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Hans Kollhoff

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L'Urbanisme>> t els seus orgens en el perode en que la monarqua, com a poder, podia buscar una rcpresentaci ideal
d'ella mateixa. El Pla Hobrecht de 1862 p er a Berln
va ser simplemenr una reacci ms davam la crisi, i
els laments de H egemann per la petria rigidesa de Berln no serveixen sin com a prova que l'urbanisme s'ha
convertir en alguna cosa obsoleta quant a disciplina
artstica amb pretextos previsors. L'ltim gran gest creatiu de l'urbanisme va ser el pla de Lennes dels
Schmuck und Grenzzge (espais verds d'adorn i limtrofs), el 1840. Schinkel molt aviat degu ser conscient del dilema. Als seus ulls, l~<urbanisme ja havia
estat suplantar com a disciplina per V<arquitectura. Tot
el que posteriorment es va produir amb l'esmentat nom d' urbava ser un frad.s rotund o ja no va tenir res a veure amb
la ciutat i amb la dinamica urbana: des de la <<HufeisenSiedlung fins al Markisches Vierte! i l'IBA. Els urbanitzadors i les ciutats satellit en especial sn testimonis del fet que l'urbanisme noms es va poder practicar comuna forma de dirigir i camuflar la crisi. Ja no
era qesti de donar expressi artstica a les forces en
actiu, sin d'ocultar aquestes forces rera la imatge rom?mtica de la ciutat bonica i de la bona vida, seguint
les regles de l'anomenat bon gust i del Sentit com,
exactament de la mateixa manera que Lieschen Mller havia decorat la seva sala d'estar.
Fins ara, l'IBA ha representat el cim d'aquesta ingenua
creens;a, si b uns quams dels espectaculars guanyadors
de la fase final dels concursos, especialment la biga de
Daniel Libeskind, amaguen aquest fet. Efectivament,
l' IBA demostra en darrer terme que qualsevol construcci urbana d'imporrancia, erigida a Berln d'ens:a
del tombant de segle, no ha esdevingut tal a causa de
la materialitzaci dels planols d'un urbanista, sin gracies a un projecte arquitectonic que -probablementes va haver de dur a terme amb esfors:os sobrehumans
en oposici a les idees d 'urbanisme predominants: des
del Woga de Mendelsohn a la Unit de Le Corbusier
i la N ational Gallery de Mies, i fins a la Torre de H ejduk a la part sud de Friedrichstadt. Per aquesta ra, sembla crucial que els arquitectes lluitin contra una disciplina
satisfeta d'ella mateixa que, ni tan sois sota l'estendard del
contextualisme, t ra de ser, ja que es limita a expressar-se
a si mateixa com una asserci, difuminant els conflictes.
Tanmateix, sn precisament les situacions de conflicte aquelles

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Hans Kollhoff

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<<Urban design has its origins in a period in which the monarchy, as a power, was able to strive for ideal self-representation. The 1862 Hobrecht Plan for Berlin was simply
a case of more crisis management, and Hegemann's
laments about stoney Berlin merely serve as proof that
urban design had become obsolete as an artistic
discipline with anticipatory pre-tensions. The last great
creative gesture of urban design was Lenn's 1840 plan
of the <<Schmuck und Grenzzge>> (embellished and
bordering green spaces). Schinkel must have been aware
of the dilemma very early. In his eyes <<urban design>>
h ad already been superceded as a discipline by <<architecture>>. Everything which subsequently took place
under the name of so-called urban design either failed miserably or no longer had anything to do with the city or
urban dynamics: from the Hufeisen -Siedlung>>, to the
Markisches Viertel, to the IBA. The housing developments and sattelite tow ns in particular attest to the fact
that urban design could only be practised as a form
of crisis management and camouflage. It was no longer
a question of giving artistic expression to the forces
at work, but of concealing these forces behind a romantic image of the beautiful city and the good life, following the rules of so-called good taste and common
sense in precisely the same manner as Lieschen Mller
had done up her living room .
Up to now the IBA has represented the zenith of this
naive belief: even if a number of t he spectacular winners in t he final phase of the competitions, esp ecially
Daniel Libeskind's beam, conceals this fact . The IBA
indeed ultimately proves that any urban construction
or relevance in Berlin since the turn of the century
has not become so due to th e materialization of an
urban designer's plans, but thanks to an architectural
project which -most likely- had to be pushed through
w ith superhuman effort in opposition to prevailing
conceptions of urban design: from Mendelsohn's Woga,
to Corbusier's Unir and Mies's National Gallery,
and even to Hejduk's Tower in the southern part of
Friedrichstadt. For this reason it seems crucial for architects to combat a complacent discipline which, not even
under the banner of contextualism, has any raison d'etre,
since it merely expresses itself as an affirmative, smoothingover of conflicts.
However, it is precisely the conflict situations which today
represent the normal situation, and from which we can draw

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que avui da representen la situaci normal, situacions de


les quals podem extreure la inspiraci arquitecto nica. Per
aquest motiu, no perdem l'equilibri quan sorgeixen plans
d'urbanisme que sn fragmentats, distorsionats i fan concessions fins al punt d'arribar a ser irrecognoscibles i oferir, de fet, un cofre de tresors pie d'oportunitats arquitectoniques. El punt decisiu s descobrir les seves possibilitats
intrnsiques i ser capac;:os, en cas de ten ir el repertori neccssari, de fer-ne s. Llavors, juntament amb un irrefrenable
sentiment surrealista del plaer, sorgeix un autentic goig canibalstic. En molts casos ja ens enfro ntem amb exemples preconcebuts, davant dels quals noms fa falta una
lleu estrebada que obri els ulls al ms insensible. En
qualsevol cas, la condici previa s una mirada lliure
de prejudicis, capas: de discernir la bellesa de la gran
ciutat i d'apreciar la seva poesa latent. Tamb es una
actitud que posa ms confianp en els sentiments que
en una racionalitat que sorgeix de l'educaci, que demostra el valor d'avanc;:ar individualment sense el
supon dels precedents histories, que es consagra incondicio nal ment al tema i d 'aquesta form a -com a
autentica expressi del segle XX- desitja comunicar
experiencies.
En relaci amb aixo, apareix una imatge de la ciutat que
s de n at uralesa arquitectonica; sorgeix un potencial
escenic que s, en tot, un fill del nosrre temps i una
expressi genui'na de les forces que ens impelleixen. Es
fa viable la possibilitat d'una homogene'ltat urbana, que no
t res a veure amb la imatgeria italiana, plena d'anhels de
carrer i de plac;:a, o amb la concepci romamica de les ampliacions de la ciutat i la frenetica parcellaci de la terra
del segle XIX. Significa canalitzar el mo ment en una
forma p ermanent, monumental, arquitectonica: l'equivalent al tall de Lpertz amb la destral, a la pinzellada de Hodicke.
El pintor berlines K arl H orst Hodicke, pare dels Neuen
Wilden, record ava una vegada que el que ms destaca de les teJes dels quadres de T iziano s sempre un
blanc molt ms pesar que el vermell del vestit del cardenal am b el qual contrasta. En els pintors de segona
fila, observava que el vermell envaeix el blanc. D'alguna manera s'hi imposa. E n aquest cas, estava segur
que no es tractava d'una gran obra.
Aquesta frase t amb l'hauria pogut escriure Mies van der
Rohe a ]'epoca en que desenvolupava els seus projectes deis blocs de torres de vidre. Tanm ateix, ens sem-

Passatge V Passage V.
Karl Horst Hdlcke, 1964.
Colleccl privada Pnvale ColleciiOn.

bla que res no podra estar ms lluny de la raciona~i


t at de la pintura de Mies que l'espontane'itat de la
pintura salvatge. Pero si considerem aquesta comparaci amb ms deteniment, en s adonem que, especialment en el cas dels blocs de torres de vidre, Mies va
ser sorprenentment reservar quant a concretar els seus
dissenys en dibuixos, que es va limitar a la representaci expressionista en la utilitzaci de la perspectiva i
prefer posar de relleu els reflexos de la llum, mentre
que Hodicke, de manera igualment sorprenent, trac;:a
una expressi elemental i pinta aparadors com ercials
que aconsegueixen un equilibri fascinant entre l'abstracci geometrica i l'expressi figurativa deis retols de
ne, aparadors en que els o bjectes amenacen inundarse els uns als altres. Posteriorment, Mies aspira a una
abstracci rigorosa que, de vegades -en els edificis torre americans- , radia la banalitat. H odicke s'allibera
de manera igualment r igorosa d'aquests antecedents
tatxistes i intenta crear imatges reals a partir de la
seva experiencia immediata de la manera ms directa.
El dest de dues persones al comen c;:ament i al final de
la modernitat; o, s possible trabar un fil con ductor
entre ]'un i l'altre que, malgrat els objectius oposats,
suggeriria una base comuna? No es caracteritzen tots
dos -per citar el tercer tema de G- per un Optimisme respecte als mitjans i les possibilitats de la nostra epoca? Aquest optimisme es basa, abans que res,
en el profund caos del nostre temps, en la dissoluci
radical en que ens trobem, en l'excs i, al mateix temps,
en la manca de civilitzaci, i en el nostre anhel de ser
capac;:os encara de trabar una cultura en que ens puguem reconeixer.>>

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architectural inspiration. This why we are not thrown off


balance when plans arise from urban design which are
fragmented, distorted, and compromised to the point of
their being unrecognizable and in fact offer a treasure chest
full of architectural opportunities. The decisive point is to
be able, and to have the necessary repertoire, to make use
of them. Then a veritable cannibalistic joy arises together
with an irrepressible surrealistic feeling pleasure. In many
cases we are already confronted with readymades, and
only the slightest kick is required to open even the
most insensitive eyes. Whatever the case, the precondition is an unprejudiced eye, able to discern the beauty of the big city, and to appreciate its latent poetry.
It is also an attitude which places more trust in feelings than in a rationality arising from education, and
which demonstrates the courage to make individual
moves without the support of historical precedents,
and which unconditionally devores itself to the marter and thus -a true expression of the XX century .
.
wants to commumcate expenences.
In this connection an image of the city emerges which
is architectural in nature; a scenic potential arises,
which is completely a child of our time, and which
is an authemic expression of the forces moving us. The
possibility of an urban homogeneity becomes feasible,
which has nothing to do with Italian imagery full of yearning for the street and the square or with the romantic conception of city extensions and the frenzied parcelling of land
in the XIX century. It means channeling the moment
into permanent, monumental, architectural form : the
equivalent of Lpertz's cut with the axe, Hodicke's
brush stroke.
The Berln painter Karl Horst Hodicke, father of the
Neuen Wilden once recalled that the highlight of
the drapery in Titian's pictures was always a white
which was lumpy agai nst the cardinal's red. With
second-rate painters, he observed that the red ran into
the white. It was somehow forced into it -then I was
quite sure that this wasn't great form>>.
This sentence could have also been written by Mies van
der Rohe at the time he was developing his designs
for glass tower blocks. It appears to us, however, that
nothing could be further from the rationality of Mies'
architecture than the spontaneity of wild painting.
But if we take a closer look at this comparison, we
notice that, particulary reserved in concretising his

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Oassauars tras.se 6/ 7.
Kerl Horst HOdlcke, 1977.
Col leccl privada Private collection.

~Pentecost es Penteco~

Werner Heldt, 1952.


Tarda de dlumenge d'oct ubre.

October Sunday aflernoon.


Werner Holdt, 1949.
Chrlsta Olchgans, Berln.

Galerla Nacional, Berlln.


National Gal1ery, Berlln

Crida l'atenci una actitud basica divergem en la relaci


entre la pintura i !'arquitectura de Berln des de la Segona Guerra Mundial. Mentre que els pimors van tenir enormes dificultats p er a tirar endavant amb elllast
de la guerra i de la seva destrucci, per als arquitectes
va ser justament aquesta la condici previa p er a uns
co menr;a ments exhuberants; d'alguna manera, aquell
va ser el moment que arquitectes i urbanistes havien
estat anhelant en secret durant temps: la taula rasa a
p artir de la qual finalment es podria fer realitat la radiant visi dels modernistes.
Mentre que, el 1946, H ans Scharoun desplega la seva utop a d'un paisatge urba des del Tiergarten fins a Mehringplatz en un disseny collectiu de Berln i esborra
inexorablemem les empremtes de la ciutat amiga, amb
una euforia m s o m enys sense lmits dels Stadtkronenzeiten, Werner H eldt pinta el seu cicle Berln tocant al mar, una dolorosa avaluaci deis efectes de la
guerra.
Per a Werner Heldt, el mar posseeix una funci metaforica en molts i diversos nivells del Berln de la postguerra: el mar de muntanyes de runes en que les cases
que encara resten dretes, amb les obscures obertures
que sn les seves finestres, s'alcen com illes, s tamb
el mar fan gs on apareixen vaixells, barcasses que esborren qualsevol m ena de record de l'estetica del vaixell de vapor de Movimem Modern. Als ulls de Werner Heldt, aquestes imatges revelen primordialment la
victoria de la naturalesa sobre !'obra del home. <<Als
nen s, els agrada jugar amb aigua i sorra -va dir una
vegada-. Potser perceben de que s feta una ciutat.
El motiu de la imatge de Heldt s el pan orama que es
domina des de la finestra d'una casa de la ciutat; la vista
d'un espai urba callar i desert en que els elements del
fons, blocs de cases amb far;anes accentuades, com encen a establir una relaci amb els elements figuratius
de primer pla, els quals sn, en aparen:a, objectes
col -locats a l'ampit de la finestra. No hi ha una clara
separaci entre el mn interior i !'exterior. Amb una
am bivalencia quasi amena:ant, sembla que els objectes quotidians de la vida privada se situ"in en l'espai
pblic i que els objectes exteriors, p er la seva banda,
intentin obrir-se pas cap a !'interior. La intercanviabilitat del fon s amb el primer pla, el conflicte d'escales,
la dissoluci del contrast entre !'esfera pblica i la privada, com tamb la inestabilitat, sn la representaci

deis processos de canvi social en el primer perode de


la postguerra.
Tanmateix, els quadres de Werner Heldt no sn mers documents sobre Berln com a ciutat derrui"da -tothom
sap que Berln s el tema de debat-, sn pintures que
cristallitzen per formar paisatges marins en que no
s'ha perdut l'esperanr;a. La merafora del mar no s'ha
d 'interpretar com un ermot de runes. Tamb podra
ser el contrari: una fase de reconstrucci intensiva. Les
pintures de la preguerra, com les de Beckman, en que
es veuen cases en procs de construcci, transmeten
una impressi similarment equivalent. El que expressen aquests quadres, no s potser una descripci de
Berln com a ciutat subjecta a un procs constant de
construcci i destrucci, una ciutat que no esta mai
acabada, que es nega a fossilitzar-se en un paisatge urba?
Les enormes parets divisories van deixar una empremta
en la ciutat d'abans de la guerra i el que ens diuen s :
<<Aqu es continua construint!>> Sn un signe de l'especulaci que va fer possible que Berln cresqus a una
velocitat sorprenent.

Ola fose Cloudy day.

Werner Heldt, 1953.


Museu Sprengler, Hannover.
Sprenglor Museum, Hannover.

A comen r;ament dels anys setanta, quan !'euforia de la


fase de reconstrucci havia assolit el seu zero absolut
i s'havia esvanit !'ltima esperans:a de posar en practica l' utopic potencial dels anys vint -davant del Markishes Vierte! i la Gropiusstadt, els arquitectes i urbanistes s'havien sumir en un estar de letargia del qual
encara no s'han recuperar-, en aquell moment, Karl
Horst Hodicke va comenr;ar a seguir la petja dels pintors de la ciutat de Berln del perode de la preguerra.
En els seus quadres, Hodicke s'enfronta a Berln i revela un optimism e i un comproms - ja presents en
les seves pintures de ne i d'aparadors- que eleva fins
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designs in drawings, that he restricted himself to expressionist representation in his use of perspective
preferring to emphasize light relexes, whereas Hodicke,
equally surprisingly, traces an elementary expression
and paints shop windows which achieve a fasci nating
balance between the geometric abstraction and figura}
expression of the neon signs with the objects threatening to flow into one another. Mies subsequently aims
at a rigorous abstraction which at times -in his
American tower blocks- verges on banality. Hodicke
frees himself in an equally rigorous manner from his
tachist background and attempts to creare realistic images from his immediate experience in the most direct
manner possible.
The fate of two people at the beginning and end of modernity; or is it possible to find a thread here which, in
spite of the contrary goals, would suggest a common
basis? Aren't both of them -to cite the third issue of
<<G- concerned with an ptimism with respect to
the means and the possibilities of our age? This optimism is grounded, above all, in the utter chaos of
our time, in the radical dissolution in which we find
ourselves, in both the excess and lack of civilisation,
and our still wanting to be able to find a recognizable
culture>>.
Conspicuous in the relationship between painting and architecture in Berln since World War II has been a
divergent basic mood. W hereas painters had enormous
difficulties coping with the burden of the war and its
destruction, for architects this was precisely the precondition for an exuberant beginning, in a certain respect
this was the moment that architects and planners had
secretly been longing for sorne time: the tabula rasa
on which the radiam vision of the modernists could
finally be turned imo reality.
Whereas H ans Scharoun stretches his utopa for a city
landscape from the Tiergarten to Mehringplatz in his
collective design for Berln in 1946, and uncompromisingly erases the traces of the old city, w ith more or
less unresticted euphoria from Stadtkronenzeiten,
Werner Heldt paims his cycle Berln at the Sea, a
painful assessmem of the effects of the war.
For Werner Heldt, the sea has a metaphorical function
at many differem levels in this post-war Berln: the sea
of moumains of debris in which the remaining houses,
with their dark window openings, stand like islands;
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it is also the silted-up sea on which ships appear, barges,


which obliterare all memories of the steamer aesthetics
of the modern movement. In Werner Heldt's eyes these
images primarly reveal the victory of nature over the
work of man. Children like playing with water and
sand he once said. Perhaps they sense what a city
is made of,,.
The motif for Heldt's image is the view out of a window of a house in the city; a view of quiet and deserted
city space in which the elements in the background,
blocks of houses with punctuated fas:ades begin to
establish a relationship with figura! elements in the
foreground, the latter are apparently objects lying on
the window ledge. There is no distinct separation between the interior and exterior worlds. With an ambivalence which is almost threatening, the objects of
prvate, everyday life look as if they are going to slip
into public space and the objects outside, as if t hey
are going to slip imo public space and the objects outside, in turn, appear as if they are trying to force their
way inside. The interchangeability of the foreground
with the background, the conflict of scale, the dissolution of the contrast beween the public and prvate
spheres, as well as instability are the representation of
processes of social change in the early post-war period.
Werner Heldt's paintings are not, however, merely a
documentation of Berln as a destroyed city -everyone
knows that Berln is the subject at issue -they are pictures which crystallise to form sea landscapes in which
hope has not been lost. The metaphor of the sea does
not have to be interpreted as a wasteland of rubble.
It could also be t he opposite: an intensive phase of
reconstruction. Pre-war paintings, such as those of a
Beckman, depicting houses in the process of construction, convey a similarly ambivalent impression. Is the
thing which is being expressed in these pictures not
in fact a description of Berln as a city subject to a
constant process of construction and destruction, a city
which is never complete, and which refuses to ossify
into a townscape? The huge compartment walls left
their mark on the city before the war, and what they
say is Building to be cominued h ere! They are a sign
of the speculation which made it possible for Berln
to grow at a breathtaking speed.
In the early seventies, when the euphoria of th e
reconstruction phase had reached absolute zero, and

DoU:e estudls per El cel sobre SehOnebarg l a temps que s'ha tornat platejat.
Twelve stud1es for The sky over Schoneberg rurned stlver a long t1me ago
Ka rl Horst HOdlck~ 1974.

19 -

the last shimmer of hope of putting the utopian potentia! of the twenties into practice had vanished -in the
face of Markisches Vierte! and Gropiusstadt the architects and city planners had fallen into a state of
lethargy from w hich they have not yet recovered- at
this moment Karl Horst Hodicke began to take up
the tracks of the Berlin cit y painters of the pre-war
p eriod. Hodicke confront s Berlin in his paintings,
revealing an optimism and a commitment - already
present in his neon and shop window paintingswhich h e raises to the leve! of t h e monumental and
the mythical.
<<Gobi is what Hodicke calls o n e of h is cycles of paint ings which sh ow the view from his atelier window
on to the area of the former Potsdamer P latz that now
takes up the so called Cultural Forum. Postdamer Platz,
the former metropolitan centre, leaves behind an impression w hich one normally only gains at the
periphery of other cities. The subject of the increasing interchangeability of centre and periphery, w hich
has led to p lanning confusion in Berlin in recent years,
influenced, above al!, by th e division of the city, reveals
a typical problem of city development in an exaggerated yet exemplary fashion. The no-man's-land at
the Wall, overgrown wirh weeds, used as r~bbish dump,
flea market, for travelling circuses etc., interests
Hodicke; here the reality of West Berlin congeals to
forro a breath-taking panorama w hich provokes t h e
comparison with the panoramas of Gaertner from the
roof of the Friedrichswerder Churh.
In contrast to Gaertner's panorama, w hich chooses as irs
ideal vantage point the centre of Sch inkel's Berlin,
Hodicke seeks the place which , before the War,
represented th e classic example of rhe metropolitan
square, and which has now been reduced to divided
wasteland by t h e wall. H ere, in the middle of the historie
city, at the periphery of West Berlin, with a free view to
the west of the dinosaurs of the State Library and the
Philharmonie, it is here that Hodicke exposes himself to
Berlin of the present, it is here that he gains his inspiration
from his immediate experience. The immediacy of this
place, in the field of tension between banality and madness,
intereses Hodicke, and this is what he painrs, without mediation, as everyday experience.
I simply stopped doing what was modern>> says
Hodicke. I no longer respected t he surface of a pie-

-20

ture as a surface. It had to have space. And it had to


have a top and a bottom. Mies van der Rohe must
have felt similar when be started to transform the sawnoff Peiner posts of Farnsworth House into the supports for the Nationalgalerie. Suddenly there is a top
and a bottom, a start and a finish: the third dimension. One only need imagine a tower block project
by Mies w hich had been constructed out of the spirit
of this upport -couldn't that have been the consequent
evolution of the glass tower, of 1923?
In this case architecture is very close ro painting in the
attempt to escape from abstraction. However, we do
n o t want to forget that, no matter how suitable rhe
analogy might seem, architecture only follows its own
laws, and that it might be a question of t rying to find
th e architectural equivalent to the impulsive brushstroke of a Hodicke, of discovering an architectural
too! which permits the most direct transformation of
spontaneous sensations and experience, an instrument
w hich does not preceed from the contour and then
fills in the areas of the volumes (c.f. Hodicke's crit icism
of those painters who have not gone through the experience of tachism), an instrument which places an d
shapes volumes in an archaic manner, and creares space.
T h ere is no other possibility to arrive at a city built in
our image. However, t h ere is n o way around grasping
rhe essential n ature of architecture, or of advancing to
the essence of the architectonic itself. We have lost
this sensirivity in the sh adow boxing over a pluralism
of styles, and prior to this, as a result of the expedience
entailed in a belief in the functionalist approach. Above
all, we seem to h ave completely lost t h e feeling for
cubic expression: on the one hand thanks to the
technical posibilities encouraging us to see houses merely if a state of dilapidation or explosion, or, on the
o ther hand, due to a functional complexity compelling the timid architect to atomize everythin g. T h ese
two phenomena complement one another, and can be
sold easily in philosophical packaging th anks to the
complacency of the consumers: deconstruction. If
anyone should find the result too unfinish~d h e can
still, as an attempt at eclectic legitimation, add a few
stylistic citations from low and high culture, whether
they be from a Bohemian village or from grandma's
kitchen cupboard.
The erection of a cube, developed in its totality, and ex-

El col sobre SchOne berg fa temps que s'h a tornat platejat.


The sky over SchOneberg lurned s1lver a long 11me ago.
Karl Horst HOdlcke, 1974.
Museo de Berln . Berlln Museum .

al mo numental i el m t ic.
Go bi s co m H odicke den o m ina un deis seus cicles de
pimures que mostren la vista des de la fi n estra del seu
taller que dn a a l'area de }'am iga Postdamer P latz,
i que ara recull l'anomenat Foru m Cultural. La Postd am er Platz, amic centre metropolira, deixa rera seu
una impressi que hom normalmem noms experimenta en la periferia d'altres ciutats. E l tema de la creixent imercanviabilitat de centre i p eriferia, que ha portat a confusions en la planificaci de Berln els darrers
anys, influida sobretot per la divisi de la ciutat, revela un problema tp ic de desenvolupament d ' una ciutat de forma exagerada, si b exemplar. La terra de ning del m ur, coberta de males herbes, utilitzada com
a abocador, com a mercar d 'en cams, com a espai per
a circs ambulams, etc., s una cosa que imeressa Hodicke; alla, la realitat de Berln Oest qualla i forma un
pan oram a esglaiador q ue provoca la comp araci amb
els panoram es de Gaertn er des de la teulada de l'esglsia de F r ied r ich swerder.
E n con trast amb la v isi de Gaertn er, que escull com al
seu pum d'avantatge ideal el centre del Berln de Schinkel, H o dicke busca el lloc que, aban s de la guerra, rep resemava l'exem ple classic de la plar;:a metrop olitan a
i que ara h a quedat redu"it a u n erm as d ividir pel m ur.
Alla, al mig de la ciutat historica, a la periferia del Berln

occidental, amb una panoramica lliu re deis dinosaures de


la Llibreria Estatal i de la Philharmonie a l'oest, alla s on
H odicke s'exposa al Berln del present, al!a s on recobra
la inspiraci a partir de !'experiencia immediata. A H odicke Ji interessa la immediatesa d'aquest indret, en el camp de
tensions entre la banalitat i la follia, i aixo s el que pinta,
sense mediaci, com una experiencia quotidiana.
Senzillam ent, vaig deixar de fer el que era modern>> - diu
H odicke-. Vaig deixar de respectar la superfcie d' un
quadre com a superfcie. H avia de tenir espai. I havia
de tenir un lmit superior i un d 'inferior.>> Mies van
der Roh e degu sentir una cosa similar quan va com en r;:ar a t ransformar els pals serrats de Peiner de la
Farnsworth House i a convertir-los en supon de la Nat io n algalerie. De sobte h i ha un lmit superior i un
d' inferio r, un co men r;:am em i un final: la tercera dim ensi . Nom s cal imaginar-se u n pro jecte de torre
de Mies constru1da a partir de l'esp erit d'aquest supon ...
No podia h aver estar l'evoluci logica de les to rres
de vidre de 1923?
E n aqu est cas, !'arquitectura s m olt a p rop de la pintura
en l'intent de fugir de l'abst racci . Tanmateix, n ovolem oblidar que, indep en dentmem de fi ns a quin p um
podria semblar apropiada l'analogia, !'arquitectura n om s o beeix les seves p r opies lleis i es p o dia tractar de
b uscar l'equivalem arquitecronic de la p inzellad a im-

2 1-

pressing its determination in volumes, a cube w hich


departs from the leve! of abstraction , and whose body
communicates with us, is a task we are unable to perform. Sch inkel was st ill capable of th is wit h the O ld
Museum, t he Acade my of Architecture, and the
Packhof; Mies, too, with his glass skyscraper and the
National Gallery. Our architectural works are characterized by resignation: small is beautiful, poor is beautiful, fractured is beautiful... however, arc hitecture aims at the rotality, the new, the great, and the sublime. Architecture must
always have as its goal the whole, the complete, remaining
fully aware of the fact that a total transformation les within
the sphere of the Utopian, and that only fragments of a
complete idea are ever executed. The fragments consprovoke a cycle of n ew ideas, which in turn strive for
a new ideal concept. In sp ite of, or perhaps precisely
because of, this fact, we are convi nced that the consciously position ed line or plane, and the consciously
placed volume -and the beauty of them- permit architectural possibilities which do not attempt to force
a right or wron g upon the designer, but are allowed
to act and react freely, e ncouraging us to discover an
amhropomorpho us world in architecture. An architecture w hich aims at wholeness and arises from movement. Architecture is, in the first place, Gestaltung of
volumes, planes and lines, and means giving them life.
It is the discovery of the eventful in the banal, and
the desire to turn the instrumental-function into the
figurative. Picasso's bull's head and Malevirch's blac
square h ave fundamentally changed our way of seeing and experien ci ng. That is our heritage. There is
no way back, except as a fashion trend.
However, if form is a collective, social phenomena, and
if we see the identity of content and expression, of
funct ion and form, as a fundamental condition of architecture, t hen it is high time we started to consider
an image of city and architecture which proceeds
direcdy from the experience of social reality.
In summarising I wou ld like to refer to an essay by
Karlheinz Bohrer: Suddenness>>, t h e fear of the
un kn own . O n the mediating structure of the traditional and the modero>>. According to Bohrer, the
unknown bore a mythical residue which the enlightenment was unable to dispel. W hen it actually appears,
it always spreads fear, and even aggression, p recisely
because no-one expects it. Those awkward moments

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develop w hich are generally called embarrassing,


because people are basically aggravated by the fact that
someone has said something which was not foreseeable,
and w hich did not correspo nd w ith the ru les. Usually c hild ren, n ot highly educated, but sensiti ve p eople,
-and artists- provoke those uncomfortable moments.
If one searches for the cause of this conflict between a
cultural n orm and new innovatio ns, it becomes apparent that the creative figure is the comp lete ly present person, the scholar is the fig ure of the past. Bohrer
formulares this in a provocat ive and paradoxical manner: The artist is no friend of art, but is, in fact, the
adversary of art, i.e. of that art wh ich has prevailed
up to the moment of his appeara nce>>.
Art is -by definition- illegal, subversive, and free from
obl igations. As in the case of sciemific knowledge it
knows of nothing w hich cannot be conceived, nothing
w h ich is forbidden, an d noth ing which can be forbidden. -

pulsiva d'un Hodicke, de descobrir una eina arquitectnica que p ermers realitzar la transformaci ms directa de les sensacions i experiencies espo nranies, un
insrrumem que no comenci p er definir el comorn i
ompli desp rs les arees o els volums (la crtica de H odicke als pimors que no han passat per !'experiencia
del t achisme), un instrumem que colloca i modela els
volums de manera arcaica i crea espai.
No hi ha cap altra p ossibilitat d'arribar a una ciutat creada a la nostra imatge. No obstant aixo, no es pot evitar la via que passa per la captaci de la naturalesa essencial de !'arquitectura o per l'avens: cap a l'essencia
de l~<arquitectonic>> en si. Hem perdut aquesta sensibilitat enmig de lluires innecessaries referems a un pluralisme d'estils i, abans d'aixo, com a resultar de la conve niencia que comporta la creens:a en l'enfocamem
funcionalista. Sobretot, sembla que hagi m perdut completament el sentit de l'expressi cbica: per una banda, gracies a les possibilitats tecniques que ens impulsen a veure les cases meram em en un estat de ruina
o d 'explosi o, per l'altra, a causa d' u na complexitat
funcional que obliga l'arquitecte tmid a aromitzar-ho
tot. Aquests dos fenomens es complem enten mtuam ent i es poden vendre facilment en un embolcall
filosfic gracies a la complaens:a dels consumidors: deconstrucci>>. Si hi hagus alg que trobs el resultar
m assa inacabat, encara h i podria afegir, en un intent
de legitimaci eclecrica, algunes cites esrilstiques de
la cultura baixa i elevada, ta m si sn d'un poble de
Bo he m ia com de l'armari de la cuina de l'avia.
La construcci d' un cub, desenvolupat en la seva totalitat i que expressi la seva determinaci en volums, un
cub que parteixi del nivell d'abstracci i el cos del qual
es co mu niqui amb nosaltres, s una tasca que som incapas:os de dur a terme. Schinkel encara va ser capas:
de fer-ho amb el Museu Anti c, !'Academia d'Arquitectura i el Pack hof. Mies tamb, amb el seu gratacels de
vidre i la Galera Nacional. Les nosrres obres arquitectoniques es caracteritzen per la resignaci: el que s petit s
bonic, el que s pobre s bonic, el que esra trencat s bonic ... Tanmateix, !'arquitect ura aspira a la totalitat, al que
s nou, al que s gran i al que s subl im. L'arquitectura sempre ha de tenir com a objectiu el tot, allo que s complet,
sense deixar de ten ir en compre el fet que la transformaci
total es troba a !'esfera de la utopa i que noms s'executen
fragments d' una idea completa. Els fragments constru"its

provoquen llavors un cicle d'idees noves que, alhora, s'esforcen per trobar un nou concepte ideal. Malgrat aixo, o
precisament per aquesta causa, estem convenc;:uts que una
lnia o un pla collocats conscientment i un volum situat
conscientment -i la bellesa d'ambds- obren possibilitats arquitectoniques no intenten imposar el b o el mal en el dissenyador, sin que li permeten actuar i reaccionar lliurement, animant-lo a descobrir un mn antropomorfic en
!'arquitectura. U na arquitectura que aspiri a la globalitat i
que sorgeixi del moviment. L'arquitectura s, en primer lloc,
Gestaltung (desenvolupament, conformaci) de volu ms,
plans i lnies, i significa dotar-los de vida. s la descoberta
del que s memorable dins el que s banal, i el desig de convertir l' instrumental-funcional en figuratiu. El cap de toro
de Picasso i el requadre negre de Malevitx han canviat de
forma fonamentalla nostra manera de veure i d'experimentar. Aquest s el nostre llegar. No s possible tornar enrera,
sin com a tendencia de moda.
Aixo no o bstant, si la forma s un fenomen collectiu,
social, i si veiem la identitat de contingut i d'expressi, de funci i de forma, com a condici fonamental
de !'arquitectura, llavors ja s hora que comencem a
considerar una imatge de la ciutat i de !'arquitectura
que parteixi directam ent de !'experiencia de la realitat
social.
En resum, m'agradaria referir-me a un assaig de Karlheinz
Bohrer: El sobtat, la por al desconegut. Sobre !'estructura mediadora del tradicional i el modern. Segons Bohrer, el desconegut contena un residu mtic que la ra
no va poder dissipar. Quan de fet apareix, sempre estn el temor i fins i tot l'agressi, precisament p erque
ning no s'ho espera. Es produeixen aquells incomodes moments, generalmem denominat s enutjosos>>,
perque la gent se sent generalment ofesa p el fet que
alg ha dit algu na cosa que no era previsible i que no
s'ajusta a les regles. Normalment els n ens, les p ersones no gaire cultivades, pero sensibles --i els artisres-,
provoquen aquests mo ments molestos.
Si s'investiga la causa d'aquest conflicte entre una no rma
cultural i les innovacio ns, queda dar que la figura creativa s la persona completament present, l'erudit s la
figura del passat. Bohrer ho formula d'una manera provocativa i paradoxal: L'artista n o s un amic de l'art,
sin que de fet n 's el seu adversari, s a dir, s l'adversari de l'art que ha prevalgut fins al mo ment de l'aparici de )'artista.>> -

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