Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ferruccio Vitale leads me back to Art Nouveau

I had an study-skills professor when I very first went back to school that insisted that learning was about relationships. So I have this very strange way of learning. I am always searching for the relationships between what I have already learned and what I need to be learning. It is quite compulsive actually.

So I do not wade through the stack of books from the library in a straight line. Many of my topics seem unrelated, but I think that it makes for a much richer tapestry of thought process when layering with many different subjects. Some books I read cover to cover and others I power-read. Invariably I get side tracked on tangents, and I always keep this on-going list of words to look up, and subjects I need to explore more. Every now and then I am reminded of something I have learned and I have to lay down what I am reading and go back to re-inspect a subject.

It is at this point I am reading “Ferruccio Vitale Landscape Architect of the Country Place Era” By R. Terry Schnadelbach that I need to go back into my architecture history and read more about the beginnings of Modern Architecture.

This is triggered by Vitale’s transition from classic or Beaux’s Arts style to abstract or sometimes called stripped-down classical style. The Modern movement is really this transition from a craftsmanship heavy architecture to architecture with new materials like steel that can be mass produced. Buildings like department stores have no precedent.

I think this is a rich era of innovation and imagination. It is fraught with a searching and grasping generation trying to blend the modern machine age with the classical era that is so opposed to it. It would be a very different world if the likes of Le Corbusier, Gropius and Mies van der Rohe hadn’t settled it so decisively.

There is not a straight-line correlation between Architecture and Landscape Architecture at this juncture in history. It seems like many different things are going on at the same time and LA's are still getting their wings.

So back I go, starting with “Art Nouveau Architecture” by Keiichi Tahara. The following pictures are scans and inspiration from the book. This book has beautiful pictures but not a whole lot into the thought processes I find relating to Landscape Architecture.

It is at this juncture in history that LA's and Architects take diverging paths. It seems previously that Architects designed out door spaces. It seems that after the onslaught of Modern Architecture LA's and Architects are on different paths.

Was there an LA that could be considered of the Art Nouveau persuasion? Was Modern Landscape Architecture significantly behind Modern Architecture?


I have some more reading to do to tie things up in a neat little package.