‘The avant-garde understands itself as invading unknown territory, exposing itself to the dangers of sudden, shocking encounters, conquering an as yet unoccupied future ... The avant-garde must find a direction in a landscape into which no one seems to have yet ventured.’
JURGEN HABERMAS, "Modernity versus Postmodernity," Modernity: Critical Concepts
Using the quote by Habermas as a starting point, select up to two buildings designed in the twentieth century and examine what ‘sudden, shocking encounters’ they have encountered, or created. Analyse the building’s meanings as a demonstration of an avant-garde, or potentially arriere-garde, position.
It is the new decade after the end of world war two and modernism is a well-established…show more content…
The second is the Yale's Art and Architecture Building, designed in 1958 by architect Paul Rudolph. This building was an exploration of scale and space, bringing the urban and site context to the forefront of the architect. Using light and dynamic texturing of the facades to deliver a building that may have been before its time.
Mies van der Rohe is one of the most prominent figures in modernist architectural history, the man who popularised some of the most influential phrases of the era, e.g. “less is more”, and strove to push his ideas and philosophies, not just on what he thought a building should be, but of what he thought architecture itself was. He changed the cityscape of America, showing the world a style that was simple and elegant, with such a controlled palette of expressions that shone through in its geometric beauty. Before him American cities were solid, clad in heavy masonry, thick set with shoulders as broad as American footballers. After Mies they rose up elegantly, their still gleaming glass transparent. They looked like bits of the ideal future, flawless in their geometry. (Hughes 2008)
His goal was to create a building that was timeless, that could last without any imposing function. Stripping back the building to its essentials of structure, craftsmanship and style, he created not just objects, but symbols of everything Meis stood for in design “If buildings may be judged as embodiments of a viable system of ideas, the buildings of