Additional Blog: Gaudi vs. Kahn
In researching architects for this additional blog assignment I initially though about writing about Frank Lloyd Wright because I am familiar with his work and had the opportunity to work at SC Johnson in the buildings he designed. But instead I chose to find architects mentioned in class whose work I am less familiar with.
My first choice was Antoni Guadi because I feel stongly connected to Spanish culture and his architecture is highly individualized within means of cultural context. His buildings are incredibly unique but ture to Spanish culture and evocative of Spain's historical styles, including rennaisannce, gothic, and morrish influences.
In my research I found many people attempting to classify his style as Gothic...but I believe that it falls into a category all of its own. From a purely asthetic and cultural point he designed his buildings to move his people forward. Specifically the Park Guell and the Familia Sagrada.
Gaudi designed the park guell with great detail and attention to history and cultural influences. He included many motifs of religious mysticism, since Spain is a country which is deeply religious and has been influenced by Islam, Judaism, and Roman Catholocism.
Secondly his Familia Sagrada which highlights Spain's deep Catholic Heritage is unlike any other cathedral in the world. It's construction which has been in process sinc the 1880's shows the intricacy of the buildings design. It is the symbol of Barcelona and perhaps Spain. It is to the Spanish what the Eiffel tower is the the French.
The thing most incredible I discovered about Gaudi was the way in which his forms and buildings worked with the opposition rather than against. He allowed gravity to define the neccessary form for the desired structure.
Now to note upon the work of Louis Kahn, whose work has great stark contrasts to Gaudi's.
Kahn is an Estonian born U.S. immigrant who is one of the formost Architects of our time. Unlike Gaudi's work Kahn's is more disconnected from the culture in which his buildings exist. They do not have cultural markers which would give any indication as to where they are. From The Jonas Salk institute in California to the Parliment building in Bangladesh, his buildings could be placed in any place around the world. This is not to say they are drab pre-fab concrete slabs. Rather, they strip away excess, leaving only the essestials.
I was most taken aback by the Salk institute and its positioning in the environment and the effect that the sun rising plays everyday.
However, I am sure how people play into the environment in his buildings...I feel as though they are systems with too much philosophical insight and not enough human...but I am sure that Kahn would aruge the two areas are the same. So, I guess I will have to visit to make a decision.
There does lie a similarity in these to architects styles, in the use of geometries. Gaudi uses simple geometries in his murals and the designs of some of his famous houses such as Casa Vicens. He uses geometry to evoke/mimic nature. Whereas Kahn's buildings are a series of repeition of stark geometries which evoke a sense of order and the creation a natural system.