04 Feb The Inside and the Outside
It is the notion of Robert Venturi, RV, that architects should strive for the rather complex designs. Architecture is not the action of stripping a structure down to its bare minimum. It is the action of creating a space in space – with a focus on exterior as well as interior and how they meet.
A structure should have certain contradictions to obscure the inside/outside perimeter. This is unlike many previous build structures which only tend to create his desired diversity within a frame. For instance many medieval villages with diverse and prosperous streets where enclosed by a city wall. Another example is the architecture of Le Corbusier, which tend to be somewhat defined by the frames he generated for it. In the architectural mind-set of RV these hard perimeters should be non-existing.
The obscuring of borders also have a grand effect on lighting. When spaces connect, light is permitted to flow from one room to another. This is used in buildings such as the “Chiesa di Santa Chiara” Church in Brá, Italy where light flows into the inner dome from secondary rooms. This keeps the inner dome remarkably closed and intimate without the sacrificing of light.
Residual lines are created in the church where the inner dome would originally have had its surface. Residual spaces and lines is often leftovers and unfortunately we tend to forget the potential they contains. Residual space has the capacity to connect contradicting spaces and dismantle borders. We should therefor use them for this purpose.
It was the standpoint of Wright, Le Corbusier and many other architects that we should design inside out. Permitting the exterior to turn into a product of the interior. This is somewhat not the design process RV seeks. As György Kepes said: “Every phenomenon… …owes its shape and character to the duel between opposing tendencies…”. RV concludes from this statement that the architectural design process should focus on the encounter between interior and exterior. Two forces being designed simultaneously.
Source: Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradictions in Architecture, Chapter 9