Architecture Without Content

17. Metropolitan Architecture

The seventeenth iteration of Architecture without Content represents for FORM the second attempt to define a possible canon of architecture.

Following the tradition of Fischer von Erlach’s “Entwurf für eine Historische Architektur” and Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand’s “Recueil et parallèle des édifices de tout genre, anciens et modernes”, last year FORM developed Roman Architecture, a collective quest for a universal territorial architecture with a radically simple materiality. Roman Architecture’s field is the entire territory of urbanization, having the city proper and the countryside proper as its extreme conditions.

This year, FORM’s ambition is to focus thoroughly on Metropolitan Architecture, as simultaneously the product and the producer of one of the two extremes.

Metropolitan Architecture is the necessary realization of the metropolis, an urban environment, which has the ambition of becoming a world in itself. As the metropolis aims to absorb and swallow different ecologies, so metropolitan architecture tends to reproduce this diversity in its own way.

Metropolitan architecture attempts to organize the overabundance of information of the outer context in a crystalized architectural form. As a consequence, Metropolitan Architecture is not always about beauty.

Metropolitan architecture produces urbanity, unavoidably absorbing it from the immediate context. The act of condensing is indeed a way of creating hierarchies.

Programmatically both ambiguous and overambitious, Metropolitan architecture stages a fictional idea of future rather then addressing future itself. As such, Metropolitan Architecture cannot avoid looking dated.

While being about a certain idea of positivism or technological optimism, Metropolitan Architecture is strongly bound to fail and is by definition melancholic, it survives as some kind of dated futurism.

The Metropolitan Architecture program will deal with two cities: Paris and Tokyo,
If the assumptions of the Roman Architecture canon were first defined and then verified in a specific context inside of the European territory, this year the opposite will happen. The first semester will be devoted to the production of proper Metropolitan Architecture projects in Paris, while the second semester will be dedicated to the composition of a Metropolitan Architecture canon proper. Tokyo metropolitanism will act as the alibi, its hallucination.

Paris Tokyo Metropolis





AWC17 received the generous support of:

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