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PLOT 31

INDEX

MAGAZINE

Oh Yeah, Postmodernism! In the editorial text, Florencia Rodriguez wonders how to define our time. How do the terms and symbols of what we call postmodernism appear?

PRACTICE

MONADNOCK, Landmark Nieuw Bergen. This small brick building was designed to satisfy the need of an urban icon in a small Dutch village. The simple composition reflects the concerns of Dutch architects Job Floris and Sandor Naus, whose work is based on an instrumentation of history, where many historical precedents are used in order to build disciplinary continuities in each new project.

Ortner & Ortner Baukunst, NRW State Archive in Duisburg. The archive is a huge brick building located in the inner harbour of Duisburg, opposite to the historic city center. Its imposing figure, composed of a large brick tower with gabled roofs and without openings, is clearly distinguishable in the skyline of the city. The formal strength of this project takes up the radical nature of many of the utopian and experimental proposals of the Ortner brothers with Haus-Rucker-Co.

MOS Architects, Element House in New Mexico. The project is a guest house and visitor center for Star Axis, a work of land art in the desert of New Mexico. It consists of a series of volumes arranged seemingly randomly in the middle of the desert landscape.

Michael Meredith, Architectonic Indifference. Meredith reflects on the state of the art in contemporary architecture, and presents the stance of MOS Architects.

Jens Wolter Architects, FRO House in Maschwitz. This project renovation and expansion of a Norman-style house located in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires proposes a functional review of the existing house and its relationship with the environment. The project does not focus on the effect of its shape, but the complexities that are generated from the subtle changes of use that inevitably impact the archetypal form of the existing house.

Vazio S/A, House in the Cerrado. The project explores the plasticity of the basic architectural elements and subverts the autonomy of the modern singular object as a prototype and model of a cultural and material construction that sought to systematize the construction processes of architecture in suggesting the machinic efficiency as dogma for a new paradigm.

Independent Architecture, Catamount Residence in Woodland Park. The office founded by Paul Andersen is part of a new generation of American architects, freed from stylistic dogmas and constructive-rational mandates from previous generations. The project emphasized morphology in relation to the site, with its educational uses and with the technology used to manage energy.

FAT Architecture, A House for Essex. The project was designed by FAT in collaboration with the artist Grayson Perry. Just outside the small town of Essex on the natural environment of Stour Estuary, the project transformed the landscape in a scenario that calls into question the boundary between reality and fiction. The project is saturated with symbols and contradictions with which it celebrates its aversion to the aesthetic purity and symbolic uniqueness of modern functionalist architecture.

Taller DE2, Gutiérrez-delaFuente, Day Center for Children in Selb. Through a strategy of “urban acupuncture” the Day Center for Children in Selb proposes the completion of a city block with programs oriented towards the revival of urban dynamics. Formally, the intervention is developed so that every new building is defragmented into smaller sections that emulate the urban front and change in height, shape and color from one section to the other.

OMA, Fondazione Prada in Milan. The building, located in a former distillery in an industrial complex in the south of Milan, consists of seven existing structures and three new ones. As Rem Koolhaas states: ” The Fondazione Prada is neither a preservation project nor new architecture. Two conditions that are usually kept separate, here face in a state of permanent interaction, offering a set of fragments that can not be frozen in a single image and in which no party dominates the others…”.

MVRDV, Rotterdam Markthal. The hybrid building was projected stressed between public and private interests and it is recognizable by the synergy that emerges from the particular assembly of uses. The building is configured with two parallel housing plates joined with an arc that covers a huge enclosed space where the central market is set. Through typological, architectural and pictorial resources, the Rotterdan Markthal –like the poster buildings that Venturi saw in Las Vegas– quickly communicate its function.

Angela Deuber, New School in Thal. In the project, the architectural language derives exclusively from the structural resolution. At the same time, each of these structural elements is a venturian “dual function element”.

Raphael Zuber, School and kindergarten in Grono. The elements that define the building declare the autonomy of the structure in the shaping of the project: the concrete enclosure that holds the building is completely independent of the glass walls that mark out the interior spaces. The design of this envelope is not inserted in a recognizable structural logic, Zuber seeks to build a new element foreign to the disciplinary traditions that define the project.

THEORY

Barry Bergdoll, Complexities and contradictions of postmodern classicism. Barry Bergdoll, curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, reflects on the museum’s exhibition The architecture of the École des Beaux-Arts, in 1975.

Sam Jacob, A postmodern revival, huh? Sam Jacob, who for over twenty years was the director of FAT Architecture, questions the idea of the post-modern revival, stating that it is a trap set by the past for designers of the future.

Ethel Baraona Pohl, Adhocracy, the end of postmodernism? Ethel Baraona Pohl, co -founder of dpr -barcelona, develops her hypothesis about how, as the financial crisis of 2008 marked a turning point in the economy, architecture as a profession has begun to reinvent itself and try to understand how to adapt to a changing world that requires flexibility and languages that were not used before.

Pier Vittorio Aureli, More and more about less and less. Italian architect Pier Vittorio Aureli shows with a series of archetypical examples of the past that the possibility of non-figurative architecture is not new, but is already latent in architecture history.

Carmelo Rodríguez Cedillo, Bizarre Columns. In his essay, Spanish architect Carmelo Rodriguez Cedillo builds a categorization of various types of columns: distorted columns, hyper-graphic columns, inhabited columns, furniture columns, naturalists columns, technological columns, invisible columns and columns without gravity.

Imaginary epilogue. The last pages of the magazine are devoted to a series of drawings, collages and paintings from fala atelier, Bernard Dubois, OFFICE KGDVS, BRUTHER and Pezo von Ellrichschausen.

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