Megaform versus Open Structure or the Legacy of Megastructure

Authors

  • Xavier Van Rooyen ULiège

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2611-0075/8515

Keywords:

Open structure, Megaform, Bigness, Indeterminacy, Megastructure

Abstract

Since the financial crisis of 2008, architecture must face growing conditions of instability. This rekindles the necessity to integrate the parameter of uncertainty into architectural design much like the concerns developed by the radical architects of the 1960s. At that time, these architects associated with megastructures challenged the opposites: fix/transient, permanent/ephemeral, primary/secondary structure, indeterminate/determinate. They raised the questions of uncertainty, instability over time, and gave shape to this condition. Their predecessors inside Team X introduced concepts like the ‘aesthetics of change’ (Smithsons), the ‘open form’ (Hansen), ‘open aesthetic’ (Voelcker) and developed architectural theories regarding indeterminacy and fragmentation. Out of a synthesis of this theoretical background, we propose to withdraw a conceptual tool with which we review the approach of two contemporary architectural offices, particularly concerned by the question of indeterminacy, uncertainty, open aesthetics and open structure in their achievements. Doing so, we aim to provide insights of what can constitutes a legacy out of megastrucuralist theory and identifies conceptual shifts.

References

Adrien Besson, Stratégies versus composition, PhD presented in 2009, l’EPFL

Alejandro Zaera Polo, “Finding Freedoms : Conversations with Rem Koolhaas”, El Croquis, no.53 (1992),

Alison Smithson, “The Violent Consumer, or waiting for the goodies”, Architectural Design, no.5, 1974

Alison and Peter Smithson, “Fix: permanence and transcience”, Architectural Review, december 1960

Alison and Peter Smithson, Ordariness and Light. Urban Theories 1952-1960 and their application in a building project 1963-1970 (Cambridge, Mass., 1970)

Alison et Peter Smithson, “The Aesthetics of Change”, Architects’Year Book, n° 8, (London: Elek Books, 1957)

Anne Lacaton, Conférence in BOZAR, Bruxelles, 4/12/2008.

Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, “La libertad estructural, condicion del milagro – Structural Freedom, a Precondition for the Miracle”, 2G, no. 60 (“Lacaton& Vassal”), 2012,

Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, “Structural freedom, a precondition for the miracle”, in Lacaton& Vassal. Recent work, 2G no.60 (2012)

Cristina Diaz moreno and Efren Garcia Grinda, “Everyday Delights. A conversation with Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal”, El Croquis no.177/178 (2015)

D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, On Growth and Form (2nd edition), (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1942)

Dirk van den Heuvel, “Team Ten Diagrams”, Daidalos, no.74 (2000)

Dominique Rouillard, Superarchitecture. Le futur de l’architecture 1950-1970, (Paris : Editions de la Vilette, 2004)

El Corquis, no. 131-132 (“AMO/OMA Rem Koolhaas (I) 1996-2006”), 2006

Fumihiko Maki and Jerry Goldbderg, “Linkage in collective form. Collective form Report 2’, in JaapBakema,”,‘ Post Box for the Development of the Habitat, Newsletter #9, June 1st, 1962

Fumihiko Maki and Masato Ohtaka, “Collective Form. Three paradigms”, in Fumihiko Maki (ed.), Investigations in Collective Form (Saint Louis, 1964)

Georges Candilis, “Proposition pour un habitat évolutif“, in Le Carré Bleu, no.2 (1959)

Ilka et Andreas Ruby, “Extra Space, Extra Large: On the Recent Work of Lacaton& Vassal”, in 2G Books, 2007, 7

Jacques Lucan, Précisions sur un état present de l’architecture (Lausanne, 2015)

James Stirling, “Regionalism and Modern Architecture”, Architects’Year Book, no.8, (London: Elek Books, 1957)

Jonathan Hughes, “The Indeterminate Building”, in Jonathan Hughes and Simon Sadler, eds., Non-Plan: Essays on Freedom, Participation and Change in Modern architecture and Urbanism (Oxford: Architectural Press, 2000)

John Pile, Open office planning, The architectural Press, London, 1978

John Weeks, “Indeterminate Architecture”, The Transactions of the Bartlett Society, Volume 2, 1964

Kenneth Frampton, Megaform as Urban Landscape, (Michigan, University of Michigan, 1999)

Klaske Havik, Véronique Patteeuw, Hans Teerds, “Editorial, Productive Uncertainty/Indeterminacy in Spatial Design, Planning and Management”, OASE no.85(2011)

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, L’Œil et l’esprit [1964] (Paris, 2002), 59.

Max Risselada and Dirk van den Heuvel(ed.), Team X 1953-1981, In search of a Utopia of the Present (ed.), (Rotterdam: NAI Publishers, 2005)

N.J. Habraken, Supports : an Alternative to Mass Housing, (London, New York : The Architectural Press Praeger, 1972) originally published as De dragersen de mensen : het einde van de massawoningbouw (Amsterdam : scheltema&Holkema, 1961)

O.M.Ungers, Erika Mühithaler (eds.), ‘Grossformen im Wohnungsbau’, published as #5 of Veröffentlichungen zur Architektur (Berlin : TU Berlin), december 1966. It was later published in Aujourd’hui : Art et Arhitectures #57-58, October 1967

O.M.A. Rem Koolhaas et Bruce Mau, S,M,L,XL, (New York, The Monacelli Press, 1995)

Oscar Hansen, “La forme ouverte dans l’architecture – l’art du grand nombre“, Le Carré Bleu, no.1 (1961).

Oscar Newman, CIAM’59 in Otterlo, Verlag Girsberger, Zürich, 1961

Patrice Goulet (éd.), Six Projects, Paris-Rome, 1990, 181-223.

Peter Cook, “Indetermincay – Relaxed Scene”, Archigram, 8, 1968

Peter Smithson, “Letter to America”, Architetural Design, (mars 1958)

Ralph Wilcoxon, Council of Planning Librarians Exchange Bibliography (Monticello, III) 1968

Rem Koolhaas, “I combine Architectural Specificity with Programmatic Instability”, conversation with Jaime Yatsuka, in Telescope, Tokyo, no.3, 1989

Rem Koolhaas, “Introduction“, A+u, n0. 1, 2001, 7

Rem Koolhaas, lecture in TU Deltf, April 1987, published in Indesem 87. International Design Seminar, Delft, 1987

Rem Koolhaas, New York Délire, (Marseille : Editions Parenthèses, 2002), 294.

Reyner Banham, Megastructure. Urban Futures of the Recent Past, (London, Icon Editions, 1976)

Richard Llewelyn Davies, “Endless Architecture“, Architectural Association Journal, no.67 (1951)

Roberto Gargiani, Rem Koolhaas-The Construction of Merveilles, (Lausanne, PPUR, 2011)

Superstudio, “Discorsi per immagini”, Domus, December 1961. It was later published and translated in English in Peter Lang, William Menking, Supersudio, Life Without Objects, (Milan, Strika editore, 2003)

Yona Friedman, “Urbanisme Mobile“, l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, 102, 1962

Downloads

Published

2018-12-31

How to Cite

Van Rooyen, X. (2018). Megaform versus Open Structure or the Legacy of Megastructure. Histories of Postwar Architecture, 1(3), 30–49. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2611-0075/8515

Issue

Section

Focus