Bernard Tschumi Notations Diagrams & Sequences

December 13, 2016 | Author: Wilfred Kennedy | Category: N/A
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1 Bernard Tschumi Notations Diagrams & Sequences2 Contents 6 Preface Notations 8 The Manhattan Transcripts, New York...


Bernard Tschumi Notations Diagrams & Sequences


6 Preface

Notations 8

The Manhattan Transcripts, New York, NY, USA, 1977


Sequential House, Princeton, NJ, USA, 1981


Parc de la Villette, Paris, France, 1982


Le Fresnoy National Studio for Contemporary Arts, Tourcoing, France, 1991


Opera House, Tokyo, Japan, Competition 1986


National Library of France, Paris, France, Competition 1989


Chartres Business Park, Chartres, France, Competition 1991


School of Architecture, Paris/Marne-la-Vallée, France, 1994


Alfred J. Lerner Hall Student Center, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, 1994


Museum of Modern Art, Extension, New York, NY, USA, Competition 1997


Rouen Concert Hall and Exhibition Complex, Rouen, France, 1998

Limoges Concert Hall, Limoges, France, 2003


School of Architecture, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA 1999


Italian Space Agency, Rome, Italy, Competition 2000


Museum for African Art, New York, NY, USA, Competition 2000


Museum for African Art and Residential Tower, New York, NY, USA, 2003


Carnegie Science Center Extension, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Competition 2000


Ponte Parodi, Genoa, Italy, 2000


The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece, 2001


Electronic Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY, USA, Competition 2001


Vacheron Constantin Headquarters and Manufacturing Center, Phase 1, Geneva, Switzerland, 2001


Vacheron Constantin Headquarters and Manufacturing Center, Phase 2, Geneva, Switzerland, 2011


Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo, Brazil, Competition 2001


Tri-Towers of Babel, New York, NY, USA, 2002


Richard E. Lindner Athletics Center, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA, 2001


Alésia Muséoparc, Alésia, France, 2002


M2 Metro Station, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2003


Factory 798, Beijing, China, 2003


BLUE Residential Tower, New York, NY, USA, 2004


Dubai Opera House, Dubai, U.A.E., Competition 2005


Independent Financial Centre of the Americas Master Plan, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2005


Bordeaux-Cenon Cultural Center, Bordeaux, France, 2005


Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL), Lausanne/Renens, Switzerland, 2005


Pedestrian Bridge, La Roche-sur-Yon, France, 2007


MegaHall Montpellier, Montpellier, France, Competition 2007


Student Center, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA, 2008

250 Mediapolis, Singapore, 2008 254

Zoo de Vincennes, Paris, France, 2008


Carnal Dome, Le Rosey International School, Rolle, Switzerland, 2009


EDF Project Saclay, Paris, France, Competition 2010


OCT-LOFT Master Plan and Museum, Shenzhen, China, 2011


City of Music CIMU, Ile Seguin, Paris, France, Competition 2012

286 ANIMA, Grottammare, Italy, 2012


I only use the word “notation,” never “sketch.” My notations are quick abstractions, diagrams drawn by hand in order to express a concept, and often the very essence of a project. I almost never draw on a table. Maybe at the office, when discussing projects, I might do a rough notation to clarify a point or sum up a set of alternatives. Most of the time, however, I draw on my knee, in a taxi or a subway. Even in planes, I prefer putting the paper on my lap, using a magazine as a simple support. The unevenness of the support makes thought the priority; it avoids aesthetic inclinations. For me, drawing is thinking. I am bored on vacation unless I am working, even by a pool. But, being with a piece of paper and a pen doesn’t feel like work. It can be sheer bliss to see thought materialize itself in front of your eyes through the almost unconscious mediation of your hand. It is a form of notating the mind’s activity. Notation is not sketching, and its products are not “sketches.” I avoid the word “sketch,” detest the French equivalent, croquis. The words reek of Beaux-Arts esthetizing ideology. “Sketch” suggests something that will be followed by a more elaborate version of the same, and then by schematic drawings, design development drawings and, likely, many forms of conventional

representation. What I am doing here is thoughts on paper. The current state of technology still requires the hand. But I could imagine using emerging technologies or the movement of my eyes alone, providing thought could somehow materialize itself in front of the eyes. An example: While working on the La Villette competition, I broke a bone in my right hand. My hand was so swollen that I had to draw with my left hand for a couple of days. It was slower and definitely clumsier, but the content was the same. So notation doesn’t depend on how well you draw, or how beautiful the product is. Indeed, drawing too well may be an impediment, resulting in “prettification.” An architectural notation is not about being pretty or beautiful. It is about using the smallest number or amount of lines in order to express what you are thinking. At this stage, it is only about thought, ideas, or concepts. So, these notations never have an aesthetic purpose when they are made. They are about thought, quick thought (which takes a few seconds) or slow-process thought. The paper is always the same American 8½” x 11” format rather than the Germanic A4, and is cheap, coarse, and bought in bulk. For years my pen has been a Uniball Onyx (75¢ for ten). I generally finish the drawing by writing the date and location on one corner. The date is occasionally written the American way, with the month first, which can create confusion with my more typical European day first, month second manner. The dates listed

for the projects in this volume indicate the beginning of design. The paper is laid vertically or horizontally, depending on the project I am working on or how much room there is for my elbow when I’m in a plane. For some of the drawings represented here, the original has been lost—all that remains is a fax or a photocopy. This mechanical reproduction accounts for the varying thicknesses of lines on some of the pages in this book. The notations on these pages began with the very first drawings I made during my first year in New York in the mid-‘70s, after an interruption of almost six years. My goal then was to try to apprehend architecture in a different way, removed from the conventions perfected over generations or even centuries. My starting point was the idea that architecture is both space and event, and there is no space without something that happens in it. I considered the plans, sections, and perspectives of traditional architectural representation inadequate to represent the relationship between space and event (or movement). The first drawings from this New York period aimed at developing new modes of description of a space that is simultaneously conceptual and dynamic. The drawings for Joyce’s Garden, the Screenplays or The Manhattan Transcripts involved such exploration. With the project for the Parc de la Villette, an additional dimension needed to be added: the drawings had to evolve so that the concepts they described could lead to their materialization in a work that could be built. 6

Several types can be distinguished among the drawings published here. Sometimes the type consists of an abstract notation that is highly conceptual, as in several of the early projects, like the Tokyo Opera House, to one cite example. In other cases, the diagrams are halfway between abstraction and the volumetric expression of the different components of a project, as in the many exploded axonometrics. Sometimes the drawings veer close to architectural sketches as produced over decades or even centuries (schematic plans, sections, or perspectives, etc). Whatever the type of notation, some drawings will appear dry, others basic, and some, even beautiful. What is important is that they represent a mode of thought, a thinking or conceptual tool, and rarely a formal or esthetic device. In some cases, half a dozen pages culled from the several thousands of worksheets covering about one hundred projects were sufficient to define the main concepts of the projects and the possibilities of their materialization. In others, several pages per day for several weeks document the intensity of research or the complexity of a site or program until the concept emerges and becomes refined. The selection for this collection of more than 300 drawings is not intended to celebrate the fetishism often attached to the architectural sketch, but rather to demonstrate the conceptual sequence that makes up the architectural project. The book is subtitled “Diagrams and Sequences,” because no drawing exists independently, on its own. Each 7

is a part of a chain in which each link is preceded by an incomplete idea and followed by a more elaborate conceptualization. The book describes a temporal process rather than isolated esthetic forms. It is a means and never an end. Inevitably, such a collection of drawings will appear off-balance, for the simple reason that the drawings are accompanied by parallel labor by a team of coworkers who will interpret the diagrams and notations so as to turn them into scaled plans and sections. The hand drawings often respond to this precious information by reframing it. Sometimes the precision of a scaled plan will demonstrate that the abstract concept proposed in the hand-drawn notation was in error; if so, everything will re-start from scratch. This isn’t a problem; the rejected concept often re-emerges in a more calibrated variant in a subsequent project. The reader can check documentation in the Event-Cities series or Architecture Concepts: Red Is Not a Color to understand the context in which the drawings were developed and view the built work to which these early notations attest. The language of the comments that amplify these notations is either English or French, without preference, and generally selected almost unconsciously according to the project, the place of work, and the recipients of the drawings in my New York or Paris offices. ­—Bernard Tschumi, 2014

Museum of Modern Art Extension, New York, NY, USA, Competition 1997


“City of voids: Within a solid mass made of undifferentiated floors, a number of voids are cut and become major indoor or outdoor spaces.”


Museum of Modern Art Extension, New York, NY, USA, Competition 1997

The voids carved into the mass of the buildings act as sequences. Their structure resembles a gridded sponge or a chessboard for a “game” of exhibition galleries.



Museum of Modern Art Extension, New York, NY, USA, Competition 1997

Modes of distribution of voids. Right: A project conceived as a game. Architects supply the board and the pieces; the curators determine the rules and play the game. The voids can be distinguished from the flows that intersect them.



point de Folie—Maintenant l’architecture Jacques Derrida (1986)

1 Maintenant,1 this French word, will not be translated. Why? For reasons, a whole series of reasons, which may appear along the way, or even at the end of the road. For here I am undertaking one road or, rather, one course among other possible and concurrent ones: a series of cursive notations through the folies of Bernard Tschumi, from point to point, and hazardous, discontinuous, aleatory. Why maintenant? I put away or place in reserve, I set aside the reason to maintain the seal or stamp of this idiom: it would recall the Parc de la Villette in France, and that a pretext gave rise to these Folies. Only a pretext, no doubt, along the way—a station, phase, or pause in a trajectory. Nevertheless, the pretext was offered in France. In French we say that a chance is offered but also, do not forget, to offer a resistance.


pened, is just about to happen) no longer lets itself be inscribed in the ordered sequence of a history: it is neither a fashion, a period or an era. The just maintenant [just now] does not remain a stranger to history, of course, but the relation would be different. And if this happens to us, we must be prepared to receive these two words. On the one hand, it does not happen to a constituted us, to a human subjectivity whose essence would be arrested and which would then find itself affected by the history of this thing called architecture. We appear to ourselves only through an experience of spacing which is already marked by architecture. What happens through architecture both constructs and instructs this us. The latter finds itself engaged by architecture before it becomes the subject of it: master and possessor. On the other hand, the imminence of what happens to us maintenant announces not only an architectural event but, more particularly, a writing of space, a mode of spacing which makes a place for the event. If Tschumi’s work indeed describes an architecture of the event, it is not only in that it constructs places in which something should happen or to make the construction itself be, as we say, an event. This is not what is essential. The dimension of the event is subsumed in the very structure of the architectural apparatus: sequence, open series, narrativity, the cinematic, dramaturgy, choreography.



Maintenant: if the word still designates what happens, has just happened, promises to happen to architecture as well as through architecture, this imminence of the just (just happens, just hap-

4 Is an architecture of events possible? If what happens to us thus does not come from outside, or rather, if this outside engages us in the very thing we are, is there a maintenant of architecture and in what sense [sens]? Everything indeed [justement] comes down to the question of meaning [sens]. We shall not reply by indicating a means of access, for example, through a given form of architecture: preamble, pronaos, threshold, methodical route, circle or circulation, labyrinth, flight of stairs, ascent, archaeological regression towards a foundation, etc. Even less through the form of a system, that is, through architectonics: the art of systems, as Kant says. We will not reply by giving access to some final meaning, whose assumption would be finally promised us. No, it is justly [justement] a question of what happens to meaning: not in the sense of what would finally allow us to arrive at meaning, but of what happens to it, to meaning, to the meaning of meaning. And so—and this is the event—what happens to it through an event which, no longer precisely or simply falling into the domain of meaning, would be intimately linked to something like madness [Ia folie].


3 points


Maintenant, the word will not flutter like the banner of the moment, it will not introduce burning questions: What about architecture today? What are we to think about the current state of architecture? What is new in this domain? For architecture no longer defines a domain. Maintenant: neither a modernist signal nor even a salute to post-modernity. The post-s and posters which proliferate today (poststructuralism, postmodernism, etc.) still surrender to the historicist urge. Everything marks an era, even the decentering of the subject: posthumanism. It is as if one again wished to put a linear succession in order, to periodise, to distinguish between before and after, to limit the risks of reversibility or repetition, transformation or permutation: an ideology of progress.


Not madness [Ia Folie], the allegorical hypostasis of Unreason, non-sense, but the madnesses [les folies]. We will have to account with this plural. The folies, then, Bernard Tschumi’s folies. Henceforth we will speak of them through metonymy and in a metonymically metonymic manner since, as we will see, this figure carries itself away; it has no means within itself to stop itself, any more than the number of Folies in the Parc de la Villette. Folies: it is first of all the name, a proper name in a way, and a signature. Tschumi names in this manner the point-grid which distributes a non-finite number of elements in a space which it in fact spaces but does not fill. Metonymy, then, since folies, at first, designates only a part, a series of parts, precisely the pinpoint weave of an ensemble which also includes lines and surfaces, a “sound-track” and an “image-track.” We will return to the function assigned to this multiplicity of red points. Here, let us note only that it maintains a metonymic relation to the whole of the Parc. Through this proper name, in fact, the folies are a common denominator, the “largest common denominator” of this “programmatic deconstruction.” But, in addition, the red point of each folie remains divisible in turn, a point without a point, offered up in its articulated structure to substitutions or combinatory permutations which relate it to other folies as much as to its own parts. Open point and closed point. This double metonymy becomes abyssal when it determines or overdetermines what opens this proper name (the “Folies” of Bernard Tschumi) to the vast semantics of the concept of madness, the great name or common denominator of all that happens to meaning when it leaves itself, alienates and dissociates itself without ever having been subject, exposes itself to the outside and spaces itself out in what is not itself: not the semantics but, first of all, the asemantics of Folies.

Let us never forget that there is an architecture of architecture. Down even to its archaic foundation, the most fundamental concept of architecture has been constructed. This naturalised architecture is bequeathed to us: we inhabit it, it inhabits us, we think it is destined for habitation, and it is no longer an object for us at all. But we must recognise in it an artefact, a construction, a monument. It did not fall from the sky; it is not natural, even if it informs a specific scheme of relations to physis, the sky, the earth, the human and the divine. This architecture of architecture has a history; it is historical through and through. Its heritage inaugurates the intimacy of our economy, the law of our hearth (oikos), our familial, religious and political oikonomy, all the places of birth and death, temple, school, stadium, agora, square, sepulchre. It goes right through us [nous transit] to the point that we forget its very historicity: we take it for nature. It is common sense itself.


6 The folies, then, these folies in every sense—for once we can say that they are not on the road to ruin, the ruin of defeat or nostalgia. They do not amount to the “absence of the work”— that fate of madness in the classical period of which Foucault speaks. Instead, they make up a work, they put into operation. How? How can we think that the work can possibly maintain itself in this madness? How can we think the maintenant of the architectural work? Through a certain adventure of the point, we’re coming to it, maintenant the work—maintenant is the point—this very instant, the point of its implosion. The folies put into operation a general dislocation; they draw into it everything that, until maintenant, seems to have given architecture meaning. More precisely, everything that seems to have given architecture over to meaning. They deconstruct first of all, but not only, the semantics of architecture.

8 The concept of architecture is itself an inhabited constructum, a heritage which comprehends us even before we could submit it to thought. Certain invariables remain, constant, through all the mutations of architecture. Impassible, imperturbable, an axiomatic traverses the whole history of architecture. An axiomatic, that is to say, an organised ensemble of fundamental and always presupposed evaluations. This hierarchy has fixed itself in stone; henceforth, it informs the entirety of social space. What are these invariables? I will distinguish four, the slightly artificial charter of four traits, let us say, rather, of four points. They translate one and the same postulation: architecture must have a meaning, it must present it and, through it, signify. The signifying or symbolical value of this meaning must direct the structure and syntax, the form and function of architecture. It must direct it from outside, according to a principle (archè), a fundamental or foundation, a transcendence or finality (telos) whose locations are not themselves architectural. The anarchitectural topic of this semanticism from which, inevitably, four points of invariance derive: • The experience of meaning must be dwelling, the law of oikos, the economy of men or gods. In its nonrepresentational presence which (as distinct from the other arts) seems to refer only to itself, the architectural work seems to have been destined for the presence of men and gods. The arrangement, occupation and investment of locations must be measured against this economy. Heidegger still alludes to it when he interprets homelessness (Heimatlosigkeit) as the symptom of onto-theology and, more precisely, of modern technology. Behind the housing crisis he encourages us to reflect properly on the real dis-





• Centered and hierarchised, the architectural organisation had to fall in line with the anamnesis of the origin and the seating of the foundation. Not only from the time of its foundation on the ground of the earth but also since its juridico-political foundation, the institution which commemorates the myths of the city, heroes or founding gods. Despite appearances, this religious or political memory, this historicism, has not deserted architecture. Modern architecture retains nostalgia for it: it is its destiny to be a guardian. An always-hierarchising nostalgia: architecture will materialise the hierarchy in stone or wood (hylè); it is a hyletics of the sacred (hieros) and the principle (archè), an archi-hieratics.


• This economy remains, of necessity, a telology of dwelling. It subscribes to all the rules of finality. Ethico-political finality, religious duty, utilitarian or functional ends: it is always a question of putting architecture in service, and at service. This end is the principle of the archi-hieratical order.


• Regardless of mode, period or dominant style, this order ultimately depends on the fine arts. The value of beauty, harmony, and totality still reigns. These four points of invariability do not adjoin. They delineate the chart of a system from the angles of a frame. We will not say only that they come together and remain inseparable, which is true. They give rise to a specific experience of assembling, that of the coherent totality and continuity of the system. Thus, they determine a network of evaluations; they induce and inform, even if indirectly, all the theory and criticism of architecture, from the most specialised to the most trivial. Such evaluation inscribes the hierarchy in a hyletics, as well as in the space of a formal distribution of values. But this architectonics of invariable points also regulates all of what is called Western culture, far beyond its architecture. Hence the contradiction, the double bind or antinomy which at once animates and disturbs this history. On the one hand, this general architectonics effaces or exceeds the sharp specificity of architecture; it is valid for other arts and regions of experience as well. On the other hand, architecture forms its most powerful metonymy; it gives it its most solid consistency, objective substance. By consistency, I do not mean only logical coherence, which implicates all dimensions of human experience in the same network: there is no work of architecture without interpretation, or even economic, religious, political, aesthetic, or philosophical decree. But by consistency also mean duration, hardness, the monumental, mineral or lig-

neous subsistence, the hyletics of tradition. Hence the resistance: the resistance of materials as much as of consciousnesses and unconsciousness which instate this architecture as the last fortress of metaphysics. Resistance and transference. Any consequent deconstruction would be negligible if it did not take account of this resistance and this transference; it would do little if it did not go after architecture as much as architectonics. To go after it: not in order to attack, destroy or deroute it, to criticise or disqualify it. Rather, in order to think it in fact, to detach itself sufficiently to apprehend it in a thought which goes beyond the theorem—and becomes a work in its turn.

9 Maintenant we will take the measure of the folies, of what others would call the immeasurable hybris of Bernard Tschumi and of what it offers to our thought. These folies destabilise meaning, the meaning of meaning, the signifying ensemble of this powerful architectonics. They put in question, dislocate, destabilise or deconstruct the edifice of this configuration. It will be said that they are “madness” in this. For in a polemos which is without aggression, without the destructive drive that would still betray a reactive affect within the hierarchy, they do battle with the very meaning of architectural meaning, as it has been bequeathed to us and as we still inhabit it. We should not avoid the issue; if this configuration presides over what in the West is called architecture, do these folies not rase it to the ground? Do they not lead back to the desert of anarchitecture, a zero degree of architectural writing where this writing would lose itself, henceforth without finality, aesthetic aura, fundamentals, hierarchical principles or symbolic signification, in short, in a prose made of abstract, neutral, inhuman, useless, uninhabitable and meaningless volumes? Precisely not. The folies affirm, and engage their affirmation beyond this ultimately annihilating, secretly nihilistic repetition of metaphysical architecture. They enter into the maintenant of which I speak; they maintain, renew and reinscribe architecture. They revive, perhaps, an energy which was infinitely anaesthetised, walled-in, buried in a common grave or sepulchral nostalgia. For we must begin by emphasising this: the charter or metaphysical frame whose configuration has just been sketched was already, one could say, the end of architecture, its “reign of ends” in the figure of death. This charter had come to arraign the work, it imposes on it norms or meanings which were extrinsic, if not accidental. It made its attributes into an essence: formal beauty, finality, utility, functionalism, inhabitable value, its religious or political economy—all the services, so many non-architectural or metaarchitectural predicates. By withdrawing architecture maintenant—what I keep referring to in this way, using a paleonym, so as to maintain a muffled appeal—by ceasing to impose these alien norms on the work, the folies return architecture, faithfully, to what architecture, since the very eve of its origin, should have

signed. The maintenant that I speak of will be this, most irreducible, signature. It does not contravene the charter, but rather draws it into another text; it even subscribes to, and directs others to subscribe to, what we will again call, later, a contract, another play of the trait, of attraction and contraction. A proposition that I do not make without caution and warnings. Still, the signal of two red points: • These folies do not destroy. Tschumi always talks about “deconstruction/reconstruction,” particularly concerning the folie and the generation of its cube (formal combinations and transformational relations). What is in question in The Manhattan Transcripts is the invention of “new relations, in which the traditional components of architecture are broken down and reconstructed along other axes.” Without nostalgia, the most living act of memory. Nothing, here, of that nihilistic gesture which would fulfill a certain theme of metaphysics; no reversal of values aimed at an unaesthetic, uninhabitable, unusable, a-symbolical and meaningless architecture, an architecture simply left vacant after the retreat of gods and men. And the folies—like la folie in general—are anything but anarchic chaos. Yet without proposing a “new order,” they locate the architectural work in another place where, at least in its principle, its essential impetus, it will no longer obey these external imperatives. Tschumi’s “first” concern will no longer be to organise space as a function or in view of economic, aesthetic, epiphanic or techno-utilitarian norms. These norms will be taken into consideration, but they will find themselves subordinated and reinscribed in one place in the text and in a space which they no longer command in the final instance. By pushing “architecture towards its limits,” a place will be made for “pleasure”; each folie will be destined for a given “use,” with its own cultural, ludic, pedagogical, scientific and philosophical finalities. We will say more later about its powers of “attraction.” All of this answers to a programme of transfers, transformations or permutations over which these external norms no longer hold the final word. They will not have presided over the work, since Tschumi has folded them into the general operation. • Yes, folded. What is the fold? The aim of re-establishing architecture in what should have been specifically its own is not to reconstitute a simple of architecture, a simply architectural architecture, through a purist or integratist obsession. It is no longer a question of saving its own in the virginal immanence of its economy and of returning it to its inalienable presence, a presence which, ultimately, is non-representational, nonmimetic and refers only to itself. This autonomy of architecture, which would thus pretend to reconcile a formalism and a semanticism in their extremes, would only fulfill the metaphysics it pretended to deconstruct. The invention, in this case, consists in crossing the architectural motif with what is most singular and most parallel in other writings which are themselves drawn into the said madness, in its plural, meaning photographic, cinematographic, choreographic, and even mythographic writings. As The Manhattan Transcripts demonstrated (the same is true, though in a different way, of La Villette), a narrative montage of great complexity explodes, outside, the narrative

which mythologies contracted or effaced in the hieratic presence of the “memorable” monument. An architectural writing interprets (in the Nietzschean sense of active, productive, violent, transforming interpretation) events which are marked by photography or cinematography. Marked: provoked, determined or transcribed, captured, in any case always mobilised in a scenography of passage (transference, translation, transgression from one place to another, from a place of writing to another, graft, hybridization). Neither architecture nor anarchitecture: transarchitecture. It has it out with the event; it no longer offers its work to users, believers or dwellers, to contemplators, aesthetes or consumers. Instead, it appeals to the other to invent, in turn, the event, sign, consign or countersign: advanced by an advance made at the other—and maintenant architecture. (I am aware of a murmur: but doesn’t this event you speak of, which reinvents architecture in a series of “only onces” which are always unique in their repetition, isn’t it what takes place each time not in a church or a temple, or even in a political place—not in them, but rather, as them, reviving them, for example, during each Mass when the body of Christ, etc., when the body of the King or of the nation presents or announces itself? Why not, if at least it could happen again, happen through (across) architecture, or even up to it? Without venturing further in this direction, although still acknowledging its necessity, I will say only that Tschumi’s architectural folies make us think about what takes place when, for example, the eucharistic event goes through [transir] a church, ici, maintenant [here, now], or when a date, a seal, the trace of the other are finally laid on the body of stone, this time in the movement of its dis-appearance.)


10 Therefore, we can no longer speak of a properly architectural moment, the hieratic impassibility of the monument, this hylemorphic complex that is given once and for all, permitting no trace to appear on its body because it afforded no chance of transformation, permutation or substitutions. In the folies of which we speak, on the contrary, the event undoubtedly undergoes this trial of the monumental moment; however, it inscribes it, as well, in a series of experiences. As its name indicates, an experience traverses: voyage, trajectory, translation, transference. Not with the object of a final presentation, a face-to-face with the thing itself, nor in order to complete an odyssey of consciousness, the phenomenology of mind as an architectural step. The route through the folies is undoubtedly prescribed, from point to point, to the extent that the point-grid counts on a programme of possible experiences and new experiments (cinema, botanical garden, video workshop, library, skating rink, gymnasium). But the structure of the grid2 and of each cube— for these points are cubes—leaves opportunity for chance, formal invention, combinatory transformation, wandering. Such opportunity is not given to the inhabitant or the believer, the


tress, poverty and destitution of dwelling itself (die eigentliche Not des Wohnens). Mortals must first learn to dwell (sie das Wohnen erst lernen müssen), listen to what calls them to dwell. This is not a deconstruction, but rather a call to repeat the very fundamentals of the architecture that we inhabit, that we should learn again how to inhabit, the origin of its meaning. Of course, if the folies think through and dislocate this origin, they should not give in either to the jubilation of modern technology or to the maniacal mastery of its powers. That would be a new turn in the same metaphysics. Hence the difficulty of what justly— maintenant—arises.

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