Buildings, Texts, and Contexts

Nineteenth-century architecture is a difficult subject in a design school. Its aesthetics is in sharp contrast to the contemporary quest for authenticity. Although today\’s architectural debate has distanced itself from the modern movement ideals, architects have not get rid of the modernist condemnation of eclecticism. Yet, nineteenth-century architecture is fundamental if one wants to understand the emergence and development of the modern movement. Above all, it raises issues such as the tension between art and technology that are still problematic today.Through a series of case studies ranging from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts education to the Crystal Palace and nineteenth-century world exhibition, from Schinkel\’s new Berlin to Gaudi\’s major realizations, the course will focus on the following themes:- the question of the changing nature of the relation between architecture and society and the interrogations it implies regarding program and style,- the scientific and technological challenge implied by industrialization, the evolution of the definition of architectural design through phenomena like the emergence of Beaux Arts composition, the quest for structural rationalism or the German obsession with tectonic.