The news that the new state house for Rowan Atkinson has been permitted by the Oxfordshire Planning Committee despite being recommended for refusal by the Authority’s Planning Officers is in danger of raising again the rather exhausted discussion about Modernism versus Classicism in the British countryside. But this really is totally the wrong debate. Pulling out the two previous conflict horses onto the jousting areas of Heart Britain is displacement task that takes the attention far from an even more demanding, modern discussion affecting European tradition more generally that may be broadcast if the war-horses could be put back their stables for a while.
Atkinson’s preparing consultant Terence O’Rourke is reported as describing the new proposals as’an item of 21st century high architecture ‘. I am not sure that this can be a valuable or totally exact explanation of the proposals. It is correct that Atkinson’s architect for the home, Richard flat roof replacement Meier, brought around from the US to do this his first creating in the UK, is just a respectable architect still exercising in the 21st century nevertheless the a few ideas that make his perform are firmly seated in the early part of the last century. The house can therefore similarly be described as an item of 20th century architecture or as an item of’Old Modernism ‘.
The a few ideas that Meier still uses this season were new in the 1920’s and 30’s when Le Corbusier and other early leaders of the Modern Movement made an architecture that stated the spirit of a technology coming out from the first earth war. That technology rather naively believed that they might wash clear the record of history and build a bold new world. Corb’s polemical connection of that architecture was defined in his famous’Five Points for a New Architecture ‘, first published as some articles in the newspaper he made, titled’L’Espirit Nouveau ‘. These five details set up powerful polemical dichotomies, purposefully disparaging of the previous obtain; the new architecture was to stay elegantly above the ground on slim’pilotis'(columns) in place of around damp and rat infested basements, the columned structure might create the’Free program’and supersede the restrictions of heavy load-bearing structures with their uncomfortable corners, raising the houses off the ground on pilotis might make’free ground’in the city to displace the congested streets. The structural body might along with freeing up the program create the’free elevation’and the characteristic horizontal reel windows of the era. Ultimately, what Corb fought were the worthless black ceiling places related to traditional pitched roofs could be replaced by the’ceiling backyard’the sixth of Le Corbusier’s five points. Another dominant characteristic with this architecture that strangely does not get stated as one of the five details is it is’bright ‘. The whiteness permitted this architecture to refuse the materiality of the building’s surfaces. The surfaces are therefore viewed as great abstractions, conceptual themes which find to establish potentially unlimited space. The defects of an actual substance might undermine the quest for a pure statement of absolute space, and therefore substance itself had to join those repressed facets of architecture’s reality.
Of course those facets of architecture’s fact that in these five details were condemned by Le Corbusier didn’t go away. Indeed after the Second World War, Le Corbusier’s own architecture took a revolutionary modify of direction. By the time he was planning Masions Jaoul in Paris the 1950’s the five details had been abandoned. The piloti had disappeared, such that the houses sat solidly on the ground. The properties received load keeping structures, thus decreasing the consequences of the’free program’and’free elevation’and at the same time frame the roofs were vaulted therefore questioning the available’ceiling backyard ‘. Also the’whiteness’that refused the houses materiality had disappeared to be replaced by’Beton brut ‘, a brand new and intense form of architectural materiality that appeared to be called from Le Corbusier’s mind to balance the sooner denial.
The Small Old Protect:
Although we are able to see that Le Corbusier could move on from the intense polemic of early modernism, the vegetables of the architectural language he had helped to create had been planted and were later to be found uncritically by a new generation. Richard Meier was part of that new generation. He surfaced as you of a small grouping of young architects working in New York in the 1960’s who came to international interest in 1967 subsequent an exhibition of their just work at the Museum of Modern Artwork organized by Arthur Drexler and later published in a guide featuring the job of’The New York Five ‘; Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, Steve Hejduk and Richard Meier. At that time this class somewhat distributed the reductive language of the early contemporary action but though some were later to maneuver into new territory, Meier presented the line. “If I cannot be Le Corbusier, then I could be Richard Meier”, I seem to remember him saying in the early times of his career, and in a recently available letter to the Oxfordshire Planning Team he is today clearly claiming the territory as their own, “Whiteness is one of the characteristic characteristics of my work…. “.