Friday, 8 November 2013


The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Please watch this beautiful little film of architecture real, imagined and re-imagined (in fullscreen); it's a nice reminder of how architecture sometimes can be an art.

One of the most important buildings featured in the film is Louis Kahn's Exeter library. The more I learn about Kahn, the more I come to love his work. There's a rather huge Kahn exhibition at the Oslo Museum of Architecture right now. Anyone who hasn't seen it, really should go. Last day of the exhibition is 26th January 2014.

Finally, thanks to Joan, who made me aware of the film a long time ago. I love it.

PS. TOEFL test tomorrow, needed for my applications to the schools I want to get in to in the US. Wish me luck!


  1. Etter å ha tatt en titt på Khan kan kan jeg ikke fri meg for å sitte igjen med en følelse av at hans monumentale arkitektur har for mye til felles med de egyptiske pyramidene, dvs at den menneskelige skala mangler. Men selv om han kanskje ikke har forstått at enhver arkitekts hovedoppgave er å knytte menneskesinnet opp mot den menneskelige skala, kan det godt hende han er en lysets mester. Kanskje tar jeg turen til Oslo?

  2. En ting til, i dag vil jeg påstå at arkitektur som kunst utelukkende blir tolket ut fra en objekt-orientert synsvinkel, og ikke en element-orientert forståelse. En objektorientert anskuelse ender altfor ofte opp i geometrisk fundamentalisme:

    Nylig kom jeg over en flott kommentar om disse to tilnærmingsformene til arkitekturen:

    "Ornament is a characteristic of one of two broad categories of design. These categories are elemental and object oriented design.

    Elemental architecture is composed of expressed components, arranged according to a convention and with a gravitational logic, and typically these components are human scaled. In classicism, for instance, the elements are the entablature, the column, the cornice, and so on. These elements are arranged with the visually heaviest at the base, the visually lighter above. Arguably, Art Deco is the last dominant instance of elementalism.

    Ornament is a component of elemental architecture. It is important in highlighting elements, providing visual coherence and enhancing proportions, providing light and shade to surfaces.

    Post war, architectural design has become object oriented. The building is regarded primarily as a three dimensional object, a singular or ‘sculptural’ form, intended to stand in isolation, or to contrast with its setting. The constituent elements of the building are repressed in favour of the coherence of the singular object. Ornament has no part in this form of architecture, because the enhancement of a hierarchical composition is not relevant to this style. Texture is antithetical to object oriented design, large planes of simple materials, ideally with all jointing and evidence of fabrication repressed, is favoured.

    Elemental architecture is the building block of coherent urban form. It is suitable for creating urban walls. A row of elemental buildings creates a textured and rich urban streetscape with a commonality of proportion and composition. The streetscape becomes more than the sum of its parts. A row of object buildings rarely delivers urban coherence.

    I suggest, therefore, that a starting point for recovering a more adaptable and resilient form of architecture may be found in re-evaluation of the point at which the elemental was superceded by the object oriented. We need reinvigorated elementalism." - MJEFFRESON

  3. Oppdaget nettopp at Salingaros har skrevet en fortsettelse av Geometrical Fundamentalism:

  4. "Christopher Alexander and I were talking about famous modernist architects, and Louis Kahn's name came up. Christopher said: "I cannot bring it in my heart to criticize the guy, since he always went out of his way to be nice to me when I was a young man. He really liked me, and amazingly, he sounded just like I do when he talked. Very philosophical; emotional; conceptual; overwhelming; inspiring. Pity his buildings don't do the same thing. I could never tell him that I didn't like his buildings.""

    "Christopher likes the Kimbell very much. He told me that this is the only one of Kahn's buildings that he really likes -- that it represents something apart from the rest of Kahn's oeuvre."

    It's a pity, but I've come to the conclusion that I'll not spend time and money for visiting an exibition for an architect who made just one really nice building.

    Personally I found another Khan much more interesting:

    "The second Kahn was a master of Art Deco, who helped to define what New York ought to have become were it not for the modernists. Ely Kahn built some of the more attractive modest skyscrapers, which were replaced by the faceless monstrosities of today. When archaeologists of the future define New York culture by its artistic style, it will probably be the Art Deco style of 1930, just as Paris is indelibly associated with the Art Nouveau style of the 1900 Metro station entrances. Nevertheless, both New York and Paris have done their best to erase their identifying symbols, like the ex-convict Jean Valjean trying to hide all traces of his true identity."

    Read more about these three Khans.

    - Salingaros on Kahn:


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