Sunday, 26 March 2017

Caruso St John : The Phenomenology of Construction


THE PRESENCE OF THE BUILT OBJECT IN THE WORLD THROUGH THE MANNER IN, WHICH IT IS BUILT.

Caruso St John : The Phenomenology of Construction


At the end of the twentieth century, with late capitalism more widely accepted as the economic model than ever before, the ideology of newness has become transparently associated with the workings of the market. Recent interest in airports, shopping malls and infrastructure emerges from an idea that it is these places where the processes of the contemporary economy are most brutally apparent. For architects to engage in these programmes is for architecture to become a commodified product and to be subject to the tyranny of the new.
Adam Caruso, The Tyranny of the New.

History is the raw material of architecture.
Aldo Rossi

Originality does not consist in making up new words that do not have the fine character of experience, but in using existing words well. They can be sufficient for everything.
Auguste Rodin

A radical formal strategy is one that considers and represents the existing and the known. In this way artistic production can critically engage with an existing situation and contribute to an ongoing and progressive cultural discourse.
Adam Caruso, The Tyranny of the New. Pp70-73

RADICAL FORMAL STRATEGY
THEORY PRAXIS MAKING

DEEP ECOLOGIES OF CONSTRUCTION

RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN:
VENACULAR STRUCTURES and HIGH STATUS ARCHITECTURE
SPATIAL CONTINUITY: MAKING, DWELLING

TRADITION

There is no compelling evidence as to why architecture should reject more than 400 years of working within a liberal arts context, nor is there compelling evidence that architecture is any more marginal than at other times over that period.
Adam Caruso, The Tyranny of the New.

Continuity involves the legacy of existing buildings produced by architects as well as the much larger legacy of existing, vernacular structures. In trying to connect these things, Caruso St John are part of a tradition that includes figures as diverse as Adolf Loos, Auguste Perret, Alison and Peter Smithson, Gunnar Asplund, Sigurd Lewerentz, Mies van der Rohe, Roger Diener, or Hans Kollhof. These architects have all questioned the abruptness of the radical break inherent in the formation of orthodox modern architecture.
Eric Lapierre, Caruso St John, The phenomenology of construction.
CONSTRUCTION

Adam Caruso on the medieval ruins of Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire.

Today the nuances of language that make up these architectures only exist as an intellectual discourse and do not operate at the emotional level that would have engaged the original inhabitants, or audiences of these buildings. And yet we are still emotionally affected by these structures. Denied access to the specific culture of their iconography. We respond, at a more visceral level, to the more general culture of their construction. When this formal language ceases to be novel, a building becomes part of a more normative condition, the condition of not ‘being new’ and its qualities increasingly emerge from the more long-standing and stable world of construction.

Adam Caruso, Towards an Ontology of Construction, KnittingWeaving Pressing 2002


By ceasing to be new, a building attains a more ‘normal’ condition, it becomes finally more banal, from a viewpoint that has much in common with Perret’s famous aphorism on ‘a work that would seem to have always existed’.


AFFECT SPACE POLITICS : NIGEL THRIFT

REVERBERATIONS : BACHELARD

RUINS : MARC AUGE

REFRAINS : AFFECT READER

SPACES OF ENCOUNTER : RE-DISCOVERY OF SPACE
CLAY : INNERNESS, CRAFTED FROM THE VALLEY/DWELLING/SITUATION

CONSTRUCTION AS THE APPLICATION OF MATTER

PHENOMENOLOGY vs. CONSTRUCTIONAL truth


THE QUESTION OF RUINS or the differences between the architectural ideologies of Auguste Perret and Caruso St John.

Beautiful architecture makes beautiful ruins, affirms Perret, since in ruins, only the structure remains visible.

When Adam Caruso observes the ruins of Fountains Abbey, he is concerned with physical matter.

The ruined state of the buildings serves to exaggerate the presence of material. The feeling is that of an enormous weight drawn out of the ground into the volume of the valley and held in place by a matrix of structure whose schema is described by the pattern of stone joints.
Adam Caruso, Towards an Ontology of Construction, KnittingWeaving Pressing 2002

The essential change in perspective between Perret and Caruso St John is that of a construction as structure to a construction that is the application of matter. Perret observes the organic dimension of buildings from a distance that makes the structural framework’s overall logic intelligible.
Caruso regards buildings much more closely, at a distance/closeness that enables him to grasp their tactile dimension: he looks at them with his hands. In Fountains Abbey, it is the brickwork joints that are essential; on the rear façade of his Van Nelle factory building, it is the micro-topography of the façade.

Luis Moreno Mansilla remarks that buildings by Sigurd Lewerentz, one of Caruso St John’s main inspirations, can only be seen close up.

For Caruso St John, construction does not refer to a constructional technique, nor to the coherence of its application as a technique, but rather the presence of the built object through the manner in which it is built.

Interestingly Perret’s positivist and absolute approach belongs to a mindset that excludes all form of doubt or ambiguity. To this approach, Caruso St John propose a phenomenological approach in which construction frees itself from pure technological logic to find meaning, both inherent and more relativist, in the field of architecture itself.



INNERNESS/AFFECT : THE CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVES

SURFACES, Juxtaposed without articulation.
QUESTIONING STRUCTURAL LOGIC, by playfully obscuring it.

INCREASING THE BUILDINGS PHENOMENOLOGICAL AND PERSPECTIVE COMPLEXITY

CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUES/CLADDINGS Through CRAFT, PROXIMITY, INTIMACY and SITUATION.


The depth of the exposed beams in the exhibition areas is not proportional to their respective spans, but to the overall heights of the rooms in question. Walls with claddings of vertical timber boards alternate with bare concrete walls that seem to have been cast in shuttering identical to the timber cladding. These two surfaces are sometimes juxtaposed, without articulation, and question structural logic by obscuring it, thereby increasing the building’s phenomenological and perspective complexity.
New Art Gallery, Walsall. Caruso St John

The load bearing walls appear to be folded along the complex contours of the non-orthogonal site. At the corners, bricks are cut and bonded together with resin to adapt to the geometry, while maintaining the size of standard bricks. Although they are load bearing, these walls become surfaces that have tactile and phenomenological qualities as well as being constructed surfaces with real architectonic weight.
The Brick House, London, Caruso St John
ATMOSPHERE: CLADDINGS and ARCHITECTONICS.


CLADDINGS and their ability/capacity to create ATMOSPHERES

AESTHETICS AND SUBJECTIVITY: KANT to NIETZSCHE ( Andrew Bowie)


The artist, the real architect, has firstly the feeling of the effect that he wants to produce, and then he imagines the spaces that he has to create. The effect that he wants to create on the beholder, will come from the material and its form.
Adolf Loos

It is through the splendour of truth that the building attains beauty. The truth is in everything that has the honour and task to carry or to protect. He who hides a pole makes a mistake. He who makes a false pole makes a crime.
Auguste Perret


The originality of Caruso St John’s work lies the fact that this atmosphere is created by claddings that have a strong architectonic character. As opposed to Loos, they use paint very rarely, and prefer to use construction materials in the traditional sense of the term: brick, concrete and wood. They do so in order to continue to create architecture, not as a spectacle, but by merging two traditions –that of Perret’s structural rationalism and that of Loos’s claddings –to define an architecture that speaks to us of the contemporary world in a truly critical manner.

Eric Lapierre, Caruso St John, The phenomenology of construction.



Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity.

Atmospheric ecologies/architecting through situated learning. 









PROXIMITY OF SPACE
INTIMACIES IN SOCIAL SPACES
SCRIPTORIUM

THREE STAGE METHODOLOGY (Kikutake) Mitsuo Taketani
KA ‘ESSENCE’
KATA ‘SUBSTANCE’
KATACHI ‘PHENOMENON’

Characteristics of an architect
CHI ‘BLOOD’
TACHI ‘TEMPERAMENT’

KATACHI ‘EMBODIMENT’