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"As Javier recalls in his Autumn 2004 diary we made the round trip from Tokyo to Sendai and back in a morning, just to see the Mediatheque by Toyo Ito. The high speed trains enable this but I could not tell you anything about Sendai.
The Open Urban School. OMA. LabCity CentraleSupélec. Plateau de Saclay. Gif-sur-Yvette (France). Photo by Philippe Ruault
The programme, in any project, is the version for dummies of a complex system. As the architects expand their information on the system on which they must operate, -either educational, commercial, cultural ... - It will be an ever–changing, loose horizon shrouded in uncertainty, which will then interact with the architects, absorbing and somehow transforming them.
The speed with which architecture needs to respond to this unstable horizon, which to simplify we shall call program.
School buildings house complex systems. From kindergarten to the university faculty, the journey through learning levels consists of an accumulation of vital experiences arising from the interaction between these systems.
The educational function, so called by Functionalism, now builds its environments with new paradigms that reflect and respond to an increasingly diverse and complex social agenda.
Kostantin Melnikov. Melnikov House. Moscow, 1927
It is striking the amount of private homes that can be visited in Moscow. In a city where it is so difficult to talk to its inhabitants, it is very easy to get to know their houses. Those in which someone singular lived have become a museum and are the people close to the character who show them, making it a way of life.
We arrived at Club Zuyev unexpectedly, to try our luck and trusting in the kindness of the staff that takes care of him. They were painting the façade in pink and repairing some windows. Hence the untidiness of the exterior, on the other hand so manipulated and distorted throughout its existence. The interior, however, was calm and maintains the original appearance. Golosov has played with the gloom of the lobby and we went from the almost domestic scale of the access, through a latera.
Ginzburg, Milinis. Narkomfin Dom-kommuna. Moscow, 1928
We walk along the edge of the road down Malyy Konyushkovskiy Street – there is no pavement on this side of the street - and the building emerges from behind the trees. Drizzle. Nikolai Vassiliev, the architect specializing in Soviet avant-garde architecture who has been kind enough to offer to show us the building, is waiting for us in the gardens.
"When they reached the top of the stairs, the view was spectacular. The roof overlooked most of the campus, the surrounding city of San Vincenzo and the bay beyond.”
This paragraph from the novel The Circle (Dave Eggers) describes the paradigm of the office in the digital era, which is ubiquitous, with no defined space or time. Everything can be done at any time in any place.
De Citadel. Christian de Portzamparc. Almere. The Netherlands. Image: Luuk Kramer