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Cast: A dozen contemporaries recruited from the neighborhood. One cannot, however, regard it as a complement to complexity and their respect for what exists, create the the other or as an advance upon it, since it was hardly more than a reaction against it in favor of "organic" principles which had most necessary antidote to that cataclysmic purism of con- been formulated by architects other than Zevi and had indeed temporary urban renewal which has presently brought so passed their peak of vitality long before.

They had found their many cities to' the brink of catastrophe, and in which Le best embodiment in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright before Corbusier's ideas have now found terrifying vulgarization. That is why, one sup- writing, Venturi's design unfolds without strain. In it he is poses, Venturi is so consistently anti-heroic, compulsively as facile as an architect of the Baroque and, in the same qualifying his recommendations with an implied irony at sense, as scenographic. His project for the Roosevelt Me- every turn. Le Corbusier used irony too, but his was as morial, probably the best, surely the most original of the sharp as a steel-toothed smile.

Ventuti shrugs his shoulders entries, shows how serene and grand that scenographic ruefully and moves on. It is this generation's answer to talent can be. There is none of Kahn's grim struggle in grandiose pretensions which have shown themselves in him, no profound agony of structural and functional oppo- practice to be destructive or overblown.

He is entirely at home with the Like all original architects, Venturi makes us see the particular and so offers the necessary opposition to the past anew. He has made me, for example, who once focused technological homogenizers who crowd our future. There is upon the proto-Wrightian continuities of the Shingle Style, surely no quarrel here with Le Corbusier, or even with revalue their equally obvious opposite: the complicated Mies, despite the universal regularity of the latter's forms.

SO-all inventive I than the superficial conformity or equally arbitrary packag- architects bring their dead to life again as a matter of ing which its first stages suggest and which are so eagerly course. It is appropriate that Le Corbusier and Venturi embraced by superficial designers. Therefore, it values before all else the but, like Le Corbusier, he sees and, as the fenestration of his actions of human beings and the effect of physical forms Friends' Housing for the Aged shows, can build in accord- upon their spirit. In this, Venturi is an Italian architect of ance with the other: the sad and mighty discordances of the the great tradition-whose contact with that tradition came apses, that music drear and grand of dying civilizations and from art history at Princeton and a fellowship at the Amer- the fate of mankind on a cooling star.

His being so suggests their forms. He has clearly learned a good deal from them the power of successive generations, living in one place, to during the past few years, though the major argument of develop an intensity of meaning; so much of it is carried in this book was laid out in the late fifties and predates his Philadelphia: from Frank Furness to the young Sullivan, knowledge of their work.

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Yet his "Main Street is almost all and on through Wilson Eyre and George Howe to Louis right," is just like their viewpoint, as is his instinct for Kahn. Kahn is Venturi's closest mentor. The "Pop" in Le Millard. The dialogue so developed, in which Aldo Van Corbusier's "Purism," as in that of the young Lkger, should Eyck of Holland has also played an outstanding role, has not be forgotten here, and it takes on renewed historical Surely contributed much to Venturi's development.

Kahn's significance as its lesson of exploded scale and sharpened theory of "institutions" has been fundamental to all these focus is learned once more. Again one has the feeling that architects, but Venturi himself avoids Kahn's structural Le Corbusier, painter and theorist that he was, would have preoccupations in favor of a more flexibly function-directed best understood Venturi's alliance of visual method with method which is closer to that of Alvar Aalto. Unlike his intellectual intention. It is significant in this regard that Venturi's ideas have ture, his own buildings are in no sense "mannered," but so far stirred bitterest resentment among the more aca- surprisingly direct.

After all, a television aerial at appropri- demic-minded of the Bauhaus generation-with its utter ate scale crowns his Friends' Housing, exactly as it fills- lack of irony, its spinsterish disdain for the popular culture here neither good nor bad but a fact-our old people's but shaky grasp on any other, its incapacity to deal with lives. Whatever dignity may be in that, Venturi embodies, monumental scale, its lip-service to technology, and its but he does not lie to us once concerning what the facts are.

Most In the straightest sense, it is function that interests him, and of the Bauhaus design of the twenties, in buildings and the strong forms deriving from functional expression. Un- furniture alike, can be distinguished by exactly those char- like too many architects of this generation, he is never acteristics from Le Corbusier's more generous and varied genteel. Two strains in modern architecture It is no wonder that Venturi's buildings have not seem to separate here, with Le Corbusier and Venturi now found ready acceptance; they have been both too new and, seen as working the same larger, more humane, architects' for all their "accommodation" of complexity, too truly rather than "designers' " vein.

They have Venturi's projected City Hall for North Canton, Ohio, refused to make much out of nothing, to indulge in flashy shows how his architecture also has a connection with the gestures, or to pander to fashion. They have been the late work of Sullivan and so with the deepest untapped product of a deeply systematic analysis in programmatic force of American vernacular experience as a whole.

This is and visual terms and have therefore required a serious surely Venturi's largest achievement in American terms, reorientation in all our thinking. Hence the symbolic image that he opens our eyes again to the nature of things as they which prepares our eyes to see them has not yet been are in the United States-in the small town no less than in formed. This book may help in that regard.


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I believe that New York-and that out of our common, confused, mass- the future will value it among the few basic texts of our produced fabric he makes a solid architecture; he makes an time-one which, despite its anti-heroic lack of pretension art. In so doing he revives the popular traditions, and the and its shift of perspective from the Champs-ElysCes to particularized methodology, of the pre-Beaux Arts, pre-In- Main Street, still picks up a fundamental dialogue begun in ternational Style, period. He thus completes that renewed the twenties, and so connects us with the heroic generation connection with the whole of our past which Kahn's ma- of modern architecture once more.

It is no wonder that few of the present crop of Vincent Scully redevelopers can yet endure him. They, too, are much in the American grain, village boys with their noses pressed against the window of the candy store and with money to burn for the first time. So they are generally buying junk, fancy trash readymade by an army of architectural entre- Note to the Second Edition preneurs, who portentously supply a spurious simplicity and the order of the tomb: the contemporary package, pas There is no way to separate form from meaning; one excellence.

Venturi looks both too complicated and too cannot exist without the other. There can only be different much like everyday for such people, who, in their architec- critical assessments of the major ways through which form tural forms as in their social programs, would much prefer transmits meaning to the viewer: through empathy, said the to gloss over a few of reality's more demanding faces.

Each side would agree nomena as they exist, Venturi is the least "stylish of that the relevant functioning agent in this process of the architects, going always straight to the heart of the matter, human brain is the memory: empathy and the identification working quickly without either fancy pretenses or vaporish of signs are both learned responses, the result of specific cul- asides.

Although he has learned from Mannerist architec- tural experiences. Once again, the of all works of art. It therefore follows that the strength April, and value of our contact with art will depend upon the quality of our historical knowledge. And it is obvious that knowledge instead of learning is the word which has to be employed here.


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  • Venturi's two major books have been constructed along precisely these lines. They are both critical and historical. This one, the first, despite its significant introduction of sev- eral important modes of literary criticism into architectural writing, explores mainly the physical reaction to form and is thus basically empathetic in method. The second, Learning from Las Vegas written with authors Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour , is primarily concerned with the func- tion of sign in human art and is therefore fundamentally linguistic in its approach.

    Between them the two volumes, always impeccably visual in their argument, shape an im- pressive working aesthetic for contemporary architects. At this distance, I feel doubly honored to have been in- vited to write the original introduction, which now seems to me not so well written as the book itself edited by Marian Scully , but embarrassingly correct in its conclu- sions.

    I am especially pleased to have had the wit to assert in it that Complexity and Contradiction was "the most impor- tant writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbus- ier's Vers une Architecture, of It doesn't matter much. What counts is that this brilliant, liberating book was published when it was. It provided architects and critics alike with more realistic and effective weapons, so that the breadth and relevance which the archi- tectural dialogue has since achieved were largely initiated by it.

    Tradition is a matter of much and an apologia-an explanation, indirectly, of my work. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it Because I am a practicing architect, my ideas on architec- you must obtain it by great labour. It involves, in the first ture are inevitably a by-product of the criticism which place, the historical sense, which we may call nearly indis- accompanies working, and which is, as T. Eliot has said, pensable to anyone who would continue to be a poet of "capital importance. I maintain not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a even that the criticism employed by a trained and skilled feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe.

    This historical sense, which is a sense of the timeless as ploys criticism rather than a critic who chooses architecture well as of the temporal and of the timeless and temporal and this book represents a particular set of emphases, a way together, is what makes a writer traditional, and it is at the of seeing architecture, which I find valid. No son as tools of literary criticism. These critical methods are poet, no artist of any kind, has his complete meaning valid for architecture too: architecture is open to analysis alone.

    Analysis includes the breaking up of archi- harping continually on what is different in our time to such tecture into elements, a technique I frequently use even an extent that they have lost touch with what is not differ- though it is the opposite of the integration which is the ent, with what is essentially the same. However paradoxical it appears, and de- The examples chosen reflect my partiality for certain spite the suspicions of many Modern architects, such disin- eras: Mannerist, Baroque, and Rococo especially.

    AS tegration is a process present in all creation, and it is Henry-Russell Hitchcock says, "there always exists a real essential to understanding.

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    Self-consciousness is necessarily need to re-examine the work of the past. There is, presuma- a part of creation and criticism. Architects today are too bly, almost always a generic interest in architectural history educated to be either primitive or totally spontaneous, and among architects; but the aspects, or periods, of history that architecture is too complex to be approached with carefully seem at any given time to merit the closest attention cer- maintained ignorance.

    From what we find we like-what we are considered. The historical comparisons chosen are part of a easily attracted to-we can learn much of what we really continuous tradition relevant to my concerns. When Eliot are. Louis Kahn has referred to "what a thing wants to be," writes about tradition, his comments are equally relevant to but implicit in this statement is its opposite: what the architecture, notwithstanding the more obvious changes in architect wants the thing to be.

    In the tension and balance architectural methods due to technological innovations. English writing," Eliot says, "we seldom speak of tradi- The comparisons include some buildings which are nei- tion. Seldom, perhaps, does the word appear except in ther beautiful nor great, and they have been lifted abstractly a phrase of censure.

    If otherwise, it is vaguely approbative, from their historical context because I rely less on the idea with the implication, as to a work approved, of some of style than on the inherent characteristics of specific pleasing archeological reconstruction. Yet if the only buildings. That is no longer true, and there is present.


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    It is only indirectly polemical. Everything is said in little reason to fear that it will, in our time, become so the context of current architecture and consequently certain again. Both the architects and the historian-critics of the targets are attacked-in general, the limitations of orthodox early twentieth century, when they were not merely seeking Modern architecture and city planning, in particular, the in the past fresh ammunition for current polemical warfare, platitudinous architects who invoke integrity, technology, taught us to see all architecture, as it were, abstractly, false or electronic programming as ends in architecture, the though such a limited vision probably is to the complex popularizers who paint "fairy stories over our chaotic sensibilities that produced most of the great architecture of reality" lo and suppress those complexities and contradic- the past.

    Nevertheless, this book aspect of earlier building production today, it is with no is an analysis of what seems to me true for architecture now, idea of repeating its forms, but rather in the expectation of rather than a diatribe against what seems false. To the pure historian this may seem regrettable, as introducing highly subjective elements into what he believes ought to be objective studies. Yet the pure historian, more often than not, will eventually find himself moving in directions that have been already determined by Note to the Second Edition more sensitive weathervanes.

    I have not tried to "improve the connections be- architect responding to aspects of architectural theory and tween science and technology on the one hand, and the dogma of that time. The issues are different now, and I humanities and the social sciences on the other. Sir John its time, more historical than topical. For this reason the Summerson has referred to the architects' obsession with second part of the book, which covers the work of our firm "the importance, not of architecture, but of the relation of up to , is not expanded in this second edition. In the early 'bus, however, form was king in and have been staking a claim for architecture rather than architectural thought, and most architectural theory focused producing architecture.

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    Architects seldom planning. The architect's ever diminishing power and his thought of symbolism in architecture then, and social issues growing ineffectualness in shaping the whole environment came to dominate only in the second half of that decade. Perhaps then ments our focus on symbolism in architecture several years relationships and power will take care of themselves.

    I later in Learning from Las Vegas. Krautheimer, who shared his insights on Roman Baroque because the arts belong as the ancients said to the prac- architecture with us Fellows at the American Academy in tical and not the speculative intelligence, there is no sur- Rome. I am grateful also to my friend Vincent Scully for rogate for being on the job. I am happy that The Museum of Modern Art is en- in relation to the present. It does not attempt to be visionary larging the format of this edition so that the illustrations except insofar as the future is inherent in the reality of the are now more readable.

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    Perhaps it is the fate of all theorists to view the ripples from their works with mixed feelings. I have some- times felt more comfortable with my critics than with those who have agreed with me. The latter have often misapplied or exaggerated the ideas and methods of this book to the' point of parody. Some have said the ideas are fine but don't go far enough.

    But most of the thought here was intended to be suggestive rather than dogmatic, and the method of historical analogy can be taken only so far in architectural criticism. Should an artist go all the way with his or her philosophies? Nonstraightfoward Architecture: 2. A Gentle Manifesto Simplification or Picturesqueness I like complexity and contradiction in architecture. I Orthodox Modern architects have tended to recognize do not like the incoherence or arbitrariness of incompetent complexity insufficientlyor inconsistently.

    In their attempt architecture nor the precious intricacies of picturesqueness to break with tradition and start all over again, they ideal- or expressionism. Instead, I speak of a complex and contra- ized the primitive and elementary at the expense of the dictory architecture based on the richness and ambiguity of diverse and the sophisticated. As participants in a revolu- modern experience, including that experience which is in- tionary movement, they acclaimed the newness of modern herent in art.

    Everywhere, except in architecture, complex- functions, ignoring their complications. In their role as ity and contradiction have been acknowledged, from reformers, they puritanically advocated the separation and Godel's proof of ultimate inconsistency in mathematics to exclusion of elements, rather than the inclusion of various T.

    Eliot's analysis of "difficult" poetry and Joseph Albers' requirements and their juxtapositions. As a forerunner of definition of the paradoxical quality of painting. And today the and such building harmonies appear that. So I believed. Purism, spoke of the "great primary forms" which, he pro- The increasing dimension and scale of architecture in urban claimed, were "distinct.

    I welcome the Modern architects with few exceptions eschewed ambiguity. By embracing con- But now our position is different: "At the same time tradiction as well as complexity, I aim for vitality as well as that the problems increase in quantity, complexity, and dif- validity. I like elements which are hybrid rather than ''pure," and orderly to a view of life as complex and ironic is what compromising rather than "clean," distorted rather than every individual passes through in becoming mature.

    But "straightforward," ambiguous rather than "articulated," per- certain epochs encourage this development; in them the verse as well as impersonal, boring as well as "interesting," paradoxical or dramatic outlook colors the whole intellectual conventional rather than "designed," accommodating rather scene. Amid simplicity and order rationalism is born, than excluding, redundant rather than simple, vestigial as but rationalism proves inadequate in any period of upheaval.

    Such direct and clear. I am for messy vitality over obvious unity. A feeling for para- I am for richness of meaning rather than clarity of dox allows seemingly dissimilar things to exist side by side, meaning; for the implicit function as well as the explicit their very incongruity suggesting a kind of truth. I prefer "both-and to "either-or," black and Rationalizations for simplification are still current, white, and sometimes gray, to black or white.

    A valid however, though subtler than the early arguments. They are architecture evokes many levels of meaning and combina- expansions of Mies van der Rohe's magnificent paradox, tions of focus: its space and its elements become readable "less is more. Indeed it is a characteristic of the twentieth has a special obligation toward the whole: its truth must be century that architects are highly selective in determining in its totality or its implications of totality.

    It must embody which problems they want to solve. Mies, for instance, the difficult unity of inclusion rather than the easy unity of makes wonderful buildings only because he ignores many exclusion. More is not less. It does, indeed, permit the architect to be "highly selective in determining which problems [he wants to solve. He can exclude important considerations only at the risk of separating architecture from the experience of life and the needs of society.

    If some problems prove insoluble, he can express this: in an inclusive rather than an exclusive kind of architecture there is room for the fragment, for contra- diction, for improvisation, and for the tensions these pro- duce. Mies' exquisite pavilions have had valuable implica- tions for architecture, but their selectiveness of content and language is their limitation as well as their strength. I question the relevance of analogies between pavil- ions and houses, especially analogies between Japanese pa- 1. Wiley House, New Canaan vilions and recent domestic architecture. Thev ignore the real complexity and contradiction inherent in ;he-domestic program-the spatial and technological possibilities as well as the need for variety in visual experience.

    Forced simplic- ity results in oversimplification. In the Wiley House, for instance I , in contrast to his glass house 2 , Philip Johnson attempted to go beyond the simplicities of the elegant pavilion. He explicitly separated and articulated the enclosed "private functions" of living on a ground floor pedestal, thus separating them from the open social func- tions in the modular pavilion above. But even here the building becomes a diagram of an oversimplified program for living-an abstract theory of either-or. Where simplic- ity cannot work, simpleness results. Blatant simplification means bland architecture.

    Less is a bore. The recognition of complexity in architecture does not negate what Louis Kahn has called "the desire for simplic- ity. The Doric temple's simplicity to the eye is achieved through the famous subtleties and precision of its distorted geometry and the contradictions and tensions inherent in its order. The Doric temple could achieve apparent simplic- ity through real complexity.

    When complexity disappeared, as in the late temples, blandness replaced simplicity. A false complexity has recently countered the false simplicity of an earlier Modern architecture. Its intricate forms do not reflect genuinely ' complex programs, and its intricate ornament, though de- P 'A pendent on industrial techniques for execution, is dryly '"a, reminiscent of forms originally created by handicraft tech- niques.

    Gothic tracery and Rococo rocaille were not only expressively valid in relation to the whole, but came from a valid showing-off of hand skills and expressed a vitality derived from the immediacy and individuality of the method. This kind of complexity through exuberance, per- haps impossible today, is the antithesis of "serene" architec- ture, despite the superficial resemblance between them. But if exuberance is not characteristic of our art, it is tension, rather than "serenity" that would appear to be so. The best twentieth-century architects have usually re- jected simplification-that is, simplicity through reduction -in order to promote complexity within the whole.

    But the charac- teristics of complexity and contradiction in their work are often ignored or misunderstood. Critics of Aalto, for in- stance, have liked him mostly for his sensitivity to natural materials and his fine detailing, and have considered his whole composition willful picturesqueness. I do not con- sider Aalto's Imatra church picturesque. By repeating in the massing the genuine complexity of the triple-divided plan and the acoustical ceiling pattern 3 , this church repre- sents a justifiable expressionism different from the willful picturesqueness of the haphazard structure and spaces of Giovanni Michelucci's recent church for the Autostrada 4.

    Though we no longer argue over the primacy of form or function which follows which? The desire for a complex architecture, with its attend- ant contradictions, is not only a reaction to the banality or prettiness of current architecture. It is an attitude common Today this attitude is again relevant to both the me- dium of architecture and the program in architecture.

    First, the medium of architecture must be re-examined if the increased scope of our architecture as well as the complexity of its goals is to be expressed. Simplified or superficially complex forms will not work. Instead, the - 1 variety inherent in the ambiguity of visual perception must once more be acknowledged and exploited.

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    Second, the growing complexities of our functional problems must be acknowledged. I refer, of course, to those programs, unique in our time, which are complex because of their scope, such as research laboratories, hospitals, and particularly the enormous projects at the scale of city and.. But even the house, simple in scope, is complex in purpose if the ambiguities of contemporary experience are expressed.

    This contrast between the means and the goals of a program is significant. Although the means involved in the program of a rocket to get to the moon, for instance, are almost infinitely complex, the goal is simple and contains few contradictions; although the means involved in the program and structure of buildings Mlcheluccl Church of the Autostrada near Florence are far simpler and less sophisticated technologically than almost any engineering project, the purpose is more com- plex and often inherently ambiguous.

    I am therefore sorry I made this unsympathetic comparison. Ambiguity While the second classification of complexity and con- scientist does, breaking it up into parts, distinguishing part tradiction in architecture relates to form and content as from part, classifying the various parts. His task is finally to manifestations of program and structure, the first concerns unify experience.

    He must return to us the unity of the ; the medium and refers to a paradox inherent in perception experience itself as man knows it in his own experience. If the poet. Joseph Albers calls "the dis- sity, then his use of paradox and ambiguity is seen as! I crepancy between physical fact and psychic effect" a contra- necessary. He is not simply trying to spice up, with a diction which is "the origin of art. He is rather giving us an insight which t has been characteristic of painting and amply recognized in preserves the unity of experience and which, at its higher art criticism.

    Abstract Expressionism acknowledges percep- and more serious levels, triumphs over the apparently con- I tual ambiguity, and the basis of Optical Art is shifting tradictory and conflicting elements of experience by unify- i juxtapositions and ambiguous dualities relating to form and ing them into a new pattern. Pop painters, too, have employed ambiguity to And in Seven Ty9es of Ambigaity William Empson create paradoxical content as well as to exploit perceptual. As in archi- from Shakespeare, "the supreme ambiguist, not so much tectural criticism, they refer to a Mannerist era, but unlike from the confusion of his ideas and the muddle of his text, I- - - - -.

    Plan ist" strain continuing through particular poets, and some, complexity of his mind and art. Architecture is form dium of poetry, just as Albers does with painting. An architectural element is perceived as form and "in a play of Shakespeare," he said, "you get several levels structure, texture and material.

    These oscillating relation- of significance" l8 where, quoting Samuel Johnson, "the most ships, complex and contradictory, are the source of the heterogeneous ideas are yoked together by violence. The conjunction "or" with a question mark provide an interesting example of a very great literary and can usually describe ambiguous relationships.

    The Villa dramatic genius directed towards chaos. The size of Van- for example, Kenneth Burke, who refers to "plural interpre- brugh's fore-pavilions at Grimsthorpe 6 in relation to tation" and "planned incongruity," have analyzed elements the back pavilions is ambiguous from a distance: are they of paradox and ambiguity in the structure and meaning of near or far, big or small? Bernini's pilasters on the Palazzo other poetry besides that of the seventeenth century meta- di Propaganda Fide 7 : are they positive pilasters or nega- physical poets and those modern poets who have been in- tive panel divisions?

    The ornamental cove in the Casino fluenced by them. The central dip in Lutyens' facade at Nashdorn and contradiction by their necessity as the very essence of 9 facilitates skylighting: is the resultant duality resolved art: 'Yet there are better reasons than that of rhetorical or not? Luigi Moretti's apartments on the Via Parioli in vainglory that have induced poet after poet to choose ambi- Rome 10 : are they one building with a split or two guity and paradox rather than plain discursive simplicity.

    It buildings joined? Lincolnshire 8. Vatican, Rome 7. Nashdom, Taplow Via Parloll, Rome confusion of experience as reflected in the architectural program. This promotes richness of meaning over clarity of meaning. As Empson admits, there is good and bad ambi- guity: ". Contradictory Levels: The Phenomenon of "Both-And" in Architecture Contradictory levels of meaning and use in architec- ture involve the paradoxical contrast implied by the con- junctive "yet. Le Corbusier's Shodhan House 11 is closed yet open-a cube, precisely closed by its corners, yet randomly opened on its surfaces; his Villa Savoye 12 is simple outside yet com- plex inside.

    The Tudor plan of Barrington Court 13 is symmetrical yet asymmetrical; Guarini's Church of the Im- maculate Conception in Turin 14 is a duality in plan and yet a unity; Sir Edwin Lutyens' entrance gallery at Middle- ton Park 15, 16 is directional space, yet it terminates at a blank wall; Vignola's fasade for the pavilion at Bomarzo 17 contains a portal, yet it is a blank portico; Kahn's buildings contain crude concrete yet polished grantite; an urban street is directional as a route yet static as a place.

    This series of conjunctive "yets" describes an architecture of contradiction at varying levels of program and structure. None of these ordered contradictions represents a search for beauty, but neither as paradoxes, are they caprice. Cleanth Brooks refers to Donne's art as "having it both ways" but, he says, "most of us in this latter day, cannot. W e are disciplined in the tradition either-or, and lack the mental agility-to say nothing of the maturity of attitude-which would allow us to indulge in the finer distinctions and the more subtle reservations permitted by the tradition of both-and.

    Even "flowing space" has implied being outside when inside, and inside when outside, rather than both at the same time. Such manifestations of articulation and clarity are foreign - to an architecture of complexity and contradiction, which tends to include "both-and" rather than exclude "either-or. It can in- clude elements that are both good and awkward, big and little, closed and open, continuous and articulated, round and square, structural and spatial.

    An architecture which includes varying. Barrington Court, Somerset. Pavilion, Bomarzo. Elevation Church of the Immaculate Conception, Turin. Plan Middleton Park, Oxfordshire. Simulta- neous perception of a multiplicity of levels involves struggles and hesitations for the observer, and makes his perception more vivid. Examples which are both good and bad at the same time will perhaps in one way explain Kahn's enigmatic remark: "architecture must have bad spaces as well as good spaces.

    The decisions for such valid compromises are one of the chief tasks of the architect. In Hawksmoor's St. George-in-the-East 18 the exag- gerated keystones over the aisle windows are wrong in relation to the part: when seen close-up they are too big in relation to'the opening they span. When seen farther back, Peter's 1 9 are wider than' they are high, so that they must be spanned the long way.

    This is perverse in relation to the spanning limitations of masonry, which dictate in Classical architecture that big openings, such as these, be vertically proportioned. But because one usually expects vertical proportions, the longitudinal spanning ex- presses validly and vividly their relative smallness. The main stair in Frank Furness' Pennsylvania Acad- emy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia 20 is too big in relation to its immediate surroundings.

    It lands on a space narrower than its width, and faces an opening narrower than its width. Furthermore, the opening is bisected by a post. But this stair is ceremonial and symbolic as well as functional, and it relates to the hall immediately beyond the opening, to the whole building, and to the great scale of Broad Street outside. The outer thirds of Michelangelo's stair in the Laurentian Library vestibule 2 1 are abruptly Miche langelo.

    Laurentian Library. Plan chopped off and lead virtually nowhere: it is similarly wrong in the relation of its size to its space, and yet right in rela- tion to the whole context of the spaces beyond. Vanbrugh's end bays in the central pavilion of the entrance fagade of Blenheim Palace 22 are incorrect because they are bisected by a pilaster: this fragmentation produces a duality which decreases their unity. Their very Rear Faqade. The pavilions which flanked the chlteau at Marly 2 3 contained a similar paradox. The compositional dual- ity of their two-bay fasades lacks unity, but reinforces the unity of the whole complex.

    Their own incompleteness implied the dominance of the chlteau itself and the com- pleteness of the whole. The basilica, which has mono-directional space, and the central-type church, which has omnidirectional space, represent alternating traditions in Western church plans. But another tradition has accommodated churches which are both-and, in answer to spatial, structural, programma- tic, and symbolic needs. The Mannerist elliptical plan of the sixteenth century is both central and directional.

    Its culrni- nation is Bernini's Sant' Andrea a1 Quirinale 24 , whose main directional axis contradictorily spans the short axis. Nikolaus Pevsner has shown how pilasters rather than open chapels bisect both ends crf the tiansverse axis of the iide walls, thereby reinforcing the short axis toward the altar.

    The rounded corners, as well, begin to imply a continuity of enclosure and a central- type plan. These characteristics occur in the courtyard of San Carlo alle b a t t r o Fontane too. And the diagonal gridlike ribs in the ceiling indicate a multidirectional struc- ture as much like a dome as a vault. Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is equivocal in a similar way. Its central dome on the square bay with pendentives implies a central type church, but its two apses with half-domes begin to set up a longitudinal axis in the tradition of the directional basilica.

    The horseshoe plan of the Baroque and neo-Baroque opera house focuses on the stage and the center of the auditorium. Sant' Andrea al Quirinale, Rome. Plan The central focus of the elliptical plan is usually reflected in the ornamental ceiling pattern and the enormous central chandelier; the focus toward the stage in the directional distortion of the ellipse and partitions between the sur- rounding boxes as well as in the interruption of the stage itself, of course, and the seating in the pit.

    This reflects the dual focus in the program of the gala theatre: the performance and the audience. Borromini's San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane 26 abounds in ambiguous manifestations of both-and. The San Carlo alle Ouattro Fonlane. Rome San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. Rudolf Wittkower has analyzed similar contradictions in section. The pattern of the ceiling in the articulations of its complex mouldings suggests a dome on pendentives over the crossing of a Greek cross 2 7. The shape of the ceiling in its overall continuity distorts these elements into parodies of themselves, and suggests rather a dome generated from an undulating wall.

    These distorted elements are both continuous and articu- lated. At another scale, shape and pattern play similarly contradictory roles. For example, the profile of the Byzantine capital 28 makes it seem continuous, but the texture and vestigial patterns of volutes and acanthus leaves articulate the parts.

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    The pedimented porch of Nicholas Hawksmoor's St. The west entrance and tower, the interior configuration of balconies, and the east apse which contained the altar all suggest an equally dominant counter axis. By means of contrary ele- ments and distorted positions this church expresses both the contrasts between the back, front, and sides of the Latin cross plan and the duo-directional axes of a Greek cross plan.