miércoles, 18 de julio de 2007

Stirling reflexiona en Ronchamp

James Stirling ha tenido en su carrera una primera etapa de obras de gran trascendencia, la mayoría de las cuales no han perdido vigencia ni interés en los medios de publicación. En ese momento, décadas del cincuenta y sesenta, se superponían tres generaciones de arquitectos que compartían, cada uno a su manera, el placer de la búsqueda de soluciones dentro del esquema conceptual del movimiento moderno. Los textos de James son un legado de alguien que vivió esa época de propuestas divergentes y posee el don de transmitir el momento a través de su crítica y sus particulares reflexiones. Dentro del artículo de medio siglo atrás sobre la construcción de Ronchamp, seleccionamos ciertos párrafos dirigidos a la situación contextual más que al edificio.

“With the simultaneous appearance of Lever House in New York and the Unité in Marseilles, it had become obvious that the stylistic schism between Europe and New World had entered on a decisive phase. The issue of art or technology had divided the ideological basis of modern movement, and the diverging styles apparent since Constructivism probably have their origin in the attempt to fuse Art Nouveau and late 19th century engineering. In the USA, functionalism now means the adaptation to building of industrial processes and products, but it Europe it remains the essentially humanist method of designing to a specific use. The post-war architecture of America may appear brittle to Europeans and, by obviating the hierarchical disposition of elements, anonymous; however, this academic method of criticism may no longer be adequate in considering technological products of the 20th century. Yet this method would still appear valid in criticizing recent European Architecture where the elaboration of space and form has continued without abatement; and the chapel by Le Corbusier may possibly be the most plastic building ever erected in the name of modern architecture…”

“…It may be considered that the Ronchamp chapel being a pure expression of poetry and the symbol of an ancient ritual, should not therefore be criticized by the rationale of the modern movement. Remembering, however, that this is a product of Europe’s greatest architect, it is important to consider whether this building should influence the course of modern architecture. The sensational impact of the chapel on the visitors is significantly not sustained for any great length of time and when the emotions subside there is little to appeal to the intellect, and nothing to analyse or stimulate curiosity. This entirely visual appeal and the lack of intellectual participation demanded from the public may partly account fot its easy acceptance by the local population…”
“..With the loss of direction in modern painting, European architects have been looking to popular art and folk architecture, mainly of an indigenous character, from which to extend their vocabulary. An appreciation of regional building, particulary of the Mediterranean, has frequently appeared in Le Corbusier’s books, principally as examples of integrated social unit expressing themselves through form, but only recently has regional building become a primary source of plastic incident…”
“…Since Bauhaus, the fusion of art and technology has been the lifelong mission of Gropius, and yet it is the aspect wich denotes his least achievement. The Dessau building itself presents a series of elevations each of wich is biased towards either art or technology. The suggestions that architecture has become so complex that it needs be conceived by a team representing the composite mind may partly account for the ambiguity which is felt with buildings generated in this manner. On the other hand, Maillart, who evolved his aesthetic as the result of inventing theories of reinforcing to exploit the concrete ribbon, achieved in his bridges an integration of technique and expression which has rarely been surpassed. The exaggerated supremacy of Art in European Architecture probably denotes a hesitant attitude towards technology, which itself has possibly been retarded by our derisive attitude towards the myth of progress, the recent belief that true progress lies in charity, welfare, and personal happiness, having replaced the Victorian idea of progress as the invention and perfection of man’s tools and equipment…”
James Stirling
Ronchamp, Le Corbusier’s chapel and the crisis or rationalism
Architectural Review Marzo 1956
Re-Impreso en el número homenaje a Stirling en Diciembre 1992

Editado por el arq. Martín Lisnovsky

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