6 Nov 2011

Technocratic vs Romantic Architecture

I am not sure if I've mentioned it on the blog so far, but one argument that gets to me is this idea of form vs function.. I have mentioned however that I am from a technical background, having worked for several years in construction as a tradesmen, and in turn my first strain of thought when asked to design a building at NTU was how is this going to be built, materials, budget, timespan etc... slowly my outlook is beginning to change and as I feed myself with new ideologies, new theories and new works I can feel myself becoming more open to form. Not that I would have ever design a building that did not take form into consideration, but what I'm saying is that it wasn't first on my list..

The argument however between Technocratic and Romantic architecture is somewhat different, despite being very similar... bare with me...

Technocratic could be likened to 'team function', those who think about the building in a simple, functional approach... take SHoP Architects 'Dunescape', made using just 6 types of wood in the form of just 16 different assembly parts.

It even housed a pool, and changing rooms

And for the 6 weeks that it was up hosted some great parties... apparently :)

Or their 'Rector Street Bridge #1' which was designed and built in just 6 weeks! Made using the same computer system as the 'Dunescape', the bridge was made up of a very simple framing system, a couple of struts and an exterior cladding.

Rector Street Bridge

It is self lit eliminating the need for overhead lighting so that the neighbours don't complain.

Rector Street Bridge, New York

The opposite to this, yet different also to 'team form', is the romantic architectural philosophy. designing not to provide a technical solution, but a place of seduction, somewhere that teleports you to another world, lifting your spirits and giving you a feeling that you wouldnt usually expect in the surroundings. enter the king of romantics David Rockwell. One of my favourites of his was the Pod restaurant in Philadelphia. everything surface in the place was white, yet clever, controlled lighting hepled create moods and a feeling distant from the city life and stress.

So guys and gals, let me know what you think.. are you technocratic or are you a romantic?? 

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