ARC 331 Forum 04: Early Modernist Architectural Critique of the Crystal Palace

Is this a good building?

21 Comments

  1. Reply
    Brooke, de Stijl March 18, 2019

    The Crystal Palace is difficult to define as good or bad. The building does have a high degree of rectilinear shapes that make up most of the form, however the focal point of the building is the semi cylindrical barrel vault which is no good. The glass skin and iron skeleton do suggest the opposites of non color as black and white do which is good. The building does use diagonal elements which was a later development in the De Stijl movement. I believe the building would not, however, be able to be classified as good during this movement. (Brooke, de Stijl)

    • Reply
      David Filipowski - Russian Constructivist March 20, 2019

      I must disagree with you, this building is clearly a good one. Its structural clarity allows me to piece it apart in my mind if I please to do so. I support the semi-circular barrel vault because it highlights this building’s lack of an independent function and therefor lack of one individual’s purpose for it.

    • Reply
      Jarod the Futurist March 21, 2019

      Brooke, you have expressed that the rectilinear shapes are positive and that the barrel vault is a major draw back, but I would argue that the barrel vault and the very slight dynamic quality that it brings to the composition is the only thing that keeps this form from being completely obsolete in today’s fast-paced and dynamic age.

    • Reply
      Universitair Hoofddocent March 27, 2019

      Brooke, Yet the pure geometries are not planes: they are outlines of metal around holes filled with glass. Everything is static and bears weight no differently than ancient temples. Worse, we can define the materials; they have not achieved the abstracted namelessness that the design should seek as well.

  2. Reply
    Timothy White - Russian Constuctivist. March 18, 2019

    Practicality mixed with beauty is what I believe is the purpose of art to serve the social order. Art must stand to serve everybody especially the ordinary people who were disenfranchised by the elite. Since the Crystal palace is the result of assembling mass produced modular parts it would be appreciated by russian constructivists as revolutionary and desirable. Secondly the crystal palace has no references to the bourgeois and as a result serves all people by its practical construction. (Tim, Russian Constructivist)

    • Reply
      Maxwell Starcevich, Russian Constructivist March 20, 2019

      Tim, the Crystal Palace is certainly a step toward our Constructivist ideals. No bourgeois! I see no czar! It was not perfect, however, a duke and an earl were involved in its construction. Despite that, the standardization here is refreshing to all people. It is clearly understandable and assembled in pieces. And I love pieces!

      • Reply
        Gabe David Russian Constructivist March 20, 2019

        We are in agreement, iron has become the new standard for construction material, and this building is an example of what industry could become mass produced pieces, assembled to make something whole.

        • Reply
          Maxwell Starcevich, Russian Constructivist March 22, 2019

          Comrade Gabe! Isn’t this a great gathering? The mass production of iron shall be a wonderful addition to our arsenal. I hear the peasants are looking forward to working together at Magnitogorsk.

    • Reply
      профессор March 27, 2019

      Comrade Tim, Indeed the mass-production and industrial elements are desirable, especially in their proud, simple state of assemblage. But the building is a static mausoleum of capitalist goods brought from all corners of a despicable colonial Empire, built not by just any Duke but the Consort to the Queen!

  3. Reply
    Jarod The Futurist March 18, 2019

    I praise the Crystal Palace’s use of only metal and glass, but unfortunately that is where the praise must end for this building. Indeed the use of these materials are a step in the right direction for architecture, (though steel would have been a better choice of metal than iron) because they better reflect the modern, industrial age in which we live. This building however, in order to be approved by the staunch traditionalists in control of the Great Exposition, is still held by the shackles of historicism. As a building meant to showcase technological innovations which will undoubtedly revolutionize our future, the crystal palace should have cast aside all decorative elements rather than employ barrel vaults and cast ornamentation that mimics Gothic decoration, as if we still live in ancient Rome or medieval Paris. With the exception of the barrel vaults, all architectural emphasis is horizontal and vertical directions causing the building to lack any dynamic quality what-so-ever. So while its material choice was good, the application of that material left much to be desired.

    • Reply
      Abacuc (Futurist) March 19, 2019

      Jarod, my friend, the use of raw materials in the Crystal Palace is great! I would also agree that there is a lack of any dynamic quality. There is strong horizontal and vertical elements, but with no dynamic qualities which causes the building to lack movement and energy. If this building had more movement and energy, then the building would have been successful!

    • Reply
      Taylor Wills, Expressionism March 20, 2019

      I too love the use of glass in this building, but I also applaud the Gothic decoration imitation in the building. That movement supported many of the ideals we expressionists enjoy. I feel we should be less caught up with “technological innovations” and “staunch traditionalists” and focus more on the feelings the building evokes.

    • Reply
      Desmond Wahlfeld, Futurist March 20, 2019

      Now now Jarod, although tainted by the absurdly unnecessary classicism, this building retains more redeeming qualities that simply being made of glass and iron. This building helps to redeem itself through the lightness and practicality of the structure that allowed for its hasty construction, also don’t neglect the ephemeral quality that this building was constructed under, unlike the monuments of old this building was temporary and graceful.

    • Reply
      Dottore Architetto March 27, 2019

      Jarod, This so-called building is as static and moribund as the monarchy that built it.

  4. Reply
    Taylor, Expressionism March 18, 2019

    Through the eyes of an Expressionist, the Crystal Palace is glorious. The structure is a breakthrough for its time, through the use of glass covering the entire building. So many buildings entrap their inhabitants, closing off the mind to higher levels of culture and thought. The Crystal Palace is open and airy and allows light to fill and adorn the space. The steel structure is acceptable in its functionality but its integration of glass into the curving massing of the building is spectacular. I would hope we can build off this pervasive use of glass and openness in future structures.

    • Reply
      Adam opy-doo Wise - DADA March 20, 2019

      What are the challenges of kirstal pailes? If you don’t use any of the above, you have to do the same thing, ask them how often I have a problem. It has been a source of inspiration for students and researchers to learn and understand the diversity of democracies. The kristal pailes are havadaar, and the kamare ko roshan and sauja are here. He is a steel producer in the industry, but he is proud to be the leader of the global community. I am grateful that I was able to use some of the articles in the research field and use the option to use the application.

    • Reply
      Monica Medina (Expressionist) March 20, 2019

      I completely agree with you! It is glorious! The use of glass allows for connection to nature as well as use for functionality. It allows growth for the culture as it is being creative with newer materials to achieve a certain unique style, as well as functioning as a building that feels open while still enclosed, and allowing plenty of light in.

    • Reply
      Jarod the Futurist March 21, 2019

      Taylor, while I too am a fan of the use of glass in the Crystal Palace, the application of that glass on flat, vertical walls or a basic barrel vault has no dynamic quality to it. In an age of industry, we should be designing building which express the truest and highest pursuit of this culture, speed. This building’s basic structure expresses no such speed.

      • Reply
        Adam Wise DADA March 22, 2019

        Forget havadaar much? Archicurtains open to the sun!! It’s fun in the sun, get a tan! The Kirstail Pailles lives up to its begotten name, fame, shame. Hey! The Community embraces DADA translucencies wherever possible, seeing as it is appropriately proportional. Mocarabe supa dupa stupa!

    • Reply
      Frau Doktor Sparkle-Farben March 27, 2019

      Taylor, it is an amazing pile of glass! Just sadly, a pile! Glass laid up like panels of anything! All that light is wonderful, but how much more wonderful if it had not been left in this “inartistic” manner, and made colorful! What a wonder that would be! Especially if the architect had manipulated the glass to be more fragmented, more glazy, more shiny!!!

  5. Reply
    Monica Medina (Expressionist) March 20, 2019

    I completely agree with you! It is glorious! The use of glass allows for connection to nature as well as use for functionality. It allows growth for the culture as it is being creative with newer materials to achieve a certain unique style, as well as functioning as a building that feels open while still enclosed, and allowing plenty of light in.

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