Detailed
Compact
Art
Reverse
August 19, 2019
In our final episode on Reactionaries, we explore the politics and theory that underpinned the reactionary rejection of Modernism in the 70s and 80s. We discuss Prince Charles' architectural interventions and the theories of our future king's favourite architect, Leon Krier (and Krier's problematic fave, Albert Speer). We also dive into the hotbed of Trad theorising, Peterhouse College Cambridge, and its two favourite sons, architectural historian David Watkin and philosopher Roger Scruton. We explore the framing of traditionalist theory against modernist hegemony, and ask if the architectural consensus of the 21st century is a bit more Trad than some advocates would admit. We also dip our toes into the culture war, and ask questions about the political connotations of architectural style in the age of social media. Is an obsession with style actually holding us back from confronting the real social, economic and political problems that ail the city? Ultimately, we lament the destruction of good architecture of any style, with a poignant reflection on the proposed fate of the Aton Estate in Roehampton Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
August 1, 2019
In our second episode on Reactionaries, we explore the rejection of modernism by traditionalist architects and theorists in England after the Second World War. Modernism became the hegemonic architectural and urbanist mode in England during this period, and we examine those who rejected the consensus, and sought to continue the retreat into the past, designing architecture that occasionally verges on Caesar's Palace, without any of the fun. In this episode, we discuss Raymond Erith, the traditionalist architect who restored Number 10 Downing Street in the 1960s. We go on to discuss his pupil, Quinlan Terry, whose Richmond Riverside Development we went to visit and recorded our observations in situ. Their stodgy, and often unsuccessful attempts to revive and reconjure a classical vernacular expresses a political and ideological agenda that we attempt to unpack, and will go on to discuss in our final episode on the Reactionaries. As always, find images on our social media feeds, and footage from the trip to Richmond in a pinned story on our instagram. There will be a bonus episode discussing the cult 60s TV Show The Prisoner for Patreon Subscribers. Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
July 27, 2019
This is the audio from our live panel discussion at Dulwich Picture Gallery, where we were joined by the gallery's assistant curator, Helen Hillyard, and Neba Sere, founder of WUH Architecture and co-director of Black Females in Architecture. The discussion took place in the gallery's summer pavilion, the Colour Palace, which we strongly recommend going to visit. The Dulwich Picture Gallery was designed by John Soane in the early 19th Century. In this panel we discuss Soane, polychromy, tombs, the architecture of cultural institutions, and the social context of the gallery. The images from the presentations can be found, with timestamps, on a pinned story on our instagram, so you can follow the images along as you listen. Let us know if you like this feature, and we will incorporate it into other episodes! Thank you to everyone at the Dulwich Picture Gallery for making this event possible. Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
June 17, 2019
Come and see us record a live episode at Dulwich Picture Gallery on the 26th June! We'd love to meet you! Modernist Architecture has always had more than its fair share of critics. In this episode, the first of a two parter, we discuss the reactionary, counter-revolutionary opposition to modernism in Britain during the interwar period. First, comes an examination of the stodgy, flag-waving, imperialist Classicism of the Edwardian era, which Luke thinks includes some of the worst architecture in Britain. One of the perpetrators of that style, Reginald Blomfield, wrote a patriotic screed against the continental, ‘cosmopolitan’ Modern architecture, which he subtly titled ‘Modernismus.’ We also examine Lutyens’ review of ‘Towards a New Architecture,’ a critique of Corbusier’s theory, but also a refutation of modernism as an appropriate style for living in. Lastly we consider the slightly outlandish ‘England and the Octopus’ by the eccentric architect Clough William Ellis, famous for designing the town sized folly of Portmeirion in North Wales. Fruity characters, problematic tropes and anxiety about a declining Empire abound. In the bonus episode we will discuss the Evelyn Waugh's 'Decline and Fall.' This episode is sponsored by The Article Trade Program. Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
May 30, 2019
In this concluding part of our discussion, we interview Anna Mill, artist of ‘Square Eyes’ about Akira from the point of view of an illustrator, and also discuss the feature length Akira anime (1988), and the wonderful soundtrack by Geinoh Yamashirogumi. You can find more about Square Eyes here. This episode is sponsored by the Article Trade Program Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
May 15, 2019
In the second part of our discussion, we talk through the whole, incredibly epic six-volume manga 'Akira' from start to finish. Music is from the soundtrack to the film 'Akira' by Geinoh Yamashirogumi. This episode is sponsored by the Article Trade Program and The Great Courses Plus Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
May 1, 2019
Katsuhiro Otomo’s vast magnum opus ‘Akira’ (1982-90) is one of the landmarks of late 20th century science fiction — a story of psychic battles, youth counterculture and technology run out of control — all set in Neo-Tokyo, a vast megastructure in the Tokyo bay. If you’ve only ever heard of one manga, it’s probably this one. We’ve been reading the definitive black and white version — worth getting hold of if you can. Actually we didn’t even get to start talking about the book proper because we went on about context too long. We talked a bit about the earlier works ‘Fireball’ and ‘Domu’, the documentary ’God Speed You Black Emperor’, manga as a genre, and a load of other stuff. The bonus will look at the early work in more detail. This episode is sponsored by the Article Trade Program and The Great Courses Plus Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
April 15, 2019
We conclude our discussion of the churches of Nicholas Hawksmoor in London, featuring discussion of church politics, 'the primitive church of the early Christians' and wet and windy site recordings from St George in the East, Shadwell (1714-29), Christ Church Spitalfields (1714-29), and St Mary Woolnoth (1716-27). Sponsored by the Article Trade Program and The Great Courses Plus Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
March 25, 2019
Nicholas Hawksmoor, born in 1661, built six churches in London between 1711 and his death in 1736. Vast, white, monumental and enigmatically detailed, the Hawksmoor churches are a looming and mysterious presence in the architectural consciousness and mythic history of London, somehow both of time and out of it. Bombed, burned, spurned by popular taste before they were even completed, they have nevertheless survived to become objects of fascination, speculation and obsession. Created on the threshold of modernity, they reach back toward an imagined (and distant) past when the Church was young, and the worship was pure. We’ve recorded a series of observations of the churches on site, and attempted to locate them in the world of early 18th century England. On a forthcoming bonus we’ll be exploring the fictional Hawksmoor — as time-magician, cabbalist, summoner of Egyptian gods and more. Our editor Matt Loyd Roberts has joined us for this one —  Music is by Ketsa 'Rain stops play' from the Free Music Archive Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
March 11, 2019
The second part of our discussion of the utopias and dystopias of the late 19th century 'machine age'. Including a discussion of Edward Bellamy's 'Looking Backwards: 2000-1887' (once incredibly famous and now almost unknown), William Morris's 'News From Nowhere: Or, and Epoch of Rest' and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'Moving the Mountain.' Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
February 26, 2019
We start a two-part discussion of the utopias and dystopias of the late 19th century 'machine age,' when new technology seemed to be remaking the world, and society along with it. What sort of world would the machines bring? In this episode we discuss Samuel Butler's novel 'Erewhon' and the extraordinary speculation on machine life that it contains. We also talk about Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 'Vril' — to which it was initally (erroneously) thought to be a sequel — and Nikolai Chernyshevsky's 'What is to be done'. Music — Chris Zabriskie 'Is that you or are you you?' from the Free Music Archive. Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
February 11, 2019
Rem Koolhaas and the firm he founded with three partners in 1975 — Office of Metropolitan Architects, OMA — are fascinating, critical and provocative presence within the architectural culture of the 1970s and 1980s, riding the wave of the crisis of modernist collapse while positioning themselves outside or against all of the main tendencies in the post-modern. In this episode we’re focussing on a particular, transitional moment, in which the early ‘paper’ projects start to be replaced by real buildings and large scale competition entries, culminating in three fascinating competition entries from 1989 — the Zeebrugge Sea Terminal, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) and Très Grand Bibliothèque (TBG). Lee Rosevere ‘Baldachin’ from the album ‘Music for Podcasts 3’ on the Free Music Archive Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
January 28, 2019
We continue our discussion of the theoretical works of Robert Venturi with this episode on ‘Learning from Las Vegas — The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form’ — researched and written with Denise Scott-Brown and Steven Izenour, and published in 1972. The book, which examines the architecture of the Vegas strip, is the origin of the famous ‘Duck vs Decorated Shed’ comparison, and contains a lot else besides, including denunciations of the cult of Space, praise for the ‘ugly and ordinary,’ a certain amount of ostentatiously-wielded erudition, and so on. Music: Al Smith 'Road House' https://archive.org/details/78road-houseal-smith-a-smith-c-carter_gbia0054635a This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus — a streaming learning service with video lectures by experts in all sorts of fields. Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/BUILDINGS to get a month of free access to thousands of courses. Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
January 14, 2019
For the first AB+C of 2019 we’re tackling one of the seminal texts of the 1960s, and an iconic moment in the stylistic overthrow of the postwar modernist order — Robert Venturi’s ‘Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’ (1966). It’s a slim, lavishly illustrated volume, which seems lucid and straightforward, but upon closer reading turns out to be much more elusive. What are complexity and contradiction, where are they found, and what are architects supposed to do with them? On the bonus we’ll be discussing the early projects of Venturi and Rauch. This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus — a streaming learning service with video lectures by experts in all sorts of fields. Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/BUILDINGS to get a month of free access to thousands of courses. Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
January 4, 2019
We're a bit late with the first episode of the new year, so I'm releasing our bonus conversation on Italian fascist architecture to tide you over until then. If you want more material like this, there's a link to the Patreon below. We talk about the architecture of the Italian fascist period. Some of it is pretty good, unfortunately. Some of it is very weird indeed. We cover a lot ground, including — Gino Coppedè, Giovanni Muzio, Antoni Sant’Elia, Mario Chiattone, Giuseppe Terragni , Fortunato Depero, Marcello Piacentini, Armando Brasini and more. Music is Ottorino Respighi — Serenata per piccola orchestra Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
December 16, 2018
We finally get onto the last book of Stones of Venice, and its reverberations through the long second half of the 19th century. Young Ruskinians, EL Godwin, William Burges, William Morris and so on. Music — Vivaldi concerto for two horns, strings and continuo in F major RV 539 pt I The Fall — Living too late Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
November 27, 2018
Giovanni Michelucci was born in 1891, and lived through nine-tenths of the 20th century, through all its terrifying and perplexing twists and dislocations. Throughout his career, his work manages to express an idiosyncratic and critical relationship to the spirit of the age. Over fifty at the end of the war, and sacked from his university job in the late 1950s for being too old, he would go on to produce his best and most daring work in the 60s and 70s. We discuss Michelucci and Italy, fascism, post-war, and late style. Apologies for the quality of Luke’s audio — On the bonus, we take a longer look at the ideological tensions within Mussolini-era architecture, Giovanni Muzio, Giuseppe Terragni, and many others. Music — Rossini ‘Le Cenerentola’ Blackway — New Life Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
November 22, 2018
A collaboration between About Buildings + Cities and Stories from the Eastern West (@sftewpodcast) — a cool podcast telling little-known stories from Central & Eastern Europe. We discuss Tomas Bata's modernist shoe-factory Utopia in Zlin, Moravia, his project to create an orderly (and suitably hierarchical) paradise for loyal, productive, clean-living workers, and the spread of his model all over Europe — even as far as Essex! Thanks a lot to Wojciech and Adam for coming to interview us. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
November 12, 2018
This is the audio from our ‘In Conversation’ with Adam Caruso, held at Nottingham Contemporary on October the 4th. You can (and probably should, if you want to know what’s going on) download the slides from the presentation here — https://tinyurl.com/y7gab672 We didn’t get through the whole slideshow, but we’ll talk about what we missed on the second part. Thanks a lot to Sam, Mercè et al at Nottingham Contemporary…! And to you, listener, for listening. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
November 12, 2018
This is the audio from our ‘In Conversation’ with Adam Caruso, held at Nottingham Contemporary on October the 4th. You can (and probably should, if you want to know what’s going on) download the slides from the presentation here — https://tinyurl.com/y7gab672 We didn’t get through the whole slideshow, but we’ll talk about what we missed on the second part. Thanks a lot to Sam, Mercè et al at Nottingham Contemporary…! And to you, listener, for listening. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
October 30, 2018
We discuss the first two volumes of 'Stones of Venice' — the interminable first and dream-like second. Shafts, archivolts, more shafts, rotten and sun-whitened vegetation, encrustation, palaces (Gothic and Byzantine), melancholy ruins, the sound of distant seabirds, and lapis luzuli and gold aplenty. Thanks for listening — we're gearing up for a productive autumn I hope. Audio includes — the following site recordings from the Radio Aporee project on archive.org ‘Zadar, Sea Organ - Sea Organ’ by Doro-Koeln (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee807023343] ‘In a plane before the flight, 31700 Blagnac, France - Before the flight !’ by clairesauvaget (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee3459939770] ‘in the airplane - approaching tokio airport’ by Frank Schulte (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee75389283] ’cargo train terminal, Ljubljana - train arrives and stops’ by udo noll (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee1534717883] ’West Wittering, UK - ships foghorn ... brent geese …’ by david m (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee34620_39791] Plus music —  Chris Zabriskie ‘Cylinder Nine’ from the album ‘Cylinders’ on the (Free Music Archive)[freemusicarchive.org] Waves of the sea — Royal Servian Tamburiza from (archive.org)[https://archive.org/details/78waves-of-the-searoyal-servian-tamburitza-orch-savski-volovi_gbia0018162b] Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
September 30, 2018
John Ruskin’s ‘Stones of Venice’ is one of the monuments of architectural theory in the 19th century. But it’s a hard book to get through, or to get inside. It’s incredibly long, and animated by a kind of moralistic passion that feels a little alien, at best quaint, or childish. Part of the reason is that Ruskin was a Victorian — indeed, one of the great formers of Victorian taste. We were planning to talk about the first part of the book, but in the end we just spent the whole episode trying to get to grips with what that means. Why was he like this? We’ll read the first two parts in the next episode. Thanks for being patient! As usual we got a couple of things wrong — Little Nell is actually in ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’. Also the number of volumes of ‘modern painters’ isn’t five — there are 7, actually — though often sold as five volumes. Music —  Tita Ruffo ‘Visione Veneziana’ Audio includes — the following site recordings from the Radio Aporee project on archive.org Ksamil, Albanie - Midnight waves / by François-Emmanuel Fodéré (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee2534929390] 17590 Ars-en-Ré, France - Waves wheeling / by Vincent Duseigne (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee4030746036] river Drava, Loka - dry grass, river flow, stones / by OR poiesis (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee2505729057] larnichtsberg, swallows, crows and insects / by Frank Schulte (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee1154413596] Venice, Italy - fish market / by Carlos Santos (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee1646119081] 12230 Nant, France - Nant bells / by Vincent Duseigne (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee3222937026] Ksamil, Ksamil island, District de Sarandë, Albanie - Waves and waves / by François-Emmanuel Fodéré (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee3014034668] Bruges, Belgique - Brugge bells / by Vincent Duseigne (link)[https://archive.org/details/aporee3179836523] Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
September 16, 2018
A short post-script to the Space Age episodes — we talked to Fred Scharmen about the mid 1970s NASA Space Settlements design study. You can read his essay at Places Journal where you can also see a selection of Rick Guidice and Don Davis’s illustrations. We’ll have a new full episode out very soon —  Luke's graphic novel is here Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
August 23, 2018
The second part of our discussion of '2001 — A Space Odyssey'. At a certain point quite early on we started referring to the Monolith as 'the Obelisk' and neither of us noticed. Oh well. Thanks for listening and let us know your thoughts. Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org
August 2, 2018
Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001 a space odyssey is the iconic depiction of space travel, channeling the optimism and excitement of radical advances in space exploration and technology. It’s an uncompromising, utterly singular film, whose vision of a possible future is carried through comprehensively. Its scope and ambition are still basically unequalled. Kubrick is famous for the obsessiveness of his research — in this case bringing in expertise from leading scientists, cutting edge digital pioneers, animators, makers of special effects. As a result, 2001 seems to capture the imagination of a very particular era of technological optimism in the mid 1960s in America and worldwide. We talk about the film, its amazing worlds and interiors, the Worlds Fairs in Seattle and New York which were a proving ground for many of those involved, as well as passing references to — Chris Marker’s La Jetee — Charles and Ray Eames — Xerox PARC — Superstudio Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. On this episode's bonus — we're talking Osaka Expo and Space habitats. Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
July 17, 2018
The 1990s were when computers really entered the mainstream of architecture. The rise of personal computing, with wider access to inexpensive machines, the world wide web, advances in software and hardware, all took place against the background of global political transformation that at the time was theorised as the End of History, the breakup of the Soviet Union, democratisation, and the apparent rise of a single, global, liberal capitalist world order. But the exploration of CAD, rendering, generative design and CNC manufacture would all be theorised through a pre-existing set of ideas and agendas, drawing heavily on ‘French theory’ — Derrida, (and particularly) Deleuze — and a partially pre-digested blend of complexity mathematics. We find ourselves — among the blobs, deformed surfaces, landscapes and evolutionary forms — in a world of ‘affective singularities’, ‘the Fold’, pliancy, Catastrophe Theory… We talk technology, key actors, and attempt a glossary of key concepts… Under discussion —  — Frank Gehry’s fish sculpture — Revit / BIM — The F117 and B2 defense projects — Peter Eisenman — John Frazer — MIT Computer Lab — the Bilbao Guggenheim — Cardiff opera house — Yokohama ferry terminal — NOX’s Freshwater and Saltwater pavilions — The Affective — Catastrophe Theory — D’Arcy Thompson — The Fold — Singularity — Max Reinhardt Haus — Phallogocentrism & Helene Cixous Recordings are from Peter Eisenman’s Lecture ‘Architecture in the Age of Electronic Media’ (1993) (AA archive)[https://www.aaschool.ac.uk//VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=737] Music — Lee Rosevere ‘Quizitive’ Lee Rosevere ‘Curiosity’ Lee Rosevere ‘Thoughtful’ all from (Free Music Archive)[freemusicarchive.org] Clips of —  Awesome 3 ‘Don’t Go’ (1992) Liquid ‘Sweet Harmony’ (1992) 2 Bad Mice ‘Bombscare’ (1992) M.A.N.I.C ‘I’m Coming Hardcore’ (Original Mix) (1991) *Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. * Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
July 2, 2018
We now have a Patreon — you can subscribe to get additional content for every episode. Projects like the Villa Stein and Villa Savoye are icons of modernist architecture — among the most famous of all modern buildings — images and symbols of what modern architecture is. Below all the machine age crispness, there's also a certain amount of weird bourgeois sex stuff as well. This is the second part of the conversation we began in episode 37 — it's best to listen to that one first. Music —  'Easy Living' Bob Howard and his Orchestra from archive.org Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
July 1, 2018
We now have a Patreon — you can subscribe to get additional content for every episode. Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanerret's 'Five Points' (1926) were an attempt to condense the fundamental structural and design principles underlying their new architecture. Drawing on the discoveries made during design and construction of their early villa projects, the points are in a sense the culmination and fulfillment of the original 'Maison Domino' idea of 1914. The points set the template for the most famous 'Purist' villas of the later 1920s, culminating in the Villas Stein-La Monzie and Savoye, icons of what became the 'International Style.' This episode started off as a single chat but there was too much so we've split it. We discuss —  — Villa Church (need photos of spaces) — Pierre Chenal's film 'L'architecture d'aujourd'hui' — Five points towards a new architecture — Villa Meyer — Villa Ocampo — Ramps — Villa Cook Music — 'Modern Design' Johnny Messner And His Orchestra from archive.org Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
June 13, 2018
We’re launching a Patreon — you can subscribe to get additional content for every episode. Bernard Rudofsky’s exhibition Architecture Without Architects at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1964 — and the fantastically successful book which followed it, have become an iconic polemic in support of the architectural ‘vernacular’. Ever-keen to play up his own iconoclastic distance from mainstream of architectural thought, Rudofsky would later claim that the idea was, at the time he proposed it, ‘simply not respectable.’ In hindsight though, the exhibition actually fits very clearly within a broader ‘return’ to an image of architecture’s pre-industrial roots among the postwar avant gardes all over the world. Architecture Without Architects definition of vernacular architecture is (typically) idiosyncratic. It contains more or less everything outside the canon of architectural history, and free from entanglement in industrial supply chains. There are 3000-year-old rock dwellings, bamboo houses under construction. The images in the catalogue are carefully paired — the hollowed-out tufa pinnacles of Göreme in Turkey above a village of Apulian trulli — each one an ingenious conical pile of stones around a pitched circular chamber — mountains above and below. But what matters is that these houses, towns, and structures, the anonymous creations of these isolated and anonymous designers are presented, in the clarifying light of black and white photography, as a window into a world outside the prison of modernity — organic, communally unified and bizarrely and daringly creative. We’re talking about Architecture Without Architects within the context of Rudofsky’s polymathic, crankish, sarcastic and wholly inimitable vision and career. Music —  Eddie Dunstedter — ‘Dancing Tambourine (Pandereta)’ Dick McDonough and his Orchestra — ‘My Cabin of Dreams’ from archive.org Athenian Mandolin Quartet — ‘Cacliz March’ Chris Zabriskie — ‘The Dark Glow of Mountains’ From the Free Music Archive Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show. Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
May 7, 2018
Jacques Tati's 'Mon Oncle' (1957) and 'Playtime' (1967) playfully dramatise the clash between old and new in the fast-changing cities of post-war France. Nostalgia, alienation, the absurdity of modern life and work, play, rhythm, rebellion and the curious affordances of materials and everyday items... serious fun, with silly noises. Hope you're all enjoying the summer weather and speak soon! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
April 10, 2018
Adolf Loos’s essay ‘Ornament and Crime’ (1910) is considered the classic modernist polemic against the frills and folderols of the established arts of the day. We're in the city of Freud — and the neurotic subtext is very close to the surface. We discuss a little of Loos’s career as an architectural iconoclast, jersey fanatic, and pervert :-/ Then we go on to a more freeform discussion of ornament in the contemporary, during which we massively contradict ourselves several times. We discussed —  Freud Nietzsche Hegel Darwin Louis Sullivan Mrs Beeton English Free Building — Hermann Muthesius Peter Behrens Karl Friedrich Schinkel Joseph Maria Olbrich Henry van der Velde Joseph Hoffmann Josephine Baker’s 'Banana Dance' The black granite bathroom at Villa Karma (On the subject of reprehensible characters) Albert Speer Contemporary ornamenters —  Caruso St John Farshid Moussavi & her book on facades Music —  Victor Sylvester and his Ballroom Orchestra ‘Vienna, City of my Dreams’ The Three Suns ‘Alt Wien’ (1949) Philharmonic Orchestra Berlin ‘Von Wien durch die Welt' Oldbrig's zither trio ‘Wien bliebt Wien’ All from archive.org Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
March 25, 2018
In this episode we explore in two early schemes for mass housing, at Pessac and in Stuttgart. Among many other things, we talked about — Bourneville New Lanark - Arnold circus - Bruno taut’s horseshoe estate - Pessac - Henri Frugès - The Weissenhofseidlung - Margarete Schutte-Lihotsky - Hannes Meyer’s essay ‘The New World’ Music & Interlude — - Harry Ross ‘Get Me an Apartment - Part 1’ from archive.org Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
March 5, 2018
The concluding part of our discussion of ‘Urbanism’ (1925) — we look at the proposals for a Contemporary City for Three Million (1923), and the notorious Plan Voisin (1925). For Le Corbusier’s detractors, these are really the crimes of the century. We did our best to think of something nice to say about them. Music — Dave Gabriel ‘Midst of their morning chimes’ Oneohtrix Point Never ‘Nobody Here’ Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
February 13, 2018
The first of a two part episode exploring Le Corbusier’s infamous and much-derided urban proposals, exhibited in the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion in 1925. In this part, we’re conducting a close reading of ‘Urbanism’ (sometimes known as ‘The City of Tomorrow and its Planning’). We mostly stayed on topic but there are allusions to Camillo Sitte Augustus Welby Pugin’s ‘Comparisons’ Music — Glass Boy ‘WELP’ Lovira ‘All Things Considered’ Loyalty Freak Music ‘Once More With You’ and ‘Waiting TTTT’ Three Chain Links ‘Heavy Traffic’ All from the Free Music Archive Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
January 14, 2018
Franz Kafka’s first, and least-finished, novel is an imaginary journey around the USA (a country he never visited). Written in 1912, it’s a fantasy of America at a time when seemed, to Europeans at least, to be the most futuristic (and mysterious) place on Earth. Kafka’s fascination with machinery, technology and engineering is on display in ‘Amerika’, in which the young Karl Rossmann finds himself cut adrift in a land of glass elevators, miles-long traffic jams, endless hotels, filled with delirious extremes of luxury, poverty and inventiveness. The edition we read is the current Penguin translation by Michael Hoffman. We made brief reference to Joseph Roth, and to Neuromancer’s ‘Villa Straylight’. Thanks for listening and Happy New Year! Music: David Rose and his Orchestra / Anton Dvorak ‘Humoresque’ (1946) archive.org Felix Arndt / Anton Dvorak ‘Humoresque’ (1917) at archive.org Dvorak, Casals, Szell, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra ‘Cello Concerto’ I / II (1937) archive.org Dvorak, Szell, Cleveland Orchestra ’Slavonic Dances’ 2, 4 & 5 (1947) archive.org Efrem Zimbalist; Sam Chotzinoff; Zimbalist ‘Hebrew Melody and Dance’ (1912) archive.org Riccardo Martin; Dvorak; Victor Orchestra ‘Als die alte Mutter’ (1910) archive.org Ukrainska Orchestra Pawla Humeniuka ‘Kozak-Trepak’ from the Free Music Archive Jack Perry & the Light Crust Doughboys ‘Oklahoma Waltz’ (1947) youtube Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
December 23, 2017
For our Christmas episode, we're discussing the early Purist villas! Knowing the right people, and a relentless programme of self-publicity yielded a steady stream of clients for Le Corbusier in the early 1920s, and allowed him to explore an architectural complement to Purism, most notably in a pair of houses for art-loving ‘batchelors’ — the Ozenfant Studio and Villa La Roche. We found time to discuss (probably with unwarranted levity, sorry) the death of Le Corbusier’s father George, and his troubled marriage to Yvonne Gallis. Topics include —  - Maison Citrohan - Villa Ker-ka-re - Studio Ozenfant Villa La Roche - Allusions to the English House and Pliny episodes 01 & 05, and 02 Strawberry Hill (Horace Walpole) The Architectural promenade - The Hôtel Particulier - CN Ledoux - Ryue Nishizawa & SANAA - Domesticity, Layered Space and the ‘Buffer Zone’ Villa Le Lac in Corseaux - The 'involuntary euthanasia' of his father George - Luigi Snozzi Yvonne Gallis Music — Emile Petti and his cosmopolitans — Cocktail Hour at the Savoy Plaza Joseph C Smith’s Orchestra ‘Oh, Frenchy!’ Charles Trenet ‘En ecoutant mon cour chanter’ Jean Sablon ‘J’attendrai’ all from archive.org Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
December 13, 2017
A new epoch has begun! Le Corbusier’s ‘discovery’ is that the style of future architecture is to be found new inventions of the machine age — planes, cars, ocean liners. But ‘Towards a New Architecture’ is, at its heart, an argument for a fusion of timeless values and contemporary technology — provocatively encapsulated in its juxtaposition of a sports car and the Parthenon. We went through the book in order, focussing on the chapters: The Engineer’s Aesthetic Three Reminders to Architects - Regulating Lines Eyes Which Do Not See The Pure Creation of the Mind Architecture or Revolution Mentioning along the way: LC’s early books ‘Etude sur le mouvement d’art décoratif en Allemagne’, ‘Apres Le Cubisme’, ‘L’Art decoratif d’aujourdhui’, ‘La peinture moderne’ Adolf Loos Piranesi’s ‘Campo Marzo’ The Ecole des Beaux Arts Poché as a heuristic Christopher Alexander’s ‘A Pattern Language’ Rob Krier ‘Architectural Design’ Greek temples in Athens and Paestum Michelangelo Patrick Schumacher’s ’Autopoiesis of Architecture’ at the end I sort of talked rather half-heartedly about Full Luxury Communism Music is by Lee Rosevere From the albums ‘Music for Podcasts’ and ‘Music for Podcasts 2’ ‘Musical Mathematics’, ‘Biking in the park’, ‘Featherlight’, ‘Places Unseen’ The outdo is by Mde. Ed. Bolduc ‘J’ai un bouton sur la langue’ archive.org Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
November 27, 2017
We’re in Paris, 1917, where Charles-Edouard Jeanneret is making friends, thinking about sex (and writing enormous letters about it), designing the occasional mechanised abattoir / concrete garden terrace, going bankrupt, trying to sell concrete blocks to postwar society, inventing a new style of painting, launching a highly costly art magazine, and (finally!) acquiring the name under which he would become famous — Le Corbusier! One of us had a very creaky chair in this episode. Also we were drinking again. Apologies for both. We discussed —  The breeze block plant at Alfortville Societe d'Applications du Beton Arme a Slaughterhouse at Challuy, near Nevers (for no good reason) Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’ (1906) - Unbuilt project for a dam a Water Tower in Podensac - his meeting and collaboration with Amedée Ozenfant - Purism as a style in Art — the Tate has a good definition - Fernand Léger - L’Esprit Nouveau Pierre Jeanneret We’ve been reading —  Nicholas Fox Weber ‘Le Corbusier: A Life’ (2008) Jean-Louis Cohen ‘Le Corbusier: Le Grand’ (2014) Oppositions 15-16 (1980) Catherine de Smet ‘Le Corbusier: Architect of Books’ (2004) Music — Charles Trenet ‘Le Retour des Saisons’ archive.org Victor Marching Bank ‘French Reel’ (1918) archive.org Jean Sablon ‘Sur Les Quais de Vieux Paris’ (1941) archive.org Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra ‘The Last Time I Saw Paris’ (1940) archive.org Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
November 13, 2017
We’re taking on the origin story of (for better or worse) the most important architect of the 20th century — Charles-Edouard Jeanneret aka Le Corbusier. His origins — petit bourgeois, Swiss, provincial — can make his eventual rise to world-enveloping notoriety and era-defining influence seem all the more unlikely. We’re digging into his childhood, family, education and travels as a young man before taking on a couple of early projects. We discuss —  La Chaux de Fonds Charles L’Eplattanier, his teacher Jugendstil & Art Nouveau Early projects —  Villa Fallet Villas Stotzer & Jacquemet Villa Jeanneret Villa Favre-Jacot Travels, and meetings with —  Otto Wagner Josef Hoffmann Vienna Secession Building Auguste Perret Rue Franklin Apartments Peter Behrens Mount Athos And a more detailed look at —  Villa Schwob (including Colin Rowe’s ‘Mannerism and Modern Architecture’) Maison Domino We've been reading — Nicholas Fox Weber ‘Le Corbusier: A Life’ (2008) Jean-Louis Cohen ‘Le Corbusier: Le Grand’ (2014) Oppositions 15-16 (1980) Music —  The final part of Beethoven’s 9th — the Ode to Joy An excerpt from —  Mahler: Symphony No. 3: iii. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast from archive.org Britt Brothers — ‘Alpine Milkman Yodel’ (1933) from archive.org Thanks for listening! Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
October 30, 2017
First announced in 1931, the project for the Palace of the Soviets in Moscow evolved into a staggeringly vast and bizarre proposal which stalled during WWII when only the foundations had been completed. A 400m tall neoclassical fantasy topped with a vast statue of Lenin; the Palace would probably, if completed, have still been the tallest building in the world in the year 2000. Forming a counterpart of sorts to our discussion of the Chicago Tribune — the Palace is another worldwide competition of the interwar period in which the battle over architectural style and ideology played out in the process of selection and development, as the old 1920s avant grade felt the ground shift under them and the ideology of Stalinist architecture began to solidify. A couple of helpful listener corrections (here)[https://www.instagram.com/p/BbUxAq2FLaj/] (and here)[https://www.instagram.com/p/BbUxB0vlmnJ/] We discussed — Joze Pleçnik Edwin Lutyens (neither in the competition) Russian Avant-gardists — Ivan Leonidov Konstantin Melnikov Mosei Ginzburg The League of Nations Competition entries of Le Corbusier & Hannes Meyer Foreign modernists in Russia Ernst May And the entries of —  Le Corbusier Walter Gropius Erich Mendehlson Hans Pölzig Auguste Perret The winners —  Boris Iofan Vladimir Shchuko Hector Hamilton Plus the later designs of — Ilya Golosov’s Vladimir Shchuko and Vladimir Gelfreikh Alabian, Kochar and Mordvinov’s Simbirtsev Alexander Brodsky’s Reminiscences Anatole Kopp ‘Foreign architects in the Soviet Union during the first two five-year plans’ Sonia Hoisington ‘Even Higher: The Evolution of the Palace of the Soviets’ Music —  ‘A1’ from the album ‘ΝΕΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΚΟΚΚΑΛΑ’ by Kοκκαλα, from the Free Music Archive ‘Bolshevik Leaves Home’ (1918) by D. Vasilev-Buglay, Demyan Bedniy Soviet National Anthem, Stalin version Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
October 23, 2017
Don’t listen if you haven’t seen the movie yet! We discuss Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. It’s pretty formless and we forgot the names of most of the characters, actors, significant plot entities. You’ll get who we’re talking about it you’ve seen it. We refer in passing to —  Moebius & Jodorowsky ‘The Incal’ Vladimir Nabokov ‘Pale Fire’ Robert Louis Stevenson ‘Treasure Island’ Outro —  Dharma — Plastic Doll (1982) Follow us on twitter // instagram // facebook We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
September 16, 2017
As a postscript to our discussion of Cyberpunk in episodes 20-21, and vaguely looking ahead to the release of the upcoming sequel, we talked about Ridley Scott’s 1982 film ‘Blade Runner’. We were really winging it on the research for this one and as a result it marks a high point for getting key facts completely wrong, including — the name of a key character (see if you can guess which one!), various attributions of ethnicity, dates, names, places, the ending of the book on which it’s based, and a bunch of other things. Oh well. I edited out what I could… some moments deserve to be lost in time & without any tears being shed over it… Things we mentioned —  Nicholas Røeg Peter Sloterdijk's book ‘Terror from the Air' Dashiel Hammet’s ‘The Thin Man’ Akira Kurosawa ‘Stray Dog’ (again) Some great photos of the model shop for the film Caravaggio ‘The Calling of St Matthew’ Antony Burgess ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Richard Jeffries ‘After London’ Yvegeny Zamyatin ‘We’ (discussed in episode 3)  T.S. Eliot ‘The Wasteland' Johannes Vermeer Wilhelm Hammerschoi Jan van Eyck ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ Vernon Shetley, Alissa Ferguson ‘Reflections in a Silver Eye: Lens and Mirror in ‘Blade Runner’, in Science Fiction Studies Mar 2001, Vol 28 Issue 1 Michel Haneke ‘Caché’ Music and sound effects are from the film. This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
September 2, 2017
We conclude our discussion of the 1922 Chicago Tribune competition, going through a few of the less favoured entries, and discussing how it’s been seen and understood in the years since. Apologies for some clipping on the audio – we’ve tried to edit most of it out but some is still left. As before, you can see all the entries in this book We discuss the entries of – Walter Gropius (197) Adolf Loos (196) Paul Gerhardt (159 & 160) Saverio Dioguardi (248) Vittorio Pino (252) Alfred Fellheimer & Steward Wagner (158) – the big pyramid Emile Pohle & Adolf Ott (200) – the bridge Walter Fischer (221) Bruno & Max Taut (231, 229) Gerhardt Schröder (228) Fritz Sackermann (225) Anonymous (281)  Plus anonymous entries by –  Hans Scharoun Wassili Luckhardt Manfredo Tafuri’s 'The Disenchanted Mountain' — published in ‘The American City’ (Cambridge, MIT Press, 1979) Ludwig Hilberseimer’s unentered design Hugh Feriss’s Envelope Drawings Pier Vittorio Aureli’s ‘The Barest Form in which Architecture Can Exist’ The book of ‘Late Entries’ can be found here Diana Agrest ‘Architectural Anagrams’ in Oppositions 11 Music includes Collins and Harlan ‘The International Rag’ King Olivers Creole Jazz Band ‘Just Gone’ …both from the Free Music Archive and first heard on the excellent Antique Phonograph Music Program This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
August 10, 2017
In 1922, to coincide with its 75th birthday, the Chicago Tribune set out to endow the city with ‘the world’s most beautiful office building’. The results of the design competition have been seen in retrospect less as ‘the ultimate in civic expression’ than as an expression of aesthetic and theoretical crisis within architecture. Hugely varied, bizarre, ingenious and occasionally grotesque, the entries provide a window into a discipline in transformation, as well as into the politics of a new American metropolis. Apologies for some slight issues with the sound. A book showing all the competition entries has been uploaded to Monoskop — if you download it you will be able to see what we’re talking about… https://monoskop.org/File:TribuneTowerCompetitionvol1_1980.pdf We discuss the entries by John Mead Howells & Raymond Hood (plate 1) Eliel Saarinen (13) Holabird & Roche (20) John Wynkoop (90) Ross & Sloan (84) Hornbostel & Wood (91) Daniel Burnham (44) Jarvis Hunt (118) William Drummond (134) Sjostrom & Eklund (190) Music includes — Arthur Fields ‘How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm After They’ve Seen Paree?’ Jockers Dance Orchestra ‘The Royal Vagabond’ The Columbians ‘Just Like a Rainbow’ Victor Dance Orchestra ‘The Great One Step’ …all from the Free Music Archive and first heard on the excellent Antique Phonograph Music Program This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
June 14, 2017
Leaving the waste-strewn Earth behind, we follow the team on their run all the way to its conclusion in orbit. On the way, we cast our eyes over the weed-smelling shanty-hulk of Zion, the sunlit Condé Naste-styled resort-perfection of Freeside, and the gloomy, Victorian-styled warren of the Villa Straylight. Fewer mattresses, more carpets. Music – ‘Heliograph’ ‘CGI Snake’ ‘Wonder Cycle’ and ‘Oxygen Garden’ from the album ‘Divider’ by Chris Zabriskie – from the Free Music Archive Outro – Hypnosis ‘Pulstar’(1984) This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
May 23, 2017
We’re back in dystopia, soaking up the glamour, danger and decadence of the cyberpunk city. We’re reading William Gibson’s seminal science fiction novel Neuromancer (1984), which combines the pace of a thriller with a vivid and almost archaeological view of the technological and material fabric of the near future city – glue, chipboard, broken TVs, epoxy resin, dirty water, and a strange profusion of foam mattresses. Gibson has spoken about the city as a ‘compost heap’ – and we’re sifting through it alongside Case, Molly, Armitage, the AI Wintermute, and the rest of the misfit expedition – and considering Noir, technology, desire, fear of the suburbs, and the vast consensual hallucination you’re plugged into right now. Some topics – – Chiba – Kowloon walled city – White flight – Noir – Paris review – William Gibson, The Art of Fiction No. 211 Music from Chris Zabriskie 'Cylinder Seven’ from the album ‘Cylinders’ And from Three Chain Links ‘Demons’, 'The Chase’, ‘Phantoms’, 'Magic Hour’ all from the album ‘Phantoms’ both from the Free Music Archive Outro music is from the Neuromancer computer game (1988) This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
May 4, 2017
During the 1960s and 70s, the French architect Jean Renaudie designed and built a series of projects in which he attempted to upend the staid and formulaic model of postwar slab-block mass housing. Architecture, for Renaudie, had to acknowledge and enshrine human being's 'Right to Difference'. But this didn't mean discarding the achievements or social ideology of modernism – rather, as part of a wider European project of dissent, critique and reformation, he formulated his own daring formal solution to the problem of uniting the needs and image of the individual with those of the collective. And how did he do it? Well, for a start, the rooms are mostly triangular… We discussed – slab blocks and Le Corbusier's Unite d’habitation in Marseilles 'Jean Renaudie: A Right to Difference' by Irénée Scalbert CIAM (Congress Internationaux d'Architecture) George Lucas's 'THX 1138' Team X and the ‘Mat Building' Renaudie's theory of 'structuralism' The Projects The New Town of La Vaudreuil Ivry-sur-Seine The Jean Hachette Building, Flats 4, 16 and 9 Town Plan at Vitrolles Housing at Givors Music by – Chris Zabriskie – The House Glows With Almost No Help from The Dark Glow of Mountains from the Free Music Archive Robert Cogoi - Pas une place pour me garer (1966) We've posted some pictures on our twitter and instagram feeds – addresses for these at aboutbuildingsandcities.org This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
April 17, 2017
A fuzzy empire of blur, a low grade purgatory, a perpetual Jacuzzi with millions of your best friends… We're discussing Junkspace (2001), Rem Koolhaas's notoriously elliptical wander through the dystopian and formless morass of early 21st retail architecture that seems gradually to be devouring the city, and the world. In keeping with the essay, the episode is radically unstructured, only barely makes sense, and is held together largely by hyperbole. We discussed – – Rem Koolhaas and OMA – The books SMLXL and Delirious New York – Exodus: The Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture – Frederic Jameson's review of Junkspace in NLR 21 (2003) – Jameson's Postmodernism, Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991) – Walter Benajmin's Passagenwerk or Arcades Project Music – 'Ruca' and 'Agnes' from the album 'Teal' by Rod Hamilton and 'Curiosity', 'Quisitive' and 'Biking in the Park' from the album 'Music for Podcasts' by Lee Rosevere; both from the Free Music Archive Blue Gas 'Shadows From Nowhere' (1984) This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
April 6, 2017
Michelangelo’s incredibly long career meant that he was old for a very long time, and the idea of death, and of what comes afterwards, hang over many of the projects he worked on late in life. We discuss his pivotal role in the design of St Peter’s in Rome, the sombre and terrible ‘Last Judgement’ in the Sistene Chapel, and a series of fragmentary late drawings, designs and sculptures which seem to be pointing to the future and the past at the same time. It’s been about four hours of solid Michelangelo now, and it’s time to send him (and the other cast of characters) into the tender arms of our Lord & Saviour. It'll be back to late Capitalism next time. Please let us know what you think – tweet us @about_buildings or email aboutbuildingsandcities@gmail.com – you can also find links to subscribe to the podcast, and all our social media profiles at our website – aboutbuildingsandcities.org Music – Gervaise 'Bransles de Bourgogne' from Gothic and Renaissance Dances at https://archive.org/details/GOTHICANDRENAISSANCEDANCES Vocal Ansambl Gordela ‘Zinzkaro’ Lee Rosevere ‘Dream Colours’ from the album Time-Lapse Volume 4 Sleep Music at the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere Ago ‘Trying Over’ (1982) This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
March 15, 2017
We continue our discussion of the architecture of Michelangelo Buonarotti with an exploration of two of his most important projects – the Laurentine Library, in which his sculptural understanding of form and mass is most powerful and disconcerting – and the Piazza del Campidoglio, an urban ensemble which would become a definitive reference for the idea of civic space. In between George extemporises for about 20 minutes on late medieval Italian history despite having done no research, and we dip into the memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini. Music – Tielman Susato (c. 1490-c. 1560)- Pavane - ''The Battle'' from Gothic and Renaissance Dances at https://archive.org/details/GOTHICANDRENAISSANCEDANCES Koto ‘Chinese Revenge’ (1982) This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
March 6, 2017
The first of a three-parter in which we try to understand the work, and myth, of Michelangelo Buonarroti, referred to by followers as ‘the Divine’, and genuinely described by his biographer as a messenger sent from God to stop people from doing bad art. It’s a long recording and we may have spent a bit too long talking about the ‘New Sacristy’ in Florence. But the 15 minute, rhapsodic description of David’s perfect body? We regret it Not At All. Some slightly excessive chat about a particular part of David's body but otherwise extremely wholesome. Music – GF Handel’s ‘Unto us a son is born’ ‘Kyrie Chant’ from Cantores in Ecclesia on archive.org https://archive.org/details/CantoresInEcclesia/05Track5.wma Outro: Kano ‘I Need Love’ (Full Time / Zig Zag, 1983) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AypT-SaUJE This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
February 13, 2017
The second part of your discussion of Ayn Rand's extremely long fantasy about the 'ideal man' and the buildings he makes. The book gets weirder and more political as it goes on, and we meet Rand's Mary-Sue character, the long-suffering helmet-haired ice princess Dominique Francon. All these things make the book worse. Features music by Chris Zabriskie – 'Heliograph' from the album 'Divider', 'We always thought the future would be kind of fun' from the album 'The Dark Glow of Mountains' and 'Cylinder 3' from the album 'Cylinders'. and by MMFFF –  'Meeting the Demon' from the album 'The Dance of the Sky' All at the Free Music Archive This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
January 30, 2017
This isn't one of those book reviews where you're expected to read the book first – we did it so you don't have to. Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead' is a 750 page long novel which at times is physically painful to read. It's a supposedly 'philosophical' book in which none of the motivations and actions of the characters make any sense. People have long conversations which are nearly impossible to follow. Rand maunders on about apparently random bits of mise-en-scene for pages. Even if you were going to live for a thousand years, it would still be an outrageous misuse of your time. In spite of this, it's probably the most successful and influential depiction of an architect in fiction – the indominatable will of one (orange haired) man, Howard Roark, pitted against the entire resources of a corrupt and servile society, determined to try and make him care about other people's well-being. Millions of people have read (and claimed to enjoy!) it. We've had a moderately good time making fun of it. Expect bad language and worse politics throughout. Features music by Chris Zabriskie – 'Heliograph' from the album 'Divider', 'The Dark Glow of the Mountains', 'I need to start writing things down' and 'We always thought the future would be kind of fun' from the album 'The Dark Glow of Mountains' and 'Cylinder 3' from the album 'Cylinders'. All at the Free Music Archive This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
January 22, 2017
The second half of Aldo Rossi's career. We discuss his role on the ushering in of the age of po-mo, a few selected monstrosties, and do listener correspondance (one email – that's how easy it is to get read out). Music includes: ‘Β15’ and 'B16' from the album ‘ΝΕΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΚΟΚΚΑΛΑ’ by Kοκκαλα, from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org
December 24, 2016
Aldo Rossi’s strange and elegiac early buildings – from the tiny Monument to the Partisans, to the vast, unfinished cemetery at Modena – set him on a path toward the widespread fame and influence he would achieve during the 1980s. In many ways, his architectural vision seems to arrive already fully formed – the strange geometry, the stripped down, abstracted versions of familiar types. We explore these varied works, and how his ideas he was formulating about urban memory and history became works of architecture. Music: Chris Zabriskie 'Cylinder 4' and 'Cylinder 5' from the album 'Cylinders' at the Free Music Archive at http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chris_Zabriskie/2014010103336111/
December 6, 2016
A valiant attempt to understand Aldo Rossi's 1966 'L'Architettura della Citta', a book which both Luke & George have owned for years, but which neither have actually read until now (the pictures are nice, and the spine is an attractive orange colour). Aldo Rossi's celebrity began with this book, and a certain mythic image of him – gloomy, nostalgic, perverse – is widely recognised within architectural history. But what does the book actually say? We explore monuments, urban artifacts, fragments of the city, the persistence of time and memory; and the promise of a new 'science' of urban analysis. Music – 'Sleep Trance' and 'Ciro' both by Lee Rosevere from the albums 'Time-Lapse Volume 3: ASMR' and 'Farrago Zabriskie'... at the Free Music Archive http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/ Look at pictures on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
October 31, 2016
The collapse of the Imperial German state after WW1 seemed an opportunity for Taut and his fellow visionaries to become architect-leaders themselves, and shape the form of post-war society. But faced with widespread political violence, and all at sea in dealing with bureaucratic power, Taut and his fellow avant-gardists retreated together into the secret group correspondance – 'The Crystal Chain'. The final episode in our three part exploration of the Glass Dream, including ecstatic visions, the architecture school as monastery, and Bruno Taut's pitch for a big-budget movie feature – 'The Lucky Slippers.' Music by – Chris Zabriskie 'Cylinder 2', 'Cylinder 4', 'Cylinder 5', 'Cylinder 6' and 'Cylinder 7' from the album 'Cylinders' at the Free Music Archive at http://freemusicarchive.org/music/ChrisZabriskie/2014010103336111/ ‘Tarnished Copper’ from the album ‘Marimba, Vibraphone, Chimes & Bells’ by Podington Bear at http://freemusicarchive.org/music/PodingtonBear/MarimbaVibraphoneChimes__Bells Look at pictures on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
October 24, 2016
Paul Scheerbart is dead, and Europe has dissolved into conflict, but the Glass Dream continues. Luke & George explore Bruno Taut's manifestos, the dissolution of the dirty old cities, the transfiguration of the Alps into crystal, and the uniting of the people around the new religion – architecture. Featuring Alpine Architecture (1917), The City Crown (1919), The Dissolution of the Cities & the Earth – a Good Dwelling (1920), and an original audio-only translation of Die Weltbaumeister: An Architecture Play (1920). Music by – Chris Zabriskie 'Cylinder 2' and 'Cylinder 9' from the album 'Cylinders' at the Free Music Archive at http://freemusicarchive.org/music/ChrisZabriskie/2014010103336111/ Lee Rosevere 'Cat Wearing Glasses' from the album 'Disquiet Junto' at http://freemusicarchive.org/music/LeeRosevere/Disquiet_Junto/ Schemawound 'If You See Nothing' from the album '@@TRANCOUNT' at http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Schemawound/TRANCOUNT/ Look at pictures on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
September 27, 2016
We begin a three-part exploration of the Glass Paradise – an early 20th vision of a better world – starting off with Bruno Taut’s extraordinary Glashaus (1914), and the even stranger text which inspired it, Paul Scheerbart’s ‘Glassarchitektur’. Conceived as a model for a new and more beautiful way of living – the Glashaus is a glimpse at a future that never came to pass, filled with jewel-like cites and kaleidoscopic colour. Also, vacuum cleaners as insect exterminators, spinning crystal globes at every door, gold-leafed factories, glass fibre soft furnishings, and the ever-present threat of zeppelin attack. Much of our material is drawn from the excellent ’Glass! Love!! Perpetual Motion!!! A Paul Scheerbart Reader’ by Josiah McElheny & Christine Burgin (eds) (University of Chicago, 2015) – highly recommended. Music by – Albert Campbell & Irving Gillette ‘By the dear old River Rhine’ (1911) at https://archive.org/details/edba-2410 Arthur F. Collins, Byron G. Harlan ‘On the banks of the Rhine with a Stein’ (1905) https://archive.org/details/edgm-9124 ‘Ice Chimes’ from the album ‘Disquiet Junto’ by Lee Rosevere at http://freemusicarchive.org/music/LeeRosevere/DisquietJunto ‘Tarnished Copper’ from the album ‘Marimba, Vibraphone, Chimes & Bells’ by Podington Bear at http://freemusicarchive.org/music/PodingtonBear/MarimbaVibraphoneChimes_Bells Look at pictures on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
September 19, 2016
Luke & George visit and discuss Switch House, the new extension to Tate Modern – and the architects of both it, and the original museum, Herzog & de Meuron. Plus – thoughts on the machine tool utopia also known as Switerland, design process, and the centrality of the spreadsheet in modern architecture. Music: ‘Holy Roller’ from the album ‘Shangri-La (Instrumentals)’ by YACHT. From the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org Look at pictures on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
September 5, 2016
Luke & George read and discuss Pliny the Younger’s two luxurious (but still so modest!) villas, as described in his letters. The box hedges have been trimmed, and dinner is swimming around on the back of a wooden duck. We discussed the essay ‘The Villa as Paradigm’ by James Ackerman, from Perspecta, Vol. 22, Paradigms of Architecture (1986) pp10-31 Music: ‘Curiousity’ and ‘Quizitive' from the album ‘Music For Podcasts’ by Lee Rosevere. From the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org/music/LeeRosevere/MusicFor_Podcasts/ Look at some images on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
August 29, 2016
Exploring the history and architecture of the inimitable Barbican Estate, the joys of brutalism, concrete, late modernist planning, concealed historical references, getting lost, etc. Includes a couple of short forays into the imagined lives of inhabitants and visitors... Music includes: ‘Β6’ from the album ‘ΝΕΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΚΟΚΚΑΛΑ’ by Kοκκαλα and ‘Heavy Traffic’ from the album ‘The Happiest Days Of Our Lives’ by Three Chain Links. Both from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org Look at pictures on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
August 24, 2016
George & Luke survey three dystopian cities; the glass perfection of Yvegny Zamyatin’s ‘We’, the consumer World State of Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, and the shattered ruin of George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Competing visions of technological progress gone awry, and the real-world ideas that inspired them. We read: Yvegeny Zamyatin ‘We’ tr. Clarence Brown (Penguin, 1993) Aldous Huxley ‘Brave New World’ (1932) George Orwell ‘1984’ (1948) Music: ‘Shadows’, ‘Fearweaver’, ‘Bindings’ and ‘Demons’ from the album ‘Phantoms’ by Three Chain Links. From the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org
August 24, 2016
An exploration of Horace Walpole’s mid 18th c. Gothic fantasy villa at Strawberry Hill, purple cushions and all. Contains readings from his highly indigestible novel ‘The Castle of Otranto’, intermittent bursts of tuneless medieval music, and George singing. Be warned. Find out how to visit the house yourself at www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk Music includes: David Munro ‘Bladder Pipes - Pastourelle’ and the album ‘Gothic and Renaissance Dances’ by Klaus & Michel Walter et al, both from archive.org Look at images of the house on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
August 24, 2016
The first episode of a new podcast! Luke and George read Hermann Muthesius's early 20th c. epic 'The English House'. Learn about the English, their famed love of nature, damp, draughty buildings and burnt meat. Discover how these strange proclivities shape the homes they build and inhabit. With digressions on inglenooks, William Morris, and how to become 'safe for the drawing room'. The edition we read was this one: Hermann Muthesius, Dennis Sharp (ed) ‘The English House’ (Rizzoli, 1979) https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=0CdUAAAAMAAJ&dq=editions:ISBN0847802191 Music: Ukrainska Orchestra Pawla Humeniuka ‘Kozak-Trepak’ From the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org Look at images of the projects on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104384327113725304822
    15
    15
      0:00:00 / 0:00:00