This essay will review the perspectives of Rossi (1984), Venturi (1977) and Rowe (1978) with regards to the following questions: What does the city do for architecture from the perspective of each author? How does the city allow the writer to challenge modern orthodoxies? How does the focus on the city change the questions asked of architecture? The limitations and challenges with the perspectives of Rossi (1984), Venturi (1977) and Rowe (1977) will be reviewed.
Cities and zones agricultural concerns and forests have evolved into being human endeavors of influencing the natural environment. This influence is attributable to these areas being extensive reservoirs of humanity’s handiwork on the natural environment. To a certain extent, they are “artificial homeland’ and symbols which have been built (Rossi 34). These areas are witnesses to the values of which they are composed, the cities, agricultural concerns and the forests compose the permanence and the memories of the inhabitants. The city exists by means of its history.
Consequently, the correlation between art and man is the final formative aspect which molds and directs the transformation of zones into urban areas. This transformation I s engaged in accordance with an aesthetic conclusion. This aesthetic perspective provides an intricate manner of examining the urban areas (Rossi 340.
Inherently, the manner by which individuals direct themselves within urban spaces, including the transforming and evolving of the spatially oriented perspectives must receive consideration. This quality composes the most substantiated characteristic of urban architectural research which has been conducted in the contemporary era, with attention focused particularly on the research which had been conducted by Kevin Lynch. Lynch’s perspectives correlate to the conceptualizing of spatial urban areas and is founded on the disciplines of anthropology and urban landscaping features (qtd. in Rossi 34).
This conceptualization will be compared with the most established stage of urban landscaping. This stage is delineated as urban architecture. What the city does for architecture in the perspective of Rossi (1984) is to categorize three primary paradigms of urban planning. These paradigms are the triangular system, the radial system and the gridiron system of urban planning. The limitation in these perspectives of urban planning is that they are deficient in the consideration of functional approaches (Rossi 34).
Venturi (1978) assumes a different perspective. Venturi (1978) promotes the aspect of the symbolism of the commercial avenues as being chaotic by means of necessity. The sequencing and form in this category of urban landscaping is not apparent. The primary motivating factors of the architecture are the needs of the inhabitant of the city. There is a different approach which is perceived by the application of architectural elements in the civic areas and the commercial areas (Venturi 20).
Venturi (1984) develops the concept that what the city does for architecture is to provide its categorization. Venturi (1984) details that the A& P parking area as a being in the present stage of evolving towards the concept of open space that is defined as Versailles. These are open spaces which provide no confinement. In Venturi’s perspectives, the city creates symbols which dominate the use of spaces. This aspect of Venturi’s perspectives challenges the conventional tenets of architectural aesthetics. In Venturi’s perspective, architecture is not the primary motivation for the usage of urban space. Necessity of the inhabitants is the dominant perspective in Venturi’s perspective of the architectural forms which are incorporated in the urban environment (Venturi 13).
Rossi (1984) manifests perspectives which are in contrast to the perspective of architectural forms in the urban environment with regards to the perspectives which are held by Venturi (1978). Rossi (1984) manifests perspectives which adhere to conventional architectural tenets. In this perspective, municipal areas are human made objects which are composed of the aesthetic aspects and cultural expressions. Above all, Rossi describes that architecture has the responsibility of transforming the natural environment into the built environment. In this construction, the expressions of cultural and aesthetic elements are part of the building process (Rossi 35).
The typology of structures was produced in accordance to the necessities of the inhabitants and the needs and appreciation of beauty. Rossi (1984) proposes that in the urban architectural context, certain categories of architectural structures have been associated with certain lifestyles. Rossi (1984) contrasts the application of the terminologies of model and type. Architectural aesthetics, Rossi (1984) believes are based on their departure from conventionally established urban architectural models. Rossi (1984) refutes the potential of type as an architectural form which can be replicated. Rossi (1984) debates the requisite for urban architectural modeling. This is attributed to the assumption that without the urban architectural model there would be no formation of architecture. Rossi (1984) avers that aesthetics and architecture perform a proprietary function in the urban landscape. This is not a model to which the concepts of urban architecture adhere. This is, in the perspective of Rossi (1984), one of the fundamental concepts of urban architecture (Rossi 40).
Rossi (1984) debates the perspective that the typology of urban structures is influenced by the needs of the inhabitants of the urban environment. Notwithstanding, Rossi (1984) perceives that the urban environment demands the blending of functional and aesthetic elements in urban architectural design. Rossi (19840 provides the example of religious architecture. The religious perspective of municipal architecture and the influence that the urban environment has on the religious architectural design requires certain types of architectural structure in addition to specific dialectical and cultural perspectives (Rossi 41).
Rossi (1984) reinforces this perspective in his analysis of the Catholic systems of worship. The Catholic Church can be found in every country on the face of the Earth. In this religiously based architectural perspective, the concept of individuality transformed into a subordinated concept. The Catholic Church is focuses on one architectural perspective. This perspective is the centralization of authority. This aspect is manifested by the architectural elements of Vatican City. The valuation of symbols, the actual recognition of cultural artifacts and the architectural environment are manifest in religious architecture all over the world (Rossi 103).
Rowe (1978) delineates that there is a diametric opposition to the two collections of architectural value. These collections of architectural value are manifested on one extreme which is manifested as a loyalty to standards, which is a replicable science. In contrast, there is also the need for cultural and aesthetic expression in urban architecture. These dual aspects which are diametrically opposed receive little attention with regards to their polarized architectural perspectives (Rowe 6).
Rowe (1978) asserts that the urban landscape is perceived as a psychological and physical construct which attained a decisive urban formation during the era which spanned from the early to mid twentieth century. The urban landscape is perceived to be an architectural behemoth which consumes the entire natural environment in its path in order to demonstrate its own sense of aggrandizement.
The limitation which I perceive to all of these approaches is that they perceive the function of the municipal establishment as either being related completely to function or completely related to architectural form. In my opinion, urban architecture must be a fluid combination of form, function and functional expression while not being imposing or compulsory in the appreciation of the aesthetic components. The challenge in the practice of architectural design is finding an equitable middle ground between form and function.
- Rossi, Aldo. The Architecture of the City (Opposition Books). MIT Press, 1984. Print.
- Rowe, Colin. Collage City. MIT Press, 1978. Print.
- Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown & Steven Izenov. Learning from Las Vegas- Revised Edition: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. MIT Press, 1977. Print.