A special issue of ZARCH Journal of interdisciplinary studies in Architecture and Urbanism edited by Javier Pérez-Herreras and Eduardo Delgado
On 29th January 1927 Walter Benjamin was wandering along Shabolovka Street in Moscow looking for his beloved Asha. During his search he came across a new radio station tower. He wrote down the discovery in his Moscow Diary which he described as a very different structure to any he previously knew. That anatomy of metal bars sewn into the skyline of the Russian capital was the tower designed by the engineer Vladimir Shukov.
Today, in our time of architecture resolved using skins and enclosures, we propose a journey back in time to discover that architecture with its visible anatomy. Anatomy that aims to give origin to a place. These are architectural structures that recover the Hegelian concept of a primitive anatomy. This primitivism appeals to the most basic and essential side of architecture, making the structure a revelation of the site it occupies. A structure that aspires to an order that gives rise to its occupation as a site. An order that has taken a journey from modernity where hierarchy was given to space, and contemporaneity which appears to reject that kind of hierarchy.
For our atlas of anatomies, we are seeking structures that were built and also those that never became more than drawings. We are interested in the radiographic visibility of anatomy that Mies dreamed about for the first skyscrapers in Berlin and his towers on 848 in front of the lake in Chicago. The anatomy that Kahn also wanted to make dance in the wind in the middle of Philadelphia, or the one lighting up Kimbell museum. The table on which Ishigami sleeps or the constellation of white pillars describing the room of a university laboratory. We praise structures whose entrails are evident in the expression of their occupation, and structures that are installed as exoskeletons on the outside of the building. If Paxton made a wire structure the inside of a glass palace, Foster gave shape to the Gherkin thanks to a diagonal mesh anatomy in London itself. Our aim is therefore to find out which architectural anatomies have become the visible soul of new sites that architects and unknown engineers dreamed about, and which we do not want to forget now. All of them converted the technical novelty into the primitive anatomy of a new world and structure into true architecture. After the unexpected architectural discovery, the German philosopher found his beloved again.
Full papers may be submitted to ZARCH Journal of interdisciplinary studies in Architecture and Urbanism by June 15, 2018. This issue of ZARCH ( no. 11) will be published in December 2018.