Reckoning with Colin Rowe: Ten Architects Take Position

Whereas the 1st 1/2 the twentieth century in structure used to be, to a wide volume, characterised via strategies in aesthetics (accompanied through succinct and polemical manifestoes), the post-war many years observed emerge a extra subtle and highbrow disciplinary framework that at last metamorphosed into the hugely theory-focused second of the 'postmodern'. Colin Frederick Rowe (1920 - 1999) used to be a pace-setter of this epistemic shift as a result of his flair to attach his historic and philosophical erudition to the visible research of structure.

This booklet unites ten diversified views from architects whose lives and concepts intersected with Rowe's, together with: * Robert Maxwell * Anthony Vidler * Peter Eisenman * O. Mathias Ungers * Leon Krier * Rem Koolhaas * Alan Colquhoun * Robert Slutzky * Bernhard Hoesli * Bernard Tschumi *

With an creation via Emmanuel Petit and a postscript through Jonah Rowen

In their serious review of a key twentieth century formalist, those well known architects give some thought to how their very own positions got here to diverge from Rowe's.Reckoning with Colin Rowe is a thought-provoking dialogue of key colleges, locations, thoughts and other people of architectural conception because the post-war years, illustrated with over 40 attractive black and white drawings and pictures.

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The special character of Rowe’s criticism, its own particular kind of hybridity— one that posed itself ex cathedra as if woven out of whole cloth and dependent on its author alone—has, however, always stood apart from the group. Rowe himself defended his originality against all comers implicitly and explicitly: implicitly by neglecting to footnote his sources, including, most prominently, his tutor Wittkower, and explicitly by his reluctance to indulge in autobiographical reminiscence. 5 Rowe as a phenomenon, as the “guru” of Ithaca, has been endlessly quoted, has inspired numerous students and architects, but, with certain notable exceptions, has escaped historiographical analysis.

Rowe never explicitly thematized the gradual diminution of information throughout the transparent system of stratification. Yet unlike the concept of transparency in cubism, digital culture has brought back to the table a characteristic endemic to literal transparency in the physical world—the morphological transition from high to low resolution in the passage through a medium—for example, by offering ways to conceptualize the conversion of precise geometric articulation into mere bulging. The bulge indicates the thatness of a volumetric diagram over the whatness of it.

In the United States, however, Rowe had an enormous influence on a generation, mainly through his teaching at Austin. This created the legend of the Texas Rangers, a band of teachers who saw a way of teaching modern architecture consistent with traditional architectural principles; the Corbusian slant was to inform the achievements of the New York Five. Rowe was not only a historian; he was a qualified architect. 7 As his article on “The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa” makes clear, by drawing parallels between the proportional systems used by Palladio and Le Corbusier, Rowe enjoyed the continuity between modern architecture and its past.

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