
April 10...................................                  
April 12...................................                  
CONTEXT
April 17...................................                  
April 19...................................                  
THE EUROPEANS
April 24...................................                  
April 26...................................                                  
URBANISM
May 1......................................                                           

May 3.....................................

ARCHITECTURE IN A NUTSHELL

THE [PRE]LOGICAL NATURE OF ARCHITECTURE
 

POINT, LINE, PLANE, VOLUME
PERCEPTION

THE ANCIENTS AND THE MODERNS

ARCHITECTURAL REPRESENTATION

 

FORM IN SPACE
SPATIAL DEFINITION

 

HISTORIC AND MODERN ARCHITECTURE
SPATIAL SEQUENCE  

                    
THE CIRCLE AND THE LINE
THE SECTION                  

UNITY
HIERARCHY

 

AXIS AND SYMMETRY
TRANSFORMATION

 

THE CONSTRUCTIONS OF NARCISSUS
THE NATURAL AND THE MAN-MADE

DECORATION
ORNAMENT AND STRUCTURE

GREEK SACRED PRECINCTS; THE MIDDLE AGES
RENAISSANCE, MODERNITY

 

TYPOLOGY AND DESIGN METHOD
BUILDING TYPES  (Typology In History)

 

THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE CITY

FABRIC AND OBJECT

MIES VAN DER ROHE

LE CORBUSIER

THE POST-MODERN AMERICAN LANDSCAPE;
AN INTERPRETATION

READING LIST:


Required Texts:
1.Rasmussen, Steen Eiler. Experiencing Architecture.
   [Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1992]

2.Zevi, Bruno, Architecture As Space.
   [New York:Horizon Press]

3.von Meiss, Pierre, Elements of Architecture, From Form to Place.
   [New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold International Co. Ltd.Press,1990]

4.Le Corbusier.Towards A New Architecture.
   [New York: Dover Publications ,1986]

Reference Texts:

All reference texts will be on reserve in the Architecture Reading Room, 102 of Slocum Hall.

 

Antoniades, Anthony, C. Poetics of ArchitectureArnheim,

Rudolf. The Dynamics Of Architectural Form.   [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977]

Arnheim, Rudolf. Visual Thinking.   [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969]

Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space.   [Beacon Press, 1969 with forward by Etienne Gilson]Baker,

Geoffrey. Le Corbusier, An Analysis of Form.   [UK: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984]

Banham, Reynor. Theory and Design in the First Machine Age

Barnett, Jonathan. The Ellusive City,   [N.Y. Harper and Row, 1986]

Benjamin, Walter. "The Work Of Art In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction " Illuminations [Harcourt and Brace, 1968]

Blaser, Werner. Drawings of Great Buildings.

Blaser, Werner. Mies van der Rohe. Studio Paperback

Doxiadis, K.A. Architectural Space in Ancient Greece. [Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1972]

Ching. Architecture: Form, Space and Order.   [Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1979]

Curtis, William. Le Corbusier, Ideas and Forms   [Rizzoli International Corporation]

Gomez, Alberto Perez. Architecture And The Crisis Of Modern Science.       [Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1983]Fraser, Iain and Henmi, Rod. Envisioning Architecture, An Analysis of Drawing   [New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1994]Hambridge, Jay. The Elements Of Dynamic Symmetry.

Johnson, Phillip. Mies van der Rohe   [New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1947]

Kepes, Gyorgy. Language of Vision   [USA Poole Bros, 1951]

Laugier, Marc-Antoine. An Essay On Architecture.   [Los Angeles:

Hennessey and Ingalls, Inc.1977]   Translated and with an introduction by Wolfgang and Anni Herrmann.

Lucan, Jacques; Rem Koolhaas. OMA.   [Princeton Architectural Press, 1991]

Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl. Matrix of Man.   [NY, F.A. Praeger Publisher, 1969]

Moneo, Rafael. "On Typology"   Oppositions V13-16; pp. 23-45

Norberg-Schulz, Christian. Existence, Space and Architecture   [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971]

Ortega y Gasset, Jose. The Dehumanization of Art and Culture; Selection, Englsh   [Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday, Rowe, Colin. The Mathematics Of The Ideal Villa and Other Essays.   [Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1982]

Russell Hitchcock. Henry, The International Style.   [New York, The Norton Library, 1966]

Russell Hitchcock. Henry,  In The Nature Of Materials.

Scolary, Massimo. "Why The Mind Is Not Defeated By Disappointment"   Lotus International # 73 pp. 129-130

Shepheard, Paul. What Is Architecture? An Essay On Landscapes, Buildings And Machines  [Cambridge, Mass:MIT Press,] Tegethoff, Wolf. The Villas and Country Houses.   [NY: Museum of Modern Art, 1985]

Torroja Miret, Eduardo. Philosophy of Sstructures.   [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1958]

Tschumi, Bernard. Questions of Space; Lectures on Architecture.   [London: Architectural Association, 1990]

Tzonis, Alexander and Lefaivre, Liane. Classical Architecture; The Poetic Of Order.   [London: MIT Press, 1986]

Venturi, Robert. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture.   [New York: The Museum Of Modern Art, NY, 2nd Ed., 1972]

Venturi, Robert; Scott Brown, Denise; Izenour. Learning From Las Vegas   [Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1985]

Wittkower, Rudolf. Architectural Principles in The Age of HumanismWolf,

Tegethoff. Mies van der Rohe: The Villas and Country Houses

Graduate Proportion Seminar

Pratt Institute
Brooklyn, New York
Fall 2001

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Graduate Theory Seminar 
Syracuse University
Fall 1996, 1997