Saturday, 26 September 2015

'The Architecture of the City' by Aldo Rossi

'Whereas the humanist conception attempted an integration of subject and object, the modernist conception polemically attempted their separation. The problematic nature of the practice of modern architecture with respect to the theory of modernism has to do precisely with its inability to effect this separation and thus its contamination with imperatives from the humanist conception.'  p.5

'Rather, history becomes analogous to a "skeleton" whose condition serves as a measure of time and, in turn, is measure by time. It is skeleton which bears the imprint of the actions that have taken place and will take a place in the city.' p.5

'The two main permanences in the city are housing and monuments. With respect to the first, Rossi distinguishes between housing and individual houses. Housing is a permanence in the city while individual houses are not; thus, a residential district in the city may persist as such over many centuries, while individual houses within a district will tend to change. With respect to monuments, the relationship is the opposite, for here it is the individual artifact that persists in the city.' p.6

'Urban studies never attribute sufficient importance to research dealing with singular urban artifacts. By ignoring them - precisely those aspects of reality that are most individual, particular, irregular, and also most interesting - we end up constructing theories as artificial as they are useless.' p.21

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