11th Annual International Conference on Architecture
5-8 July 2021, Athens, Greece Program (Athens Local Time)
Monday 5 July 2021
09.00-09.30 Opening and Welcoming Remarks:
Gregory T. Papanikos, President, ATINER.
Nicholas N. Patricios, Vice President of Strategic Planning & Analysis, ATINER, Dean Emeritus & Professor, School of Architecture, University of Miami, USA. (Video)
Clara Germana Gonçalves, Head, Architecture Unit, ATINER & Researcher, CITAD (Centro de Investigação em Território, Arquitectura e Design), Lusíada University, Portugal. (Video)
Vesna Žegarac Leskovar, Dean & Associate Professor, University of Maribor, Slovenia. Vanja Skalicky Klemenčič, Assistant Professor, University of Maribor, Slovenia. Title: The Role of Nursing Homes Architectural Design in Mitigating the Risk of COVID-19 Pandemics: The Case of Slovenia.
Already in the 18th century, concert halls were differentiated into their own building type in Europe. The first Finnish concert halls date back only to the 1950s. However, buildings dedicated exclusively to music are an exception in Finland. Finnish concert halls are part of multipurpose houses. Particularly during the great boom of the 1980s, music life looked for partners in the business world, but already the first concert halls in our country were invested with diverse business activities. Government support for art increased in the 1950s. Subsidies became established and shaped into cultural policy and laws in the 1960s. Culture began to be seen as an integral part of public services, as part of modernization and the welfare state. In 1968, a law to promote art was born. State aid allocations doubled in five years. Orchestras were municipalized and their work was established. Cultural policy solutions and state support for art increased the construction of cultural institutions. The new buildings have refreshed the cultural life of many places with summer celebrations and cultural weeks. In the 1980s consumption celebration began. The citizen became a consumer. Traditional high culture and commerce, entertainment and markets were all under one roof. During the 1980s more than twenty multi-purpose buildings were created. The peak of Finnish cultural centers was at the end of the decade. In addition to the benefits, sharing and diverse needs brought along problems: acoustics are difficult to design for both speech and music, and the sizing of halls can also be difficult as congresses and concerts require different types of space. The rapid structural change of the late 20th century, the accelerated lifestyle of electronic communications and the sudden recession caused nostalgia. In 1987, the UN Brundtland Commission introduced the idea of sustainable development. Building protection provided fresh ways to defend old buildings, and above all, old industrial environments began to attract musicians. Tradition and old values raised their heads even in new architecture. Finland has plenty of music halls. There are seventy post-war culture centers in our country. Finnish music life is very rich and Finland has an exceptionally large number of talented musicians. This is a special feature in European culture scene. In my paper I study closer the power of state policy, public and private funding and their impact on the diverse and lively music life and its stages in Finland.
Karolina Wojnowska-Paterek, Lecturer, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU), Poland. Title: Designing for People, not for Consumers.
My research focuses on public spaces of the most crowded areas of cities such as shopping and entertainment centres. Even though the shopping centres are widely recognised as public spaces, in fact their design is directed toward commercial success of their owners. Nowadays shopping malls snakes into public city squares, bus and train stations. The areas of public transport are more and more commercialized. The information which is served to visitors is confined mainly to commercial advertisement. According to recent surveys, in contradistinction to the museums and galleries, entertainment and shopping centres enjoy enormous numbers of visitors. Museums and galleries which are promoting cultural events in the cities are gaining in popularity but only among specific social groups. In contradistinction to the galleries and science parks, entertainment and shopping centres enjoy enormous numbers of visitors, which has been growing during the last 30 years. As written by Michael Guiry “Consumers of all ages spend more time in shopping malls than anywhere else except home, work, and school leading some to suggest that malls have become modern day community centres and society’s new town squares…” Since nowadays malls became society’s “new town squares” it is our responsibility to make their open for public use” space more valuable in terms of social life and education. I am studying the ways those public spaces can support the role of science and technology centres in popularisation of science and the role of museums in sensitising the visitors to modern art. Malls common areas should be the “friendly” space which provides visitors with a possibility of interaction with others, get a valuable information and where people can feel comfortable and willing to return. As Richard Maier put it: “we don’t design only an object but as a result we are making meaningful public space”. Since continuously changing information flow is the characteristic of the shopping areas, there is a big potential of information-delivering multimedia and visual art for changing those spaces by presenting the information to the public in non-conventional, interactive ways.
Kieran Gaya, PhD Student, University College, Ireland. Title: Religion and Architecture in Islamabad.
The King Faisal Mosque was designed by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay to be emblematic of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in the context of its new capital, Islamabad. The city itself, named the abode of Islam at its foundation in 1960, was intended to exhibit the progressive and Muslim identity of the nation. The mosque combines modernity with a measure of abstracted traditional forms elaborated from historical ones. This approach was to ensure that it be easily readable as a monument by the people. The Faisal Mosque is not only representative of locality. Just by name, it refers to its royal patron and thus to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia but also connects with the Ottoman Empire via Vedat Dalokay’s cultural background and design references in the building itself. It is a transnational mosque that has joined a continuum of religious structures designed to represent a people. The sponsoring and construction of religious architecture has always been a particularly important political enterprise. This took an interesting turn as new majority Muslim nation states emerged from the control of Christian colonial powers in the 20th century. Noticeable reinterpretations of historical concepts of space and form happened as these embarked on building monumental structures, often imbued with memorable religious imagery associated with authority, while still promoting progressive secular ideologies. These countries often chose to adopt modernising forms into their principal religious edifices due to the malleable inherent neutrality of this type of architecture. Contemporary construction materials as well as the use of advanced construction technologies were also considered a relatively easy way to demonstrate progress. In Pakistan, as a post-war and postcolonial fabricated entity, created to be an Islamic state, the mosque was seen as an important symbolical tool for identity cohesion, and coherence with the professed reason for the nation’s existence. Even so, at the time, as also nowadays, there has continued to be a struggle between the complex powers at play. This has been from the onset an evidently constant tug of war, or at the very least an awkward dance, between the mostly secular structures or functions of the government of Pakistan and the Islamist nationalist conservatives who want the principal religion to be invoked in all matters of state, including all state-sponsored architecture. Dalokay’s mosque design succeeds in concluding an evidential battle on the playground of the architectural image of the capital city of Pakistan by demonstrating Islam housed in modernity. In the King Faisal mosque we have nationalist ideals encased in a religious structure using modernism as its visual means of communication. Even so, it has taken almost two generations for the nation, as a whole, to fully appreciate the symbolical role of the Faisal Mosque and its representation of a modern Pakistan on the world stage.
14:30-15:00 Raffaella Maddaluno, Assistant Professor, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Title: Astrology and Architecture: Religious Permanence and the Birth of Modernity.
In 1912 Aby Warburg presented his own interpretation of the frescoes of the Schifanoia palace in Ferrara, at the tenth international congress of Art History in Rome. The choice of an academic context to exp ose his theory was not accidental: Warburg’s effort, and following Fritz Saxl’s studies, aimed at transferring the complex world of astrological studies to the center of attention of art history. The history of astrology showed, through iconological analy sis, the migration of knowledge from East to West. Warburg’s novelty consisted in superimposing on this network the web of art historical paths. Through the frescoes of Schifanoia it was possible to reflect on the extent to which the stylistic transformati on of the human figure in Italian art is the result of an international comparison with the surviving figurative concepts of the Eastern Mediterranean civilization. Warburg defines astrology as the most tenacious hidden survival of ancient religion, and tr aces, through art and its relationship with the architectural space that receives it, the path of a continuity Astrological illustration not only allows us to reconstruct plots of religious permanence, but it is used as a tool to explain the procedures of iconographic change that lead us to the Renaissance. Many of the astrological images, after the collapse of paganism, survived into the Middle Ages as symbols associated with certain essences that Christianity made its own. A complex astrological iconograp hic baggage, migrated from classical cultures, reappeared during the construction of a universal language that the Renaissance proposed. Some anticipations can be found in medieval buildings in which, after a long period in which Christianity and astrology were considered incompatible, the language of astrology completed and gave meaning to the architecture that housed it. This is the case of the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua. The following text aims to trace the most significant lines of this migration of symbols, through the reading of some examples of Renaissance architecture such as the Farnesina Chigi in Rome, or the above mentioned Palazzo Schifanoia. This discussion will also be a pretext to reflect on the role and training of the architect in the Renaissance, and how Astrology was considered both a magical thought but also a mathematical description that leads to the discovery of infinity. It is known in fact that the astrological contents of the Farnesina were dictated by Baldassarre Peruzzi hims elf, the architect of the building.
15:00-15:30 Thomas Bisiani, Adjunct Profesor, University of Trieste, Italy. Vittoria Umani, Researcher, University of Trieste, Italy. Title: Forms of the Void. Gorizia and the Border that no Longer Exists.
The first of May 2004, with the entrance of Slovenia into the EU, its border with Italy, developed by the thready of Paris of 1947, has disappeared. The city of Gorizia, for almost 60 years, has been divided by this border and on the other side, along the years, the twin city of Nova Gorica has developed. Today, these two urban realities that for many years have not been confronting on the urban and architectonic levels, negating each other’s existence, are now a continuous entity and have to find new ways to grow and develop together, even if they belong to two different nations. The University of Trieste, along with the Comune di Gorizia (Gorizia municipality) has developed a workshop called RRRlab, with the objective to redevelop and regenerate those urban spaces and buildings that have been put pack in play after the fall of the border and the new urban geography that it has created. It is a landscape made up of residues, areas and structures without use or significance, generated by the Dadaist collage of the two cities, that today appear together as candidates for the 2025 European Capital of Culture. Starting from this specific case, a more general theme of the research deals with the void. For a long time, western culture has referenced to the concept “nature abhors void”. The Aristotelic concept of horror vacui, understands the void as a problematic condition of absence, of crisis and of lacking that becomes nihilism. Buddhism and the eastern philosophies have inverted this literature recognizing the value of the void, the condition of possibility of all events and all things. The void in this sense, is the maximal wholeness. This aspect is easily recognizable in the architectonic dimension, where for the purpose of the quality of the work, the single parts that make up a building are not as important as the spaces that are indirectly determined by them. The void then, can assume an architectonic quality and become the element on which to base the opening principle “where there is nothing, everything is possible”. An equation that Koolhaas, starting from 1987 applies to different scales, and in particular for Ville Nouvelle of Meleun-Sénart, where he establishes that if the building subtracts itself from any control, it is convenient to aim to master the void, accepting a new esthetic for the city.
15:30-18:30: Inter and Transdisciplinarity in Architecture
João Miguel Couto Duarte, Assistant Professor, Lusíada University of Lisbon, Portugal. Title: The Rediscovery of Japan – Mapping the Critical Reception of Japanese Architecture in Portugal in the Early 20th Century.
apanese architecture, both in terms of the general aspect of the elevations and the decoration and distribution of its constituent parts, is totally different from the architecture of western peoples, and it only has commonalities, while remaining different as a whole, with the kind of architecture produced in China and the trans-Gangetic regions. […] It can even be said that the rules of architectural art in Japan are the complete inversion of the unchanging principles common in the West to all kinds of well-recognised architecture” (Viscount São Januário, 1877, my translation). The text “Architectura Japoneza” [Japanese Architecture] by Januário Correia de Almeida (1829-1901), the Viscount São Januário and Portugal’s Minister Plenipotentiary to Japan from 1872 to 1874, is one of the first reflections in Portugal of an interest in Japanese architecture that was prompted by Japan’s opening to the world in 1854. The two centuries of self-imposed Japanese isolation were coming to an end. Correia de Almeida visited Japan in 1873. The bridge built by the Portuguese in Nagasaki at the end of the 16th century was, however, more appreciated by him than the architecture of the country, which was too strange to his European eye. Despite the pioneering nature of his text, interest in Japanese architecture in Portugal was to become more widespread, above all, from the beginning of 20th century onwards cropping up in articles published in magazines related with architecture and its practice. Of those magazines, A Construção Moderna [Modern Construction], published between 1900 and 1919, stands out. Correia de Almeida’s reticence gave way to a clear receptivity, with Japan and the transformations it was undergoing being examined in a variety of ways. The articles look at traditional architecture; contemporary architecture; the architecture influenced by Japanese architecture; construction systems; railways and mining, among other subject matters. One magazine even featured a Japanese architect among its correspondents. Most of these articles were sourced in foreign publications, reflecting a regularly updated network of contacts and publications which encompassed France, Britain and, perhaps more unexpectedly, the USA. It was in the USA, especially on the West Coast, that the absorption of Japanese architecture into Western architecture first became apparent, to which the following contributed: the geographical proximity to Japan; the presence of Japanese architecture at the exhibitions held in Philadelphia in 1876 and Chicago in 1893; and the presence of North American architects and researchers in Japan. In Europe, Japonisme initially influenced painting, engraving and interior design, expanding only later to architecture. Despite being featured in the specialised magazines, the impact of Japanese architecture on architecture in Portugal at the time was very weak. Considering the possibilities offered by an interdisciplinary approach, where history and the dissemination of architecture intersect each other, this paper will seek to map the reception given to Japanese architecture in Portugal in the early 20th century, and evaluate how that architecture was understood and the impact that foreign publications consulted at the time had on the formulation of such an understanding.
Rui Manuel Alves, Assistant Professor, Lusíada University, Portugal. Title: The Relationship Between Steven Holl and Kazuo Shinohara’s Project Design Processes.
Steven Holl, currently one of the most important North American architects, is the author of works of great significance and is also recognised for the originality of his work processes, namely the systematic use of watercolours in his project research, the use of concepts as a symbolic synthesis of the meaning of the project and the relationship he seeks to establish, through concepts, between architecture and other disciplines such as philosophy, literature, music, art or science. His career as an architect is well known from his arrival in New York, where he has lived and worked since 1977. His origins and training are less well known, above all an unsuspected relationship with Japanese culture, firstly in his childhood, through his father, who was part of the American military occupying Japan at the end of World War II and who lived there, and later through the methodological influence of Kazuo Shinohara, an important professor of architecture at the Tokio Institute of Technology, whose work as a teacher, architect and theoretician was particularly relevant in the 1960s and 1970s, the period of Steven Holl’s training. Shinohara, sometimes referred as a philosopher of architecture, played an important role as a teacher, having taught, among others, Toyo Ito, and sought as a theoretician and architect to intersect traditional Japanese architecture with modern architecture, the result of his research on old Japanese housing structures. But this intersection was never based on formal presuppositions, but on “concepts” that Shinohara carefully formulated from the fundamental ideas of Japanese architecture and his interpretation of the structuring principles of modern architecture. We can find several points of contact between Shinohara’s theory and Holl’s later developments. Firstly, that the challenge for architecture is to build meaningful spaces. For Shinohara meaning is found in the fictional or mental character of architecture as opposed to the material, everyday one. By identifying architecture as a mental phenomenon, Holl places himself in the same sphere. However, Shinohara’s concepts had different characteristics than those used by Holl. Not only were they not so specific for a project, but they were initially based on traditional Japanese architecture and later on others, which were characteristic of a particular interpretation of the Modern Movement or of the Japanese city, based on chaos theory. Steven Holl himself identifies this influence as fundamental to the development of his work process, which we will explore given its specificity and interest for architectural theory, also seeking to complement this research with other possible influences either of Japanese culture in Holl’s work or more at the level of architectural form between Shinohara and Holl.
Alberto Reaes Pinto, Coordinator of CITAD, Universidade Lusiada/CITAD, Portugal. Title: Selective Deconstruction and Dismantlement: Evolving Modular Housing.
Buildings, in their phases of construction, usage and demolition, are responsible for huge negative environmental impacts. These impacts give rise to the production of around a third of all global carbon dioxide, as well as the significant consequences of the unrestricted use of materials that incorporate a great deal of fossil energy, principally through their extraction and manufacture. What’s more there is a high production of waste, as well as the excessive consumption of fossil fuel and, because of this, the construction and usage of buildings has contributed negatively to global heating. Demolition, at the end of the life cycle of a building, leads to the transport of materials to a waste-fill in a linear production process of the exhaustion of the use of these materials. What’s more, in this process more fuel is consumed, territory is occupied and it results in the chemical reaction of these materials and the contamination of the water table and of animal and plant species. Because of this, the substitution of the process of demolishing buildings by one of deconstruction and dismantlement is considered of the utmost importance, and it is with this in mind that we have developed the RP “Selective Deconstruction and Dismantlement: Evolving Modular Housing (EMH)”, which has as a case study an EMH building of small dimension and which forms the basis for this work. It is also considered that, within the principles of Sustainable Building, and of the circular economy, that this dwelling should be able to be selectively deconstructed and dismantled, demanding that the plans for the dwelling be conceived and carried out on an understanding of their reversibility. The recycling and reuse of the materials of which it is made, along with the extension of its lifespan and the reversibility of its construction systems at the end of the building’s life, presuppose the existence of a Selective Deconstruction and Dismantlement plan alongside a New Construction Plan.
Maria João Moreia Soares, Research Fellow, CITAD & Assistant Professor, Lusiada University, Portugal. Clara Germana Gonçalves, Head, Architecture Unit, ATINER & Researcher, CITAD (Centro de Investigação em Território, Arquitectura e Design), Lusíada University, Portugal. Title: Gilles Deleuze and the Bernini’s Bel Composto: From Theatre as Architecture to Architecture as Cinema.
According to Giovanni Careri, in his book Bernini: Flights of Love, the Art of Devotion (1995), the interior of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s (1598-1680) chapels is the most complete realisation of the bel composto. In these chapels – such as the Cornaro chapel in Santa Maria della Vittoria (1647-52), the Fonseca chapel in San Lorenzo in Lucina (1664-75), and the Albertoni chapel in San Francesco a Ripa (1665-75) – the interiors function as complete autonomous organisms in and of themselves. Within this autonomous operation, a whole theatrical dimension is not absent. Bodies look out into space in an act of contemplation – from this contemplation, a whole set of imaginary spaces that “live” beyond the chapel is alienated. In The Fold (1988), Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) argues that if the Baroque establishes total art or the unity of the arts, it does so in extension. Each art form extends to another art form. The philosopher writes: “This extensive unity of the arts forms a universal theatre that includes air and earth, and even fire and water.” This universal theatre – “Socious” –, will be inhabited by baroque dancers, as well. It is not surprising that Careri argues that the proliferations of composition components inherent in Bernini’s chapels give way to a certain type of montage – close to the idea of cinematographic montage – in which the spectator, the one who watches the ones who watches the small world and the small world turned into autonomous organism, makes the assemblage of the whole. As Deleuze states in Cinema 1: The Mouvement-Image (1983): the “[m]ontage is the determination of the whole.” Starting from Bernini’s bel composto and Deleuze’s thought, this text will try to go, in extension, from the idea of theatrical scene as an organism supported by architecture to an idea of cinema to which architecture, at its core, will not be indifferent.
Bora Ozkus, Assistant Professor, Fenerbahçe University, Turkey. Title: The Problématique of Representation and Notations for Architecture.
The belief that architectural knowledge can be represented in its entirely persists, although the idea that it produces self-appointed meanings is no longer significant in the world of architecture. Architecture still resists. The most important reason for this is the illusion that there is an essential and inevitable necessity between the means of representation and the represented in the relation the individual establishes with the object. As Benjamin points, the architectural drawing has a marginal condition compared to the other artistic representations, because it is not an architectural reproduction of what it represents, but the production of it in its first place. This paper and the workshop series presented herewith aim to go beyond conventional spatial representations and give a second thought on space. Is it possible to create an individual language for spatial practice like music? In a world of consumption where concepts, such as popularity, reputation, rating, and number of clicks are essential-even tending to exclude the Others- and a common language is imposed through rapid improvement of information and communication tools, it seems to be difficult to discuss the individuality of language. Nevertheless, the permanency of consumption and ‘creativity’ supported by other forces impose making an individual difference as a physical and mental obligation. This tends to be a little more troubling for architects used to express themselves with familiar representations of their self-established world. This article’s purpose is to query how architectural representation still tries to resist. The objective is not to completely reject representation; enhancing representation is, on the contrary, valuable as it allows the visibility of potentials. In this context, the concept of notation suggested herein is a flexible expression of individual architecture with its own inconsistencies. At this point, Deleuze and the thoughts he suggests provide reference for notations developed for production of new spaces or forms. To apply notations in the field of architecture and arts, the final product should be discussed first in terms of the process of formation, then in terms of the problematique of self-representation of the process as a well-defined sequence of operations.
Secil Ozcan Geylani, Instructor, Baskent University, Turkey. Title: (Other) Home Between the Lines: An Alternative Reading on Domestic Architecture in Turkey through Contemporary Turkish Literature.
Following the end of the Second World War, Turkey exper ienced important changes in socio political and economic terms that had both domestic and international roots. The most apparent in these terms was the closer relationships with the Western world that affected not only the socio political system and econom y, but also the lifestyles in the country. The influence of the United States on the developments in Turkey after the war resulted in the interpretation of the meaning of the West and the process of westernizat ion of the country. In the 1950s Turkish socie ty, under the influence of political agendas, began to see USA as a symbol of “modernization” which also marked the beginning of an era that can be defined as Americanization. In the period of “Americanization”, Turkey become supportive of the private sect or and underwent into the process of liberalization, which in escapably changed the life style as well as the production of the built environment of the country In about the same period, migration from rural to urban areas became a rapidly increasing urba n and social phenomenon that posed critical problem on housin g stock and conditions. A parallel development was the increasing focus on developing models and projects for ideal home typologies in architecture. The concept of “ideal home” and what it promis ed and covered (published in the popular Turkish magazines du ring the period beginning from the end of the Second World War until the mid 1950s) became a model of domestic sphere, especially by the upper income groups. The same concept, symbolized a medium to “modernize” life style for the middle income group. Th us, during the period starting from the Second World War until the end of the 1950s, both the dynamics and habits of daily life and the design of domestic sphere had simultaneously changed. The apar tment house and the apartment flat had emerged as the pr ototype domestic unit of the middle class. Such spatial and social changes redefined the position of the women in the domestic environment, and became observable in both the literary and architectural products of the period. Although the modern architectural historiography produced a considerable amount of content on the housing production of the period, most of these studies have been less represented in terms of demonstrating everyday life practice s, domesticity, and active and passive role of the women in the domestic sphere While Cold War and the Kitchen Debates have been continued on the other side of the Atlantic simultaneously, this paper is going to investigate this issue by focusing on the e xamples of 2 Turkish literature Turkish literature and and try to shed light on the unspoken points of the history oftry to shed light on the unspoken points of the history of modernmodern ararchitecture in chitecture in Turkey Turkey in in this periodthis period. . In wider perspective, it is going to question the “literature”, and its’ potential as a In wider perspective, it is going to question the “literature”, and its’ potential as a medium, medium, to understand and wrto understand and wriite a te a specific time in the specific time in the history of architecturehistory of architecture.
Popi Iacovou, Lecturer, University of Cyprus, Cyprus. Title: Non-Linear Spatial Narratives: The Construction of the Interior as Tableau-Vivant.
The paper discusses architectural design as an interdisciplinary practice that interlinks architecture, theatre and the moving image through a building example: the Casa Malaparte, the house of Italian writer Curzio Malaparte (1898-1957) built in Capri, Italy between 1938-1942. Malaparte stated many times that he considered his house the best portrait of himself and he called the Casa Malaparte ‘A House Like Me.’ Malaparte stated many times that he considered his house the best portrait of himself and he called the Casa Malaparte ‘A House Like Me.’ Driven by this statement and by evidence found from on-site observations, I argue that the house performs Malaparte’s autobiography. The study raises issues that question the architect’s authorship, suggesting that architecture is an expanded activity that works in between architecture, theatre and the moving image. Unlike the conventional architectural design process, the Casa Malaparte was built without drawings by its owner Curzio Malaparte in collaboration with several artists and a master builder. In an improvisational manner that incorporated methods of cinematic framing, material collage and assemblage the construction started in 1938 but the house was never finished. Living in the house while working on it, Malaparte’s life became the script of the house or I would like to argue that the house becomes an ongoing built script. The paper theorizes Malaparte’s creative method, as a cross-disciplinary practice that works in between performance and the visual arts. Casa Malaparte, through the analysis of my onsite observations, is understood as a series of staged tableaux vivants (living images), each a material self-portrait of its owner. The tableau vivant, as a performative device employed in architecture provides an alternative to the linearity of the architectural promenade and opens a discussion to non-linear ways of constructing spatial narratives.
Rafaella Siagkri, PhD Candidate, University of Kent, UK. Title: Investigating the Role of Architecture in Cinema through the Application of Virtual Reality Technology.
Many films have created impressive architectural innovations throughout the history of cinema and have driven film productions towards the awareness of architectural approach. Expressionism does not have the same prevalence within the field of architecture. Architectural critics, who analyse expressionist architecture, consider the lack of physical structures. Therefore, they have to refer to expressionist architectural examples found on paper or films. According to film theorists, such as Siegfried Kracauer, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Robert Wiene (1920) is considered as one of the most representative expressionistic examples. Virtual Reality (VR) is an established technology used most effectively as a virtual reconstruction tool in archaeology. However, the effectiveness of VR for the reconstruction of all buildings, not just classical constructions and monuments, remains unclear. This research assesses the significance of VR as a reconstruction tool for early film sets and examines VR as an investigative tool to understand better abstract expressionist architecture in films through the evaluation of archival materials. This study exposes a collection of rare documents relating to The Cabinet of Dr Caligari designs for its architectural recreation in an explorable virtual environment. Utilising VR as an investigative tool and method of analysis, this research aims to give scholars a unique opportunity to understand better the connection between the first and the seventh art by recognising the importance of these archival materials and the architectural involvement of this expressionist masterpiece. The transformation of the two-dimensional drawings into three-dimensional virtual space contributes to the creation of a contemporary interpretation of historic film sets and the identification of reasons for the absence of expressionist architecture as physical structure. The presentation of this research will enable other scholars to further evaluate the work and suggest supplementary interpretations that have not hitherto been considered, continue to contribute preserving cultural heritage, not only from an architectural standpoint but also from a filmmaking perspective.
Julian Beqiri, Assistant Lecturer, Epoka University, Albania. Title: The Implications of Technological Progress in Architectural Thinking: The Future Impossibility for an Architecture of Hiding.
This paper aims at exploring the future of architecture of hiding which is encountering the constant pressure of technological advance. The open society and its increasing surveillance are requiring human behavior to adjust to new realities of hiding. One estimate puts the number of surveillance cameras around the world at 245 million and another reckons there will soon be over twice that number in China alone . Consequently, the perception of hiding architecture is changing, and its romanticism is facing a serious threat. Up to 20th century, hiding an object – space – to the degree of resembling alienation or nothingness assumed meanings addressed to intellect and to the body, meanings imposed by threats or by sanctions. In its ancient Greek version, one could grasp the space by means of a thought-process capable of perceiving them as a totality and endowed with meaning. But today, the boundaries between inside and outside are being dissolved for an observer who through technological means is able to move freely in space and time, defeating the hiding architectures and its three-dimensional spatial perception. To quote Henri Michaux: “I put an apple on my table. Then I put myself inside this apple. What peace! ” The advance of technology has made hiding a matter of self-perceiving which has only a distant link to geographical reality. The underground space remains the prime solution for hiding but the increasing conversion of underground structures and military fortifications into data centers tells that the importance of data storing is surpassing that of physical hiding. Instead, the architecture of hiding is transforming into the architecture of living without traces. Technological progress is taking us to a milieu in which the traceless-ness of the fugitive becomes the representation of the hidden space. However, as Peter Sloterdijk puts it forward in Bubbles , what lends modern psychological knowledge its strength and autonomy is that it has shifted the human position beyond the reach of geometry. Now, the space created is being conceived before it is actually “lived”, meanings are no longer conveyed by a continual putting-to-the-test of the emotions, and humankind is adjusting to new realities by finding other means of hiding, presumably through architecture of data and digital cryptography.
Nesrine Mansour, Assistant Professor, South Dakota State University, USA. Title: [Sacred] Virtuality: A Sense of Space and Place in Virtual Sacred Architecture.
With the emergence of the Internet in the 1990’s, a new inhabitable space, Cyberspace, became an extension of the physical and temporal existence (Kalay & Marx, 2005). New trends surfaced leading to the creation of sacred digital spaces that introduced important changes in the practice of religion and resulted in the phenomenon of digital religion1 (Campbell, 2012; Hoover & Echchaibi, 2012; Hoover, 2013; Wagner, 2012). The question this paper rises is to what extent people perceive a virtual space as a sacred place? With the new technology, digital religion developed into a myriad of media platforms such as online prayers, cyber-pilgrimages, ‘godblogging’, etc. (Young, 2004; Hill-Smith, 2009; H. Campbell, 2010; Hill-Smith, 2011). The virtual realm provided people with digital worship experiences, immersing them in virtual sacred spaces as seen in interactive games (e.g., Second Life). Though Merleau-Ponty (1964) states that perception of space should not be limited to the visual, tactile, and audible, but should include all the senses at once. Gelfgren & Hutchings (2014) voice that virtual representations of religious buildings might facilitate a spiritual experience somehow similar to religious buildings in reality. These virtual realities offer unlimited possibilities for architectural styles and religious features. This paper proposes an innovative investigation of spiritual experiences in virtual sacred spaces. The idea is manifested through the transformation of the real physical house of worship into a virtual one with an emphasis on the ambiance. The focus is on light as an architectural element in a Christian virtual sacred space affecting the spiritual experience. The study employs an empirical approach to examine the extent of virtual spiritual experience(s) as expressed by emotional responses to walk-throughs of the interior of a virtual church. The presentation will introduce the experiment and findings about people’s perception of a virtual space as a sacred place.
21:00-22:00 Greek Night
Tuesday 6 July 2021
07:00-09:00 Urban Walk
09:00-09:30 Rahmatollah Amirjani, Lecturer, University of Canberra, Australia. Title: The 1930s Town Planning of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan: A Utopia Projection.
The discovery of oil in 1908 in Southwest Iran, and the subsequent creation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, resulted in the beginning of industrialisation and modern urban planning in Iran. A large number of company towns and residential projects were built in the country’s oil-rich regions. Between the 1910s and late 1920s, the plans for the Anglo-Persian Oil Company town was based on a racial and colonial segregation policy, designed to control and accelerate the exploitation of oil resources. However, the 1930s socio-political changes in Iran and Britain resulted in the emergence of a new design approach, especially in the town of Abadan. Discussing the Bawarda company housing, designed by a Scottish architect, James Mollison Wilson, this article argues that the 1930s planning of Abadan outstrips the interpretations of Regionalism and Vernacular Modernism. Wilson’s approach mediated the regional elements, the language of modern architecture, and the company’s colonial tendencies; a practice aligning with the company’s propaganda machine. This paper posits that, despite its colonial background, the Bawarda design has offered a proposal that has successfully responded to the advancement of globalisation, mass production of housing, and the ongoing conflict between tradition and modernity in Iran. Interestingly, Bawarda could also be introduced as a future projection of Arman Shahr, the forgotten concept of Iranian-Islamic utopia; its beauty disregarded the reality and limits of architecture and has inspired many to write about and strive towards it.
Haoribao Εnke, PhD Student Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan. Title: Arrangement Plan of Inner Mongolian Buddhist Temple.
Purpose This study aims to identify how the place identity of the former Portuguese neighbourhood of St Lazarus was reshaped for the purposes of place branding, tourism, and consumption in post-colonial Macau. Approach This article sees place identity as a constructed multiplicity whose components are strategically assembled to (re)make the self. It employs the Deleuze-Guattarian theory of assemblage to analyse identity-making, specifically to examine how urban elements, including material content (material qualities of forms, programmes, and life) and narrative expressions (interpretations of place), come together to shape the sense of place. Findings The heritage conservation policy and creative district planning guidance are overarching controls. Following them, several material and narrative elements are connected. The colonial character of the architecture is reinforced and an artistic atmosphere is created, while inhabitants’ everyday life is suppressed and the difficult past is almost erased. The newly processed post-colonial identity seems another kind of colonisation. Coloniality as a power relationship continues in a different form. The hidden structure driving these processes is global capitalism. Contributions This study contributes to the understanding of how colonial history is used to shape post-colonial places in the rapidly shifting urban landscape of contemporary China. Studies on colonial architectural heritage in Macau, particularly outside of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, remain relatively scarce. This study aims to fill this gap, and to further examine the Deleuze-Guattarian theory in the context of place study.
Jung Jen Tsai, Assistant Professor, National United University, Taiwan. Title: In Remembrance of ‘National Savior’: the Design of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei.
Simona Calvagna, Assistant Professor, University of Catania, Italy. Title: From the Landscape of Contrasts to the Landscape of Invisible Cities. A Strategic Landscape Design for the Revitalisation of the Ancient Greek Colony of Megara Hyblaea in Sicily.
The present research aims at revitalizing the archaeological park of Megara Hyblaea through innovative strategies developed within the PON project entitled “An early warning system for cultural heritage / e-WAS”. In this project Sicilian research institutions, universities and companies are united in the common goal of developing new technologies for the protection and enhancement of the historical and cultural heritage, also improving its strategic management and protecting it from risks. The ancient Greek colony of Megara Hyblaea is immersed in an industrial landscape that stretches along the coast of eastern Sicily from Augusta to Syracuse. The sense of the original place has been obliterated by an indiscriminate occupation of the land by industries which has left, here and there, an archipelago of “patrimonial wrecks” of various kinds, which are equally close to the smelly chimneys and the horizon of the sea. This landscape of contrasts, dominated by petrochemical industries, has over time hindered a cultural tourism appropriate to the representativeness and importance of the hidden heritage, despite the efforts made by the authorities responsible for its protection. The paper demonstrates the need for a holistic approach to the revitalisation project of the archaeological site: starting from a broad, interscalar strategic design, the project for the enhancement and requalification of the ancient settlement of Megara passes through the reshaping of a network of physical and intangible relationships between the heritage itself, the place and the community. To this end, the design process is intertwined with a continuous dialogue with stakeholders in order to build a hypothesis of general interest to be pursued. The overall strategic design – understood as the story of the overlapping of Invisible Cities defined through identity federative themes – aims to reorganise and re-conquer places through a new narrative coherent with the systems of values present, going as far as the experimentation of innovative technologies for the creation of facilities for the enjoyment of the park.
11:30-12:00 Martina D’Alessandro, Adjunct Professor, University of Bologna, Italy. Title: OMU at Belvederestrasse Self-Portrait in the Studio.
The reflection on interdisciplinary relations in architecture opens the perspective on the constellation of heteronomies that nourish the theoretical, methodological and formal matrixes of the architectural project. Planning implies a double register of actions. On the one hand the architect establishes a dialogue with the reality, performing a maieutic action that allows him to arrive to an epiphany concerning the context’s deepest meanings. On the other hand, the obstetrical role of the architect is propaedeutic to the creative act of designing that, in the poietic impetus, pushes the architect towards the definition of a dynamic continuum of renewed principles. In the tension between maieutic and poietic, between autonomy and heteronomy of the architectural discipline, the nature of architecture is rooted. Working with the interdisciplinary dimension of architecture corresponds to the opportunity of drawing a cultural self-portrait, of which it is possible to decrypt the traits through the patient scanning of images, photographs, objects collected in the memorabilia. For some architects, places of the memory are actual spaces where they can nourish their knowledge and they can generate architecture. Individuals like Oswald Mathias Ungers express, in an extraordinarily clear and fascinating way, this attitude of working within architecture through other disciplines. OMU arrives on the scene of architectural culture not only for his works and his relevant theoretical contributions, but also for the importance and the peculiarity of his art and rare books private collection, still relatively unknown to reviewers. The collected artworks are matrixes at the basis of his architectures, they reflect and depict his ideas through the free tools of art. Ungers’ studiolo, built in his house in Belvederestrasse in Cologne, assumes the value of a place of retreat in an ideal and inscrutable spot, in which Ungers can study his art collection and reflect on the cultural matrixes of his architecture. The cube-library changes the antiquarian attitude of the amateur, the connoisseur that collects documents, into the construction of an actual theatrum memoriae. Kubus-haus (1989) has been realized as an extension of his home-studio in Belverderstrasse in Cologne, which was built during the 1950s. The pure volume, which is an abstract and platonic cube, is the space where art and architecture physically coexist and ideally converge. Here we can find the compositional principles that have nourished Ungers’ architecture: embedding, transformation and abstraction. In this building, art and architecture are two sides of the same Janus coin. The small hearth of the Kubus library in Cologne becomes the theatre of this interstitial space between art and architecture: Ungers, by drawing this place, turns the idea of Zwishenräume in a built reality. The thesis that this essay wants to explore is the relationship between OMU’s architecture and the system of references to the sister arts of architecture, considering the Kubus-haus as a paradigm of this interdisciplinary interweaving based on suggestions, analogies, similarities, connections and overlaps, that have created a general and complicated system akin to a palimpsest.
Alessandro Gaiani, Assistant Professor University of Ferrara, Italy. Title: Autism and Architecture The Importance of a Gradual Spatial Transi.
BACKGROUND Even if, the studies on Autism Spectrum Disorder, consistently describe the mechanisms and causes of neurodevelopment abnormalities, they still contain a limited source of information on the Architecture’s relevance to the issue and its importance in everyday life of individuals diagnosed with it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014 over 1% of the American population was diagnosed with ASD. However, in Europe statistical database is rather scarce, but based on the Department of Health, Social Care of UK it is estimated that more than half a million people in England have autism, more than 1% of the population. Moreover, as stated by ASDEU (Autism Spectrum Disorders in the European Union) due to limited research on adults many persons with ASD are not even diagnosed until adulthood, whatsoever environment is not responding to their needs. Through this analysis, it is understood that spatial studies and their performance on neuro-atypical individuals go far beyond minority group necessities. AIMS The research has been developed in collaboration with the no-profit organization (UDSA) active on the relevance of the surrounding environment on the educational process of neuro-atypical individuals in the age of twenties. Explicitly, the organization concentrates on preparation and integrating of the individuals with ASD within society, by strengthening personal talents or abilities after compulsory education. For this reason, the study aims in the following pages to underline the influence and contribution of the Architecture in the improvement and apprehension of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Due to the opposite poles of the spectrum as hypersensitivity or lack of sensitivity, unidirectional design guideline cannot be applied but, rather deepened crucial Architectural criteria. In fact, the research project intends to provide a spatial strategy, coherent and adaptive towards given circumstances, to deal with the variety and individuality of the ASD. METHOD The research focuses on providing a comparative method on up-to-day projects inquiring ASD through spatial features. However, observing already existing theoretical or physical projects, it is manifested that design approach remains vague and considerably limited tangible solutions. The inquiry reveals, that the majority of the projects tend to concentrate around young generations and their learning processes, such approach leads to a big number of individuals with ASD abandoned in their adulthood by the academic system. Therefore, the chosen method selects certain characteristics from ongoing practices to explore them within spatial relations; the connection between interior and exterior, degree of inclusiveness, and gradual transition among shared or individual areas. RESULTS The research has been translated into specific design approach, which at the same time could comprehend different shades of the ASD. The architectural attitude consists of a GRADIENT STRATEGY that articulates spaces gradually based on their intensity, activity and frequency. The proposal maintains not only spatial progressivity but also a perceptive range of the environment for neuro-atypical individuals. By considering weaknesses and insufficiency that has emerged, this paper will propose a lucid theory of design process integrated with contradictory aspects of the spectrum while maintaining architectural articulation through the project.
Raffaele Giannantonio, Associate Professor, D’Annunzio University of Chieti–Pescara, Italy. Title: Urban Utopia in the 1960s. Iannis Xenakis and the Cosmic City.
Iannis Xenakis was born in 1922 to a Greek family in Romania, but after his mother’s death returned with his father to Athens, where he spent his youth. In 1946, he took his degree in engineering, but his political activity during Wartime forced him to emigrate to France, where he studied music and began to combine the discipline of music with architectural concepts. His first major projects and his first works of music also date to those years, when he used a computer for the first time. In 1948, he was hired as an engineer in Le Corbusier’s studio, sensing the strong bond between music and architecture shared by the Swiss-French master himself, reflected in such works as the new city of Chandigarh or the La Tourette convent. In 1958, for the International Exposition in Brussels, Le Corbusier designed the Philips Pavillion, in which Xenakis’s presence was predominant, but only after bitter argument did the master agree to recognize him as co-designer. In 1959, Le Corbusier decided to dismiss his entire team of collaborators, and Xenakis began working as an engineer for a construction enterprise, but without renouncing his musical research and mathematics studies. In a writing drafted in Berlin in January 1964, he applied the paradigm of hyperbolic paraboloids to the urban scale, through his proposal of a “Cosmic city for five million inhabitants.” This was a design conceived in the tradition of utopian urban planning, associated with the idea of Megastructure, typical of the architecture and urban planning of the 1960s-1970s. In formal terms, the Cosmic City, set on towers 3,000 to 5,000 metres tall, is the manifesto of volumetric architecture, conceived as an alternative to Le Corbusier’s Le Poème de l’angle droit and to the entire paradigm of the straight line adopted by the Modern Movement.
Simon Kay-Jones, Senior Lecturer, UCLan, UK. Title: Placing Matter: Experiencing Spacial Assemblage, Meta-plastic and Typological Boundary Effects, through New Materials.
This paper addresses the topic of ‘Placing matter’ into spatial assemblage. It discusses the role of experiences and materials within the intersection of experience design and material agency to address how we may ‘energise’ the Material Surface, as an emotive experience built upon universal, spatial and gridded structures from spatial thinking. With the aim of positioning the notion of spatial assemblage as a primary concern of material engagement theory (MET), we may view experience as a change in perspective to the material role of architecture to emotions. This may enable us to ‘attach matter’ to emotive experiences and the design strategy of architectural projects. Taken from recent discourse in material engagement theory the paper takes the position of reframing ‘Thinging’ from being a mere material concern, to a notion as a ‘Framing’ of materials to reveal certain ‘typological boundary effects’ in matter. Such effects establish the assemblage process to meta-plasticity with 3 states of assembly being indicated: minimal, topical, and comprehensive, which can then be utilized to in-fluence the meta-plasticity from one event to another. We illustrate how this may avert spatial illusions in cognitive and abstract thought. One method utilised was the ‘framing’ of materials; the specific and episodic sequences of material presented to warrant different experiences in order to test and explore varying material responses by participants. Observations were recorded of ‘typological boundary conditions’ in matter to evidence their effects while outlining differing environments and scenarios by comparing real and perceived material phenomena with interchangeable materials. This enabled a setting up of contexts where 3 types of assemblage could take place: Minimal, Topical and Comprehensive assemblage. We analysed multi-year architectural design projects to establish a broad range of cultural and critical contexts as links between recent Material Engagement Theory (MET), Decision theory (DT), with cognitive Spatial Thinking Theory (ST) to show how, framing experience of materials; the ‘placing of matter’ affects spatial assemblage and how this contributes to Framing experiences and emotions and further develops theoretical approaches to materials and matter in architecture. The analysis leads to the conclusion that it is certainly possible to establish degrees to which spatial assemblage, its material composition and its perceived experience are all factors into the experience value, and that this affects decisions that are either, motor-influenced (mobility navigation) or that of cognitive enquiry (problem solving) or that of the psychophysical state (wellness, depression, and outlook) to form a wider scope of space and matter directly affecting experience that can be evidentially proven. Concluding on this work, This can be written not as, the utility of the experience, but rather the expected subjective experience placed on future events; emotional experiences of value that are placed on an anticipated experience. Such expected subjective experiences once tested and verified could therefore fruitfully be utilized as speculative architectural design tools to devise important analogous typologies in material form. This paper proposes rather than the typical Taxonomies of materials, a new Architect’s material toolkit (of sorts) for emotive response and an emerging partonomy of material preferences all in the pursuit of a new theory and emergent terroire of architecture.
13:30-14:00 Ignacio Sanfeliu Arboix, Associate Professor, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain. Title: Design Elements and Architecture of Orthodox Temples in Barcelona.
Background Due to the existence of a growing Orthodox Russian community in Barcelona adding its metropolitan environment, for the request of Father Seraphim, responsible for the Orthodox Russian worship around the country, a preliminary draft was carried out. For me, among side with Salvador Torrents, architect who had designed spaces for the worship like churches and other sacred constructions, was a challenge to combine the Mediterranean vision of spaces, materiality and the most open and luminous designs, with the ancient Russian constructive tradition, that takes into account different climates and customs, but also having in mind the consideration that the Orthodox Church is very similar in worship and principles to the Catholic Church, except other differences between rites and different symbolisms, such as the absence of sculptures among others. We understood Father Seraphim’s idea was to have a “landmark” temple, as the famous “Sagrada Familia” of Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona, but in small shape, that was going to be a unique, emblematic, and attractive Orthodox church for all its faithful and loyal supporters among the world. Program This Church, like those from the same cult, must have the church with its main axis of the central nave facing East. The “must haves” were the Narthex or previous space, the sanctuary or restricted area for the father, the bell tower as basic aspects to take into account for its design. The program calls for a church with capacity for 400 – 600 persons, also two small homes for three families of the temple’s priests, four classrooms for teaching, rector’s office, multi-purpose room, rites performances rooms. The constructed area should be between a minimum of 2,000 to a maximum of 3,000 square meters. Architectural proposal The main and most important element of the church’s proposal is a volumetric square “body”, adding a vertical one that disrupt the first one and symbolized the chandelier, important element in the religion rites. The entire program has been assembled in a single building. The idea suggests establishing concentric squares, one within the other, using two materials mainly, a warmer and more delicate material such as wood, and white concrete for structure. Due to the sense of solidity and security that Orthodox temples seem to offer, it was very important, the election of the materials, and also the tradition that some of them have, perhaps the most representative within the Russian tradition of construction would be the wood, material used entirely in the construction for the first ancient churches, on the other hand the stone was used in more important churches, but in our case this material was going to be replaced by the white concrete. Conclusion The intention is to explain the design process in order to combine two ways of understanding the architecture, in one hand a sort of space that has the duality of -the preconceived sacred areas with its specific liturgy- and -with the freedom and richness that this type of buildings can have and along the time used to have-. Finally, was important having into account the evolution day by day, of the constructive techniques, customs, religion and society improvements, but without losing the essence of their existence.
Beate Loeffler, Postdoctoral Researcher, TU Dortmund, Germany. Title: (In)Visible Religion. Negotiating Traditional Hegemonies of Central European Urban Space.
In Central European tradition we teach our students the church buildings dominate the urban fabric, both in size and in the attention given to architectural design. While this wisdom holds true, it simplifies the historic situation and leads u s to forget the broader picture of historic times and even more so today’s urban reality. The global mobility of thought and man, faith and design especially during t he 20 th century made our cities the home of a broad variety of religions, many of them trying to express themselves in the architecture of their places of worship. Most struggle with the persistence of historic structures and the multifaceted identities of migrant communities. Is there something to be learned from the past? I n Middle Ages, many cities were home to not only different schools of Christian practice, some of them deemed heretic at times, but of Jewish communities as well. T he Mediterranean saw the coexistence of the Abrahamic religions, the N ear Eastern cities even more religious diversity Research shows the success of this diversity depended on the political authority in place and time , framing the do s and don’ts of practices, rituals and arc hitecture, usually by adhering to a clear concept of social order and cultural hierarchies . Thus, we need to look elsewhere if we are to develop approaches to multiple architecture s of worship that fuse urban spatial tradition and contemporary needs for e xpression . Our participatory democracies ask s u s to make space for architectural expressions of both belonging and distinction The paper draws from a current research project that traces the changes in the religious topography of today’s German cities. It builds on quantitative and qualitative data on the on the construction, conversion and demolition of churches , synagogues and mosques during the last 30 years to discuss issues of place making and visibility The synthesis of the findings provides insi ghts into the policies of building legislation and real estate and the pitfalls of planning processes . It discusses cultural losses and gains , the role of a rchitects with migration background and the general question of religion in modern society. In the end, it provides some inspiring examples of architecture and urban re organization that mirror the social changes and appropriation of belonging.
Claretta Mazzonetto, PhD Student, Iuav University of Venice, Italy. Title: The Architecture of the Rest. The Greek Case and Italian one in the Sixties.
It was around 1950, after the end of the Second World War and the Civil War in Greece, that the architectural debate was reactivated in the Mediterranean countries. The Xenìa Hotel structures still represent one of the most significant experiences of public intervention of the modern Greek period, both for the considerable amount of works built and for the interaction procedure, on the design level, adopted between the master and the secondary personalities that gravitate around his figure. In contrast to the anti-traditionalist and anti-localistic principles peculiar to the Modern Movement, Aris Konstantidis puts into practice the reflections conducted in previous decades in the compositional processes underlying the program for the Xenia Hotels. The modularity of the cell typological solution, the adaptability of the composition of the cells with respect to the topological context in which they are grafted, the combined construction of the local stone for the vertical partitions and the exposed concrete for the roofing slab, outline a standardization not only in terms of construction, but also in terms of composition. An example, that of the EOT architects’ collective that focuses on Konstantinidis’ attempt to activate a design laboratory that, through the sharing of common intentions, seems to have allowed the regeneration of the Greek language, between modernity and tradition. Several are the experiments conducted by some Italian personalities, among them Giancarlo de Carlo, Marcello D’Olivo, Vico Magistretti, Franco Albini, who individually address the theme of the hotel. The incremental cementing of the coastlines, clogged with guesthouses and FIATcars, are the spectrum of architectural experiments of that period. The singularity of the operations conducted testify to the individuality of the design intentions in their comparison with the architecture of tourism.
Elisa Monaci, PhD Student, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. Title: Kitsch Landscapes. Hybridise Architecture With Nature.
The contribution investigates the theme of nature and landscape in relation to Kitsch, focusing on contemporary projects and theories. Kitsch is taken as a parameter that is identified starting from a gap between an initial intention, i.e. a project, and the reality of the conditions where it is integrated. This difference determines a certain degree of Kitsch which is iridescent, and changeable according to the angle in which the project is observed, depending on the historical, geographical and cultural condition. In the contemporary, the Kitsch parameter is particularly relevant on the relationship between nature and architecture; in this sense Kitsch Landscape refers to those landscapes that mix, camouflage (Roche, 1992) and are ambiguous between architecture and nature. From this point of view, there is a dual movement and a reversal of forces between natural and artificial actions that influence each other. Man’s construction attempts to evolve towards natural dynamics conforming itself to the landscape in which it fits, concentrating on reducing its “impact” on the surrounding context and defining with the environment a “vegetable” behaviour: draw from nature to take resources and sustenance and at the same time keeping the balance and the status quo unchanged in the reality. Together, the landscape towards which architecture attempts to conform is in its turn artefact and tampered with by man. Over the years, the multiple artificialisations of natural elements have hybridized and genetically varied much of the existing vegetation. In this double inversion of the general trend, the concept of “hybrid nature” (Pellegrino, Di Paola 2018) takes field. It defines the transition from the dichotomy of pairs of opposites (natural-artificial, landscape-architecture) to an ambiguous context, made of mixtures and hybridizations (Coccia 2017). A new natural contract must start in the contemporary at the level of architectural and landscape design to establish a relationship of “reciprocity and symbiosis” (Serres 1990). Together with this double reversal, we see today the increase of vegetation in private homes and in urban contexts. Projects of synthetic nature where artificial performs and acts as an intermediary between ecology and technique, determining a reconfiguration of nature as a new status symbol (somehow a souvenir, a gift). In this general condition the architecture and landscape project must be reviewed and concentrated on a new hybridisation. The Kitsch parameter stages new narratives of the project that make it possible to fill, reduce, accentuate or strengthen the gap between the initial intentions, the imaginary, and the realization, the reality. The contribution will investigate projects inside the category of Kitsch Landscape, that work on the symbol that nature covers today and on the need for the project to study and to steal from the natural and vegetal world its spatial logic and relationship with the context. This strategy aims to review the theoretical and design assumptions where the distinction between architecture and garden is overcome by affirming the possibility of drawing from nature some design and spatial issues useful for artificial construction and vice versa in a continuous cross-reference of reciprocity and contamination.
Mohamed Said, Assistant Lecturer, Alexandria University, Egypt. Title: An Insightful Resemblance Between Ancient Egyptian Miniatures and Current Digital Information Models.
As humans frequently invent new tools and utilize novel technologies, the visual expression of the surroundings evolved throughout history to describe the spatial compositions of the environment in the most informative mean. On one hand, the beliefs of ancient Egyptians for resurrection and eternity paved the way for creating 3-D models that described their daily life activities and the places they used to live in. These models were placed with the buried body to aide him/her in the recognition of the details of the lifestyle in the afterlife. For example, the well-preserved, informative, and detailed 3-D miniatures found in Meketre tomb describes the lifestyle of ancient Egyptians thoroughly by visual expressions that would be very hard to be informative with other means other than colored 3-D models. On the other hand, the current digital design era utilizes the same concept through describing architectural elements by creating digital 3-D information models that provide the full information for each design element to easily describe it to the client and design team and prevent any excessive costs or errors in the construction process. Building information modeling (BIM) adopts this concept and enriches each design element with full specifications, costs, performance, visual appearance, construction details, and maintenance options in a common data environment (CDE). The research will hypothetically investigate the roots of building information modeling as a radical concept adopted by the ancient Egyptians; and on that basis, will state the similarities between the current BIM models and the ancient 3-D miniatures.
Gianluca Rodonò, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Catania, Italy.
Vincenzo Sapienza, Associate Professor, University of Catania, Italy. Title: Strategic Landscape Design and Innovative Building Technologies for the Revitalisation Project of the Ancient Greek Colony of Megara Hyblaea in Sicily.
The present research aims at revitalizing the archaeological park of Megara Hyblaea through innovative strategies developed within the PON project entitled “An early warning system for cultural heritage / e-WAS”. In this project Sicilian research institutions, universities and companies are united in the common goal of developing new technologies for the protection and enhancement of the historical and cultural heritage, also improving its strategic management and protecting it from risks. The ancient Greek colony of Megara Hyblaea is immersed in an industrial landscape that stretches along the coast of eastern Sicily from Augusta to Syracuse. The sense of the original place has been obliterated by an indiscriminate occupation of the land by industries which has left, here and there, an archipelago of “patrimonial wrecks” of various kinds, which are equally close to the smelly chimneys and the horizon of the sea. This landscape of contrasts, dominated by petrochemical industries, has over time hindered a cultural tourism appropriate to the representativeness and importance of the good, despite the efforts made by the authorities responsible for its protection. With a view to pursuing the primary objectives of the e-WAS project (i.e. to guarantee safety and prevention of damage with timely action to protect against risks), it was planned to install on site some prototypes of roofing and lightweight architectural modules with reduced environmental impact and responsiveness, designed to protect the sensitive areas of the excavations and at the same time to facilitate the use of the site. The design of these technological elements is part of a broader, interscalar strategic design, in which the revitalisation of the heritage passes through the reshaping of a network of physical and intangible relationships between the heritage itself, the place and the community.
Ilaria Maria Zedda, PhD Candidate and Lecturer, RWTH Aachen, Germany. Title: The Modern Berlin Block. Spatial Evolution of a Typology through the Twentieth Century.
The early twentieth century has often been described as mainly characterized by the rise of the Modern Movement, which marked the beginning of an “agony” of the urban block (Panerai, 1977) and of its traditional spatial solutions. Nevertheless, the urban block did not suddenly fall into oblivion with the turn of the twentieth century. Evidence of this can be found in several projects built in Berlin between the end of the eighteenth century and the earliest decades of the twentieth, which – instead of denying urban density and rejecting traditional forms of urban living – resulted from the will to improve the traditional typology of the urban block without renouncing it. In these so-called Reformblocks, not only apartments were improved, but also the form and the spatiality of the block itself were transformed, with a tendency towards emptying the inner courtyards and opening them to the exterior public spaces. The traditional spatial relations between the interior and the exterior of the block were thus transformed – alongside those between the private and public spheres – with solutions whose spatial hierarchies were often alien to former models. Parallel to the realization of these Berliner Reformblocks – still urban and inscribable to the model of the compact city – new ideas of city were spreading that aimed instead at overcoming traditional urban models. Especially from the 1930s onwards, then, the success of these ideas implied a shift towards the oblivion of the traditional city and of its spaces (Denk, Schröder, Schützeichel, 2016) destined to last several decades and to affect architectural production. The development of the Berlin block was thus abruptly interrupted. It was not until the late 1960s that a trend-reversal occurred, with the spread of a new debate on the hitherto denied historical city that led to a renaissance of the urban block. In the international architectural debate of the 1970s, Berlin represented not only a topic of discussion, but also – and most importantly – a space for the implementation of its contents. This was especially thanks to IBA 1987, the international building exhibition organized to reconstruct the former center of Berlin. IBA recovered and reinterpreted the urban block, with buildings that aimed to mediate between the traditional nineteenth-century block and the modern models of life and social housing programs. In retrospect, numerous parallels can be drawn between these two phases in Berlin’s twentieth-century architecture, between the Reformblocks of its earliest decades and the IBA blocks built in the 1980s. For example, both cases proposed new spatial solutions that impose new relations between the public and private spheres within the perimeter of the block, by means of which they aimed to overcome the spatial problems of the traditional rental barracks. Offering a critical reading of these modern Berlin blocks, this paper compares selected case studies on the basis of architectural re-drawings, focusing on morphological and spatial issues. The comprehensive analysis of the selected models sheds light on two important phases in Berlin’s architecture and on their interrelations. These insights remain significant for the on-going debate on the future of the European city.
18:00-18:30 Hugo Pérez, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile. Title: “Cordones Industriales“: Workers Space and Socialism in Santiago, Chile 1972 1973.