Fear of the Return of Totalitarian Architecture Due to Technological Advancements Research Paper

Pages: 7 (2679 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Architecture  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Actually, his footnotes to this statement show the goal of the attack: both Ruskin's Stones of Venice and Geoffrey Scott's The Architecture of Humanism are against this Wittkower's paradigm because it supports a totalitarian regime and the building of architecture structure that ushers in the totalitarianism type of buildings. Specifically, Wittkower has a problem with anyone that shares the following ideology: a hedonist explanation of architecture that privileges the sensuous aesthetic response by the viewer and projects it back upon the architect's purpose."[footnoteRef:6] [6: -- . "The Alphabet and the Algorithm." Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. The MIT Press, 7 May 1995.]

Wittkower actually thought that these architecture building brought in some kind of religious theme.

Beyond this close-fitting relationship among art and science, perhaps the most important aspect of Wittkower's thesis is about the rudiments of Renaissance architectures and his focus on syntax A which is something that the recent new totalitarianism regime is trying to do. Those that support this new totalitarian architecture also support Wittkower's natural extension of his stress on proportion and exchanges among art and science.

Criticism of Modernism

One of the fears of the new technology supporting totalitarian architecture is that it is against modernism building structure. It was Mr. Krier's disapproval of modernism, which he sees as a catastrophic interruption of totalitarian architecture that first brought him to public attention in the 1970. In his eyes, modern buildings, he said, with their divorce of construction and old-style materials are fragile structures that always need this constant attention. All of them at one point and time or another appear to require constant repair and replacement. Because of this, it is turning cities into continuous building sites and subsidizing to the generally "trash culture" of modernity. In the United States, "the matter is not just a matter of a worthless quality of life but of how it imposes on the rest of the world.

The research shows that the ecological correction to modernism that Mr. Krier promotes is a return to the totalitarian architecture design. He disapproves zoning for the reason that it separates the basic tasks of life -- leisure, work, domesticity -- scattering them over wide spaces and coercing individuals to waste time and contaminate the atmosphere with cars. People that support his ideology believe that a city needs be divided into quarters in which inhabitants can perform every one of their tasks, the dimensions to be controlled by "the comfort of a walking man." "Weariness sets a natural boundary to what a human being is equipped to walk day-to-day," he speaks to, "and this limit has been teaching man all through history the scope of rural or urban societies."[footnoteRef:7] [7: Ibid, 45]

According to Krier public space -- squares, streets, and parks -- would need to amount to no more than 40% of a city. Dissimilar to high-rise expansions, which are enclosed by wide streets and space that is empty, the classical city confines empty space, which costs too much to maintain and very hard to secure; what space there is must help the wants of individuals to collect and divert themselves.[footnoteRef:8] In a quarter that brings together living and working, public space is not isolated at night and does not summon crime. Another reason he supports the totalitarian architecture has something to do with bankruptcy. He believes that the bankruptcy of the suburb, in Mr. Krier's interpretation, is proved by the way women and teen-agers assemble in malls. In spite of all the open space in the suburb, there is almost no public space except the shopping mall, and nearly surely none within walking distance. He goes on to make the point that the suburb is a cooperation that does not work; it refutes both the city and the countryside, integrating their identities without recognizing either. [8: Keller, 122]

It was Mr. Krier's disapproval of modernism, which he observes as a calamitous interruption of totalitarian architecture that first brought him to public responsiveness in the 1970.[footnoteRef:9] Modern buildings, he mentioned, with their traditional materials and divorce of structure, are delicate structures that need constant restoration and replacement, turning cities into continuous building locations and contributing to the global "garbage culture" of modernism. In the United States, "the subject is not just a matter of a worthless quality of life but of how it imposes on the rest of the world." [9: Keller, 122.]

The Beauty of the Architecture

It appears that Kier was not the only one that supported totalitarian architecture. According to Wagner who wrote an article in the LIPPINCOTT'S magazine considering tall buildings wrote about the beauty of tall buildings that represented the totalitarianism era. Tall building construction was a big deal to totalitarian leaders and with the advancement of new technology; they are becoming more and more in the modern society. They are looked at as being beautiful whereas others may view the huge structure as symbolic of something that represents an era of control. The magazine article by Wagner went on to explain how important tall businesses are and that they need to be built correctly. He made the point that theses tall office buildings had a purpose and needed to be erected properly. Wagner mentioned that the practical horizontal and vertical division and office unit is naturally based on a room of comfortable area and height plus the size of the standard office room as naturally predetermines the standard structural unit and approximately the size of window openings. The authorial mark was something that was looked at as beauty regarding the totalitarian architecture especially by Peter Eisenman.[footnoteRef:10] [10: Carpo, 1998]

Eisenman's theory of indexicality in design stalks from the same premises as Alberti's. However the authorial mark which is a symbolic sign of totalitarian architecture is something inscribed in both of these men's projects of buildings. The built work can be seen as a probe or critique of the limits of allographic authorship and something that ushers in the totalitarian architecture in the modern age.


It is clear that totalitarian architecture is scary because the architecture is bringing in a time of destruction particularly when these building represented a time of oppression. The totalitarian architecture is viewed as domineering and regulatory, something that people would probably want to forget rather than embrace.

Works Cited

Carpo, Mario. "Architecture in the Age of Printing." The History of Architectural Theory. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data, 6 March 1998.

-- . "The Alphabet and the Algorithm." Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. The MIT Press, 7 May 1995.

Giroux, Henry. Totalitarian Paranoia in the Post-Orwellian Surveillance State. 14 Feruary 2014. http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/11/totalitarian-paranoia-in-the-post-orwellian-surveillance-state/. 18 March 2014.

Keller, Marcello Sorce. "Why is Music so Ideological, Why Do Totalitarian States Take It So Seriously: A Personal View from History, and the Social Sciences",." Journal of Musicological Research, XXVI 2.3 (2007): 91 -- 122.

Payne, Alina A. "Rudolf Wittkower and Architectural Principles in the Age of Modernism." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 53.3 (1994): 322-342.

Steiner, Wendy. "ARCHITECTURE; Calling for a Return to Sanity… [END OF PREVIEW]

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