Rchitecture Avant garde architectural theory

THE TOPIC: What is honesty in Architecture? Did
architecural modernism and modernist theory strive to create it, or in fact
destroy it?

(A research paper on how the Avant garde new Brutalists achieved a true, brutal,
dirty but real honesty in their architecture and architectural theory (embodied
in the Hunstanton school) that the early modernists only aspired to, and in
doing so pushed modernist architectural theory and architecture to the brink
of its demise)

TOPIC DESCRIPTION: a comparison of Early modernist (1880-1940)architectural
theory (ex. Le Corbusier etc. construction method did not match aesthetic of
the buildings sometimes/ technology based etc., cultural context) and the
architectural theory of the high modernist period (1940-1965) of Avant-garde
architectural theory in particular the New Brutalism movement. Analyse one
building (the Hunstanton school, by Alison and Peter Smithson in Norfolk,
Britain in 1954 give some background to the context post war, CIAM etc) and
one piece of text (Banham, Peter Rayner 1955 The New Brutalism from
Architecture Review (118):354-361 (to be forwarded) to support the research
argument (back up your research argument). ie. honesty in architecture.
POINTS to be addressed:
What is the relation of architecture to the past? Is it situation in which past
architecture is material which we can take up and use as we wish, or ignore
completely? Or is history an on-going process where our present situation is
determined by the past, and we need to understand and master it? How does this
translate to architectural honesty? Was Banham right, did the Smithsons turn
from the avant-gardism of Hunstanton School to (an admittedly tough)
traditionalism with the Economist Building? Were they right or wrong to do so?
Was this honest? Positive avant-gardists argue that neither the past nor
history are a problems the architecture of the past is just there for us to
pick up and use as we like, or not. The past can t be a problem because its up
to us in the present to work out what we need for the future we are facing.
Negative avant-gardists argue that the past is actually constraining us, we need
to understand how much our preconceptions are based on traditio!
n and history so that we can critique and demystify these. Basically we need a
critical history so that we can find the bits of the past constraining us, and
untie these knots.

NOTES ON THE ESSAY(these are criteria notes from supervisor):

Minimum number of quotations:10
Minimum number of references:9
This is predominantly a research essay. It is a requirement of the essay that
you look at the issue in two periods -i.e. early modernism (1880-1940) and high
modernism (1940 -1965). It is a requirement of the essay that you deal in detail
with one text and one building. Compare a contemporary architectural theory
(Avant garde brutalist architectural theory) with historical precidents (early
modernist architectural theory), and relate it to the topic.

NOTE: About half the essay should be analysis of the argument(given text)and the
building.

Avoid having 8-24 points all dealt with at the same level of
detail get down to concrete detailed analysis of something,
either a text or a building (in this case the Hunstanton schoool)in some
sustained way at some point in
the essay for example 1000 wordss that really pulls something apart in detail
and evidences your argument.

It is good also to go out broad and characterise an issue across the 20th
century. Being able to go broad at some points and hard and deep at others is
the aim.

SOME REFERENCE PAPERS TO BE CITED/USED FOR RESEARCH:
Reference papers to be cited/ used

Banham, Peter Rayner 1955 The New Brutalism from Architecture Review
(118):354-361 (to be forwarded)

Ackan, Esra 2002 Manfredo Tafuris theory of the architectural avante-garde
from the Journal of Architecture 7(2) (to be forwarded)

Macarthur, John  Brutalism, Ugliness and the Picturesque Object , A Leach (ed.)
Formulation Fabrication papers from the seventeenth annual conference of the
Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand, Wellington, 2000,
pp259-266 (to be forwarded)

Tafuri, Manredo Toward a Critique of Architectural IdeologyPer una critica
dellideologia architettonica Contropiano 1(JanuaryApril 1969): translated
for this anthology by Stephen Sartarelli. : in Hay, K Michael (ed.)
Architecture Theory Since 1968Cambridge Massachusetts, MIT Press 1998. (to be
forwarded).