maandag 22 oktober 2012

Architecten over het opleiden van architecten [1]: Louis I. Kahn

Van oudsher zijn architecten nauw betrokken geweest bij het opleiden van de volgende generaties architecten. Met de opleidingen Architectuur en Interieurarchitectuur van ArtEZ Academie van Bouwkunst willen we uitspraken verzamelen van architecten en interieurarchitecten over het opleiden van nieuwe vakgenoten. Behalve dat we zelf op zoek zullen gaan naar uitspraken en citaten willen we de lezers van deze weblog ook vragen om suggesties of uitspraken (met bronvermelding) aan ons door te geven. Dat kan per emial via:

Om te beginnen volgt hier een citaat van Louis I. Kahn - actueel door de grote overzichtstentoonstelling die tot 6 januari 2013 in het NAi te zien is.
Louis Kahn sprak in het voorjaar van 1968 met studenten van Rice University School of Architecture (Houston) over verschillende thema's in de architectuur. Een neerslag van die gesprekken verscheen een jaar later onder de titel "Louis I. Kahn - Conversations with Students", uitgegeven door Rice University en Princeton Architectural Press (1e editie 1969, 2e editie 1998). Op de pagina's 30 - 33 vertelt Louis Kahn over 'teaching architecture'.

"We were talking earlier this afternoon
Of the three aspects of teaching architecture.
Actually, I believe that I do not really teach architecture,
But that I teach myself.
These, however, are the three aspects:
The first aspect is professional.
As a professional you have the obligation of
learning your conduct in all relationships . . .
in institutional relationships,
and in your relationship with men who
entrust you with work.
In this regard, you must know the distinction
between science and technology.
The rules of aesthetics also constitute professional knowledge.
As a professional, you are obliged to translate
the program of a client into that of the spaces of
the institution this building is to serve.
You might say it is a space-order,
or a space-realm of this activity of man
which is your professional responsibility.
A man should not take the program
and simply give it to the client
as though he were filling a doctor's prescription.

Another aspect is training a man to express himself.
This is his own prerogative.
He must be given the meaning of philosophy,
the meaning of believe, the meaning of faith.
He must know the other arts.
I used examples which I maybe have used too many times,
but the architect must realize his prerogative.
He must know that a painter can turn people upside down,
if he wants to, because the painter does not have to
answer to the laws of gravity.
The painter can make doorways smaller than people;
he can make skies black in the daytime;
he can make birds that can't fly;
He can make dogs that can't run, because he is a painter.
He can paint red where he sees blue.
The sculptor can place square wheels on a cannon
to express the futility of war.

An architect must use round wheels,
and he must make his doorways bigger than people.
But architects must learn that they have other rights . . .
their own rights.
To learn this, to understand this,
is giving the man the tools for making the incredible,
that which nature cannot make.
The tools make psychological validity,
not just physical validity,
because man, unlike nature, has choice.

The third aspect you must learn
is that architecture really does not exist.
Only a work of architecture exists.
Architecture does exist in the mind.
A man who does a work of architecture
does it as an offering to the spirit of architecture . . .
a spirit which knows no style,
knows no techniques, no method.
It just waits for that which presents itself.
There is architecture, and it is the embodiment
of the unmeasurable.
Can you measure the Parthenon?
No. This is sheer murder.
Can you measure the Parthenon,
that wonderful building which satisfies the institution of man?

When Hadrian thought of the Pantheon,
he wanted a place where anyone could come to worship.
How marvelous is this solution.
It is a non-directional building,
not even a square, which would give, somehow,
directions and points and corners.
There was no chance to say that
there is a shrine here, or there. No.
The light from above is such that you can't get near it.
You just can't stand under it;
it almost cuts you like a knife. . .
and you want to stay away from it.

What a terrific architectural solution.
This should be an inspiration for all architects,
such a building
so conceived."

Louis Kahn in gesprek met studenten.
Afbeelding: p. 34 uit "Louis I. Kahn, Conversations with Students",
Houston (Architecture at Rice Publications / Princeton Architectural Press), 1969 (1998).

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