WHAT IS A HOUSE FOR住宅所为何

Giacomo Guidotti: I have three types of memory connected with houses. The first is the house I lived in as a child. The second was the observation, still as a young boy and thanks to my father’s role as chief constructor, of the urban restructuring of Monte Carasso by Luigi Snozzi.  Acknowledging this, what I find interesting, reflecting on the thesis of your project, is not to talk about the houses that I know somehow through the natural coincidences of my childhood but, instead to discuss a house that I discovered consciously through my own curiosity and research. It is this third type of memory, one that required effort and persistence to develop, that I would now like to talk about. This brings me to Casa a Costa by Livio Vacchini.

From the begining, Luigi Snozzi was always concerned with the ethical basis of architecture, which underlined that a house needs to be a structural part of the territory and clearly articulate the primary relationships between private and public domains. This theme being acutely manifest in his work in Monte Carasso and my experience as child. The buildings he drew, were essentially the results of pragmatic planning within the general large frameworks of cities. At the typological level, Snozzi’s houses usually remain under what we associate as “normal”. They have a clear subdivision between both day and night zones and served and serving spaces. The day zone has a specific relationship with the landscape, the night zone a different one; big windows have a function, small ones have another. Snozzi’s architectural decisions were driven by the pattern of their own use. He did this with the intention of putting his buildings to the service of a wider urban vision. I ask myself why that was. Slowly, over time, I began to realise that the main topic of Snozzi's architecture was not the language of the object but the relationship it had to the wider context. The ideological social dimension was for him, the most important one. 

I saw Casa a Costa for the first time whilst studying with Atelier Patrick Berger at the EPFL in Lausanne. In his classes, the ethical issues, which I’d become accustomed to, were significantly less important. Instead, the question of how one builds, or „writes” a piece of architecture, based on syntax played a central role. In his teaching approach it was crucial to get to know the vocabulary and grammar first before one started to tell stories. In other words, a capacity to put things in order was the basis of any further expression. Casa a Costa showed me in practice what Berger’s teaching was about. I understood that a house can deal with the universal and timeless topics common to all constructions: be it a museum, a stadium, or even a railway station. Vacchini’s house doesn’t lack anything to work-properly, at the same time and because of the way it was built, it is able to transcend contemporary connotations. More directly, the house gives form to ordering principles that allow it to participate in the 5000-year history of humanity. There are precise responses to many universal topics of architecture such as the relationship to the ground, interior, and exterior, monumental, and private dimensions, relationship with the landscape, behaviour of light on the surfaces of material, the topic of the plinth, cladding, etc. You are confronted with a very coherent piece of architecture that makes a statement on each topic. With this in mind, when observing the house, you begin to follow its logic and start to decipher and understand the intellectual process that brought it into existence. 

IS IT NOT AN EXAMPLE OF ARCHITECTURE THAT FALLS IN LOVE WITH AN ORDER, TO AN ALMOST OBSESSIVE DEGREE? 

That might be true, but if so, Vacchini does it on purpose. The house is a tentative attempt to make architecture driven only by principles. He wanted to build an order, a manifesto, and for this, he invented a program, and not the other way around. If he had wanted to build a house suitable for the daily life of his family, I am sure he would have made it differently. Finally, in the end, the building was used more as an escape, a meeting place to have dinners with friends and to read alone. This fact does not reduce the importance of Casa a Costa. On the contrary, it shows exactly why architecture has an autonomous right to exist and doesn’t always have to be justified by a function. A project also needs to develop an emotion, and this cannot come from the correctness of functional solutions. Vernacular domestic architecture for instance doesn’t have the ambition we are talking about. Early cultures invented archetypes, small machines to live in, that over time developed into what would finally become almost clockwork like systems; finely tuned to the specific conditions of their context. These houses were then reproduced systematically and built next to each other following the topography and are today what we know as vernacular architecture. Casa a Costa does not follow these premises. It manifests an ambition to give space an autonomous value, regardless of its final assumed function. That is the best lesson it offers. For instance, it is the exact opposite of Le Cabanon by Le Corbusier, where each space can only be used in a specific programmed way.

Vacchini essentially makes a three-dimensional structure in which a person can do whatever he or she wants. If we think about a more traditional house, with a standard subdivision of spaces, entrance, living room, kitchen, two bathrooms, three bedrooms, etc., it seems universal and versatile, but in reality, it responds to the needs of a family for only a certain period of life, i.e., when a family has young children. The children inevitably grow up quickly, and in only a matter of years go away to study, etc. The house starts not to suit the requirements of life anymore. You have to change, or rent, or demolish it, or just accept that it doesn’t fit. Life is made up of many of these diverse periods and how one lives consequently changes over time.  An architect needs to know for how long, for whom, and for what activity a house is to be built for. Apart from that, there is always an architectural, spatial question, that should point towards universality. Casa a Costa was meant to be a holiday house for Livio Vacchini and his family. It was never meant for permanent habitation. That’s why the question: „How to make a piece of pure architecture?” could become the only important one. He could forget about solving a plan suitable for one specific moment and instead offer one that both proposes and provides for all possible future functional scenarios.

THE SPACE IS LONG AND NARROW IN PROPORTION, TWO CORRIDORS ALONG OPPOSING FACADES. DO YOU THINK IT IS A GOOD SHAPE FOR A SPACE WHERE ONE SPENDS A LONG TIME?

The space, on the ground floor, is indeed, physically long, and because of the wall in the middle of the plan that draws the division between the kitchen and the bathroom; narrow. The great invention is the roof that rests on pillars at the two short facades. It means that two out of four enclosures of each of the corridors are glazed. It transforms it into a terrace exposed to the landscape. As a result, you don’t have the impression of being in a long and narrow space.

On the other hand, if we look at the type of glass, it’s important that it is not completely transparent. It is blueish and strongly reflective on the outer surface and in my opinion, it plays a crucial role in the atmosphere of this house. It has a presence that changes the hue and opacity of the light entering the building. It is not about pretending there is not a wall, it is about having something other than a wall. Subtly, it marks the limit between exterior and interior. Whenever you open the window, even minimally, and the real light enters which has a very different colour and temperature, you perceive immediately, with your eyes and as it falls on your skin a series of interesting phenomena. I find it very rich and it changes all the time. It looks simple at the first glance, but in fact, it is very complex and done with the utmost precision and sensibility. Banality and simplicity are not the same things. It’s another lesson the house offers us. 

OVERDOSING ON EXPOSURE IS A REAL ISSUE. I IMAGINE THAT THE STRONG EXPERIENCES YOU DESCRIBE COULD BECOME UNBEARABLE UNDER CONSTANT REPETITION. WHERE DO YOU RETREAT TO FROM THE SPECTACULAR VIEW AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RE-EMERGE, CURIOUS TO GO BACK ON TO THE BIG STAGE? IN A SPACE OF THIS TYPE, WHERE DO YOU HIDE? 

It’s a fundamental topic. The house exists as two „tubes”, it has three pillars on each short facade, it’s very open and as you say it produces an experience of extreme exposure. In this respect, it is important to consider the layout and design of the plot. On one side of the house, Vacchini planted olive trees, which were supposed to create an external screen obscuring the long view and giving the space a more intimate dimension. It is also screening those inside from being seen by passers-by. There is also another way to respond to your question. Sometimes when inside a house, you don’t always want to be exposed to the people you are with, all the time. The intimacy of a house is not only measured in a relationship with the public space but also the one between an individual and a collective. An open, free space layout always has this problem, but in the case of Casa a Costa, the fact that it’s a house for a couple reduces it significantly.

HOW DO YOU INTERPRET THE USE OF COLOUR IN CASA A COSTA? WHAT ABOUT THE YELLOW FLOORING AND RED STRIPED PILLARS?

As far as I am concerned the floor simply emphasises the interior light dynamics. For example, with a wooden floor it would simply be less visible because wood disperses the light. A synthetic yellow material makes all the changes sharp and evident. When it comes to the red stripes, I don’t feel that the colour, in this case, is very important. What is important is the cut.

One of the main qualities of concrete is that it is monolithic and does not have a front or a back. Even local Gneiss, commonly used for monolithic columns, when looked at carefully has stratifications; it is composed out of layers. Concrete is even more amorphous than stone. It is a material that par excellence can be used to make volumes, masses, and all without orientation.

In architecture, there is a classical topic of cladding, an external layer of construction that belongs to the public domain. From antiquity, people ask how the blocks or panels of stone or wood are articulated in the corners, which element covers which, etc. Monolithic concrete in theory allows a construction to be liberated from the topic of cladding. Vacchini, however, decides to recall the classical topic even in the monolithic construction by making a slit in the pillar and painting it red. I think it is to underline the passage from the exterior to the interior. It gives a form, a spatial dimension to the limit between two fundamentally different realms. Everything that has mass is the private domain, everything that has an association with cladding is part of the public space.

IN CASA A COSTA, VACCHINI APPLIED A VOCABULARY THAT COULD EASILY BE ASSOCIATED WITH PREHISTORIC CONSTRUCTIONS LIKE DOLMENS. IN THIS SENSE, MONUMENTALITY WAS NOT ORIGINALLY APPLIED TO DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE, BUT RATHER TO THE PUBLIC ONE, THE ONE THAT HAD A FUNCTION OF BRINGING THE EARLY SOCIETIES TOGETHER. WHAT DOES THIS ASSOCIATION PRODUCE ONCE APPLIED TO A PRIVATE HOUSE?

As far as I am concerned in every construction an architect designs there is the question of monumentality, and how much he or she decides to give to it. It’s a question of balance between the public and private dimension of a structure and it depends very much on the position of the building in relation to other buildings, territory, landscape, etc. Common sense tells us that the more public a structure is, the more monumental its dimension should be. Conversely, the more private something is, the less monumental it is. In my opinion, this is not always true. One can invert a common logic and ask, regardless of the program, what grade of monumentality the context requires in a particular place. Sometimes it is necessary to make an object that deals, using monumentality, with for instance, the scale of a lake, or a mountain, or public space - even if it is programmatically a modest house.

Another factor is the dimension of time. Today a house is a building where one lives, tomorrow it can be a chapel. To give this possibility an architect needs to think in universal, abstract terms and keep the object resistant to fashions and short-term scenarios. A house doesn’t need to describe anything. The life of a person or a family is self-explanatory and doesn’t need architecture as a metaphor to explain or teach people. I think it is interesting to give a person a space that is open to diverse uses. Casa a Costa is a house without judgment, it doesn’t tell you what to do or what activity is more important and how you should experience it. The middle wall is there now, but tomorrow the bathroom and the wall might disappear or move somewhere else, and the house could become a gallery of sculpture. The wall is less a part of architecture than it is part of the furniture. The roof instead wouldn’t allow the level of freedom it offers if it were dependent on intermediate supports. To guarantee this, it needed to break free.

I used to say that a house always has two lives. The first one, before anyone lives in the building, starts with a project, before it passes through diverse phases of construction. The second is the live beginning when all the furniture, art pieces, sentimental objects, toys, flowers, decorations, etc are introduced by the users. I don’t think that there is something wrong, if in its first life, a house has a sober character of a public building and deals with universal and abstract topics. Shortly after it will anyway be inhabited by someone, and it will become „softer” according to the preference of the user. I don’t think that architecture itself needs to be domestic, for chairs, sofas, pillows, etc. play this role perfectly. 

THE ARCHITECTURE OF VACCHINI, BEING RIGOROUS, MINIMAL
AND ONE THAT RADICALLY CLEANS EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT ESSENTIAL, CREATES AN ATMOSPHERE THAT MIGHT SUGGEST
A CERTAIN WAY OF LIVING. DO YOU THINK IT CAN ACCOMMODATE ALL POSSIBLE SCENARIOS JUST BECAUSE IT IS PHYSICALLY FREE OR RATHER ITS CHARACTER EXCLUDES SOME OF THEM?

I am not sure. I have just finished a house for a friend who is a painter. I couldn’t make a house with glass everywhere and without the possibility to hang his paintings and the art he collects. These pieces play an important part in his daily life, they are essential to it and require a certain type of architecture. In this sense, architecture is not fully free and autonomous. However, the problem is not whether you listen to the clients or not. The central problem is whether you give a direct answer to their wishes, or you try to find a solution that has a spiritual ambition, or intellectual nature, that responds in an indirect way to their needs. The direct answer is a functionalist architecture, the indirect one is an architecture that celebrates its freedom and deals with more universal topics in the first instance.

As far as I am concerned, as an architect, your primary task and responsibility is to build a world. What matters is that it makes sense and things begin to make sense when they have governing rules. Otherwise, it’s not a world, it’s chaos. Casa a Costa is a world. Casa a Costa follows a system that Vacchini developed and applied to his house. One can live there in a very minimalistic style. At least this is what is suggested at first glance, but I wouldn’t say it is the only way. I can also imagine you could also live there with Persian carpets, piles of books, and armchairs of Louis XIV style. Take for example, Stonehenge or the Parthenon, nobody knows what was there at the beginning, what kind of partitions, curtains, chairs, benches, textiles, etc. We only know what has lasted and stayed.

We spoke before about the two lives a house has. It’s not like that the transition between them is immediate, sometimes it takes many years before a house an architect builds becomes someone’s home. In the beginning, it is often very surprising how wrong everything seems; without any order, spaces are arranged strangely, furniture does not fit and is put in the worst possible places. Usually, after a long time, you go back and discover beautiful and unexpected arrangements, completely different from what you imagined while designing, rich, and very authentic. It is not true that a space built with rigour and with the ambition of abstraction, promotes a minimal and contemplative lifestyle. In Casa a Costa there is nothing intrinsic that tells you to sit there, on only one chair, watching the mountains in silence. The more architecture is sober, even abstract, the more it allows surprising situations to take place inside it. 

IN MANY DISCIPLINES, IT IS NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND METHODS, PROCESSES, PROCEDURES, REASONS, AND DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOGIC. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER ARCHITECTURE, UNDERSTOOD AS DESIGN, IS ONE OF THEM. DO WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND ARCHITECTURE TO APPRECIATE AND MAKE IT? 

It is a question of mental structure. I think in the European context, as a culture, we are educated to understand what we do, and do what we understand. Doing things, is in the first place a way of communication. To live together, a society needs both communication and understanding. As far as I am concerned, everything we do is filtered by our own rationality. In the context of architecture, I am not talking about the preference for orthogonal compositions over freeform ones. I am stressing the necessity of a logical argument that makes me choose between one or the other.

I am convinced that the final aim of constructing a piece of architecture is one of constructing a city and with this intention, I am close to Luigi Snozzi. A city is a form of organisation within society, it needs a certain structure. If I design a house and I want to build a single event, I can do it following my fantasy, intuition, and subjectivity. However, if I have an ambition to contribute to the construction of a city, I must deal with the question of how a city should work, not only as a hierarchical and efficient system but also in terms of poetics and fundamental visual rules that determine its character. A city should not be a prototype or a generic result of the multiplication of other models, it needs its own unique face. The same principle works on a smaller scale for quarters, neighbourhoods, etc. It’s just not possible to build a city out of single objects developed solely out of the architect’s subjectivity - just put next to each other, one at a time. To hold a ‘wall’ together, you need some mortar between the individual bricks.

Today, the question remains; what is the required criteria to build a city or to make a physical structure within a society? Is there something important for everyone that should have priority and become a guide for all the rest that grows around it? What is the reason to physically meet in a place, apart from the commercial exchange of goods and wealth? Should a city have a centre or not? Nowadays everyone has a problem with answering these questions. I do not know what the ultimate solution is but denying the importance of looking for it will have exclusively negative consequences. The more architects decide to refuse to participate in a discussion about the future, form, sense, and space of our cities, the less impact we will have on how our environment looks and works. Already today, the role architects play is secondary, cities are shaped by economists, sociologists, historians, engineers, and landscape designers. An architect only comes to the table when all the important topics are decided upon, it’s only then that they are allowed to make their isolated object. 

DO YOU THINK IT’S THE ARCHITECT’S ROLE TO CHALLENGE THIS;
TO PROPOSE THE BIG FRAMES WITHIN SOCIETY? IF THIS IS SO, WHAT ARE THE CURRENT PARAMETERS AN ARCHITECT WORKS WITHIN? 

The dominating housing concern in the contemporary occidental democratic society is reciprocal non-disturbance between neighbours. You can make whatever you want in terms of materials, forms, language, spaces, if you accept and follow the rule of non-disturbance i.e., distances from the borders of the plot and reduced height. This is the level we are now at. It’s a low level of controlled social order. We lack more sophisticated, more creative, more longsighted, more intelligent, quality-oriented ideas to govern how we build the quarters we live in. I find this state of affairs disappointingly poor for a society that declares itself to be so advanced.

The house of Vacchini is not only a formal manifesto, but also a conceptual manifesto. It shows that a house, and we can extrapolate it to anything of fundamental importance to human existence, is defined not only by superficial elements or decoration but by structural elements. It is a general philosophical message. It stresses that structure, significantly more than cosmetics, has a fundamental role to play in constructing a world. The rigour of Vacchini’s architecture is one of conceptual types. It’s a construction, understood as an orderly composition of a series of elements.

Fluidity is an often-explored topic in our times, and it might be fashionable to talk in terms of individual narratives and deconstruction of general systems. But as far as I am concerned, it describes only a part of today's condition and refers to specific, limited spheres and problematics. It should not become a methodology to deal with everything. In times of Covid, for example, we have benefited from technology and the fact that our private social worlds could remain connected, even if people were on different continents. We could continue to teach in universities, etc.  However, it doesn’t mean that this virtual, a-contextual dimension should be our ideal and the horizon of all our ambitions. We are architects first of all because we believe in the physicality of spaces at all scales, not only in the scale of our bedroom. This requires structural thinking and Casa a Costa puts it in the foreground. The message that connects the work of Vacchini with what I learnt from Snozzi, is an ethical one.

WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING IN CASA A COSTA?

I don’t think we should be preoccupied with changing anything from the past, we should make projects that deal with the future. More than modifying Casa a Costa, I would be interested to bring the best from it to my own projects and make it even better.

Vacchini often spoke that in life you make the same project again and again, trying to make it better each time you deal with it. This means that past experience is nothing more than a necessary step towards a future one.

Casa a Costa taught me to see a house not as a finished object but as a manifestation and concentration of wider more universal thoughts. Luigi Snozzi illustrates this point with his famous aphorism “L’acquedotto vive al momento che ha cessato di portare l’acqua” („an aqueduct starts to live once it stops carrying water”). This thought has been present through history and will be present each time I start to draw. 

25.08.2020

贾科莫·吉多蒂: 我对住宅有三种记忆。第一种源于我小时候居住的房子,第二种还是来自于我孩童时的观察,受益于我的父亲,他在路易吉·斯诺齐(Luigi Snozzi)蒙特卡拉索(Monte Carasso)的城市改造中担当施工方的角色。带着这种认知,我感到有趣的是对于这个项目的论题,并不是要谈论我童年因为某种自然巧合而熟悉的住宅,而是一种我有意识地通过自己的好奇心和研究发现的住宅。我现在想谈论的正是这第三种记忆,一种需要努力和坚持才能发展的记忆。这就让我想起了了利维奥·瓦奇尼(Livio Vacchini)的科斯塔住宅(Casa a Costa)。

从一开始,路易吉客斯诺齐一直关注建筑的伦理基础,强调房屋需要成为领土的结构性组成,并清楚地表达出私人和公共领域的关系。这个主题成为他后续在蒙特卡拉索工作的主张,也成为我童年经验的一部分。

他所绘制的建筑,本质上是在大的城市框架下务实规划的结果。从类型学角度,斯诺齐的住宅属于一般认定的“普通”住宅。它们有着清晰的白天和夜间、服务与被服务的空间划分。白天的区域和景观有着一定的联系,而夜间区域反之;大窗有其功能,小窗也有着不同的目的。斯诺齐的建筑决策是由使用模式驱使的。

他这么做的意图,是使其建筑服务于更广阔的城市图景。慢慢随着时间推移,我开始发现斯诺齐建筑的主题,并不是对象(object)的语言,而是与更广泛的文脉(context)间的关系。对他来说,形而上的社会维度是最为重要的。

我第一次看到科斯塔住宅是在洛桑理工(EPFL)帕特里克·伯杰(Patrick Berger)的工作坊(Atelier Patrick Berger)学习的时候。据我所知在他的课上,建筑的伦理问题明显的不那么重要了。相取代的是建造和“书写”一个建筑的句法成为了核心命题。他主张在讲一个故事前,先累计词汇量和语法是至为关键的。换句话说,使事物井然有序的能力是任何进一步表达的基础。

科斯塔住宅在实践中向我展示了伯杰的教学理念。我理解住宅可以处理所有建构物共通的普世性且永恒的话题,无论是博物馆、体育场,甚至火车站。瓦奇尼的住宅在恰如其分的同时,因其建造方式,能够超越当代性的内涵。进一步说,这个住宅提供了一种可以制定一套原则的形式,使其能参与到人类五千年的历史进程中。在科斯塔住宅中有着对很多建筑学普世性话题的回应,比如土地和室内外间的关系,纪念性与私密的尺度,景观与光呈现在材料表面的关系,关于台基与表皮的话题等等。你面对着一个非常和谐统一的建筑,在对每一个独立的话题作出宣言。伴随这个意识,当你观察这座住宅时,你会开始遵循它的逻辑,并开始破译和理解创作它时智识思维的过程。

这是否是一种建筑热爱秩序感近乎于执迷的案例? 

或许是,然而瓦奇尼故意为之。这个住宅是使建筑仅受原则驱动的一次试探性的尝试。他想建立一套秩序,一个宣言,为此他创造了一种编排,而不是反之。如果他想建造一个适合他家庭日常生活的房子,我确信他会做的完全不同。终于,最后,这个建筑更多的被用作避世之所,一个和朋友们会面吃晚餐和独自阅读的地方。这一事实并没有削弱科斯塔住宅的重要性。相反,它正好展示了为什么建筑可以自治的存在,而不总是需要被一种功能所论证。

一个项目也需要产生一种情绪,这种情绪不可能来自于解决功能要求的正确性中。就像乡土的本地建筑没有我们所说的这种雄心。早期文明创造出建筑原型,小型的居住机器,随着时间这些原型演变成了钟表般的系统:精细的调节到适应其文脉中的特定条件。之后这些住宅被系统性的复制,一个接着一个顺应地形建造,今天我们称之为乡土建筑。科斯塔住宅不遵循这些前题。它宣告了一种给空间以自主价值的野心,而不管其最终承担的功能。这是它给予的最好的一课。譬如,它和柯布西耶(Le Corbusier)的小木屋(Le Cabanon)完全相反,小木屋中每个空间只能以特定的编排方式使用。瓦奇尼本质上制造了一个三维的结构,在其中的人可以做任何自己想做的事。

如果我们设想一个更传统的住宅,具有一个标准的空间分割方式,门厅、起居室、厨房、两个卫生间、三个卧室等等,它似乎非常普世且通用,但现实中,它只回应于一个家庭某一确定时段的生活需求,比如当家中有小孩时。而孩子们会不可避免的长大,短短几年后就要离家求学,住宅就开始不再适用于生活需求。你要么改造出租拆除,或者只能接受这种不适应。生活由这些不同的阶段组成,并且一个人的生活方式总在随着时间持续的改变着。建筑师需要知道住宅为谁而建,为多久而建,为何种行为而建。在这之外总是存在着一个建筑的、空间的课题,它应指向普世性。科斯塔住宅是利维奥客瓦奇尼为他自己和家人建造的度假屋,它从来不是为了永恒的栖居。

这就是为什么“如何建造一个纯粹的建筑?”可以成为唯一重要的问题。他可以不在意为了一个特定的时刻去规划,而是给予一个能倡导和提供所有未来功能场景的规划。

建筑空间的比例长且狭窄,两个走廊沿着相对的外墙。你认为作为一个人会度过长时间的空间来说, 这是一个好的形式吗?

一楼的空间确实物理性的长且狭窄,因为平面上中间的墙隔开了厨房和浴室。但瓦奇尼一个极好的创意是在两个短立面上,屋顶靠在在柱子上。这意味着每个上述走廊的四个界面中有两个面都是完全的落地玻璃,它将走廊转变为一个暴露在景观中的露台,作为结果,你没有在一个长且狭窄的空间中的印象。另一方面,如果我们关注一下玻璃的种类,它不是完全透明的,这点很重要。

建筑外部看来,玻璃发蓝而且反射性很强,以我之见这对于这栋住宅的氛围起着很关键的作用。它的存在改变了进入建筑物的光线的色调和透明性,并不是假装这座建筑没有墙,而是有一些墙之外的东西。巧妙的,它标志了室内外的边界。每当你打开窗户,即使很细微的,当真实的光线进入带来不同的颜色和温度,立刻你的感知就会捕捉到,光落在眼睛里,皮肤上,带来一些列有趣的现象。我感觉这很丰富,一直在变幻。科斯塔住宅第一眼看起来很简单,但事实上它非常复杂,并且是以极大的精确性和感知度完成的。平庸和简单不是一回事,这是这个住宅给予我们的另一课。

过度暴露,这是一个现实问题。我可以想象你所描述的这种强烈的体验会在大量的重复中变得无法接受。你从这种壮观的景色里能撤退到哪?需要多久才能重新唤起返回这个大舞台的兴趣?在这种空间中,要到哪里隐藏?

这是一个很根本的话题。这座住宅像两个“管道”般存在,每一个短边上有三个柱子。它非常开放,就如你所说的产生了一种极端暴露的体验。但我们要要同时考虑到场地的布局和设计。在房子的一侧,瓦奇尼种了一些橄榄树形成了对外的一道屏,遮挡了纵深的视线,并且赋予空间更亲密的尺度。向内这道屏也阻挡了行人的视线。 也有另一种方式来回复你的问题。有时候在一个住宅内,你也不想随时对着同住的人暴露你自己。

住宅的亲密性不单由和公共空间的关系来衡量,也存在于个人和集体之间。一个开放的,自由的空间布局总是存在这个问题。但对于科斯塔住宅,它仅面向一对夫妇的事实显著的弱化了这个问题。

你怎么解释科斯塔住宅的颜色使用呢?像是黄色的地面和柱子的红色条纹?

就我而言,地面只是简单的增强了的室内光线的动感。比如要是木地板,光线就不会那么显眼了,因为木头会让光隐去。而一个合成的黄色材料会让所有的变化清晰而有迹可循。

说到红色条纹,我不觉得颜色在这个情况下是非常重要的。重要的是切口。混凝土一个重要品质是巨石般的完整性(monolithic),没有前后的区别。即使是常用于整柱的片麻岩,仔细看也是有地质分层的。混凝土比石头更无定形,是一种塑造体量与块、同时不带有指向性的极好的材料。在建筑学中,有着一个经典的关于表皮的命题,构筑物最外表的一层属于公共领域。从古代起,人民就在追寻块状或板状的石头和木头在交角如何表达,哪一个元素覆盖于另一个之上等等。巨石般完整的混凝土理论上将构筑物从表皮的话题中解放了出来。然而,瓦奇尼决定通过在柱子上切角和涂上红色,使这个巨石般的构筑物重现古典议题。我认为这强化了室外到室内的途径,赋予了一种形式,一种空间维度去明确两种不同领地间的界限。

所有整块(mass)的都是私人领域,所有与表皮相关的都是公共空间的一部分。

在科斯塔住宅中,瓦奇尼使用了一种很容易联想到像巨石墓碑(Dolmens)这样的史前建筑的词汇。在这个意义上,纪念性最初并不适用于住宅,而是用于使早期社会凝聚的公共建筑。这种连接适用在一个私人的住宅上,会产生什么?

就我而言,建筑师设计的每一个建构物都存在纪念性的问题,他们要决定赋予多少。这关乎公共与私人维度的平衡,也极大的依赖于建筑的位置与周边房屋,领地,景观等的关系。常识告诉我们,一个结构越是公共,它就应该越偏纪念性维度。相反,越是私密的,越应该少一些纪念性。在我看来,这不总是正确的。有人大可颠覆共识的逻辑然后发问,无视功能,一个特定的空间在文脉的支配下需要何等的纪念性。有时候,即使一个最谦逊的住宅,也可能需要创造一个对象(object)去回应湖泊,山川或公共空间的尺度。另一个因素是时间维度,今天一个住宅为居住而建,明天它就可以被转化为一个小教堂。为保持这种可能性,建筑师需要以更普世的,抽象的术语进行思考,使对象能够抵抗潮流的更替和短期场景的消逝。 住宅不需要描述任何事情。

个人或者家庭的生活是自我诠释的,不需要建筑作为隐喻去解释或者教导人们。我认为给人们提供向多种用途开放的空间是很有趣的。科斯塔住宅是一个不下判断的住宅,它不告诉你要做什么或者哪种活动是更重要的,你应该怎样去体验。中间的墙现在在那儿,但明天浴室或者这面墙都可以消失或移到别处,房子成为一个雕塑的展厅。这面墙相较于建筑的一部分来说,更像家具的一部分。相反如果,屋顶一开始依赖于中部的支撑那么它不会允许这样的自由。为了保证这种自由度,这面墙应当能被任意的拆除。我曾说一个住宅通常有两次生命。第一次,在任何人住进去前,作为一个项目开始,经历不同的建造阶段。第二次生命开始于使用者添置所有的家具,艺术品,感性的小物件,玩具,花草,装饰品等等后。如果在第一次生活中,住宅具有公共建筑清醒的特质,处理一些普世且抽象的命题,我不觉得这有什么不对。不久后它总会更加宜居,并根据使用者的偏好而变得“柔软”。我不认为建筑本身需要是带有居住感的,因为椅子,沙发,枕头等等都能完美的成就这一点。

瓦奇尼的建筑,严谨,极简,决绝的清除一切不必要的事物,塑造了一种隐约期待某种生活方式的氛围。你认为仅因其物理上的自由就能容纳所有可能的情景,还是它的特征会剔除一些可能?

我不确定。我刚完成了我一位画家朋友的住宅。我不能设计一个到处是玻璃的住宅,无法挂他的画及艺术收藏。这些物件在他日常生活中扮演着重要的角色,必不可少并且需要特定类型的建筑。这个意义上说,建筑并不是完全自由且自治的。然而,核心问题不在于你是否要听从业主,而是你是直接满足业主的愿望,还是你试图找到一种具有精神抱负和智识性质的解决方案,间接的回应他们的需求。直接的答案就是功能主义的建筑,间接的回答则能成就一种为自由礼赞的建筑,能首要的处理更普世的命题。

以我之见作为一名建筑师,你首要的任务和职责是建立一个世界。关键在于其有意义,而只有拥有支配准则的时候一切事物才开始有意义。否则,这不是一个世界,而是一团混沌。科斯塔住宅是一个世界,它遵循一套瓦奇尼自己发展并实施的系统。一个人可以以极简主义风格住在那里,这起码是给人的第一印象,但我不会说这是唯一的方式。我也可以想像你和波斯地毯,成堆的书籍以及路易十四风格的扶手椅一起住在那里。

以巨石阵或帕台农神庙为例,没人知道开始时那里有什么,隔断,窗帘,椅子,长凳,布料等等。我们只知道最后留下了什么。我们之前谈到了一个住宅的两次生命。并不是说之前的过渡是即刻的,有时住宅从建筑师建成的房子到具体某人的家,会花上很多年。开始时,经常让人感到错的离谱,没有秩序,空间被组织的很奇怪,家具不合适又被放在了最坏的位置。通常,要经过一段时间后,你再回去才会发现一种美感和出乎意料的布局,与你开始设计时设想的完全不同,丰富而真实。精确且有着抽象野心的空间提倡极简与反省的生活方式,这种说法是不对的。在科斯塔住宅中,没有任何固有的说法让你坐在椅子上,就只能静静地看山。建筑越冷静,甚至抽象,就越允许内部发生令人惊讶的情况。

对于许多其他学科,有必要了解方法,进展,过程,原因和逻辑。问题是,建筑学(通常被理解为建筑设计)是否是这样一门学科? 我们是否必须了解建筑学才能欣赏和创造建筑?

这是一个心理建构的问题。我认为在欧洲的语境(context)下,作为一种文化,我们被教导去理解我们所做的,同时做我们所理解的。行事,首先是沟通方式,社会需要沟通与理解才能一起生活。以我所见,我们所做之事都经由我们自己的理性过滤。

在建筑的文脉中,我不想谈论对正交构图优于自由构图的偏好,我想强调的是一种逻辑性批判的必要性,使我可以在这两种构图中作出选择。我坚信建造一座建筑的终极目标是建造一座城市(在这一目标上,我更接近路易吉客斯诺齐)。城市是社会组织的形式,它需要一定的结构。如果我仅仅是设计一座承载单一活动的住宅,我可以遵循自己的幻想,直觉,主观性。然而,只要我拥有构建一座城市的野心,我必须处理城市如何运行的问题,不仅仅是把它当作一种等级和效率的系统,更是从诗意化的基础视觉属性上来决定它的特征。一座城市不应是一种原形(prototype)或者其他模型繁衍的普遍结果,它有其独特面貌。这样的原则也适用于较小尺度的住区和邻里等。城市不可能建立在单一的建筑师的主观性产物上,只要每次放一个建筑在另一个旁边。你需要在每块砖之间填充砂浆去把“墙”立起来。

当下,问题犹在,在社会中建造一座城市或者任何物理建构物,需要的评判标准是什么?是否有什么对所有人来说重要的事情,应该享受优先权,并会成为所有围绕它而展开的事物的指引?如果不为财物交换,在一个地方物理性的相会的原因是什么?城市应该有中心么?今天每个人都有对这些问题的答案。我不知道终极答案是什么,但否认追寻答案的重要性,只会带来一系列消极的结果。

更多的建筑师拒绝参与关于未来,形式,感知与城市空间的讨论,我们对自身环境的样貌和运转就产生的影响就越小。时至今日,建筑师的角色已经很次要了,城市形态是由经济学家,社会学家,历史学家,工程师和景观设计师塑造的。建筑师在所有重要的事情决定后出现,只有那时,他才被允许创造他孤立的对象。

你是否认为建筑师的角色应该去挑战这一点;去提出社会的大的框架?如果是,当下一个建筑师的工作边界是什么?

在当代西方民主社会中,邻居之间的互不干扰是住宅的主要关注点。接受并遵循这一点(比如建筑间距和限高),你想建成什么样都可以,无论什么材料,形式,建筑语言,空间。这是我们现在所处的层次,一种低水平的社会秩序管理。我们缺乏更精巧,更富创造力,更有远见,更聪明,质量为重的理念来管控我们如何建造自己的住区。对于一个宣称如此先进的社会,我对这种状况感到非常失望。

瓦奇尼的住宅不仅是正式的宣言,也是概念性的宣言。它表明了一个住宅(或者我们可以延展到任何对人类存在至关重要的事物上),都不仅凭表面化或装饰性的元素定义,也可以是结构性的元素。这一般是一个哲学信息。它强调在构建一个世界时,结构远比装扮更有意义。瓦奇尼建筑的严谨是一种概念性的类型。他是一种建构,可以被理解为一系列元素的有序构成。

我们这个时代常常在探讨流动性,谈论个人叙事和系统的普遍消解是一种时髦。但在我看来,这仅仅描述了一部分现状,也只涉及特定的有限的领域和问题。它不应成为处理所有问题的办法。例如在新冠时期,受益于技术我们的私人社交仍能保持联络,甚至是和其他大洲的人群。我们仍能在大学教书。然而,这不意味着这种虚拟的,脱离文脉的维度(a-contextual dimension )应该成为我们的理想,我们抱负的野望。我们之所以是建筑师,首先是因为我们相信物质空间存在于所有的尺度中,而不仅仅是我们的卧室大小。这需要一种结构性的思维,而科斯塔住宅将其优先考量。这是一条合乎道德的信息, 将瓦奇尼的作品和我在斯诺齐身上学到的知识联系在一起。

你会在科斯塔住宅中做任何改变么?

我认为我们不应该专心于改变过去的东西,而应该为未来制定项目。相较于调整科斯塔住宅,我对从中汲取养分以完善自己的项目更有兴趣。瓦奇尼常说在生活中你一次又一次的做着同样的项目,每一次都试图做的更好。这意味着过去的经验只不过是迈向未来必经步骤。科斯塔住宅教会我看待一个住宅,不要把它当作完成的对象,而是一个宣言,更广泛的普世思想的缩影。路易吉客斯诺兹用他著名的格言表明了这一观点:“L’acquedotto vive al momento che ha cessato di portare l’acqua”(在停止送水后,水道桥才活了起来)。这种想法存在于历史中,也将会在我每次画图时。

2020年8月25日

Giacomo Guidotti

Giacomo Guidotti (1972) graduated from the EPFL in 1997 with Professor Patrick Berger. The same year he opened Guidotti Architects in Monte Carasso with Riccarda Guidotti (1970). He has been a guest professor at the UCL, the international architecture seminar WAVE organised by the IUAV, Venice and a guest design professor at the AAM.

He currently lecturers in construction at the AAM, is a design professor at the HES, Fribourg and teaches at the international seminar on architecture in Monte Carasso, which was founded by Luigi Snozzi. In recent years the office has received several awards and distinctions and has participated in both solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad.

www.guidottiarchitetti.com