|1. Light streaming into Grand Central station, New York.|
His lecture last night was "Materiality and Light." He spoke passionately about the life that light brings to architecture. We can't see anything without light, of course. To Pallasamaa, light has a nurturing quality that more than aids vision. It shapes, changes, and establishes architecture. In a sense, light feeds architecture just as it does plants, landscapes, and people.
Coincidently, I just finished reading Grand Central by Sam Roberts. It is a facinating story about the architecture of Grand Central station in New York as well as the engineering, financial, and social influences that shaped it. A photograph that stands out in the book shows light streaming through lofty arched windows over the main waiting room. It is a classic effect of light making space palpable. Sadly, this is an effect that no longer exists at Grand Central. Construction across 42nd Street has forever blocked the sun. This fact, pointed out in Grand Central, had me thinking about light and architecture. I was primed for Pallasamaa's lecture. He did not disappoint.
|2. Light modulating color. Casa Gilardi by Luis Barragan, Mexico City.|
|3. Light creating contrast. Salk Institute by Louis Kahn, La Jolla, California.|
|4. Light and shadow. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.|
"Now, after more than thirty years knowing him and seeing his work" he continued, "I still think Daniel is a genius. And I still don't know in what field." At this observation, delivered dryly, the audience let our a real laugh.
|5. Light, shape, novelty. Daniel Liebskind's DAM (left) and his|
Museum Lofts (right).
|6. Dappled light. Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West.|
"When I visited this country for the first time years ago, I loved the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. I thought he was a genius. But I didn't know why. Now, after living at Taliesin for four months, I still think he was a genius. But I still don't know why. He had a natural genius, unforced by grand theories. He just created naturally, without apparent effort."
|7. Light, color, and depth. Ronchamp chapel by Le Corbusier.|
4. Osvaldo Gago
5. Frank Vanbetlehem
6. John Fowler