Saturday, 17 April 2010

Corbu vs. Gilliam

Stone on Stone [CLIP] from Rob Carter on Vimeo.

Now I don't normally find this sort of thing entertaining, but this really is fantastic; a sort of Monty Python attack upon Corbu's La Tourette - one half expects to see a giant foot descend upon the monks with a squishing noise. It's a return of the repressed, perhaps, where the thoroughly abstracted language of the monastery is infected with the 'truth' of its historical source language. I'm reminded of a quote, from where I can't remember, about how Gillespie Kidd & Coia's St Peter's Seminary represented a step beyond La Tourette for daring to re-imagine the programmatic aspects of religious seclusion; La Tourette doesn't really alter the arrangement of the monastery typology.

Edouard François - Fouquet's Barrière(2006)

Aesthetically; this reminds me of the germs of neo-pomo that we see being built around us; take a look at Edouard Francois' Fouquet's Barriere' in Paris, with its cast concrete Haussman facade to see an example of this kind of hybrid; indeed, the transformation in this video is at its most fertile when it is at the in-between state of co-exisiting, fully realised mystic-brutalist and gothic detail. As well as this, there is the pseudo-baroque of the studios of Marcos & Marjan, a voluptuous style which is bound to get an opportunity to be built soon enough, seeing as they focus so heavily on small interiors. This oscillates between a Catholic corporeality and Islamic geometricism, the former of which is more unique at this time. Maybe also we should think about the clashes of language involved you sometimes see that I have already mentioned as a result of the 'rescued facade'.

Yousef al Mehdari's work from Marcos & Marjan's Unit 20 (2008)

On the one hand this is old 'pomo'/'decon' territory, but is it possible to see opportunity here? One bad thing about pomo was that it looked cheap as shit; No.1 Poultry, or MI6 are both buildings in which the classical signifiers are totally spread out across a building of uniform modern cheapness; but would there be a genuine difference in this clash of two fully authentic registers; a certain bricolage of languages? Well; who knows. It's probably just mannerism at best, eclecticism more likely, but in lieu of the revolution it might be more interesting than the rubbish that constitutes 'the best' at the moment...

1 comment:

ie wataridori said...

The video is awesome, but architecturally very unconvincing to tell the truth. It just places a building over a different building, but it doesn't really make a point because what is being pasted over La Tourette is radically different to it - the light is different, the materials are different, the proportions are different, and the typology is different.

I think la Tourette is rather unorthodox actually. The cloister in a traditional monastery is the centre of the building - in la Tourette it's something you see from the actual cloister, which is a corridor. This is a big enough difference, but of course there's the church and the crypt, and the totally different way of receiving visitors.