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ARCHITECTURE - SPACE - SCULPTURE

Examining the spatiality of sculptures by Vincenc Makovský


by applying the architectural research of the space,
regarding the holes in the sculptural/architectural body.

DISSERTATION
Roman Strnad, level 3, roman.strnad@gmail.com
University of Brighton School of Architecture and Design, Histories Theories Issues in Spatial Design
tutor: Luis Diaz
12.01.07
in total: 9501 words
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O U T L I N E

INTRODUCTION

a) MOVEMENT AND CIRCULATION


- 1 – SPATIAL MECHANICS - examining the terms “circulation” and “respiration”, their use in processing the
architectural design within the history since the invention of them as a metaphor; conceiving the
buildings penetrated by certain flows
The dynamic forces representations to be in various forms, both literal (flow of the blood, people) and rather abstract
(space itself), regarding the distinction between the metaphor of circulation and respiration.
- 2 – RESPONSE IN BUILDINGS - retrospective view of a building endowed with some anthropomorphic values
which especially is an inner eye introduced by the insertion of a hole within the regular structure
(grid). Insertion responding to the dynamic flows and forces of the environment (people, greening,
vehicles, sights)
The dynamic forces creating the irregularities adding the sensation of a certain respond in the presence of a work of
architecture, adding some anthropomorphic connotations.

b) SPACE
b1) space, spatiality – defining the concept within the historical context
- 3 – SPACE - the definition of the two principal distinctions of space - fluid x enclosed; adducing the approaches of
understanding the space, those that are relevant for the general topic; introducing the term into both
Architecture and Art (sculpture, philosophy).
Various attempts to define the term, resulting in an increasing number of possibilities of understanding a work of art
and architecture.

b2) space x void – searching for the limits of the term “void” in the architectural context
- 4 – HEAVENLY MANSIONS - successively evolved system of assembling small spatial units; stemming in the
concept of habitation generated by the need for sheltering an object of religious significance; spatial
units operated and organised in order to form a structure filled with a significance.
The term void in this case may act as a setting, following the highly organised, predetermined concept of inhabitation.
- 5 – TAMING THE BEASTS - drawing the attention to the absence; using elements considered not full (in terms
of their physicality) as a mean of developing a concept of both the building and the urban scheme; the
emptiness is given a particular significance, however, in two manners – highlighted (Grand
Bibliotheque, Mélun-Senart) or dull (Berlin - erased parts of an urban landscape provided with
awkward infrastructure such as traffic veins etc).
The significance of the “full” (mass) distinguished from the one of the “void” within a process of organising the matter.
- 6 – PANTHEON - the representative of the approach recognising the space as a volume; its supreme significance
laying in the genuine synthesis of the need for manifesting a particular statement and its execution in
the form; the temple of all gods relieves the different religions via the architectural form fitted with a
hole (oculus).
Dealing with the space, actually grasped as void, stressing the emptiness, incorporating the idea.

b3) inner space, sensitivity


- 7 – TACTILITY, TEMPTING, BODILY SENSATION - introducing the theme of plasticity and tactile quality; the
legitimacy of the architecture discovered to be in its physicality experienced directly, not only
represented by a media; appeal for a very lively perceived architectural environment.
Tactility, space full of the sensual qualities; suggesting the employment of the holes creating a tempting environment.

c) SCULPTURES
- 8 – HENRY MOORE - connecting the art of sculpture with Architecture in terms of providing the environment with
forms of spectacular identity; Moor’s work is worth mentioning due to his dealing with the matter of
the external space, using the method of drilling holes; expressing the vigour and vitality being no less
important.
Plastic and tactile presence of the sculpture having a particular identity based on expressing certain forces.

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d) SCULPTURES – HUMAN - ARCHITECTURE


- 9 – MAN, SCULPTURE, SPACE - Vincenc Makovský - concluding case study incorporating the knowledge
previously outlined.

CONCLUSION

Diagram of the structure of the dissertation

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INTRODUCTION

My first encounter with the issues of openness or closeness occurred a year ago, during the studio project at my home university in

Brno, The Czech Republic. The brief was quite simple, yet ambiguous. On

the plot of 70 x 20m, I suggested a multipurpose building with principal

stress on the dwelling; the building would form, as you can see on the site

plan, the entire part of a backyard block very close to the historical site of

Mendel square, western front facing the pedestrian zone and the eastern one

overlooking the backyard. The tempestuous discussion emerged on the

relevance of the urban microscheme that i developed. Leaving aside the

comments on wasting the plot (the building not covering it all), the main
Fig. 1 initial design provoking the idea
complaints, but appreciation as well, came due to the building’s split into

two parts, the gap inbetween, enabling the pedestrians to penetrate into the bowels of the block.

The second elementary factor constituting the reason for defining the theme of this dissertation, was getting to know the work of

the Czech sculptor Vincenc Makovský (1900-1966); and indeed, due to his son Zdeněk Makovský, a tutor at the architectural

faculty in Brno, I vicariously met himself. Basically, his work is to be the raison d’etre of this paper, although the greatest

portion of the text has been devoted to selected architectural points; those that, on the other hand, are connoted to the issues and

preoccupations which exist in the work of Makovský. The intention is to undergo certain an exploration of the properties

lodged in particular sculptures, properties which, in terms of their links to architecture, enable being tested by the architecture

itself. For such an exploration, I intend to employ a few terms being known as the principal ones for Makovský’s work; as I’ve

been introduced in rather an informal talk given by the artist’s son.

This paper’s objective is to set up some values which any architecture should be lacking, since it (architecture) is a

supreme tool of an experience. What can we learn about the architecture by having learnt reading the sculpture,

particularly the essentially architectural one. As this does not imply a literal transcription of a sculptural body into

an architectural one, I’d like to point out the logic of the association between architecture and sculpture, and to

provoke a sense of such ideas to be considered within designing and reading a piece of architecture.

So far as a sculpture is about to be a mirror for gauging the architectural enterprise, and vice versa, a set of parameters

needs to be devised. Naturally, the matters of space seem to be such, first and foremost. That parameters shall

undergo a filtering through the realm of architecture, so that a conclusion would be made up by a backward

implication of the parameters that, however, has been known in the start;. Once refined through such a filtering,

they can be grouped in two fundamental categories: hole (comprising flows, anthropomorphic and tactility) and

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void (incorporating inhabitation, relief and a method). The aim of this is to find out the relations between the

sculpture and the architecture, regarding the sheer human being.

As for Makovský, there is a great spatial issue consisting in dealing with and struggling for the desire of what is called

the inner space. The concept of a space worth being named “inner” suggests the necessity of describing something

of its counterpart – the outer space; since the dialog between inside and outside comprises an issue of the highest

attention in the architecture, in my opinion, the fundamental one. The presence of the outer world is to be

introduced here as by an investigation of the terms of flow, circulation, respiration. As a body (of a human, an

animal, a sculpture, etc.) is described as a carrier of a soul, then it makes up a field of encounter; a shell. It is a

perpetual process of balancing the inner substratum and the outer forces, while there can hardly be any life where

the means of an access for the influence is lacking. Body, necessarily having a hull, communicates via its

apertures, holes, its energy leaking out or being sucked in. Just imagine a human body; it lives because it is a part

of the complex environment consisting of various layers of flows, while huge part of all the communication is

based on a process of penetration. (Nevertheless, the process of damage can utilize the same method…) Actually

the same happens in the realm of sculptures and buildings as well, delegates of what are assessed as

anthropomorphic (implying the definition of the organic architecture). This results in a distinctive way of

perceiving the things, introducing the bodily sensation as one of the fundamental goals.

There is a path to follow in this paper, starting with theoretical examination of using the metaphors of circulation and

respiration in the architectural realm, manifestation of which are some LeCorbusier’s works. Then, an

investigation of the space, and its definition, bringing out two principal distinctions in grasping it (enclosed x

fluid), suggesting various ways it may be perceived as the concept has historically been under the process of

development. Considering the notion of a space as a counterpart of the mass, the concept of a void occurs;

however, I also include it because it may challenge the idea of how the space of architecture is distinguished from

the one of a sculpture. It is tested on various architectural examples, with rather an ambiguous result (as for

featuring an emptiness in terms of real nulity, nonexistence). First, the gothic cathedral organized via grading the

units of inhabitation; second, certain projects by OMA that shaped some design propositions via grasping the

counterpart of the mass, calling it void, and third, Pantheon employing the void’s real emptiness in favour of relief.

Then, following the idea of the space as an enclosure, there is a chapter on the sensual and sensitivity-driven

experiences of the bodily encounters, Juhani Pallasmaa introducing the themes of the plasticity and tactile

architecture condemning the mere visuality. Finally I’m propounding a piece of information on work by Henry

Moore, since it’s useful to point out the vigor present in both the sculptures and his personality; and for many

similar features that are to be found in the work by Makovský.

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SPATIAL MECHANICS
based on text by Adrian Forty

“Fuck the context” … I’m demonstrating Rem Koolhaas’s intriguing shout as the opening provocation aimed to

suggest a starting recognition of this chapter. The most considerable factor here is the fact that this statement can

not be instantly marked as outrageous; simply, since this has been claimed by the man who knows a lot about the

matter of context (while so many shallow developers’ projects1 have been driven by the same approach, yet, in

such cases, knowing nothing about the issues of context, the proclamation turned into an anti-idea). I shall take a

look at OMA’s conceptual and speculative ideas and describe its work later in this paper; at this moment it is only

relevant to say that there are two principal approaches – regarding the context or disregarding it in favour of, say,

architectural assertiveness. One must be conscious of the first in order to gain an eligibility to espouse the latter.

Let me examine now one particular layer of the issue – as it is prefaced in the introduction – the world of circulating

movements and forces. With the aim to grasp the sensation of a movement or any other dynamic force (which

indeed is something invisible) Adrian Forty explored the history of it so far as it has been used as an

architectural metaphor. In his text he collected three basic scientific metaphors that can be helpful for

understanding the matter; these are circulation, respiration and set of metaphors taken from the mechanics.

Beforehand, I introduce the list of various kinds of flows to consider, which may be helpful for understanding the text

although these descriptions were emerging continuously through the time. It doesn’t always have to be people or

vehicles who constitute the flows; the other interpretations, often very abstract, speak about the system of the

technical infrastructures and services (Daly), the flow of the space itself (Frankl), the knowledge and the logic of

the overall structure (Frankl, Viollet-le-Duc), the knowledge of the space came about through perceived bodily

motion (), or the sight of a man (Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, see chapter no. 7; Hildebrand – see chapter no. 3).

As for the circulation, Forty searched for the moment in the history of the metaphor’s emergence when it was

becoming to constitute a system, so that the circulating flows could have been operated as a factor independent on

the physical body of a building. In the premodern architecture the architects were conscious of the term, but their

method of arrangement (disposition) was rather based on distributing the volumes so as to preserve the demanded

orders, although the people could be said to circulate among the series of interconnected rooms (example given for

the Versailles palace). Basically, this used to be a dealing with the imaginable categories, i.e. physical bodies, such

as a room for example is (due to its enclosure given by a mass), and arranging them as the members or the parts

1
see the chapter no. 9 - businessmen’s baroque

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along an axe - say, assembling. In the modern architecture the architects have found out a way of how to possess

the space independently on its carrier (what also is due to the fluid-space idea intervention – see the chapter no. 3).

However , of the earliest exponents of the new description, it is most intriguing to review the comments by French

architect Charles Garnier, reason for what is referring to the holes; Forty gives two quotations from Garnier (1871)

showing some discrepancy in terms of the level of Garnier’s modernity: at first, the stairs

are understood as a profane mean of the communication and as an artistic motive, while the

second statement says: “if the walls of the stair well are full of openings, everyone

circulating at each level can at their fancy divert themselves at the sight of the great vessel,

and by the incessant circulation of the crowd going up and down the flights.”2 Simply

transcribed, the stress has become to be put on the experiential factors performed among the

physical objects; rather then on commonly accepted constructional elements. So then,

employing the abstract activity perception, new arrangement-description (circulation as an

independent system) has suggested the possibility of organizing a building in a liberated

way, i.e. not based on a precedent of the form (this is a/the room, this is a/the street, etc.).

From now on, the architecture has become amenable to the process of scientification,

dissection-like attempt to grasp the architectural complex.

Fig. 2 the blood-flow The point, that the most of the earlier accounts of the circulation have in common is the

closeness or serriedness of the flow, the ever first introduction of the word brought out by Sir William Harvey in

1628 as a description for the blood-flow in the body. For instance, E. E. Viollet-le-Duc found the circulation in the

system of connecting “one principal organ, - one dominant part, - and

certain secondary orders or members, and the necessary appliances for

supplying all these parts.”3 Yet, the comparison to a single fixed

volume of a fluid causes a problem in the realm of the architectural

and urban design, since it does not match the nature of a movement in

and around buildings. Hence, there is a better term – respiration, more


Fig. 3 respiration (LeCorbusier’s design
precisely corresponding to the behavior of the flowing forces because
for Olivetti plant, 1957)
it is not a fixed number of people going through the building, and not even do they go through the whole building.

This term indicates a process of continuous infusion and diffusion which actually is based on certain a level of

permeability and recognition of the flows. It also makes up another anthropological reference – breathing; one

such distinctively apparent in the work by LeCorbusier, which is exposed in the next chapter. First and foremost,

2
Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 90

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having made the shift from circulation to respiration, Forty manifests here the same statement that I actually intend

it to become an outcome of my text: that the buildings are not sealed, strictly bounded, self-contained entities.

Open systems are usually avoided in the process of an architectural development for these seem too disturbing4.

The third metaphor comprises a set of terms borrowed from both the mechanics and the psychology. These don’t serve

to describe the static structural features but formal and spatial properties instead, the architectural handling using

various optical illusions aimed to give a sensation referring to the particular terms like stress, compression,

tension, torsion, centrifugal, etc. German aesthetic philosopher Heinrich Wolfflin has developed a theory of the

empathetic experience (1886), being preoccupied mainly with “the opposition between matter and the force of

form,”5 many strong consequences to be found in the baroque. Another German aesthetic philosopher Robert

Vischer even stated that “art finds its highest goal in depicting a moving conflict of forces.”6 By the half of the 20th

century the mechanics-metaphor acquired a broad comprehensibility, so that the critic Colin Rowe could conclude

the account for LeCorbusier’s Convent de la Tourette, saying “voids … act as solid.”7 In other words, the space

has naturally been described using the language of the mass.

RESPONSE IN BUILDINGS
based on text “Aquaous Humour” by Robert Slutzky

The artistic nature of LeCorbusier’s ouevre made up a background

constituting a remarkable spatial relations. Having been engaged

with positioning the image-planes, he has brought the moment of a

retrospective perception. Besides, his sense for the dynamism of

the environmental forces and energy flows justifies the application

of his work in this text.


Fig. 4 sketch – villa Schwob,
Le Chaux-de-Fonds, 1917 The painter Robert Slutzky describes two techniques of

transformation, LeCorbusier applied on the common method of hand drawing the architectural space. So,

emphasizing the middle ground (plane) of a composition – as though in a still life painting – led LeCorbusier

towards solutions reinforcing the frontality (see fig. no. 5), while some of his sketches suggest the idea of

reappearing the foreground - the observer - in the background (see fig. no. 4). Both inclinations encourage closer

communication between the further plans and the observer him/herself. Moreover, both induced the motive of a

3
Ibid, p. 90
4
consider the parterre of banking buildings – they never include any other function (retail, etc)
5
Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 95
6
Ibid, p. 95

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building fitted with a hole to act as the inner eye, whilst the latter enabled the middle field to be controlled both by

the objects and by the leftover space within. Slutzky says: “Drawn objects tend to be elastically immersed in a

dialogue of contour contiguities and the proportional and shape

alliterations. Most importantly, negative or residual spaces are

invested with a formal value equivalent to that of the objects that

generate them.”8 Simply, there he was operating the objects and

voids simultaneously.
Fig. 5 sketch – Palace of Justice,
Once developed, the precise structure comes to be interpenetrated
Chandigarh, 1952
with an outer system of dynamic categories.

Thus, now it should be pointed out that LeCorbusier’s dynamism-driven manoeuvres were not a facile mean of a

formal inspiration but a profound way of a deliberate processing of forms and installing them in a place. It’s

apparent in the sketches where the movement of people or vehicles, greening and other natural forces form a

dynamic flow, the proposed buildings to coexist with; they are roofed, clad, generally shaped and elevated (above

ground level) in order to emancipate and fully liberate the motion, a

moment included in the section of the Diagram of the New House

(see fig. no. x), where one can say: form follows the flow. In

accordance with Vittorio Gregotti’s definition of the term context:

“The task of the architectural project is to reveal, through the

transformation of form, the essence of the surrounding context.”9

There’s another reaction of the form. Following the ancient notion of

anthropomorphic correlation, LeCorbusier became engaged with an

Fig. 6 Millowner’s Association Building, inner eye as a retrospective moment within the building’s facade.
Ahmedabad, 1954
Oculus on its outer presence works as an arousing resurrection,

counterpart of the observer, catching the observer’s eye, overlooking both him/her and its own building’s

surroundings, magnetizing the access routes so often embodied through ramps and bridges. Apposite example is

the Millowner’s Association Building where the regularly gridded facade becomes transformed through the thrust

of the accessing ramp. Provoked counterthrust holds the organizing and shape-giving momentum resulting in the

projection of the stair and balcony, “…as if the volume of the building had been filled with a gelatinous substance

that, compressed by an outside force in one place, exploded in another to neutralize this compression, the effect is

7
Ibid, p. 97
8
Robert Slutzky, Aquaous Humour, p. 33

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a fascinating disruption of an essentially regular brise-soleil pattern, whereby the facade center is sheared and

dislocated to the right.”10

9
Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 132
10
Robert Slutzky, Aquaous Humour, p.42

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SPACE
based on text by Adrian Forty

The main points of this chapter are rather theoretical. There is a brief explanation, mainly of the very early modern

accounts of the space.

The Greek philosopher Aristoteles considered the space to be a “container of things; succession of envelopes, from

what is within the limits of the sky to the very smallest… there is no empty space, everything has its position, its

location, its place.”11 So that, according to this definition, one can hardly feel a sense of recognizing an emptiness,

direct perceiving the (hollow) space. Rather, an appreciation based on experiencing the physical elements and

arranging their authorities.

I propound that the aristotelian, premodern way of perception emphasizing the physicality has been acknowledged,

throughout the society, as a basic one for a human to orient in the environment. The spatiality of the “inbetween”

unfortunately tends to be disregarded. Nevertheless, people are always influenced by the spatial conditions which

they are located in; symbolic and narrative complexes of the physical networks have, however, an affinity in

organizing the voids and gaps, i. e. the spaces. Applying the term affinity, I mean that the space is similarly

communicative and expresses similar qualities as physical bodies do.

According to the German theorist Alois Riegl, “historical development of architecture has been, as for grasping the

spatiality, the process of a change. So, if the human mind’s ability to interpret the material world has indeed

followed the historical progression, than the evidence of this progression is to be found in an evolution of the

architectural space as built.”12 Indeed, this is the object to examine in both this and the three following chapters.

Undoubtedly, there have been two principal identifications of space in the history, and the aristotelian definition

suggests both; the first is space as an enclosure, the latter is space as a fluid. Whatever approach to spatial issues, it

always oscillates between these two.

Although Aristoteles did not acknowledged hollow space, the Greeks inclined to organize the structures accordingly

to the notion of liberated movement, so that the superimposition of the contemporary idea of the fluid space comes

somewhat appropriate. In terms of composing the urban space, the experience of accessing the Parthenon differs

from the way the Roman squares were organized. The Roman paradigm connotes the buildings assembled in the

way of a chain, resembling the beads, definite and closed elements. The space of Pantheon, Rome (see chapter no.

11
Meiss von, Pierre. Elements of Architecture: From Form to Place, London: Van Nostrand Reinhold (International), 1990, p. 189
12
Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 264

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6) has a definite capacity, behaves as a matter, “a cubic material quantity”13. In general, it is based on the

enclosure. Two pioneers of the modern architecture, Gotfried Semper and Adolf Loos, have introduced in their

texts the idea of the process of enclosing to be supremely essential. Loos claimed that the human need for a

sheltering preceded even the idea of a construction. Semper proposed that space was the first impulse for the

architecture, not the orders as generally agreed by then.

Semper’s proclamation indeed initiated the modern movement which actually established its fame with understanding

the space as a fluid. The heralds of this idea, in addition to the Greek paradigm and baroque interlocking spaces,

were, among others, Friedrich Nietzche and mainly the sculptor Adolf Hildebrand. Its emergence followed some

philosophical themes describing the knowledge of space to be a consequence of the movement through the space.

Nietzche presented the Apollonian14 and the Dionysian cultural instincts (1872), the latter one being a medium

between an excited movement and a feeling; song- and dance-driven sensation. Consequently, he stated: “not a

space that might be empty here or there, but rather as force throughout, as a play of forces…”15 Forty comments it:

“Nietzche recognized the importance of the space as the field within which the Dionysian instinct made its

presence felt.”16 Comparing the space to the water, Hildebrand definitely launched the acknowledgment of the

space as the incessant flow, saying: “three-dimensional extension, … mobility or kinesthetic activity of our

imagination. Its most essential attribute is continuity.”17 Hildebrand also introduced the ‘idea of form’(1893),

where he granted the human mind to be a depository of already appeared and compared spaces. For him, the

substantial business was creating a space equated with a form, the aim of which was the man’s overall spatial

experience invoked within a single image. Moreover, he presented the space as the matter worth appreciation

higher than the physical substance, which becomes just a mere matter unless there is any possibility to see the

spatiality. This also meets the nature of his comment: “As the boundary or form of an object indicates its volume,

it is also possible to compose objects in such a way that they evoke the idea of a volume of air bounded by

them.”18 Interestingly, within his undoubted advocacy of the fluid space, he however embraced the existence of

both elementary concepts: “…the spatial continuum as a body of water in which we can submerge containers and

thus define individual volumes as specifically formed individual bodies without losing the conception of the

whole as one continuous body of water.”19

13
Ibid, p. 264
14
“realisation of images presented to the mind in dreams.” Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 259
15
Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 259
16
Ibid, p. 259
17
Ibid, p. 259
18
Ibid, p. 260

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Whatever piece of architectural work, it is used by a man in the way of movement among the centers of activities. The

architecture is penetrated, due to its real, physical spatiality, it is used both visually and tactilely at just the

moment. This strong, inherited property of architecture is capable of being expressed visibly, in order to enhance

the presence of the architecture itself. Reading an architectural work from the outside implies a perceptional

ambivalence; position of a man in front of a building is physically determined very properly as per the most of

realized examples20; but the mental, supposed-to-be inside position (which one is only preconceiving) either

comprises previously recognized schemes of movement throughout the bowels of a building or is legible already

from the external position. The first is based on preconception, while the latter creates a moment of the mental

penetration to meet the bodily one.

So, the activities form the building (as for LeCorbusier, this has been explained in the previous chapter). Let’s just

turn back to Nietzche according to Forty’s interpretation: “…the superfluity of force, expressed in a rhythmic

dance, was enacted within a space, which was in its turn animated by that activity.”21 This offers the proper

satisfaction of the architectural space itself, since the most exercised architectural alibi is liveability or liveliness.

Indeed, Adolf Loos aimed his idea of enclosure to struggle for “warmth and liveable space.”22

Of course, Loos was a protagonist of the enclosed space, the covering being argued to be “the oldest architectural

detail.”23 However, the early modernist excitement about the fluid space led

to almost total rejection of the space as enclosure. The development of the

term “space” resulted in a recognition of it as an infinite continuum, which

seemed to be in the sharp contradiction with the enclosed space. Bauhaus

professor Laszlo Moholy-Nagy summarized it clearly: “architecture … not as

Fig. 7 Moholy-Nagy – opening up a complex of inner spaces, not merely as a shelter from the cold and from
the structure
danger, nor as a fixed enclosure, as an unalterable arrangement of rooms, but

as an organic component in living, as a creation in the mastery of space experience.”24 Although such approach

tends to be unilateral, one can not deny it some validity, for it comprises certain vitality, excitement, vigor.

So, there are two points relating to the theme: first, that the pathetic fluidity is contradicted to the sentimental

enclosure, and second, as Moholy-Nagy pointed out, the emergence of the spatial relations is set up by opening up

19
Ibid, p. 259-260
20
except for (for instance): Foundation Cartier by Jeanne Nouvel, Paris, France, 1994
(see http://www.archiweb.cz/buildings.php?type=13&action=show&id=19, accessed 10.01.07)
21
Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 259
22
Ibid, p. 257
23
Loos, Adolf. “The Principle of Cladding”, in Spoken into the void : collected essays 1897-1900, London: Opposition
Books, 1982, pp. 65-69
24
Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 267

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the structure (see fig. no. 7). Thus, two extremes are defined of a field of possible synthesis, and I’d like to address

this feature by pointing out the existence of this in the selected sculptures.

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HEAVENLY MANSIONS
based on text “Heavenly Mansions” by John Sommerson

The author of the essay Heavenly Mansions introduces a historically established concept of the little house, calling it

aedicula. It had performed an important role as an essential shrine – miniature temple set in a distinguished place

within a room. The original, and indeed essential objective there is a pleasure of

being in awe of the relation between a man and the settings. Or , interestingly,

between his/her projection (statuette) and the setting. Subsequently, as the use of

this diminutive temple inside the full-scale buildings (especially temples)

increased, the aedicula started to act as a mean of harmonisation of the scales:

aedicule---humane---heroic; it was operated throughout the scales, throughout

the stature of the building.

In case of a gothic cathedral, aedicular concept works as the generator of nearly


Fig. 8 shrine – aedicule, 1st
century AD, Pompei everything, including the space, structure and moulding. The aedicules, as the

essential units, are excitedly multiplied in accordance with the gothic

period’s orders, cosmology and theology. Furthermore, the broad

application of them stands for connecting the external treatment with

the logic of the interior. As for the cathedral in Chartres, there the

complete, chaos-like25 spatial synthesis is finely introduced, or

quoted, in the exterior appearance of the cathedral, mainly on its

south porch where the conception of interlocking the aedicular units

reveals the nature of the inside.

There is a consequent idea of a building to have been erected via the

Fig. 9 Chartres – south porch, 13th cent. negative rendering, i.e. dealing with the space to be enclosed

subsequently (either explicitly or implicitly). The form-structuring

elements tend to be recognised as “voids”. Nevertheless, they are not. Actually based on the inner spatiality, they

are reserved for a meaningful occupation. Even before the start of a cathedral design, the spatial components were

predefined in terms of, say, the quality of dwelling. That means that the complete information on the cachet,

position and interrelations was known in advance.

25
“deliberate chaos of energy” – John Summerson, Heavenly Mansions, p. 24

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Nowadays, we see the cathedrals as a syntax expressed by a spatial arrangement – conceivably as a systematic

assemble of voids – because of the fact that we no longer understand the complexity of the language suffused by a

complicated web of theology (unless being a professor in the branch).

When aedicule is a shrine and gothic cathedral is a multiplication of the shrine, can there be any series of orders to

apply as for this method of dealing with the building’s inner space? However, I propound that such a

preconception has never had a power of potential because the significance of the voids is well known in the very

beginning of the construction, the construction is driven by strong orders. (This makes it different from Koolhaas

who uses the void as programmatically plain in the beginning of the design. See chapter no. 5)

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TAMING THE BEASTS


based on texts “S,M,L,XL” and “Urban Projects 1985-1990” both by Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas - fascinated by void - several times proposed a method of using the void as an essentially forming

element, as a force, having a conceptual quality and being given an ability to affect the

physical members in order not to disturb that quality. It is “void as a strategy,” dealing

with the void as it were a body. Actually, this has been inspired in erasures of banned

elements of an image taken from the pornographic industry. Such elements, which

distinguish pornography from just erotic, i. e. the most striking ones, so that only the

Fig. 10 erasure acceptable figures remain.

In the 1989 competition for Grand Bibliotheque in Paris, the brief required to design an assembly of five

programmatically different libraries (mediateque, recent collections, classical library, collections of catalogues,

scientific library), each of them with a potential of its own identity. OMA’s initial idea (conforming the

competition brief) of low, flat mass dispersed throughout the vast site, had

been rejected in favour of a cubic form comprising the vertical circulation.

Processing the programme represents important design-generation method

in OMA, hence no wonder that the resultant proposal was driven by

dealing with the relationship between two principal operations in the

library: open public spaces and the utilitarian fields. In order not to just

represent the public spaces by inventing the architecture, the decision was

made that those utilitarian portion of the building would serve as a rough

material for public elements to be distributed in. Those elements were

considered to be voids operated like physical bodies. This method is quite


Fig. 11 work model for Grand
Bibliotheque competition, 1989 opposite to the one where the public space is some resulting inbetween,

something not built among something built. “May be it’s possible to invent a building where the most important

parts of the building are not building but absence of building.”26 That means to build the absence, linking both to

the “space as built” proposition by Riegl and to Hildebrand’s notion of the synthesis of space and structure.

26
Rem Koolhaas, Urban Projects (1985-1990), p. 24

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Koolhaas’s team then found a special level of flexibility, according to what demands were required. A kind of

flexibility which is not established with indifference, with an indeterminate free plan, but with various qualities of

dwelling, given by different positions relating to the building’s (box) facade. Dark

room, very deep inside the mass of the building, room with the view to place on the

edge, roof-lit room on the top, largely visited one downstairs…

Koolhaas also adduced a particular example of the Central Park in New York,

where he acknowledged its emptiness (no buildings) to be generative force in the

process of emergence of the place itself. He marks the central park as “a void that

provoked the cliffs that now define it.”27 In the project for urban development of the

Parisien satellite of Mélun-Senart (1987), OMA employed analogous device,

objectives of which reveal Koolhaas’s intellectual background.

The overall structure of this on-the-green-lawn founded town gained its form due to

the method of grasping the town by its empty features, gaps among the built

members. The voids constitute the system reminding in the plan a Chinese graphic.

The chef objectives are, for first, the preservation of the most of the unaffected

beauty and history, and secondly, the struggle for the proposal resistant to the

pressure of political, cultural and economical lobby. The first determined which
Fig. 12 programmatic overlay
pieces of the landscape shall retain their characteristics so that to become protected
– Mélun-Senart development
(construction banned). The latter is an implication of the first: struggling for a

manageable control over the area, the evolved islands (designated for construction) were surrendered to the beasts

from the economical, political and cultural realms that does not pay any attention to the architectural and urban

design28. Koolhaas seems to argue for the results of this rational speculation to be the promoting factor of the

design, which may appear to just enforce his project. Nevertheless, in his (or OMA’s) projects, there often is an

implicitly rendered objective pivoted on the search for liveability. Here it works in terms of protecting the natural

features, while simultaneously the quality of dwelling is managed through avoiding the urban sprawl29.

Architects were then allowed to focus themselves on the energy of the relationships between the islands and the void,

and among the islands each other. The process of transformation the mere void into the space was run via the

27
Rem Koolhaas, S, M L, XL, p. 202
28
i.e. to avoid the unbridled mechanisms of the habits of manipulation. Due to the invincible difficulty with keeping the
architect’s proposal or design development (especially in such a grand scale).
29
The definition of the field to develop in Mélun-Senart is very similar to how London has been facing the questions
induced by emergence of the urban sprawl phenomenon. There also had been designated an amount of greening, in

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programmatic overlay. The voids are programmatically plain at the beginning of the design30, the strips of relative

nothingness establish a field to be interspersed by some activity, later during the process31. In accordance with:

“Where there is nothing, everything is possible. Where there is architecture, nothing (else) is possible,”32 as

Koolhaas claims.

In general, both projects are connoted each other in the way of handling the two essential categories of space: public

and private, or lived and nourishing. First and foremost, the notion of an accompaniment-like treatment was

applied by Koolhaas’s office; they organically generated the continuous existence of public (bibliotheque) or

nourishing (of Mélun-Senart) space, coincidently defining the flanking mass elements. In accordance to the

features that such overall environment was to have.

this case in the circular form of the belt around the compact city pattern. The zone with the construction ban has
aimed to adjust the uncontrollable expansion of the city.
30
that doesn’t count for much with the proposal for the bibliotheque since it was a competition entry.
31
see also the chapter no. 4 – orders of the gothic cathedral; here the development is in the sharp contradiction to the
preset hierarchy of Middle Ages; this actually distinguish the modern architecture from the historical one.
32
Rem Koolhaas, S, M L, XL, p. 199

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PANTHEON
partly based on: the article Pantheon Inside by Steven W. Semes (www.architectureweek.com/2005/0831/culture_1-1.html), History of Western

Historically, temples evolved from the simple house under the process of monumentalization of dwelling. As for

Pantheon in Rome, notes in the architectural literature predominantly focus on its construction. Having sufficiently

developed the craft of utilising the concrete (caementum), Romans were

allowed both to execute such a magnified domed vault and to open a new

world of spatial design. It’s clear that the structural affairs were crucial,

but still its space is of equivalent historical significance.

Pantheon , the temple of all Gods, Rome, Italy, can be considered as a

genial example of bracketing the meaningful intention with the proper

shaping of the space itself. Because of the notion of all-Gods-devoted

temple is a precarious one for various metaphoric reasons, some strong and

neutrally unifying structure had to be devised; accordingly, the form of a


Fig. 13 sphere – the universal form
sphere had been applied. The design that exhausted the imperative of a

spherical non-orientation. Indeed, the internal distance does not act as a space at the initial moment of the

designing, but rather as certain void instead. The mass behaves (in accordance with Hildebrand seeking for a form

to reveal its “space”) as if it was supplanted by the stretch and push

of the void’s sheer vocation which is the neutralization of the

orientation.

Contrary to a Greek temple, Pantheon was designed to be looked at

from the inside as well as the outside, so that the inner space is

physically accessible. Though there are no windows and the building

appears solid, the interior is lit by diffused light, the only income of
Fig. 14 Pantheon - forming the encounter which is the hole at the top of the dome. This oculus is often likened

to an eye. Here, it works in sense of a God’s eye overlooking the interior, or the spectator’s eye overlooking the

heaven, whilst this view is focused, and the oneness and sovereignty of the oculus strengthens its role. The

employment of such a supreme aperture directly and deliberately creates a kind of an encounter.

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Greek paradigm presented “the temple raised on its podium, with the deep projecting porch, brought emphasis to the

shrine and the space before it.”33 Inside Pantheon, there is not any principal shrine. Instead, the divinity is

perceived, felt due to the overall architectural solution of the form. It is an encounter of the man with the Gods,

experienced through crossing the rays (flows) of the divine light with the people. This momentum, being

performed in the setting which has deliberately been formed, causes the void to become a space. Here it works in

terms of the void to be brought to life via the process of piercing it by a number of flows, which, entering through

supreme holes, are considered to constitute an encounter. Thus, the enclosed-space idea meet the counteracting

one (fluid), whilst the void acts as a methodological stage.

33
Patrick Nuttgens (ed.), The World’s Great Architecture: From the Pyramids to the Centre Pompidou, Feltham: The
Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1980, p. 72

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TACTILITY, TEMPTING, BODILY SENSATION


based on text “Retinal Architecture” by Juhani Pallasmaa

Juhani Pallasmaa is an architect who is preoccupied with the sensuous phenomenons to be found in the world that

surround us so that he is in favour of the architecture reflecting, or better say

incorporating (see the tactility of this different expression in comparison to the

visuality of the previous) the elements of sensual perceiving. In the book

Retinal Architecture he is becoming a critic of the recent tendencies in

performing the architectural reality as if it was an image served to soothe the

eye of a man who is supposed to be satisfied with this image projected on his or

her retina.

Basically there are two main observations derived from this book that are

Fig. 15 tactile perception – relevant for my topic: the first, that there is certain link between the visuality
Herbert Bayer, The lonely
Metropolitan, 1932 and tactility, and the second, consequent one, advocating the passage through

the building (or any else physical environment) to be one of the most

distinguishing moment of good architecture. Regarding the theme of this dissertation I will like to focus on the

tactile experience of active exercising the holes in the buildings.

Let me start by a quote: “It is evident that architecture of traditional cultures is also essentially connected with the

tacit wisdom of the body, instead of being visually and conceptually

dominated.”34 The historical architecture is subliminally haptic; this

is probably caused by a sort of direct connection of the craftsmen and

the material. Pallasmaa claims himself not to be prince-Charles-like

traditionalist, and I feel it necessary to state that referring any attempt

for contemporary architecture to the traditional or vernacular one

does not definitely push the architect aside. Since the involved

themes are rather of a shared, unconscious manner (not necessarily

involving the loveliness and/or other, often ridiculous associations).


Fig. 16 villa Mairea (A. Aalto),
One such unconsciously driven sense can be the erotic substance. In
Noormarkku, Finland, 1939

34
Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, p. 26

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the architecture of overlapping surfaces, or a series of apertures in that surfaces , there a play with the transparency

and changing view through insinuates something happens in the depth of the space (see fig. no. 16, see

LeCorbusier’s holes/eyes); Pallasmaa recognises this mainly in the baroque architecture, vernacular

(Mediterranean) settlements, and, interestingly, in the recent architectural development35. Thus, the point is a

reliance of the sensuality and the sight. It’s tempting to touch.

Should an architectural work attract the physical exploration of itself, it must be visually provoking, embracing an

impetus. The problem occurs when the visual information is processed in terms of simplification, reduction of its

active context. Pallasmaa comments it: “Architecture has adopted the psychological strategy of advertising and

instant persuasion.”36 It’s inundation of the overwhelming visuality, a situation which also is addressed by Neil

Postman, American media theorist and cultural critic, in the book Amusing Ourselves to Death.37 He drop the

visual media (such as television) in the strong counterpoint to the audial ones (such as the literature or radio),

saying that the visual one actually impairs our senses in terms of understanding the language and the meanings.

Providing a tempting moment by organising the view through, i.e. by pushing, carving or cutting a hole, may be very

efficient when attempting to relieve the stigma of the defiled visuality. Because it is always a great piece of

wonder to observe that something is missing. However, this coincidently becomes a mean of potential passage,

whatever flow is intended to pass, circulate or be respired. Then, a new field for experiencing the activities is

emerging. Besides the conjunct with Koolhaas’s conception of the programmatic overlay, there also is an

implication in sculptures by Vincenc Makovský.

The need for orientation in the environment and among each other, and reflection of it in activity, makes up a complex

of plastic experiences realised in three dimensions. Pallasmaa calls it a charming way: situational bodily

encounter, dedicating a language and a wisdom to the body. Adrian Forty, reviewing ideas of M. Merleau-Ponty

and Edmund Husserl, summarises this saying that the knowledge of space is inevitably reliant on “the perceived

bodily movement through which we experience the architecture.”38

Orienting ourselves in the space, using sensorial abilities of our skin, is the unconscious process of tactile

transmission. Because, in the first place, the movement of the body, change of its position and point of view, gives

notion of the distance, of the space. Had he not acknowledged the existence of this, Adolf Hildebrand could not

have developed his theory of the perception of space as privileged to the mass. To understand one’s position, it

seems necessary to experience a continuous multiplicity of distances and points of view, to undergo the

35
Ibid, p. 32
36
Ibid, p. 38
37
based on: Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, published in Czech, Prague: Mladá Fronta, 2001, pp. 12 ff.

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encounters. However, should this be three-dimensional (i.e. fully developed), then the vertical dimension must be

employed. Besides elevating the observer by the means of ramps etc., this is effectively manageable via employing

a hole; or similarly, a gap. While the gap suggest a notion of being between/among objects, the hole is more

ambivalent in terms of internality or externality, thus, it can be stated, it contributes to the encountering of these

two in a more differentiated way.

38
Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 92-93

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HENRY MOORE
partly based on text by Iglesias del Marquet

In the work of sculptor Henry Moore, there is a number of remarkable features to connect his repertoire to the one of

Architecture. However, considering both Moor’s work and his personality,

there are certain connotations with the matter of gaining the identity.

Having brought out the particular affairs such as internal and external space

of the form, form’s inhabiting the space, forms capable of being lodged in

others, sensitive and sensual alliance with the archetypal mystery of fruitful

maternity, and the like, and having performed these intentions repeatedly in
Fig. 17 Reclining Figure, 1946
a large scale, these properties are worth counting him as a sculptor of the

architecture or an architect of the sculpture.

The features can be outlined as stated:

- Since the 30’, he fully concentrated on the empty spaces (real or only imagined) “brought into being in the masses.”

Dealing with the internal and external forms, he developed the formation method. And mastering the new

technique – drilling to his repertoire of expressive resources, actually enabled him to capture the external space.

This is of the crucial importance.

- Quality of organic segments containing the space dimension, at the same time contained within; the fascination of

forms capable of being lodged in others. This also means that the configuration of masses is fitted with stable

notion of intimacy, mutuality, mutual pregnancy.

- The motif of fruitful maternity, especially in the family groups.

- He was gifted to capture a magic atmosphere, which surely was conjunct with the sensitivity for archetypal,

subconscious, mythology and primeval arts.

Positively, the most exciting issue is balancing of the external and internal spaces. For examining this, the series of

reclining figures constitute a silver string to follow. Moore was processing this theme during all his life, and it has

influenced the other works either. The figures are laying, with the breast raised, leaned against the elbow. Many

times the composition is rather abstract, so that the elements of the figure become more condensed, abridged. (This

has a particular meaning which I intend to explain later on.)

It is interesting how he interprets the part of the body where the center of its gravity is. When a figure is lying, the

point is divided into two, first in the area of the breast and the latter somewhere around knees. His creative

methods brought him up to a highly condensed, fluent expression of the body, which is very roughly characterized

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in the mass; being there no concept of bringing the holes into it, we could easily miss the idea of manifesting a

figure; and assume the mass to be something purely abstract39. However, the holes are injected into the places

where the centers of gravity of that uncertain mass are supposed to be, thus reassuring the observer of that he is

confronted with the figural performance. It is to be noted, that the method does not consist merely in drilling the

hole but, more likely, synchronizing a sort of synthesis of the overall

volume, penetration of it with its external space, and articulating the

elementary members of the composition. (I present this observation

to be derived mainly from the Reclining Figure created by Moore in

1936 (fig no. x), and from another one finished in 1964.)

Let me explain the note (previously put) about the abstraction of the

figural motive. That what interested the sculptor the most was the
Fig. 18 Reclining Figure, 1936
inner energy, vigor, one even can say potency. Let us the artist

himself speak: “Vitality and expressive power. In my opinion the work of art must have a vitality of its own. By

this I do not mean a reflection of vitality, of movement. … an intense life of its own, quite apart from the object

represented. Of the work that possesses this vigorous vitality we do not say that it is beautiful … Beauty and

expressive power are distinguished from each other by their varying functions. Beauty attempts to please the

senses; power, on the other hand, emanates from an inner vitality which, to my mind, is more moving and

penetrating than beauty. …, a stimulus and incentive for a more decided will to live.”

39
indeed, Moore finally reached the entirely abstract form of expression, as we can see in his large scale sculptures such
as Sheep Piece, 1972 and Large Four-piece Reclining Figure, 1973.]

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VINCENC MAKOVSKÝ – MAN, SCULPTURE, SPACE

As it was prefaced in the introduction, this piece of text shall try to point out the logic of the link between Architecture

and Sculpture. In general, it is not a formal appearance. Rather, the inspiration should draw on a sensual

background, feeling the orientation in the space and on desire for an own identity. These themes can easily be

flushed via a process of the technologic misappropriation, which used to be associated to mass rather than to

space. Drawing attention to Space may redress Architecture from being blinkered.

The architecture, on the contrary to a sculpture, faces an essential danger of rationalizing misappropriation. It does not

mean refusing the technology, feasibility, economy, etc. Rather, it suggests an existence of something different,

more valuable... Apparently, the discourses having found the beauty in the rational issues of technology surely

were influenced by an artistic background, example of which is the Russian constructivism of the 1920’ (abstract,

geometric paintings by Kazimir Malevich, etc.); Pallasmaa claims that architects often pretend statements which

are in a contradiction with their work40. For instance, Louis Kahn’s statement about the impressiveness of a load-

carrying capacity of a crane (of the knowledge of it)41; the seeming preoccupation with the possibility of

constructing a wide span building (i.e. employing heavy, concrete elements) is anything but the delight came about

through the desire for a monumentality, which was a theme Kahn was trying to reconstitute.

I venture to say that it is a rejection of something pornographic in favour of something erotic. (what is behind the

bigness? – a monumentality as a psychological quality) Similarly, Rem Koolhaas often argues via the rationality

facing the diplomacy of a current project (see Mélun-Senart). Yet, even here, one can espy certain an effort to

achieve the liveability, the quality of life. (If it is not only another argument

targeted to get the commission!?). Because, what is behind “the manageable

control over the area”? – “beauty of the landscape!”

In terms of perception, the erasure of the most striking pieces (or covering

them) actually leads to a performance based on the mind’s ability of the

projection; not merely on a clearly executed visual information


Fig. 19 The businessmen’s baroque
(unrevealed). So, bodily-sensation-based perception means something rather

erotic, operating with the body in sense of perceiving this operating. It’s connoted to instinct, rather than to the

direct consciousness of an actual matter. In the chapter on Space, I mentioned the philosopher Nietzche to be the

40
Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, p. 29

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herald of this. It could be concluded that “erotic” is a visual representation of such instinct, while “pornographic”

is a dummy, an artificial, penurious substitution. Let’s just consider the so-called businessmen’s baroque: a way of

building the residential housing, emerged in the countries of former “eastern block” after the fall of “The Iron

Curtain.” Here, the effort was to represent an imaginary passion via an instant revelation of the wealth.

Juhani Pallasmaa calls such a process “de-eroticisation of the human relation to reality.”42 Referring this to the matter

of the “businessmen’s baroque”, the erotic/pornographic distinction gets more appropriate.

As for the sculptures of Vincenc Makovský, I finally am about to find this resultant recognition in two of his masterly

pieces, in the sculptures The Human and A Dream of a Girl. So far as the space or volume is the matter of his

pre-war work, here it has been supremely developed in terms of grasping the essence of the two basic spatial

categories.

During 1925-1928, he was studying in Paris in the atelier of Emile Bourdelle.

In France, in these years, there have emerged a number of styles, experience of

which is reflected in his formally wide range of works. In 1926, he loosened up

to create The Head/Egg (Hlava vejce), the one which is especially notable as a

fundament, diagram for the entire Makovský’s work. It’s a very concise

representation of the collision of two basic systems: soft organic and sharp

rational43. The ovoid body, compressed in form, is disrupted with a precise

planes having cut off a quarter of it. Makovský exercises the observer’s mind:

the head/egg is no more what it used to be, but the former appearance is still
Fig. 20 The Head/Egg
valid, while the form of the external intervening force is legible only thanks to

the host body. In terms of space, it indicates both the internality of

“enclosed” and the externality of “fluid”, thus, within one single

piece. However, this moment is included in another piece, The

Sculpture for a Pool (Plastika pro bazen), designed in 1930. Here,

the appearance is less abstracted and gains a bit identity. The ovoid

forms an eccentric focus, conjunct with the tape-like fluid,

vigorously curving its shape in the space (and consequently

Fig. 21 The Sculpture for a Pool wrapping the egg). However, although the issue of an inner space,

41
Ticho a světlo (The Light and the Silence): selected texts by Louis I. Kahn, published in Czech, Prague: Arbor Vitae,
2002, p. 65
42
Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, p. 34
43
according to Zdeněk Makovský – lecture given on February 2006, Faculty of Architecture, BUT in Brno, CZ

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generated via folding the ribbon, is unmistakably remarkable, I focus on the symbolic legacy of the work. Let’s

say that the physical elements represent a space, or better, an essence of it. Then, there is again the egg as an

enclosure and a trajectory as a fluid. Interestingly, when it is so, what kind of flow is the ribbon to pretend? It is

neither the circulation, nor the respiration. It oscillates between the two, which is fantastic. The movement

apparently is not fettered, but at the same time does not refuse on the compactness of the form, which is due to the

flow finally descends back and terminate on the flat plinth. As if it was to mediate Viollet-le-Duc’s and

Moholy-Nagy’s ideas.

The Sculpture for a Pool indicates mainly the nature of the fluid space. For

description of its opposition, I present another piece, which is A Torso (Torzo),

from 1929. It’s distinguished from the Head/Egg due to the body remained

unaffected; the expressive energy, vitality is to be found in the tension influencing

the volume, which is an outcome of its own internal structuring. The body’s

abstraction meets Vischer’s idea of depicting a moving conflict of forces, which is

then legible the best. Yet, inside the object only.

One of the very strongest pieces is The Human, built in 1931. It is, in a sense, an

implication of issues discovered in The Sculpture for a Pool and in Torso. The
Fig. 22 A Torso human body is hardly recognized in terms of its physical appearance

(resemblance); but the impression, came about through the inventive handling of the mass and space, suggests a

sheer existence incorporating both the physicality and spirituality. The body is an

abstracted shape, vigorous in the form, just like A Torso is. But it’s confronted,

exposed to the world, so that a hole is introduced as the result of such an

experience. This sculpture sets up the diagram for a consideration. It shows a

dramatic process of the inwardness penetrated with the outer presence, which is

here rendered rather universally. It is a proper intervention, and Makovský

recorded a cosmic moment when the hole is really empty, when it signifies a

void. The man is consequently to gain an identity, to be provided with a

character, which will not happen unless the cut is done. And the description of

the way it happens is introduced in H. M.

Referring the sculptural body confronted to the dynamism of its surroundings, the

reclining figures by Henry Moore comes topical. The mass is processed in a way

Fig. 23 The Man (plaster) of integrating both the inner tensions (vigor) and the outer forces. Interestingly,

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both actions cooperate so that to result in a form of a particular identity. It is a body interlocked with its setting,

which suggests a sense of a bodily experience (as if the two flows were caressing one another). Here it becomes

apparent how the outer space becomes somewhat inner; the hole, once being a void, is brought to life thanks to

being flanked by the live organism which seizes it. Consequently, the void

becomes the space. Hence, this approach sets up a notion of a comfortable

inhabitation, bodily pleasure based on the relationship with a

surroundings.

The architectural application of A Torso stands for the enclosed space.

However, it is usually an assembly of such spaces, just like in Villa

Fig. 24 villa Mueller – the lounge Mueller by Adolf Loos, built in 1930 in Prague, The Czech Republic. It

was designed following the concept of the “raumplan”, which means that

the different sizes, floor levels, heights and purposes of the rooms were

arranged spatially, disregarding the notion of a conventional storey.

Interestingly, Loos’s idea was spatial. He employed a wall perforations

(holes; see Garnier in the chapter no. 1) in favour of establishing the

continuity, the space allowed to flow throughout the rooms. Nevertheless,

he did not integrate anything from the outside, the outer energies left

unconsidered. So it comes felicitous to review Kunsthall (1992) by OMA,

in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Here, the concept is based on the complex

Fig. 25 Kunsthall – organization network of the internal traffic pierced by the pedestrian ramp linking a

road with a park. It is an intriguing moment, rendered, almost

unconscionably, via the sheer glass curtain wall constituting the only

partition between the inner and outer flows. To enter the park, pedestrians

go through the building, as if they were in, so that the building is

breathing by them. It establishes a strong communication, while, relating

to Nietzche, the space is animated by the activity. Analogously to the

reclining figure, the shape of the Public Library (2006) by David

Chipperfield, in Des Moines, USA, was derived from the nature of the

location. The aircraft-like plan match the needs of the area. The mass is
Fig. 26 Public Library in Des Moines
pushed aside at certain places so that to actually create them. As the result,

there is a square, a park and an utilitarian bay.

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Adjudicating the level of openness or permeability is always a big dilemma. Hence, it’s going to be helpful to point

out the essence of the issue. This was supremely recorded by Makovský in his sculpture A Dream of a Girl, built

in 1932. Actually, this piece is Pantheon: the interiority was

strongly emphasized, while there is a momentum of an encounter

brought about by an outer authority cutting the body. The girls

body, again abstracted into the essence, is clutching a soft, ovoid

form, lodged in the place where the configuration suggest the

notion of an inner space, created by capturing the outer one. The

egg-like form gains a particular identity, having been treated by

scrawling a sort of ornament on it. Interestingly, the dynamism of


Fig. 24 Dream of a Girl
the moment is introduced through the forcible incision, very

close to the proper focus of the girl’s interior. The intimacy is confronted with a power, while it is not loosing its

charming character; contrariwise, the overall event stands for the process of Life, where the inwardness is touched

in order to grow44. + first and foremost, it points out the logic of the perception of Space, which, according to

Pallasmaa etc, is the bodily sensation

44
both mentally and physically

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CONCLUSION

The final description of Dream of a Girl has pointed out the essence of how a physical body (building or sculpture) can reflect

different spatial demands in terms of the quality of space, relating it to the two fundamental spatial categories: the fluid and the

enclosed space. The nature of these two was explained in the extensive chapter (no. 3). Semantic background of the moving

forces (fluid) was introduced in the very beginning, saying that it actually is a contextual matter (the level of allowing the

movement to affect the body). The enclosure, tending to face the issue of a significance, was examined through several

examples to have used the space as a generator of the overall structure, each time with different level of determination of its

repleteness, implying the distinction between “void” (empty) and “space” (full of significance). As a consequence, the “void”

became considered as a methodological stage, embodiment of which was recognised in The Human, sculpture by Makovsky.

Due to the incorporation of the values of “bodily perception”, and having devised an original distinction of pornographic/erotic, an

interesting, unexpected link has emerged, between the speculative conceptions of Rem Koolhaas and the phenomenological

approach of Juhani Pallasmaa. Thus, the art of Sculpture could act as a mean of considering the distinctions, referring to the

immemorial desire for remedying the man’s soul with the surrounding world, which surely is the supreme task of an

architectural design, whatever size, scale, purpose or budget it has.

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34
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Bibliography

Forty, Adrian. Words and Buildings: A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture,


London: Thames and Hudson, 2000
Hlušička, Jiří, et al. Vincenc Makovský,
Brno: Academic Publishing CERM, VUTIUM, NAUMA, 2002
Iglesias del Marquet, Josep. Henry Moore y el inquietante infinito,
Barcelona : Ediciones Polígrafa, 1979
Koolhaas, Rem and Bruce Mau. S, M, L, XL,
Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1995
Koolhaas, Rem. Rem Koolhaas: Urban Projects (1985-1990),
Barcelona : Collegi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya, 1990
Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses,
Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd, 2005
Semes, Steven W., “Pantheon Inside”,
www.architectureweek.com/2005/0831/culture_1-1.html, accessed 22.11.06
Slutzky, Robert. “Aquaous Humour”, in Oppositions, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 28-51
Summerson, John. “Heavenly Mansions”, in Summerson John, Heavenly Mansions,
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1963, pp. 1-28.

Sources of illustrations
Fig. no. 1 … author’s own drawing
Fig. no. 2 … Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 86
Fig. no. 3 … Ibid, p. 94
Fig. no. 4 … Robert Slutzky, Aquaous Humour, p. 32
Fig. no. 5 … Ibid, p. 39
Fig. no. 6 … Ibid, p. 41
Fig. no. 7 … Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings, p. 267
Fig. no. 8 … John Summerson, Heavenly Mansions, p. 243
Fig. no. 9 … Ibid, p. 245
Fig. no. 10 … Rem Koolhaas, S, M L, XL, p. 104
Fig. no. 11 … Ibid, p. 658
Fig. no. 12 … Rem Koolhaas, Urban Projects (1985-1990), p. 44
Fig. no. 13 … David Watkin. History of Western Architecture, London: Laurence King Publishing, 2000 (3rd edition),
p.76
Fig. no. 14 … http://www.greatbuildings.com/cgi-bin/gbi.cgi/Pantheon.html/cid_pantheon_km_002.html,
accessed 10.1.2007
Fig. no. 15 … Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, p. 28
Fig. no. 16 … Ibid, p. 69
Fig. no. 17 … Iglesias del Marquet, Henry Moore, ill. no. 34
Fig. no. 18 … Ibid, ill. no. 27
Fig. no. 19 … http://www.reflex.cz/images/imgdb/original/phpFT0uFU.jpg, accessed 10.1.2007
Fig. no. 20 … Jiří Hlušička, Vincenc Makovský, p. 198
Fig. no. 21 … Ibid, p. 213
Fig. no. 22 … Ibid, p. 204
Fig. no. 23 … Ibid, p. 212
Fig. no. 24 … http://www.mullerovavila.cz/velke/vi3v.jpg
Fig. no. 25 … Rem Koolhaas, S, M L, XL, p. 104
Fig. no. 26 … http://www.archiweb.cz/thumbs/thumb.php?src=../images/buildings/gallery/picture_832_15.jp
g&q=92&h=485&w=750
Fig. no. 27 … Jiří Hlušička, Vincenc Makovský, p. 221

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