Sunday, March 15, 2009

Architecture without starchitects

The sense of rythm and the playfulness of Jantar Mantar set in the midst of something looking like a park in Delhi (the gardener- too busy imagining all play opportunities the place offers- didn't even notice there was a park). One of the five astronomical observatories built by Jai Singh II between 1724 and 1727, the gigantic astronomical instruments are unsurpassed. The abstract- and now functionless- architecture reflects a passion for mathematics...numbers in space that have passed the test of time. Black stains and white crack, marks of time and weather, scar the red wash on the masonry. Successful structures as they fit in their surrounding and resist the challenge of climate (and topography?). No line drawn between sculpture, architecture and landscaping...same feeling when I sneaked in the Isamu Noguchi's Japanese Garden in Unesco HQ, Paris or makes me think of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater where these three elements are inseparable. As opposed to the obsolete and pointless feud between some landscape professionals and architects, which sounds like a cacophony of the ego... I much prefer the symphony of anonymous architecture like stalactite caves or communal architecture. My cousin Felix, when looking at my pictures, recommended me the excellent book Architecture Without Architects by Bernard Rudofsky (ISBN 978-0-8263-1004-0), une invitation au voyage...

1 comment:

  1. Aude, your blog looks great and the picture of your astronomical observatory very intruiging.

    I cycle past Foster's gherkin everyday and cross numerous professional camera trying to capture it's scales flickering in the morning sun. Just today, I witnessed yet another fashion shoot with a eunich-like 2 legged creature from another planet which will have graced our 'erotic' gherkin rather beautifully I can imagine.

    To me the gherkin looks like a giant ballpoint pen 'drawing' a symbolic line accross the financial district. It has come to symbolise London too now, and a staple of London's skyline.

    The potential impact of the erotic gherkin on the surrounding listed buildings, and the Tower of London world heritage site is undeniably brash..yet I love the idea of a mystery building upon which Londoners can stick their very own individual meanings.

    The mysterious back-ground to your beast certainly adds an ungraspable dimension to your Indian dragon.

    Keep up the good work.

    Your fellow dinosaur grunting away in the East End.