part six

Nashville in the 1950s: "Hell's Half-Acre" and the Capitol

introduction

Aesthetics and Judgement

Early in the class we saw Vitruvius lay out one way for the merit of buildings to be judged: on virtue of their structural stability, functional utility, and their aesthetic delight. Because there was a such a strong prevailing taste in ancient Rome, he did not need to identify what he meant by good taste or beauty. Likewise, largely throughout the Renaissance, architects looked back to ancient Rome to define standards of beauty, This changed, however, during the eighteenth century when a wider variety of aesthetic options were welcomed into the fold of "good taste." The two prevailing streams of aesthetics maintained a vision of Classical beauty but increasingly included medieval aesthetics. In some periods (and in the hands of some architects), each was valued equally for different purposes; however some saw the two were as being irreconcilably at odds with one another, with different supporters championing one or the other as the "superior" school of thought.

learning objectives

At the conclusion of this part of the course, you should be able to:

  • xxxxx (REMEMBER--recall facts and basic concepts) define, duplicate, list, memorize, repeat, state
  • xxxxx (UNDERSTAND--explain ideas and concepts) classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select
  • xxxxx (APPLY--use information in new situations) execute, implement, solve, use, demonstrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch
  • xxxxx (ANALYZE--draw connections among ideas) differentiate, organize, relate, compare, contrast, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test
  • xxxxx (EVALUATE--justify a stand) appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, critique, weigh
  • xxxxxx (CREATE--produce new or original work) design, assemble, conjecture, develop, formulate, investigate

for Thursday (11 PM)

Battle of the Styles?

  • Watch: History: Classicisms à la Speer, Lincoln, Seagram
  • Watch: profession/education: Ecole, licensure, ID, engineers

By the early nineteenth century, the Classical and Gothic traditions were poised at odds with one another, especially in the context of the competition for a new Parliament building in London in the 1830s. We can study the trails of thought that led to this development by looking back to the history of aesthetics via this swift romp:

video/slide show on Classical aesthetics

video/slide show on Gothic aesthetics

Goldberg is speaking for himself when he claims that there is no way to quantify excellence in these formal styles.  It was a prevailing interest of writers, including the ones listed below, to do exactly this. Read the following:

  • Alberti
  • Palladio
  • Pugin
  • Ruskin

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for Monday (11 AM)

Mapping aesthetic traditions

You've seen how the Classical and Medieval traditions can be described through different theoretical developments and by diverse buildings. Take the time now to illustrate your understanding of one of these stories in a concept map.

Application

Create a concept map that shows the development of one of the aesthetic traditions described in this week's lesson. Be sure to include a main stream of thought but also splinter groups that show the variations possible within each.

for Tuesday: on campus

red yellow blue

Discussions

  • Goldberger: Ch. 3, "Architecture as Object" (part 1)
  • Concept maps

Presentation & Reflection

  • In groups, study the application of precedents in Classical (Lincoln Memorial, University of Virginia, Tennessee State Capitol, Jefferson Memorial) and Medieval (Parliament) buildings.

for Tuesday: online

red yellow blue

Discussions

  • Goldberger: Ch. 3, "Architecture as Object" (part 1)
  • Concept maps

Presentation & Reflection

  • In groups, study the application of precedents in Classical (Lincoln Memorial, University of Virginia, Tennessee State Capitol, Jefferson Memorial) and Medieval (Parliament) buildings.
  • Presentation: divergent reactions to Classicism (Wright, Baroque, Chicago office buildings, churches, Otto Wagner, Corbusier, Venturi)
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