Between The Architect And The User Cultural Studies Essay

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In winning a competition to design a park on the site of an old meat market in a working class district of northeast Paris, Tschumi aimed in " Parc de la Villette " to take many of his critical and theoretical ideas about space and make a new kind of architectural proposition. In art discourse the term context would be one associated wit reactionary attitudes, one that desired to follow the order of the given context, copying materials and forms to fit in with the conditions as found and the requirements set by urban planning codes. Tschumi's critical view of the "urbanistic program" was that architects either design a "masterly contruction, an inspired architectural gesture (composition)", or they "take what exists, fill in the gaps, complete the text, scribble in the margins (a complement)". Tschumi's preferred way of working, certainly in setting out a methodology for ' Parc de la Villette', was to deconstruct what exists by critically analyzing the historical layers that preceded it, even adding other layers derived from elsewhere from other cities, other parks and for an intermediarary and abstract system to meadiate between the site and some other concepr, beyond city or program.(30). So, rather than ignoring what is present in a given context or simply filling in the gaps, Tschumi advocated a design process that added or juxtaposed layers through montage, using one layer to disrupt or subvert another.(31)

At 'Parc de la Villette', Tschumi worked with three overlapping ordering systems: points organized in a grid, lines through the site, and surfaces. The layering was intended to bring the logic of each system into question. Each point was a folie reminiscent in form of a contructivism sculpture; the difference was that the red folies had no predetermined purpose.

Today some folies are still left empty, but others have been taken over, as Tschumi intended, for example by hamburger franchises. The strange thing is though that, as structures intended to be appropriated, their initial design has not proved to be flexible, making them rather difficult to occupy. In the hamburger restaurant nothing quite fits, yet given that in French the word folie also means madness, a linguistic relationship taken up in great detail by the philosopher Jacques Derrida in his discussion of Tschumi's, this decision may well have been intentional.(32)

Tschumi's critique of architectural design methodology operates by attempting to disrupt many of its internal rules and ordering systems. To do this, Tschumi's work locates architecture in relation to deconstruction, which allows one to question the binary logic of certain architectural givens such as form follows function, associating one site with multiple activities rather than a single use, and events that include the accidental as well as the planned and the intended.(33)

31.-Bernard Tschumi. 'Interview with Bernard Tschumi: architecture and the city', in Borden et al., The Unknown City, pp. 370-85

32.- Jacques Derrida, 'Point de folie: maintenant l'architecture', Forum, May 1988, pp. 11-25.

33.- Tschumi, Architecture and Disjunction, pp. 191-2.See also Kaye, Site-Specific Art, pp. 41-52, 378.

4.- Ballantyne, A (2004). Architectures Modernism and After. Blackwell Publishing ltd. Pp. 46-52

Oppositions, launches in 1974 and edited by Peter Eisenman from the institute of Architecure and Urban Studies in New York, was a formidably produced as it was titled. The cost of this professionalism and critical rigor was, it could be argued, the carnival spirit in which a nay-saying amongst architecture's most incisive critics, the most outspoken of whom in the early 1970s was the Italian Marxist historian Tafuri, who argued that architecture was only ever a superstructural phenomenon of bourgeois implement of repression in all its guises, avant-garde or mainstream, modern or post modern.

Paradoxically, an avant-garde critique of fom at this time reinvigorated modernist form. Eisenman was particularly interested in deconstructivism, a philosophy spearheaded by French philosopher Jacques Derrida to pick apart the construction of meanin two built project of the early 1980s exemplified "deconstructivist" architectural form, Eisenman wexner center, Columbus, Ohio in 1983-9, and Tschumi's Parc de la Villette, in 1984, the latter like a "trace" of the presumed purposes of a public park, the former a "deconstruction" of such norms as the grid.

Yet deconstructivism sat comfortably in the canon of modern architecture because it foregrounded in an inventive, graphic, almost parodic manner such long-standing preoccupations of modern architecture as the difference between inside and drew inspiration from the Constructivist and Cubist styles of the 1920s. In a show of 1987, deconstructivism acquired recognition by the same institution and under the same curatorship (Museum of Modern Art, New York, Philip Johnson) as the international style had enjoyed back in 1932. The challenges posed in designs such as Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum (2001) and Frank Gehry's Bilbao Guggenheim Museum (1997) were easily smoothed out as magazine images and tourist destinations.

5.- Lang, J (2005) Urban Design: A Typology of Procedures and Products. Architectural press. Pp. 105-109…. Case study

Thr Parc de la Villette has a complex development history. In 1979, the establishment Public the Parc de la Villette, initiated the development and design process the resulted in the park. The goal, along with that of a number of other contemporary projects, was to make Paris once more the art centre of the world. The specific a objectives were:

To create a product of international note

To build a national museum of science and technology

To create an urban 'cultural' park.

The design of the park occurred in two phases: 1.- an international design competition was held in 1982 and the winner announced in March 1983, and 2.- the project was further refined by pragmatic changes by the winning team. The French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, announced the Concourse International Parc de la Villette in 1982. The programme included a large museum of science and industry, a major hall for exhibitions, and a rock concert hall as well as the park. It required two existing structures on the site to be reused. The park was to reflect 'urbanism, pleasure and experimentation' and was to achieve a unity in its architecture and landscape. The hope was that the development would be a bridge between city and suburb, and act as a 'gateway' to Paris from the east. This design agenda was a pure act of will of the French government rather than one based on a market study. It was developed undere the strong influence of then President of France, Giscard d'Estaing.

He had chosen Adrein Fainsilber from amongst 27 French architects to convert the Grande Salle into a science museum. The competition for the park attracted 472 entries from 41 countries. The team headed by Bernard Tschumi won the competition. He was then appointed head of the project team to implement it. In 1984, a closed competition for the music centre and for four housing schemes on the north side of the park was held (Baljon, 1995). The construction of the park began in 1985 and can be said to have been completed progressed and changes are still occasionally being made.

The design has attracted considerable attention because it was associated with a design ideology derived from contemporary literary analysis. It consists of three largely independent systems superimposed on each other. The first is a series of points at the intersections of a 120 meter grid, eight squares to the north and south and five squares to the north and south and five squares east to west. At the intersection are a series of follies, their structural envelope covered by bright red-anamelled steel sheets. Tschumi designed them all. The second system consists of a set of lines. These are the paths of pedestrian movement organized in two interconnected systems. One consists of corss axes of covered galleries, and the second of a meandering 'cinematic' promenade presenting a sequential series of vistas and enclosures. The third system consist of the surface of the park. In addition, alleys of trees link than major activity sites of the park. The surface materials, grass and paving, were chosen to best afford the activities that were expected to take place in different locations.