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Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

Although his early buildings resemble those of Le Corbusier from the 1920s Meier later transformed this look into a style uniquely his own. Meier received a number of commissions for art museums after the High Museum culminating in five buildings that make up the Getty Center for the Arts and Humanities 1996 in Los Angeles California.



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Unit 8


By the early 1980s, postmodernism had become the dominant trend in American architecture and an important phenomenon in Europe as well. Although postmodernism is not a cohesive movement based on a distinct set of principles, as was modernism, in general it can be said that the postmodernists value individuality, intimacy, complexity, and occasionally even humor.

          Fig. 13. The High Museum of Art in Atlanta

Postmodern architecture ranges from work that closely resembles the International Style, with its elimination of traditional ornament, to work that is rigorously based on ancient or Renaissance prototypes. Individual postmodern architects have not limited themselves to a single style, however. From the early 1970s onward, postmodernist Richard Meier developed a crystalline geometric architecture clad in white metal. Although his early buildings resemble those of Le Corbusier from the 1920s, Meier later transformed this look into a style uniquely his own. Meier's High Museum of Art (1983) in Atlanta, Georgia, shows the dynamic contrast he created between curved shapes and crisp rectilinear lines or forms. Meier received a number of commissions for art museums after the High Museum, culminating in five buildings that make up the Getty Center for the Arts and Humanities (1996) in Los Angeles, California. A generous budget enabled Meier to clad these buildings in square panels of tawny-colored travertine stone and matching panels of enameled aluminum.    Fig. 14. The Louvre Pyramid in Paris

Another architect who retained important aspects of International Style modernism is I. M. Pei. His design for the East Wing of the National Gallery (1978) in Washington uses simple oblique masses that reflect the diagonals of Washington's street plan. Pei clad the walls of the East Wing in the same marble used decades earlier for the National Gallery's classical-revival main building, and he placed a large, glass-covered atrium at the East Wing's center. For the Louvre Museum in Paris, Pei designed a large, transparent pyramid entrance (1989), using an open-grid frame of metal covered entirely in glass. The structure and materials are decidedly modern, but the pyramid form refers to the Egyptian art in the Louvre and to the important role France and French emperor Napoleon I played in making Egypt a subject of study in the early 1800s.

Chicago architect Helmut Jahn used large-scale forms of late modernism and emphasized and exploited the artistic effects of metal structural framing and colored glass sheathing. These interests are clearly apparent in his design for the United Airlines Terminal (1987) at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

In contrast to these postmodern extensions of International Style modernism are various forms of postmodern architecture that employ historically based forms and details. Architects Robert Venturi and Charles Moore introduced the first variant, referring to historical architecture in their early work in ways that were witty and ironic. Venturi's humorous manipulations are evident in the house he designed for his mother, the Vanna Venturi house (1964) in Chestnut Hill, especially in its references to a classical broken pediment and its incorporation of moldings across the facade. More obvious in its irony is Moore's Piazza d'Italia (1978), commissioned by an Italian American association in New Orleans. Moore used elements inspired by Roman classicism, both ancient and Renaissance, but changed their materials, forming his Ionic column capitals, for example, from spirals of bright stainless steel. Architect Robert Stern termed this variant of postmodernism ironic classicism.

     Fig. 15. The Portland Building

Postmodern architects also played with the size and scale of classical forms and details, to puzzle and amuse the observer. The first major American public building to employ this postmodern irony was the Portland Building (1978-1984), an office building for the city of Portland, Oregon, designed by Michael Graves. Graves had previously focused on residences, and the Portland Building was his first important public commission. Numerous commissions for public buildings followed. Also in the late 1970s Philip Johnson, once the champion of International Style modernism, became the champion of postmodernism and its celebration of ornament. He declared his embrace of postmodernism in a highly visible way in the Sony Building(1984) in New York City. Johnson clad the building in pinkish-brown granite panels instead of in glass, and he created for the top an enormous parody of a Chippendale highboy chest with its triangular pediment broken by a huge circular notch.

Other variants of postmodernism include latent classicism and archaeological (or canonic) classicism. Latent classicism applies an abstract geometrical form to buildings, and any classical references it makes are less obvious than those of many postmodern buildings. This variant can be seen in the General Foods Corporation Headquarters (1983) in Rye, New York, by the firm of Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo and Associates. Archaeological classicism occupies the other end of the scale. In this variant, architects copy classical forms and details exactly, even creating reproductions of ancient or Renaissance buildings. An early example of this style was the original Getty Museum (1975) in Malibu, California, which reproduced an ancient Roman villa built outside Pompeii and buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The firm of Langdon & Wilson, with Norman Neuerberg as historical consultant, designed the museum. Later on, architect Allan Greenberg of Washington used traditional classical elements, whether Roman or Greek in origin, in more subtle and creative ways.   Fig. 16. The Sony Building

By the late 1980s and 1990s the dominant variant of postmodernism adapted traditional architectural details in wholly original compositions, without the awkwardness and oddities of ironic postmodernism. Stern called this variant creative postmodernism, or modern traditionalism. Venturi, Moore and Graves all moved in this direction. A representative example of this design approach is Stern's Observatory Hill Dining Hall (1984) at the University of Virginia. The dining hall combines red brick, white wood trim, and Tuscan Doric columns, referring to the adjoining buildings by Thomas Jefferson, but employs modern building forms and walls with large windows.

Exercise 1: be sure to remember the words from Units 1-7; read and translate them.



to range

to resemble

to develop





to reflect


to place


to refer


to emphasize

to inspire

to exploit

to employ

to incorporate







to embrace



to apply




to receive

to sheathe


Exercise 2: use your dictionary to make a list of new words to help you with the text.

Exercise 3: read and translate compounds and word combinations from the text.

dominant trend; elimination of traditional ornament; crystalline geometric architecture; clad in white metal; curved shapes; crisp rectilinear forms; square panels of tawny-colored travertine stone; enameled aluminium; simple oblique masses; clad the walls in marble; large glass-covered atrium; large transparent pyramid entrance; open-grid frame of metal; covered entirely in glass; large-scale forms; metal structural framing; colored glass sheathing; witty and ironic; classical broken pediment; incorporation of mouldings across the facade; spirals of bright stainless steel; clad the building in pinkish-brown granite panels; triangular pediment; huge circular notch; awkwardness and oddities; red brick; white wood trim; Tuscan Doric columns.

Exercise 4: read and translate the text “Postmodernism”.

Unit 9


Borrowing the term deconstruction and aspects of its meaning from French literary studies, some architectural theorists developed the idea of deconstruction in architecture in the late 1970s. In theory and in early designs, deconstruction involved the dismantling of architectural elements and the rearrangement of their constituent parts. In these designs architects did not concern themselves with the physical laws of the real world, and most of their early proposals were unbuildable. Later on, actual buildings resulted from some of these ideas, and the architects had to address the realities of construction and the weight of materials. The resulting buildings were typically disjointed in form, and they dramatically contradicted standard conventions of design and construction.

Architect Frank Gehry has enjoyed the playfulness deconstructivism allows. Gehry's designs range from a kind of austere modernism in the early 1970s to increasingly irregular compositions in the late 1980s and 1990s, with colliding angular forms and other unusual juxtapositions. As the geometries of his buildings became more complex and he introduced compound curves, Gehry and his staff relied increasingly on computer-aided design, adapting software developed in France for aircraft design.

The intriguing forms of Gehry's architecture attracted worldwide attention, and he received a commission for the Vitra International furniture assembly plant and museum (1989) in Weil am Rhine, Germany. The museum portion of the building provides a good example of Gehry's use of curving and intersecting volumes and spaces. A second facility for Vitra (1994) near Basel, Switzerland, also incorporates curving forms, with portions covered in sheets of zinc metal.

Gehry's approach culminated in his striking design for a branch of the Guggenheim Museum (1997) in Bilbao, Spain. The computer became an integral part of the design and construction process by simultaneously solving design problems, developing construction details, working out structural technologies, and keeping track of building costs. Rare titanium metal came on the market as the Russian government sold its titanium reserves to raise urgently needed funds. As a result, Gehry could acquire this costly metal and have it fashioned into thin sheets to cover the curving surfaces of the Bilbao Guggenheim. The lightweight and reflective titanium surface accentuates the building's sculptural masses, which shimmer in sunlight.        Fig. 17. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

* * *

American architecture at the beginning of the 21st century has avoided the single-style sterility that International Style modernism threatened to impose. Instead it remains open to a myriad of design approaches, suitable to a wide variety of locations, functions, and symbolic messages.

Exercise 1: be sure to remember the words from Units 1-8; read and translate them.

to borrow

to develop




to range



to avoid


to receive



to reflect

to provide




to incorporate

to cover

to conceive

to acquire



to accentuate




Exercise 2: use your dictionary to make a list of new words to help you with the text.

Exercise 3: read and translate word combinations from the text.

dismantling of architectural elements; rearrangement of constituent parts; unbuildable proposals; weight of materials; disjointed in form; dramatically contradicted; standard conventions of design and construction; austere modernism; increasingly irregular compositions; compound curves; computer-aided design; aircraft design; intriguing forms; worldwide attention; curving and intersecting volumes and spaces; incorporates curving forms; covered in sheets of zinc metal; striking design; integral part; construction details; structural technologies; building costs; rare titanium metal; fashioned into thin sheets; curving surfaces; lightweight and reflective titanium surface; shimmer in sunlight; single-style sterility; myriad of design approaches; wide variety of locations, functions and symbolic messages.

Exercise 4: read and translate the text “Deconstructivism”.

Exercise 5: read additional material about American architect Frank Gehry; use a dictionary to help you with new words.

Exercise 6: fill in the chart “Modern Architecture and Architects of the USA”; use the information from Units 1 – 9.







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