In 1968, a turning point for postwar society, a series of political upheavals symbolized by the May Revolution in Paris forcefully brought about social and cultural reforms. The 1970s that followed, despite a sense of crisis and uncertainty, became a period that heralded a wide range of new thinking and experimentation in the architecture world.
The underlying question behind all of this was “where do we look for the foundations that will determine architecture”? This was also a question of recovering aspects that a modern architecture based on “function” and “universality” had caused to be lost.
The 1970s was a time when “architectural theory” was widely discussed and published. I asked the leading historian of architectural theory, Professor Harry F. Mallgrave, to write an essay on the discourses that were particularly important and the architecture connected to them, while also taking into account aspects of the cultural and social background of that era.
This entire issue is made up of relevant works of architecture and discourses laid out with reference to the three topics that Professor Mallgrave outlines in his essay – “The Presumed Crisis of Meaning”, “The Real Crisis of Urban Theory”, and “The First Stirrings of the Ecology Movement, Both Natural and Human”. Finally, the editorial team added examples related to the topic of “The Vernacular and the Language of Modernism”.
The result is a cross-section of the 1970s: an era that was neither the “best” nor the “worst” of times.
Yasuhiro Teramatsu, Guest Editor
Introduction Essay: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
but not the 1970s
I. The Presumed Crisis of Meaning
White & Gray: Eleven Modern American Architects
Peter D. Eisenman and Robert A. M. Stern
Bye Residence, John Hedjuk / House VI, Peter Eisenman / Office for Gunwyn Ventures, Michael Graves / House in Connecticut, Robert A. M. Stern / Franklin Court, Robert Venturi / Vacation House in Maine, Edward Larrabee Barnes / Douglas House Richard Meier / Austrian Travel Agency, Main Office, Hans Hollein / The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Arata Isozaki
Commentary: Architecture in 70s Jun Aoki
II. The Real Crisis of Urban Theory
Essay Reprint: Analogical Architecture Aldo Rossi
Gallaratese Housing, Primary school in Fagnano Olona, San Cataldo Cemetery in Modena, Theater of the World, Aldo Rossi / Church of the Sacra Famiglia, Paolo Portoghesi
Architecture and Building – The reconstruction of a collective language as demonstrated in the project for the Quartier de la Villette Léon Krier
The middle school of Morbio Inferiore, Mario Botta / Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor, Bouca Housing Complex, Álvaro Siza
to catch a precise moment of flittering image in all its shades Álvaro Siza
Alexandra Road Estate, Neave Brown / Student Housing, University of Louvain, Lucien Kroll / Central Beheer, Herman Hertzberger / Hillside Terrace Apartment Phase 3, Fumihiko Maki
III. The First Stirrings of the Ecology Movement, both Natural and Human
Sydney Opera House Jørn Utzon and others / Olympiastadion,
Munich Frei Otto, Gunter Behnisch
Interview Reprint: Questionnaire to Norman Foster
IBM Pilot Headquarters, Willis Faber & Dumas, Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts 102, Norman Foster
Essay Reprint: LL (Long Life) / LF (Loose Fit) / LE (Low Energy) versus Foster
UOP, Georges Pompidou Cultural Center, Piano and Rogers
Essay Reprint: Piano + Rogers’ Architectural Method Reyner Banham
World Trade Center, Minoru Yamasaki / Sears Tower, SOM / Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Gunnar Birkerts / Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri
Appendix. The Vernacular and the Language of Modernism
Gehry House, Frank Gehry / House in Uehara, Kazuo Shinohara / Casa Gilardi, Luis Barragán / Arango Residence, John Lautner / Bagsvaerd Church, Can Lis, Jørn Utzon / Holscher House, Knud Holscher / Hedmark Museum, Archbishopric Museum, Sverre
Fehn / Islev Church Inger & Johannes Exner