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In 1794, the English landowner Uvedale Price incorporated the concept of the picturesque into the vision of the landscape. His friend, architect John Nash, builds a few years later, just outside Bristol, Blaise Hamlet, a cluster of cottages that recreates rural picturesqueness. Meanwhile, Andrew Meikle invents the threshing machine in Scotland and in America the colonization of the West begins thanks to the Land Ordinance.
Migrations from the countryside to the city have been going on since the beginning of the first industrial revolution and accelerating with the second. The binary city-countryside vision, as opposed sceneries, increases and grows between them an intermediate space that encompasses the worst and the best of the two worlds. In this issue, a detailed timeline accounts for the facts that have taken place in the three contexts during the last 250 years.
Besides, the Is this rural? Series continues to question the identities of the territories. This new volume includes both cultural and educational buildings situated in the midst of less explored nature, as well as farms in densified urban centres -a cultured countryside and a cultivated city.
The title of this series, IS THIS RURAL?, questions the identity of the largest proportion of territory, that not occupied by cities, that which is out there, that which traditionally used to be known as the countryside.
Are there still differences between urban and rural, or are the boundaries increasingly blurred?
How is architectural design affected by the absence of unequivocal identities?
We have chosen 12 actions and situated them within their environment, taking.
"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.