What is the function of a window….(Raum)

Le Corbusier, “Cabanon,” Cap-Martin, 1952.
Credit: Bibliothèque de la Ville, La Chaux-de-Fonds/Fonds Le Corbusier

A photograph – overlooking the Eileen Gray House Cap-Martin…. The picture of the horizon – (can’t tell if this is from inside or outside) the Sea and the Sky – with encroaching trees. Simply a picture of the horizon framed by a wall with an opening onto the outside -supposed from the protection of the inside…

Below from:
Battle Lines E. 1027
Beatriz Colomina

Significantly, Le Corbusier describes drawing as the occupation of a “stranger’s house.” In his last book, Creation is a Patient Search, he writes: “By working with our hands, by drawing, we enter the house of a stranger, we are enriched by the experience, we learn.” [30] Drawing, as has often been noted, plays a crucial part in Le Corbusier’s process of appropriation of the exterior world. He repeatedly opposes his technique of drawing to photography: When one travels and works with visual things – architecture, painting or sculpture – one uses one’s eyes and draws, so as to fix deep down in one’s experience what is seen. Once the impression has been recorded by the pencil, it stays for good – entered, registered, inscribed. The camera is a tool for idlers, who use a machine to do their seeing for them.[31]

From the outset I am most interested in the conceptual idea of “space” as interpreted by the camera gaze…

What the word for space, Raum, Rum, designates is said by its ancient meaning. Raum means a place cleared or freed for settlement and lodging. A space is something that has been made room for, something that is cleared and free, namely within a boundary, Greek peras.

A boundary is not that at which something stops but, as the Greeks recognized, the boundary is that from which something begins its presencing. That is why the concept is that of horismos, that is, the horizon, the boundary. Space is in essence that for which room has been made, that which is let into its bounds. (Building Dwelling Thinking – M.H.)


Strange White Fungus… Really – How Absurd

Caves in Lascaux Invaded by Strange White Fungus

LASCAUX, FRANCE.- The caves in Lascaux, which has been called the Sistine Chapel of prehistoric rock art, has been invaded a white fungus. “The figures are so modernist in design that when Picasso emerged from the cave soon after it was first discovered in 1940 he exclaimed: ´We have invented nothing,´” reported Steve Connor for Unison. The caves, which have been designated a World Heritage Site, were first invaded by the fungus in 2001 when an air conditioner was installed. Authorities tried to play the fungus down saying “We think that now there is no risk to the paintings. A few years ago we thought there would be a risk to them because of this fungus,” Dr. Jean-Michel Geneste said to the reporter. The air conditioner was supposed to protect the 17,000 year old cave paintings from heat and humidity.

Above re-posted from Art Daily (http://www.artdaily.com/section/news/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=15729) 2006.05.11

What a completely odd notion… cave paintings – believed to have been created some 17,000 years ago…. and now (circa 2001) we believe we can help them survive longer by using a technology nearly 100 years old.. (1902 — Willis Carrier ) “to modify the heat and humidity”… Strange… and now we observe a white fungus on the paintings. The balance upset by our own invasive species.

A lesson to learn to leave well enough alone.

Wouldn’t you think that lasting 17,000 years is a pretty good indication that rapid deterioration is not accruing. I would think the work has probably experience quite of few cycles of the natural environmental climate range – why do we come along and muck it up with “preserving” it? Perhaps we should create a very high resolution surface scan of the paintings for recreation / publication / archival purposes and then seal up the cave so that we can protect it from the environmental pollutions we spew into the air… That’s probably the real danger to the disintegration of the work… Turns out that’s what the Ministry of Culture for France ended up doing – and a detailed replica was made called LASCAUX II in order to represent the work.

Amazing. More here

Glenn Murcutt – Lecture at ISU

Went to a presentation last night by Glenn Murcutt – a burst of inspiring energy – borderline mania – an intense display of excitement where the words and pictures simply did not seem to come fast enough for Mr. Murcutt. It was thrilling.

Some paraphrased notes I came away with that I think are relevant from Mr. Murcutt’s work…

Nurture and value the Process….. a product will follow.

Know where you are ….. in as many ways of knowing as possible Culture, people, what works, basics….means, methods, economics, materials….environment – sun, wind, rain, …..spring, summer, fall, winter…..day, night, dawn, dusk…. these are the important things.

Be “in” the place where you are it’s more healthy for all of us, our children and their children….

Draw pictures – the brain…the hand ….the eye.

People understand pictures.

Architects use tools like plans, sections, elevations – to document pictures of places.

Look around you and learn to read and understand what you see from the landscape – learn why the nature you observe is the shape that it is….

It’s been said before, but it is the substance of the work of Mr. Murcutt that is way beyond the current market’s notion of sustainability and “green”. The work is beyond style and fashion – in my opinion – it is the kind of work that should be understood more fully. The basic notions he investigates are core principles that we need to understand to move beyond questions of style and fashion.