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Après avoir mis du temps avant de me décider de lire cet ouvrage, je ne le regrette pas du tout. Malgré la rétissence inspirée par un ancien professeur d'architecture qui a fait de sa pratique 2controversée", une éternelle ode à l'oeuvre de R.Venturi et D.Scott Brown. Ce livre est le fruit de l'intelligence combinée de deux grands professeurs à celui d'un groupe d'étudiants, retranscrit à l'aide de graphiques, photos et textes pertinents. Une dissection de cette nouvelle ville lumière, mirage du Nevada, dont la grille analytique influence encore des milliers d'architectes et étudiants.
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41 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Brilliant study of signage and architecture10 septembre 1999
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Robert Venturi's study of the Las Vegas signage phenomena and it's impact on "architecture" is brilliant in it's scope. While written almost twenty five years ago, this book gains more and more pertinence as we as a society progress further into a "reality" of symbols, reproductions and representations. These words and thoughts are basically essential to the understanding of any city anymore, not just Las Vegas. Where this book misses the mark though is in the execution, as shown in Venturi's work, of these ideas. The projects put forth seem to pale in comparison to the implications the text actually has. These notions of architecture are by far some of the most relevant and important in modern theory today, it is unfortunate that their full potential could not be realized in these projects.... but maybe that is for you and I to do.
41 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A classic in architecture theory28 juin 1999
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The title "father of Post Modernism" has been appropriately assigned to Robert Venturi....and it began with this book: Learning from Las Vegas. Written at a time when minimalism in art, and "form follows function" in architecture were the dominant ideas, Venturi et al threw down the gauntlet in challenging the practicing and accademic establishment with such sacriligious slogans as "Less is a bore" (challenging the modernist notion "Less is more") Venturi should open the eyes of readers who self rightiously condemn today's highway commercial architecture and signage. Venturi challenges us to look at this urbanscape with fresh eyes...to see and understand the order (both functional and visual) in what we have been conditioned to condemn. The book is well illustrated and gives examples of "the duck" and the "decorated shed" as metaphorical strategies to attract attention to highway commericial buildings.Anyone interested in architecture history and contemporary planning issues should read this book. It may piss you off, but it might also open your eyes to new ways of seeing. In 1999 it would be interesting to compare Las Vegas to Pleasantville...and to learn in the process about change and the American culture that seems to embrace an ever changing urban landscape. Just as in the mythical Pleasantville in the movie of same name, Venturi upsets the status quo and gets us to see the colors (though sometimes messy and glaring) of the REAL city.
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
I just don't know...11 avril 2008
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I admire and respect Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown for their great career and contribution to architecture, which has yet to be fully assessed. The depth of their thinking, the vigilant efforts to achieve their aesthetic vision, their desire to overcome modernist dogma, which had mutated into marginalized elite uncivic abstraction, falsely denying vibrant areas of life...how can one argue with the importance and value of such work?
Let me try.
To me, this book represents one of the most interesting turning points of an architectural career, very similar to Rem Koolhaas' essay on Bigness in S,M,L,XL.
Both texts are attempting to give themselves an elite artist's alibi for co-opting the corporate machinery's unself-conscious production. Here, both artists (VRSB and OMA)attempt to escape into pop art, just like their friend Andy Warhol, thumbing his nose at the self important abstract expressionists.
There's just one problem with this; they are architects, not just artists. And this places them in significantly different political territory. Architects build in the public sphere, and therefore have a powerful civic impact. They enable some political forces, and, by physical default, suppress others. If they were artists, their voice is a singular one, an unsponsored comment, to be entertained or dismissed. Architecture cannot be waved away.
So, being architects, is 'Learning from Las Vegas' and 'Bigness' an elite artist's manifesto, or a cynical architect's effort to solicit clients from the bloated and most lucrative areas of commerce? The ambiguity is disturbing, because ultimately it has proven out not to matter what their intention. Both Venturi and Rem Koolhaas have been most useful tools for the most egregious excesses of our runaway imperial corporate world.
And this is a sad legacy for two brilliant architectural careers. No matter what their aesthetic accomplishments in the way of rarified architectural thought, the more brutal reality is that architects seeking fame cannot also speak truth to power. This gravely undermines their civic responsibilities. I am reminded of William Morris' quote, a sad retrospective look at his career, saying that ultimately, his work "only served the swinish luxuries of the rich." A bitter realization for a socialist, one who chose to retreat into archaic craft, instead of trendy pop.
Pop architecture is not a game. It is an insidious symptom of the polarization of wealth, a symptom that Venturi and Koolhaas cheerfully enable, both with their particular form of dissociating irony. They can play with it as a theory, but it has wrought disastrous consequences in the physical and political landscape. Same thing happened to Frank Gehry, another symptomatic starchitectural monster, who apparently doesn't need to theorize. Hard to say when the deal went down exactly. I just don't know.
37 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
An Architectural Nightmare17 janvier 2004
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This is a quite unusual and offbeat treatise on architectural theory, as applied to the world's greatest architectural monstrosity - Las Vegas. This analysis from the early 1970s is obviously outdated because Las Vegas hadn't yet become the monument to megalomania and excess that it is today, but it was already well on its way. The authors analyze Vegas' unique usages of space, lighting, placement, transportation, and building design for the purposes of communication and promotion. Strange chapter titles give a clue to the left-field analysis in store, and the authors have a clear sense of irony, underhandedly implying that Vegas presents the worst in architecture while they appear to be praising its uniqueness. Unfortunately the narrative gets bogged down in dense professor-speak terminology like "Brazilianoid" and "neo-Constructivist megastructures," along with a general overload of obtuse theory. Add to that the poor-quality and under-elaborated illustrations and you have a book that sacrifices insight and readability in favor of pedantic attempts to impress the authors' colleagues. [~doomsdayer520~]
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Not to Be Confused with Post Modernism21 novembre 2012
Randall L. Wilson
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"Learning from Las Vegas" is a powerful argument for challenging root assumptions. In this particular case its assumptions about architecture and how modernism wanted to strip away ornamentation in favor promoting form and space. "Learning from Las Vegas" sees this as just another form of bias.
In part one, the authors looked back to older forms, found in the renaissance and beyond where churches were as much about signs and symbols as space and form. They see the Vegas strip in particular as a great example of the promotion of signs and symbols as integral to the structures. This wasn't merely ornamentation nor was it decorative. The Strip is a commercial zone and successful architecture is that which first stands out with its message and then engages the viewer with it. That isn't a nice byproduct of architecture that is essential to making the architecture successful.
Part two is entitled, "ugly and ordinary architecture or the decorated shed," which is most powerful in comparing two ordinary senior housing complexes which come from very different architectural aesthetics. One, the "Crawford Manor" is a poster child for modern architecture and the other the "Guild House" looks as if it had no architecture. What is interesting about this comparison is that it doesn't attempt to show that one approach is superior than the other only the architecturally driven building, the "Crawford Manor" ends up as boring and flawed as the less designed "Guild House." Unity and consistency in achieving an architectural vision isn't enough to make a successful building. Fun, whimsy and accessibility of style are even more important.
I could see where this book which promotes architectural fun and accessibility could be seen as an argument for Post-Modernism but instead the book isn't ready to concede that modernism won the argument. The book instead undermines the very essence of modernism - the triumph of space and form over ornamentation that post modernism necessarily embraces.