La Kasbah organizzata

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Since the Fifties architects have played a continuous attention to the spaces in the casbahs of Islamic cities. Furthermore, some recent buildings give evidence that speculation on this theme is far from ended. The museum in Leon by Mansila and Tunón as well as buildings by Sejima and OMA- just to quote some - are actually further exercises on the same theme of Le Corbusier’s Venice hospital, the “Horizontal unitè d’abitation” by Libera and projects and buildings by Team X. It is important to note that, since the early stage of Modern Movement, the casbah constituted a disturbing cultural presence. The rational orthodoxy of Modern Movement did not match the basic principles of Islamic cities such as growth by cells’ duplication, horizontal development, complexity of relationship of empty and filled spaces, the mix of public and private space. The path followed by Le Corbusier is symptomatic: for him the casbah was a perfect example of urban planning – so perfect to be untouchable. This attitude is quite clear in the Plan Obus where the ribbon-like architecture, discreetly encircles the historic Islamic city. Yet the casbah’s model will be later fully absorbed in its basic principles by Le Corbusier and it will become the pattern of the project for Venice hospital.In that project Le Corbusier brings to its ultimate stage an endless research on the procedure of repetition of vaulted cells and on the generation of complex spaces in the alternation of these cells. Evidences of this path are the several realizations with Catalan vaults: Roq and Rob projects, the maison de Mandrot, the Cherchell farmhouse up to the maisons Jaoul. Yet the reference to the casbah was neither for Le Corbusier nor for the others a “pure” one. A constructional and ergonomic stance was also implied in this twofold attitude. Generating the building from repetition of simple elements meant to fulfill the contemporary urge for a standardized prebuilt construction. Islamic city was therefore a model that could articulate public spaces and buildings in a complex way but it could also lead to a building economy.At that time a building more than any other stood out as the best embodiment of these two issues: Freie Universitat in Berlin by Candilis, Josic e Woods: “successful marriage between casbah and meccano”.Candilis had worked with Le Corbusier in Marocco, sharing therefore the ABAT experience, being this latter just an attempt to rationalized building procedures based exactly to the principles above mentioned. Yet Candilis, Josic and Woods had, before Berlin, developed a famous project for Frankfurt, where they suggested to fill an empty area with an horizontal building, “pierced” with small courtyards.In those years Alison Smithson gave birth to a peculiar idea: the mat building. She envisioned a building form, generated by a warp in plan according to which various elements are located. According to this principle, the Islamic component could match a rational building procedure. So an historic model could support modern construction.
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteArchitettura e progetto urbano nella città di Tunisi e nel Mediterraneo
Numero di pagine6
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013

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