Rem Koolhaas "Last Apples" - 2018_...
Auteur : Rem Koolhaas et Bruce Mau
Diffusion : Hans Werlemann, Jennifer Sigler
Architects will be the last for whom the apples fall...
Since gravity works as a sum, the theoretical shape of a column is a cone; to deal with accumulating forces, it is thin at the top and fat at the bottom. The taller the building, the more the structural inheritance from the upper regions dictates decisions below. Each high-rise represents the systema- tic reduction of freedom toward where it matters most: on the ground. The deeper the building, the more it depends on arti ce for its servicing. Air is injected into its interior, used (i.e., turned into poison), and extracted; the inside core, inaccessible to daylight, is lit by uorescent tube (gasses in a permanent state of explosion). In the conventional solution - com- bining the claims of structure and services - the ducts that carry air to and from the center are hung from the oor, then hidden behind a false ceiling. This zone of darkness is further stuffed with equipment for lighting, electricity, smoke detectors, sprinklers, computers, and other building « controls ».
The section is no longer simply divided by the discrete demarcations of individual oors; it has become a sandwich, a kind of conceptual zebra; free zones for human occupancy alternate with inaccessible bands of concrete, wiring, and ducts.
To avoid interference from the columns and their unwelcome inheritance, the structural grid widens, increasing the depth of the oor slabs. Ducts in- ate to deliver greater perfection to ever more distant destinations. Wiring proliferates, claiming more space.
The more sophisticated the building, the greater the expansion of the inaccessible zones, expropriating ever larger parts of the sections. The expertise and autonomy of the advisers (quaint title) parallels this expan- sion. Suddenly, the architect has to ght on two fronts: the rst, he faces the client, who is already nervous at having started this entreprise - a Big Building; on the second, he confronts the sabotage of engineers, his sup- posed « teammates », with their tantalizingly vague (if not outright poetic) indications from what is supposedly the domain of pure science. Floors suddenly « have to be... millimeters » ducts « probably not lees than...in diameter », beams « would be a lot safer at ...meters, stability « could be achieved by... » Additional « discipline » claim major reservation in sec- tion and plan (nobody knows exactly what for) in a metaphysics of prag- matic precaution against « things » that « might » or « always » happen. Idealism vs. philistinism: the section becomes battle eld; white and dark compete for outright domination. (In some hospitals the dark bands of the section exceed 50% of the total and block 75% of the budget.) The dark zone is not strictly « useless » for the future inhabitants of the building; it also becomes conceptually inaccessible to the architect, who has beco- me an intruder in his own project, boxed in, his domain a mere residue of the others’ demands. The architect’s arguments are always opinions; they cannot compete with the aura of objectivity that shields building tech- nologies from critical probing. (In this reading, « high tech » is not only ridiculous in its decorative posturing, but worse, celebrates the nal maso- chistic surrender of the architect: the substitution by technical impediment of architectural possibility.)
Groupe thématique : TEXTE