Lansdowne Crescent vs. Marseilles Habitation

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Posted by  Paul Malo on March 03, 2002 at 13:09:48:

In Reply to:  Bath UK posted by Gareth Guiver on March 03, 2002 at 10:26:35:

Sigh. . . What a great place to live! (And a great photo, Gareth).

This is civility, urbanity--and restrained architecture. We may think of this sort of reticence has being characteristically English, but it is 18th century. You find this sort of elegant taste in Paris and other urban quarters of the time. How different from our own era of agressive architectural self assertion.

What's the most significant difference between this urban form and, say, Corb's Habitation at Marseilles? His is an inversion of this. Rather than what we see here, the urban poché containing a figural SPACE as a communal place, he gives us a figural OBJECT adrift in undefined space. Where's the PLACE at Marseilles? If you know the building, the area underneath, between the pilotis, is a dark, barren void where nothing can grow and no one wants to be. The rest of the building is a rabbit warren of cells and corridors. Where's the PLACE?

A transcendent characteristic of the modernist way of seeing form is placelessness.

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