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    广西科技大学毕业设计(论文)外文翻译课题名称 民俗文化度假酒店 学 院 土木建筑工程 专 业 建筑学 班 级 建筑 091 学 号 200900503013 姓 名 甘静宇 指导教师 陈群、唐柳丽 2014年 2 月 28 日THE BIG RETHINK PART 2: FAREWELL TO MODERNISM − AND MODERNITY TOO30 January 2012 | By Peter BuchananThe second essay in the new Campaign decries Modernism for its betrayal of our essential humanity, and puts the case for why this must be regained to achieve true sustainabilityLast month’s essay concluded by asserting that the ugent quest for sustainability spelt the end not only for Postmodernism, but also the termination of, rather than a return to, Modernism. If the former is not disposed to effective action (for reasons to be explored next month), the latter is unsustainable to its core. This month we start our investigation of the latter claim by exploring some key aspects of the unsustainability of modern architecture, recognising this belongs to the final, climactic phase of modernity − the era that started with the Renaissance and emergence of science. (The fundamental unsustainability of modernity, which further compounds that of modern architecture, will be explored in a later essay.) First, a caveat: although the downsides of modernity and postmodernity are a major topic of the Big Rethink, both cultural paradigms have also brought great and lasting gifts.Comparing and contrasting Le Corbusier’s villasTo begin this investigation of modernity’s inherent unsustainability, let’s start by comparing a pre-modern work of architecture with a modern one. To add spice, let’s select houses by the same architect in different phases of his career: the Arts and Crafts (some would say proto-modern) Villa Fallet (1906-07) by Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, and the heroic, high modern and Purist (some would say, International Style) Villa Savoye (1928-31) by Le Corbusier, as he by then styled himself. The contrast is not as extreme as between, say, Heidegger’s Hut and Mies’ Farnsworth House, but is enough to make some key points.Probably the most obvious contrast between the villas is in their forms: Villa Fallet is traditional and highly ornamented whereas Villa Savoye is abstract and stripped of decoration. But the next most striking difference is between the range and nature of materials. Typical of its time, Villa Fallet displays a broad palette of materials outside and in, many of them ‘natural’, and these have aged gracefully. Approaching and entering the house, these are encountered sequentially, according to contemporary notions of decorum.By communicating how close you may come to them, they convey a hierarchy of public and intimate space, and also help articulate the character and relative importance of each room. The rough stone base outside forbids people getting too near; the smooth plaster in the entrance porch welcomes the body. Villa Savoye, by contrast, displays a limited range of materials, the same or very similar used inside and out, emphasising continuities of space and behaviourDesigned in a gentler, more traditional Arts and Crafts idiom,Villa Fallet (1907) employs a broad palette of materials which have weathered gracefully overtime. A robust stone base roots the house to its site, while establishing a considerate relationship with its surroundings. Rooms are encountered sequentially, according to notions of decorum, and convey a legible hierarchy of public and more intimate domestic spaces. Architecture is conceived of as embedded in a rich and complex web of relationshipsImitating the smooth surfaces and forms of ocean liners, which similarly float free from context, these materials conceal the true nature of construction. With its plain surfaces and generous spaces, the house ‘hangs back’ from its inhabitants in a way that is liberating yet defies intimate engagement with its materiality. Attempting to stand outside time, the house neither aged nor weathered: it merely cracked and deteriorated.Villa Fallet’s materials and forms act to differentiate. Together with an interior compartmentalised into rooms cluttered with furniture and decoration, they articulate the space through disjunction to constrain behaviour in accord with contemporary custom. But Villa Savoye’s sparsely-furnished, generously-scaled spaces emphasise continuities of material and spatial flow, and a concomitant exhilarating, fluid flexibility and freedom to the activities housed. Disencumbered of the clutter of heavy furniture and ornament, behaviour could be spontaneous and take on an epic quality, resonating as if played out against a blank cinema screen. Yet even here decorum is subtly indicated, for instance through private areas reached by turning clockwise against the anti-clockwise flow of the communal spaces, as well as the cruise-ship casual chic conveyed by the nautical associations, including ramp as gangway and so on.Yet Villa Fallet’s interior discontinuities are reintegrated under the embrace of the roof, as its exterior forms, materials and ornaments suggestively imply multiple relationships with its setting. The heavy stone base draws up the earth and, with the transition to light, incised plaster above, speaks of gravity. So too does the steep overhanging roof that reaches up to the sky, its form suggesting the shedding of rain and snow as it snuggles against cold winds, while also opening up to the sun and views. And the decorative motifs of glazing bars, balustrades and incised plaster echo the surrounding conifers.The house thus weds earth and sky while also establishing harmonious relationships with neighbouring homes and nature. Architecture was still conceived of as embedded in a rich and complex web of relationships − social, cultural, ecological and so on − and the materials and their use played a crucial role in communicating this concept. Time, too, was considered in the way the materials weathered and stained.Villa Savoye is an antithesis, self-contained and selfish, a singular object hovering above but not engaging with its setting, its pristine forms denying and so vulnerable to weathering and time. It opens up only to the sun and sky while the horizontal slot, partly glazed and partly unglazed, both distances and intensifies the view of the horizon. The fluid interior-exterior space is bounded within the box-like perimeter that floats free above the ground to emphasise the disconnection from context and nature. Indeed, the building appears to stand on tiptoe, recoiling from nature, like those old cartoons of women on chairs shrieking ‘Eeek!’ on seeing a mouse.The fluid space of Villa Savoye (1931) is bounded by a box-like enclosure that emphasises the dwelling’s sundering from nature and place. Like many key modern houses, it is an isolated holiday home on a rural site, dependent on fossil fuels to make its materially insubstantial architecture habitable, and also to make possible the regular weekend commutes of its occupants. This egotistical sense of hubristic disconnection, of humans prevailing over nature, has consistently underscored the modern eraOn entering, the first thing encountered is a wash-hand basin at which to quickly remove any of nature’s contaminating dirt. This was, of course, only a brief phase in Le Corbusier’s oeuvre, and the post-Second World War houses, such as Maisons Jaoul, are earthy and earth-bound. The attitude displayed to contamination is nothing like as extreme as with the sterile and joyless paranoia of Alison and Peter Smithson’s 1956 House of the Future, as described in last month’s review of the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s exhibition Imperfect Health: the Medicalization of Architecture (AR January 2012). The naval forms emphasise this floating disconnect − although, this being a Corbusian masterpiece, there are also allusions to Palladio’s Villa Rotunda, its dome fragmented into a Cubist collage of curved walls, and the statues of gods on the entablature replaced by a live frieze of humans, of elevated status of course, framed by the near continuous horizontal slot.Taking the long view of ‘the oil interval’So what accounts for the differences between these villas? Specifically, what new material facilitated the profound shift in forms and sensibility? What do the history books say? Reinforced concrete? Plate glass? The answer is neither of these, nor any of the other usual explanations, but abundant and cheap fossil fuels. These powered the weekend commute to the house and kept warm in winter the large, flowing spaces enclosed in thin un-insulated concrete walls and slabs, with vast expanses of single glazing. It was also a related material − and later, oil derivatives − which waterproofed Villa Savoye’s and all other flat roofs and terraces. Later too, petrochemicals provided the neoprene gaskets, epoxies, mastics and sealants, as well as the synthetic carpets and fabrics.And it was fossil fuel-derived electricity that lit and air-conditioned modern buildings, which often spurned natural light and ventilation. Modern architecture is thus an energy-profligate, petrochemical architecture, only possible when fossil fuels are abundant and affordable. Like the sprawling cities it spawned, it belongs to that waning era historians are already calling ‘the oil interval’. Although histories of modern architecture still overlook this critical fact − failing to note what is, literally, blindingly obvious − any future history must surely begin by noting this relationship, which is axiomatically unsustainable.With its disconnect from nature and neighbours, its material fragility and the frieze of people partying or doing calisthenics displacing the statues of gods on the classical entablature, Villa Savoye emphasises a related flaw at the core of modern architecture and modernity in general: the hubris, turbocharged by fossil-fuelled technological power, and a corresponding lack of acknowledgement, even denial, of our ultimate dependency on nature, its cycles and regenerative capacities. Archetypal modern man and woman preferred − and still prefer − not to be rooted in place or community nor to be concerned with the longer cycles of time and the obligations they inevitably incur.The modern and contemporary built environment, and their corresponding lifestyles, are only possible because we do not live within the capacities of the Earth’s ambient energies and nature’s annual bounty but instead each year burn up a legacy accumulated over millions of years. As the title of Thom Hartmann’s famous book so poetically puts it, we are living on ‘The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight’. Yet already as a student in the 1960s, I was aware of Buckminster Fuller’s injunction that we recognise fossil fuels as a ‘one-time evolutionary gift’, the only legitimate use for which was to create the means to harvest what we now call renewable energies.Even the food we eat is the product of oil rather than nature. Very many times more oil-derived calories are used to produce and distribute it − in artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, tractor and transport fuel, plastic packaging and refrigeration − than it yields nutritionally, only one of many ways modern agriculture is utterly unsustainable. Adapting food provision to escalating oil prices will lead to immense challenges − and inevitably to profound changes in how we live on and with the land.
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