DocumentedEssay on Architecture
Oneof the illustrations of deconstructive architecture is the “DancingHouse” whose conceptualization and construction took place from1992-1996. The building was constructed in Prague, Czech Republic.The history of the conception of the building, as well as itsdevelopment, was accompanied by financial difficulties, dramaticevents and hiring one of the worlds’ most experienced and famousarchitects, Fred Gehry. It symbolized the famous dance between Fredand Ginger thus, the nickname, Fredand Ginger House or the Dancing House.Its initial design was developed by Vlado Milunic, one of the famousCroatian–Czech architects who worked alongside architect FredGehry. Its design began in 1992 and was later completed in 1996marking one of the prominent building in Prague (Fialová, 30). Aspart of the development of deconstructive architecture, it deviatedfrom the modern philosophy architecture where buildings were taken asserious issues and were based on practical problem and solution.The buildings constructed during the era of a scientific approach todesign were dull and faceless. A variety of these structures werebuilt in the 1950s and 1960s repressing the human expressions andsensory needs to give way for scientific rationality.Deconstructivism is, therefore, a deviation from the modernphilosophy with the incorporation of elements of sensuality, joy,pleasure or tactility (Speaks 86). Although there are numerouspositive ideas and concepts about this form of architecture,criticism has often been labeled against this type of construction.
Contextand Architect’s Bio
Theprincipal architect of the structure, Fred Gehry, is anAmerican-Canadian and is among the famous prize-winning architects inthe United States. With a background of a family with the talent ofart, he began creative design at an early while helping hisgrandfather at his hardware store. His grandmother was the mostinfluential in his life since she was the one who recognized hisability while building little cities from standard materials such asscraps of wood. He could later spend most of his time helping hisfather and mother in drawing. He then became a professional architectafter studying architecture at the University of SouthernCalifornia`s School of Architecture. In his life, he has done greatworks in the architectural field, notably the Walt Disney ConcertHall and the Dancing House.
Hisfirst architectural recognition came from the state of the art homehe constructed for himself. He used materials such as corrugatedmetals and plywood. Even though these works have a difference intheir design, one notable similarity in all of his works is thesculpture approach given to those construction arts. All of themretain a deconstructive aesthetic that bonds well with the disjointedculture in their environments. One of the great philosophicalapproaches by Gehry is reflected in his statement, “I approach eachbuilding as a sculptural object, a spatial container, a place withlight and air, a response to context and appropriateness of feelingsand spirit. To this container, the user begins his baggage, hisprograms, and interactions with it to accommodate his needs. If hecan’t do that, I’ve failed” (Fialová 22). Most of his oftenhave depictions of fish due to the love of fish from a tender age.
Thebuilding symbolizes two dancers. The cylinder of concrete andstretching up and out acts as a masculine structure that supports theother elements. It represents Fred, the male dancer. It forms anintersection with the second block with particular poking stands.With an intersection like a clinched waist, the building createsdifferent angles heading in various directions. It is wrapped withglass acting as an indication of feminine dress. The structure is asign of intimate couples at a dance. With glasses running diagonally,the structure destroys the dominance of right angles used in modernarchitecture. The use of a loose collection of related fragmentsresults in a structure that is appealing and unique.
Thematerials employed to construct the building include pre-castconcrete, glass, and steel. The use of flexible materials thatsparkle, reflect and shimmer is a reflection of other works of Gehrysuch as the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It is an indication of a breakfrom modern architecture that implied the usage of faceless materialsthat were often less attractive to materials that provide a uniquearchitectural statement.
Althoughthe building was a reflection of style, critics assert that it didnot bond well with the surrounding. The types of structures (Baroqueand Gothic architecture) that existed in Prague were not in harmonywith the new building. The structure did not bond well with thesurrounding. Others were disappointed in the break from traditionalstructures and were not ready to welcome a building that had alikeness of other cultures such as the American buildings.
TheDancing House is a representation of the postmodern architecture inwhich design is considered an art. People do not have to constructbuildings depending on the functionality but rather developstructures that are appealing while at the same time incorporatingall the architectural features. Consequently, exploring a variety ofmaterials can be achieved through deconstructive architecture.
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Fialová,Irena, and Paul Ouwerkerk. DancingBuilding: Frank Gehry, Vlado Milunić.Prague: Zlatý Řez, 2011. Print.
Speaks,Michael A. Architectural Ideologies: Modern, Postmodern, andDeconstructive. , 2012. Print.