Thursday, May 2, 2013

Postmodernist Architecture

Postmodernist architecture seems to me to be somewhat stuck in between the stark minimalism that was growing in popularity in the 1950’s through the 1980’s (and even somewhat past that time) and the ornate detail which was represented in times past and revived in the times post-postmodernism. It therefore has an identity which is very much its own, and recognizable no doubt, yet to me does not appear as one which can hold as much detail and craftsmanship as that which was represented in the craftsman period which came beforehand. This however somewhat benefits the aims of postmodernism architecture. The intricacy of the designs which came before and after, as well as the emphasis on quality, go against the straightforward utilitarian view of postmodernist architecture. For example, in Robert Venturi, Vanna Venturi House (1962-1964) Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania the entire house only took $43,00 to put together, which even for the time is relatively inexpensive. This whole concept makes it somewhat ironic that Robert Venturi’s most famous quote happens to be “less is a bore.” If less is relative to a warehouse or tent, I suppose that the Venturi homes are detailed, but relative to older, more traditional Roman-Victorian designs it is relatively simple. I think that in all, though that makes sense for the post-modernist architecture. It is in some ways stuck between the coldness of modernist architecture and the overzealousness of the traditional intricate designs. The Venturis seem to accomplish this in their homes. However, I do not think that it is too far off to say that the Postmodernist architecture of the time, as it did not last, was a time of growth more than anything else for modern architecture as well as the architect himself, who later went on to design in much more accuracy to his famous quote.

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