King’s College Chapel, Cambridge



Accordia Housing, Cambridge


Accordia Housing, Cambridge, by Fielden Clegg Bradley, Maccreanor Lavington, Alison Brooks, Grant Associates:











Denys Lasdun, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (ii)


entrance to Lasdun’s Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Privileged View


The Glasgow School of Art by Charles Rennie Mackintosh North Facade (front):

After the demolition of the Newberry Tower and Foulis building, this is the view of the GSA from Dalhousie Street that will once again be obscured following the construction of Steven Holl’s addition.

De Chirico of the North


De Chirico:

Pieter Saenredam, some 300 years earlier, and 3000km northward:



Before a man can do things there must be things he will not do.



There is something morally  repulsive about modern activistic theories which deny contemplation and recognise nothing but struggle. For them not a single moment has value in itself, but is only a means for what follows.

Nikolai Berdyaev

castles and cloisters


The myth of the flood and Noah comes, in the Bible at least, after the retrospective utopia of Paradise. It is perhaps merely a different, narrower facet of the confrontation/ evolution of human intelligence with/from inhuman natural forces. One could see Paradise, the walled garden as a form of allegory for daytime, peace and leisure, while the Ark stands for nighttime, war and necessity. However: the hortus conclusus ultimately is a special form of Ark. In return Noah’s dark ship was also the site of temporarily paradisal coexistence between life forms that were otherwise absolute opposites.

Marte.Marte tell us they love castles and cloisters. The former are strategic places (occupation, outer control, material might, retreat, cultivation, spiritual-vertical perspective). A castle can be semantically classified as an Ark, while the cloister is comparable to the Garden of Eden, the walled garden. But both fields can converge in the case of occidental and oriental cloister/ castles, and the Anglo-Saxon saying, my home is my castle stands for nothing else.

Otto Kapfinger Excuse Me, Which Way To Paradise? IN: Marte.Marte Architects



It then became very clear to me that it was not the task of architecture to invent form. I tried to understand what the task was. I asked Peter Behrens, but he could not give me an answer. He did not ask that question … We searched in the quarries of ancient and medieval philosophy. Since we knew that it was a question of truth, we tried to find out what the truth really was. We were very delighted to find an actual definition of truth by St. Thomas Aquinas: “Adaequatio intellectus et rei” or as a modern philosopher expresses in the language of today: “Truth is the significance of fact”. I never forgot this. It was very helpful, and has been a guiding light. To find out what architecture really is took me fifty years – half a century.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1961


But we want an order that gives to each thing its proper place, and we want to give each thing what is suitable to its nature. We would do this so perfectly that the world of our creations will blossom from within. More we do not want; more we cannot do. Nothing can unlock the aim and meaning of our work better than the profound words of St. Augustine: “Beauty is the radiance of Truth.”

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1938


Both excerpts from: Renata Hejduk & Jim Williamson The Religious Imagination In Modern And Contemporary Architecture



hysterical system


The monetary signifier is one of semblance, which rests on social conventions. the financial universe is an architecture made of fictions and its keystone is what Lacan called a “subject supposed to know”, to know why and how. Who plays this part? The concert of authorities, from where sometimes a voice is detached, Alan Greenspan, for example, in his time. The financial players base their behaviour on this. The fictional and hyper-reflexive unit hold by “belief” in the authorities, i.e. through the transference to the subject supposed to know. If this subject falters, there is a crisis, a falling apart of the foundations, which of course involves effects of panic. However, the financial subject supposed to know was already quite subdued because of deregulation. And this happened because the financial world believed itself, in its infatuated delusion, to be able to work things out without the function of the subject supposed to know. Firstly, the real state assets become waste. Secondly, gradually shit permeates everything. Thirdly, there is a gigantic negative transfer vis-à-vis the authorities; the electric shock of the Paulson/Bernanke plan angers the public: the crisis is one of trust; and it will last till the subject supposed to know is reconstructed. This will come in the long term by way of a new set of Bretton Woods accords, a council enjoined to speak the truth about the truth.

Jacques-Alain Miller The Financial Crisis IN: Slavoj Zizek First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

Structures and Forms


We live in a world populated by structures – a complex mixture of geological, biological, social, and linguistic constructions that are nothing but accumulations of materials shaped and hardened by history. Immersed as we are in this mixture, we cannot help but interact in a variety of ways with the other historical constructions that surround us, and in these interactions we generate novel combinations, some of which possess emergent properties. In turn, these synergistic combinations, whether of human origin or not, become the raw material for further mixtures. This is how the population of structures inhabiting our planet has acquired its rich variety, as the entry of novel materials into the mix triggers wild proliferations of new forms.

Manuel De Landa A Thousand Years Of Nonlinear History