Cultural Image of Architecture
Cultural Image of Architecture_Silvio Carta
The word “culture” relates to the family of signifieds stemming from the Latin verb colere(to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, take care of, guard), and comprises a series of other terms related to the cultivation and tillage of the land. Figuratively, culture has come to refer to “cultivation through education”, where the growing of goods from the soil through organised, patient, hard work is compared to the increase of knowledge by means of education. Apart from its agricultural meaning, the general notion of culture now relates to a “pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations” and to “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group”.
New Directions in Cultural Buildings
New Directions in Cultural Buildings_Douglas Murphy
Since the global financial crisis of recent years began, it seemed that a new sobriety was appearing in architecture. Across the world, a large number of cultural buildings, commissioned during the economic fever of the early 2000s, failed, leaving architecturally spectacular buildings completely incapable of fulfilling their over-ambitious briefs. Since then, a new restraint has appeared, influenced by the politics rhetoric of austerity. Today we are perhaps at a junction point: in Abu Dhabi, some of the most ambitious architecture of the era is currently under construction, including signature cultural buildings by all the superstars of the last generation. Due to be completed before the end of the decade, there is a sense that these might be the last major buildings of the iconic era, a by-now somewhat discredited architectural ideology.
A number of new cultural buildings of recent years show how architects are attempting to move beyond the restrictions of the cultural building understood as urban icon. Though still often operating within the general parameters of iconic architecture, it is clear that a return to contextual sophistication and a commitment to the public space of the city are becoming more prominent than before. By examining some of these designs, we can begin to ask: is it possible that the worst architectural excesses of the last decade are now behind us? Is the “Emirate style” of architecture capable of acting urbanistically after all?
Cultural Shift from bygone Industry
From Industrial to Cultural, Substituting a Flow of Goods with a Flow of People_Tom van Malderen
We have witnessed a great wealth of cultural institutions and destinations rising out of leftover industrial buildings. Especially over the last decade, architecture from past manufacturing activities found their recovery through injections of culture. Why do leftover industrial infrastructures and “culture” marry so well? What is involved when a building shifts from industrial production to cultural production? And since it concerns a form of preservation, what is it that is being preserved? The building fabric, the location, the cultural significance of the place or the encounter between present and past?
The projects presented within this chapter provide a considerable illustration of the manifold attitudes taken towards post-industrial landscapes, but also highlight a number of clashes involving their shift from industrial to cultural production. The text examines this phenomenon through a series of topics and intertwined stories. Whilst it needed a certain frame of mind to initiate a thirst to preserve, it made us question time in relation to place, and eventually create environments that surpass a mere celebration of the past. Recovered industrial sites have been genuine contributors to processes of gentrification, but have also been “used” as marketing tools for speculative developments. Nevertheless, the qualities these industrial spaces presented in the process of being adopted to cultural spaces definitely left a profound mark. Their re-use established a precedent and generated architectural models that are now been transferred to newly build cultural institutions or extension, models that are adopting an architectural language reminiscent of this very industrial heritage.