I think it’s totally obvious that you can only be an architect if you’re profoundly and foolishly optimistic
Michelangelo - Laurentian Library - Florence - Italy (1524)
Michelangelo - Laurentian Library - Florence - Italy (1525)
In the Fall of 2006, I felt a sudden urge to revisit, or visit for the first time, the Italian Renaissance (…). By far the most disturbing space I experienced on this journey was the vestibule of the Laurentian Library by Michelangelo. This space was terrifying, almost like a nightmare. Nothing worked, everything was ‘wrong’. But the sum of its dysfunctionalities was gripping. It was as if the outside skin of the palace had been stripped off and used to line an inner courtyard - folded, condensed, even crumpled. All proportions were off in this heavy-handed compression. Its space was blatantly an interior, but strangely it offered the experience of an exterior defined by four different façades through which you could enter four different destinations (…) Michelangelo takes each architectural element and forces it into new shapes and new relationships - he respects no rules and ridicules the ‘lessons’ architects have applied to their own profession. He breaks down and re-imagines the wall, the window and the door in an area no bigger than a living room, dominated by a huge sculpture that pretends to be a staircase. For contemporary artists and architects the lesson of the Laurentian Library is perhaps that Mannerism is a dish best eaten cold and in small doses.
On construction site.
This is one of those unique moments in which we come closer, and maybe I should say in this case that I come closer, to one of my most intimate utopian dreams, which is to find an architecture that does nothing.
PARAMETRIC SOFTWARE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PARAMETRIC THINKING
(Text by Farshid Moussavi)
There is nothing new about parametric thinking in architecture. Great architecture has always been aware of its societal role, and has consequently been informed by multivalent parameters….