The contemporary city and architecture
翻译：Edie 原文：坂本一成 《住宅——日常的诗学》第三章 自由的构架和广阔的领域
《House F》 1988年 摄影：大橋富夫
Architects have for a long, if in only a limited way, discussed the "city". By speaking of "city" they are taking up the topic of architecture; and this is a different meaning from the "city planning" discussion of "city" from the 1960s and early 1970s. It might be saying too much to state that contemporary architects cannot speak of "architecture" without speaking of the "city", but for these architects, to speak of the city is the same thing as to speak of architecture.
There is one point where we must doubt if the "city" seen by the architects is the real "city". At least, it is not the same as the "city" that is the object of city planning. It is difficult to bind "Tokyo", "Hong Kong", or the Chinatown of the film Blade Runner, which are so attractive to young architects of the world, especially in the West, to the category of the traditionally ordered "city". If this type of "city" is a city, it is not the "city" that is a place in opposition to the village or countryside, but must be said to be a "non-city city".
The places where the largest villages in the world have progressed in density now produce a type of city that has never existed before, or a super-city, or a city that contradicts "city". Even if the largest villages of Asia or Japan are not the size of Tokyo or Hong Kong, they approach this "non-city city",
The type of super-city actually seen in these vignettes is of interest to me. The type of city that hasn't existed until now, the "city that contradicts the city", or the "non-city city" that some architects have called the "bankrupt city" holds various contradictions. Within it is disorder, confusion and chaos; but I can feel a sense of vitality directed towards the future.
The typical feature indicated by these cities is similar to the village scenes in Balinese art. Seen at a macro level, it is an expanse that is vague with a high density that is confused but uniform and equal; but when seen at the micro level each part becomes independent and builds place, and gives an active life force. Further, each of the independent places has a flexible relationship, and connects with the other places. This state is similar to the marketplace where each stall is independently established and conducts its own business. Or, a metaphor can be made to the individual independent movement of the parts of the arthropods that form the whole. The giant Asian-like, village-like cities are different from the traditional Western city, or the Modernist City dependent on making a city axis or a city center the heart, assuming a clear regional division. Within the life force of this chaos and confusion (which is not really chaos or confusion) can be felt the post-modern future.
Now I can feel the appeal of architecture in an architecture that responds to this type of city. Or, it is perhaps better to say that I can feel the appeal of architecture within the architecture that uses the appearing "non-city city" as a metaphor. Or, my unease with contemporary architecture is because of this "architecture“ can't overcome or follow this surpassing reality. Traditional non-city architecture like the villa, or even the urban architecture of the palazzo, can't respond to this super-city. Architecture has been refined through various periods, and has come to take its value as "architecture". As a result, with respect to the independent existence of architecture itself, it can be said that that value is formed. Classical architecture is the most obvious example. I have called this type of architecture that internalizes for itself this independent value "objective architecture". What kind of response can this "architecture as object" have to the super-city, or the reality of the age of the super-city, even if it is effective with respect to the city of the "age of the city" or to the villages and countrysides and suburbs that surround it?
A new form of "architecture" is being sought. Perhaps that is the architecture that can respond to the super-city discussed here. Or an architecture that makes a metaphor of the form of the super-city. Can that be said to be architecture that makes a relation to the place responding to the various levels of relation around the body like the form of the super-city? I have called this "architecture as environment" in contrast to "objective architecture." (1989)
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