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Fabiola Gorgeri

Shifting Horizons

Intentionality and architectural Composition

Aldo Rossi con Eraldo Consolascio, Bruno Reichlin, Fabio Reinhart, Analogue City, 1976

Aldo Rossi con Eraldo Consolascio, Bruno Reichlin, Fabio Reinhart, Analogue City, 1976

Composition implies the adoption of an internal order that underlies not only the shape but allows its communicability and transmissibility and so also duration, even of the constituent processes. From the second half of the '900 the principles of order and disorder become less defined: the conceptual and formal fragmentation involves the use of multiple compositional devices, logical-deductive, analog, textual, that announce reports relational, dynamic and interscalari of landscape aspect.

Order and composition consist of conceptual and operational synonymies  establishing common dynamics.
The "put in order" with the finality to gather things and ideas giving rise to a new totality with a different signic and morphological purpose, other than from  the parts or constitutive  fragments, denotes and connotes the "composition" as tool, means and ending, of the expressive act .
In this rethoric meaning, the composition assumes a communicative value both of the new result and of the narrative of costitutive path. Therefore, it preserves into itself a temporal and processual component that underlies the dynamic reading, and then participated reading, as an open work.
Ordering and composing presuppose also the reference to one or more rules that determine transmissibility and duration according to a continuous and interpretative change of decomposition and recomposition; rhythms and sequences that define the interior relationships and the mutability in the possibility of modification over time, according to repetitions and interruptions.
The semiotic aspect of a work implies the presence in it of a specific structure that innervating the considered pieces, communicates - makes visible - as they are able to determine a autonomous meaning and a mutual interdependence, between  individual fragment and totality to which it refers, between essential and accidental. The semiotic value presupposes the arbitrariness of the sign according to a shared attribution of meaning and associative relations: arbitrariness and relativity of signs allow the conceptual reference, making of it a fact of language of form, the coincidence of meaning and significance.
" For the architectural design the order is above the law of the constitution of the thing, selection and organization of the elements that make it up, but it is also the set of the new system that it proposes and through which it is possible to look at, to put in order fragments of the world in a new way "(Gregotti 2014).
In many works of Louis Kahn, the figurative morphology is obtained by the composition for "rooms": volumes which are arranged in an apparent disorder planimetric as fragments of unfinished or references to the great tectonic residual archeology. As in the architecture of John Soane, the dual nature, close off and associative of the room, which is made up according to sequences and concatenations, incorporating in a process of narrative also gave accidental, generates ensemble compositions at the same time characterized by discontinuities and totality. The pieces of the composition are evocative fragments as they would be in a set of ruins. The relationship between the order-form and the project refers to the relationship between the  invariance and the becoming, that is dictated by the specific circumstances.
If Louis Kahn recompose an unity of the ensemble through the  paratactic mounting of spatial capsules, voids enclosed by never concluded volumes, Mies van der Rohe  decomposes volumes and assembles them again, as surfaces: floors-guide that attenuate the contours of the building object characterizing the volume with open outer limit of transparency phenomenological, forming geometric lines of force in the context orographic.
In both, the morphological figure comes from a composition process  that presupposes an internal logical-deductive structure.
The form into fragments is the invariant, the residual and durable,  autonomous and objective value which persists at the diachronic flow and to which  we can possibly be attributed another meaning, a different semantic grid, in a new order of pieces composed according to a continuous modification that  allows the duration.
The shape, not only as a figurative image, implies a duration irreducible to its immanence: each new form is a possibility to get sense (Nancy 2007).
The composition as analogue allows to arranging things and forms, as a kind of complex and interactive device can establish associative relationships and correlative references.
In the analogical montages of architectures, theorized by Aldo Rossi, the real forms are connected to partialized archetypal images  that so assembled reveal the typological invariants while the processes of contextualization, transfiguration and associative, generate new figures. The analog process, allows the atonal assembly: every single episode resonates isolated into the whole  that becomes background or figure alternately. Everything is an open work, never finished, which allows free associations.
The analogical structure is characterized by a function of proportionality, which is also the condition of validity and truthfulness: analogical symmetry  that is established between two terms of comparison is dipolar, that is tensional, and can establish a dichotomous relationship between opposites. The comparative analogy is so geometric and proportional: excluding the quantitative measure, it has an unlimited degree of association, unrestricted and can generate links heuristic (through an inductive process related to intuition), synthetic (through interdisciplinary links) or evocative (second a semantic and metaphorical transposition), (Melandri 1974). So, the analogy may be syntactic or semantic depending  if a interference is resolved through a proportional approach or through the formation of corresponding concepts.
The analogical relationship doesn't establish a connection of representation between thing and figure, but of similitude: the cognitive relation is direct and as such has its own objectivity.
The use of an analogical method reconnects analysis - the survey step - with project. A disassembly of the images deposited in the mnemonic collection of things, for a replacement of them that can generate configurations and new reflections, confirming the capsizing of form-function and bringing it  into the debate on the city again.
In the last century, the destructive act that mark out the conceptual thinking of the first avant-garde, the identification with "the broken" or the "celebration of diversity" of the Dadaist movement, become history by the concreteness of war events . If the  metaphor  guarded into itself the images of difference as a fragment of metamorphosis able to retain the change, that which becomes narrative of that is happened, it is already a change, according to a process of metamorphosis in place and transfiguration.
The critical act is an instrument of historicizing and potential practical change that reallocates  shapes and figures in the space and time, and precisely into the form rediscovers the possibility of including the contradictions and dissonances impossible for the logical thinking: the form brings in itself the formless by which it originates and it becomes tangible "thing" of the unexpressed.
From the project for reconstruction of Saint Dié by Le Corbusier, to studies for the city collage by Colin Rowe and city archipelago by Oswald Mathias Ungers, it records the impossibility of a unitary and global city, belonging to  a territory surface that is indefinite, with a relationship of full-empty polarizing the architecture in terms of objects and morphology.
The urban composition becomes increasingly referred to  expanded and undefined limit: the space-temporal dimension and historical aspects of the city,  besides physical, doesn't  include a formal figural structure tending to take on the characteristics of a system of landscape relations.
A part to be a operative tool of the composition, the fragmentation can be considered as the result of a temporal component inherent, not  as much in reference to the memorial figures and models of history or individual memory, as in the constitutive processuality of the project, located geographically and historically in a site. The project thus becomes a fragment of a transformative process always in the act of which it is the main actor itself.
The modification (Gregotti 1966,2012), implicit in the principle of settlement,  as such projective regulates, presides over the composition as a procedural indication that combines variability and persistence, to preserve the belonging of the project to sites ensuring continuity in the change: to attribute to it the meanings derived sites and generate a "shifting of meaning" in the very act of changing the concrete signs on the territory.
The form is both the way in which the parties and the layers, of the thing-architecture, place themselves and how this disposition communicates itself.
Intrinsic textual  structures, syntactic and paratactic, logical and analogical principles imply relational relations in which the phenomenological distance allow the chiasm that communicates an aesthetic outcome linked to the subject that observing.
In the age of globalization, great communications and interconnections, compression and convergence space-time, in which everything is different and constantly changing, place and space are characterized by discontinuity and heterogeneity rather than their overlapping. The place increasingly detailed and localized, whereas the space always more isotropic and not measurable according to a fixed reference point, but in relating to subjects inconstant, to  moving points of perception (Farinelli 2003). A sort of phenomenology dynamic where the poles of perception, subject and landscape, are coincident, unstable and constantly moving.
In the city-landscape, "the line of the horizon, in fact it is a geometric place, which moves when we move" (Tabucchi 1986). "It goes thus forming a succession of intersecting circles, as if the observer pushed the space in front of him and dragged behind himself a distant screen. [...] The horizon is always an image that challenges us, who promises us wonder "( Saramago 1985).

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Fabiola Gorgeri is phd in architecture and urban design at the Department of Architecture (DIDA) of the University of Florence where collaborates to teaching, researching and coordinates a seminar about architectural and urban design.
She is interested in architectural languages and their influence in the urban and territorial transformations. About the same topics and also on the heritage of the twentieth century, she has organized conferences and has written essays; recently, about theme "Trasmitting the trasformation", the conference in Florence and Pistoia of JL Carrilho da Graça.
Louis Kahn, Convent of the Dominican Sisters, Media, Pennsylvania, 1965-1968. Sketches - ZOOM

Louis Kahn, Convent of the Dominican Sisters, Media, Pennsylvania, 1965-1968. Sketches