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Q. 3A: The Monument for the Third International
The monument for the third international was what one would describe today as an architectural opportunity cost. This is because it was an architectural plan for a complex and multipurpose that was ideologically impressive but realistically impractical. It was never built not because of its perceived impracticality but because Russia was broke at the time its idea was conceived. It was to basically be a better version of the famous Eiffel Tower. Its plan indicates that it would have a lecture room at the base, and that it would have mechanical motors to move visitors up the tower, and that it would also have radio equipment at the top.
Q. 3B: England's Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace is a significant aspect of the history of architecture because it is the origin of architectural designs. To begin with, the palace was a huge glass box that was used as an exhibition for Britain's industrial achievement to the world. That is where to eighteenth-century architects and engineers picked their ideas of erecting historical structures that would have made their individual countries pride of the world.
Q. 3C: General Features of Postmodernism
Postmodern architectural designs are quite unique and apply the philosophy of "anything goes." Instead of overlooking everything else in architecture and focusing too much on the structural purposes of buildings; postmodernism in architecture advocates for a blend of aesthetic creativity, contextualism of structures, allusion to paradox, irony, and contextualism. Even coloring in postmodernism is different from its classical application. In this era, it adheres to a specific theme but it is done quite irregularly.
Q. 3D: Design Features of Hongkong-Shanghai Bank
The bank's building is structurally unique as it doesn't have any internal support like it is with most buildings that have pillars. Notably, the building was designed in such a way that the sun is its main source of light. Strategically positioned on top of the building are humongous mirrors that reflect sunlight into the building enough to brighten up the plaza. The external facades of the building are reinforced with sun-shades that provide a healthy greenhouse effect preventing entry of direct sunlight into the plaza thus controlling sun's intense heat. The floor is made of movable parts to allow for the installation and repair of computer cables.
Q. 4C: Sustainability in History of Architecture
Sustainability in architecture would refer to the continued relevance of an architectural design over time. The history of architecture pays so much attention to the ornamental, structural, and aesthetic elements of architectural designs and overlooks the sustainability of these structures. One particular building that tends to be sustainable is the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve library in France. Ornamentally, Labrouste- its lead architect- didn't do much of decorations of the building. However, he was driven by the purpose the structure would serve. Therefore, he focused on the entire structure overlooking almost every other aspect. The result was a concrete-walled building whose pillars were made of reinforced steel. The structure ultimately became an ornament on its own, and its form was able to stand the test of time.
AEG Turbine Factory, on the other hand, overlooked the aspect of sustainability. Its walls were made of still (thoughtful) but were also pure glass. While such a design was aesthetically compelling, it was clearly unable to stand the test of time. Using it as a reference for architectural milestones of Germany would make one wonder how Taj Mahal would have looked like today, had it been made of glass walls. Buildings like Taj Mahal are legendary architectural design not because of their aesthetic expressions but because of their overall structural design. It is in the same spirit that Bibliotheque was designed, constructed and structured. The French library was possibly able to perform multiple purposes. Assume that France had had a civil crisis where citizens lost shelter. The library could have served them better as a temporary residence. On the contrary, AEG Turbine Factory was rigidly fixed functionally. It was only good for industrial works and that was all. Also, it had to be maintained regularly because of the glass walls. Bibliotheque, on the other hand, was structurally sustainable because the only maintenance it required was painting and that was it.
Q. 4D: Compare and Contrast Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve and AEG Turbine Factory
Labrouste brought out a new dimension of architecture through the library such that it could have an intellectual interpretation. The fundamental principle behind his architectural design of the library was that everything else including its ornamental aspect gave way for structural dominance. Culturally, this was an establishment amidst people who were revolving economically and intellectually. They were questioning the past principles and were making changes. This was a whole new culture that was open-minded and was embracing new ideas. Labrouste utilized the use of structure and light to make the library an architectural milestone. Paying attention to structure and overlooking everything else, the library's structure became an ornament itself. The structure became a decoration too.
AEG Turbine Factory was a German architectural design established in the 90s. It was basically a work of a German Engineer and Architect, Peter Behrens. This factory was constructed at a time when Germany was enjoying political stability and was instead working on building herself economically. It was basically a long hall with the opposite sides made of steel and glass. In essence, it was an upgrade from a previous factory that had been playing its role except that the previous one had become smaller. It was thus a hallmark for a culture of industrialism. Aesthetically speaking, the library was a mark of a strong and stable nation which had no need revisiting former principles, except improve on what they already had.
Bibliotheque and AEG factory share certain similarities. They both are a representation of the cultures within which they were built. One represents an academic nation and the other represents an industrial nation. They were also sharing a structural philosophy in that both overlooked every other architectural aspect of a building and focused on the structure and purpose. The library was made of reinforced steel pillars and a concrete wall, while the factory was made of glass and steel. Both of them utilized structure and light which worked out pretty well. The two are however different structurally. While one is a basically a hall whose walls are made of glass and steel, the other is an actual building with compartments and was built using steel and concrete.
Q. 5: Bonus Questions for Part 2
5A: The Municipal Center of Saynatsalo
The most interesting part of the movie is where Alto builds a modern complex in the middle of trees. It shows the environment friendliness of his architectural skills towards the environment. His community was a wood-logging community. It is quite impressive how he builds the structure without interfering with nature. This can be emulated today in designing architectural structures by employing materials that are environmentally friendly.5B: Commentary on a Drawing
The drawing is a building. The first two resemble rooftops of ancient designs. The last two suggest completed buildings of the past. The drawing is bland-and-white and is an impressive illustration of the history of architecture. Moving from left to the right, one clearly sees that the structural differences are advancing and getting more attractive.
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