Taking the place(s) you visit on your study trip as a guide, write about the theories of townscape and/or Camilo Sitte’s Art of City Planning in relation to some the specific places you come across. You should illustrate your essay with photographs that you take on the trip. You can also make reference to Le Corbusier’s notion of promenade architectural and August Choisy’s studies of Greek urban design.
You can also make reference to my notion of an external room which is very similar to, for instance, Florian Beigel’s notion of a city room.
One building standing alone in the countryside is a work of art as well as an outstanding piece of architecture. Allocating an architectural building in an urban area is laborious work and will be perceived as masterpiece. However combining the two outcomes by placing a variety of outstanding buildings in a specific buildings with every bends and curves in the city; this is the art of city planning. Santa Maria Della Pace, church, Rome, Italy
The Santa Maria Della Pace church was established in 1482, the building was constructed on the foundations of a pre-existing church of Sant’Andrea de Aquarizariis in 1482. The facade of the Santa Maria Della pace is composed of a semi-circular, there are three entrances to be able to access the church. The central area is the main opening, the left is another entrance, and on the right is an entryway which is a part of Santa Maria dell’ ’Anima which co-opted the design.
As I entered the church I was overwhelmed by the interior of the church. It was composed by frescoes paintings on the white plaster walls and ceilings, the church gave me a sense of peace and harmony. As the skylight projected from the windows and reflected on the paintings it gave me the impression of a holy place. The court yard cloister is exposed to the exterior allowing free and direct access from one space to the other using a constant pattern of (Tuscan) columns and arches, which enhance the detail of the interior. The arches are conducted in a symmetrical pattern, the repetitively of the columns gives it a feeling of enclosure? Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier is a French architect and an urban planner, who was influenced to find a solution to fix the difficulties in the cities. Le Corbusier wanted to emanate his own style of city planning by fusing it with his characteristic of urban plaining. Corbusier states “A town is a tool” (page 8) as he believes a town can be established constantly to help achieve a healthier living environment.
Le Corbusier was an artist looking at the city, “He did not attempt to master the technical aspect of city planning” this show that his schemes portrayed not cities but ideas about cities. Allowing himself a certain poetic license, he outlined possibilities, simplifying the complexity of urban function for dramatic effect, and frequently leaving unfilled the gap between image and reality.
Le Corbusier’s main influences was to focus on the living conditions in the industrials cities, he wanted to prevent overcrowding buildings as they were becoming more problematic, as the living conditions became oppressive and creating segregations by separating the rich and wealthy residents from the underprivileged people, however le Corbusier wanted to change that to allow interactions and communications between the social classed citizens therefor creating equality.
During my study trip to Venice we came across houses that interacted with each other that had an interesting curve which revelled the facade of the building as you take a turn, the streets of Venice contained two streams, crossed canals flowing through the buildings and leading up to centre which led the citizens to make interactions in one social area.
Fredrick law Olmsted
Olmsted wanted to originate his own art by coalescing the two major components of a habitat. ”He hoped to fuse the best qualities of both country and city into a new physical and social unit: the suburb”.
The research conducted by many individuals including Olmsted was exhibits the theory bridging the gap between rural landscape and city space. He took an interest in park designs and decided to influence such appeal in an urban landscape, the City of New York. The driving force to this theory was influenced by Olmsted’s rural background. The main ideal of the suburb is to create area that is within close parameters to the city centre in which its inhabitants are urban villagers. The urban villagers may use the rural landscape park as an escape option to relax from the urban city.
Olmsted’s perception of the city was a realm consisting of multiple sub units each serving its own function; cooperation of the subunits will results in a phenomenal accomplishment. Unlike cites nowadays where each section serves all the purposes. His theory empathises the harmony of architecture and its value once it has been implanted in people’s life resulting in an efficient community.
Olmsted’s design idea of central park was deemed as a “master plan” (Olmsted and feln 1968) as he believed the profession of landscape architecture could improve the quality of life of America. This give a presumption that he is trying to perceive a contrast between African/artificial cites and, the park system provided the ideal opportunity to segregate an occupational environment from Mother Nature. Camilo Sitte
Artistic development of a city scape that catches the eyes of citizens will be challenging nowadays due to the straight roads. Although the curves and bends that existed in the past were not done deliberately, but they contributed to the formation of artistic city planning. This raises the question, if these irregularities where to be implanted in today’s modern city planning will this reinstitute art?
I believe that it may be a change however it will not be enjoyed as much, nothing is more beautiful than observing nature take its course. In order to allow art to blossom into city planning, it must be done through one individual authorising them to go beyond their imaginations and exploring their principles of life freely. However if this absorbed other individuals, discipline will be compulsory to maintain organisation and structure. This control will eliminate any liberty, therefore restricting imagination. As well as studying the artistic tradition to assist in pinpointing the missing element that made ancient architecture extraordinary may aid in saving the art of city planning.
Camillo Sitte analysed urban situations and came to a resolution where he was going to respond to them not from an artistic point of view but from a perception that provided psychological comfort. Within a city, Sitte has divided it into separate scenes, each one serving a unique psychological purpose. Every one scene represented a mood that allowed the uttermost points to be reached. Bonding these scenes together portrayed an exquisite picture as if looking through various patterns in a Kaleidoscope; as well as a stunning function just like the human brain where various parts with contrasting responsibilities work in synchronicity to achieve the best desires. His system was based on what the eyes saw will influence the mood, even if what you observe contradicts what you perceive e.g. narrow and winding streets leading to new views; asymmetrically arranged monuments with clear centres. What he is trying to say is that there is always more to what the eye sees.
Sitte believed that each building within a city must have a known purpose from the moment the design plan has been set. Infrastructure within the city must be well proposed and adequate to fulfil the requirements. Where to situate parks must be thought of carefully e.g. parks should be located at the Centre of large buildings with at least two entrances on different aspects, rather than having it open on the road. The irregular, imperfect roads should be preserved as they give the city a flexible appearance rather than the rigid expression given by the straight aligned roads. This appeared during my trip to Rome where the main city streets was curved and formed two cross-axial streets which created an interesting tension when you arrived at the end of the turn which revealed an intriguing site that led to the main central area which was shaped in a rectangle. In addition to appearance they also stop and deflect prevailing wind, hence benefitting the citizens and protecting them from harsh weather.
As to conclude, it is clear that magnificent masterpieces cannot be achieved without two main elements: an artistic base and a philosophy of life. These elements combined generate a powerful charisma in the art of city planning, in my opinion these individual architects have influenced the way city planning is to this day.
Cullen, G. (1961). The concise townscape. Amsterdam: Architectural Press, pp.25, 26, 30.
Olmsted, F. and Fein, A. (1968). Landscape into cityscape. [Ann Arbor, Mich.]: Scholarly Pub. Office, University of Michigan University Library.
McCuskey, J. (1992). Road form and townscape, 2nd ed. 2nd ed. Oxford: Butterworth Architecture.
Evenson, N. (1970). LE CORBSUIER: THE MACHINE AND THE GRAND DESIGN. London: Studio Vista, p.8.
Camilo City planning according to artistic principles. (n.d.). [ebook] Available at: https://courseworks2.columbia.edu/courses/10532/files/579073/preview?verifier=VkuP9OCBSRcneyQ9YlfBDRH53ZbD7Xw9CL5H7Q9x [Accessed 28 Dec. 2018].
Le courier’s principles of city planning and their application in virtual environments. (2019). [ebook] Available at: https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk3/ftp04/MQ61319.pdf [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018].