WHAT IS A HOUSE FOR住宅所为何

Angelo Bucci: Over the years Gordon Bunshaft's house has had a great impact on me. However, the relation was always theoretical, and it was not until 2006, when I was invited to design a house in East Hampton, that I actually got near the place. Back then, when I arrived to visit the site, I was asked if there was a local building that I would like to see; sure, I said, Bunshaft’s house. It was then an immediate surprise to discover that it had been demolished not long before. It was shocking, I had kept the house and its garden by Noguchi in mind for all that time, and when finally, I was so close, it no longer existed.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS HOUSE FOR SO MANY YEARS? 

The way in which an architect can open the field of proposition by renouncing the weight of tradition. Bunshaft’s house was composed of just two parallel travertine clad walls roofed with ‘double T’ precast beams and a plan of incredible simplicity: two bedrooms on the edges, opening towards opposite quadrants of garden, and a central living room that opens to the lake. 

Everything is related to the outside. We can compare it to the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe. However, the Travertine House is somehow more familiar to a Brazilian, or an individual from Sao Paulo. A slab resting on a pair of bearing walls, it is so radical, so elemental, that we can find the same scheme in many examples. The typical construction in a Brazilian favela is built like this, every informal settlement has a factory that produces concrete blocks and slabs. I believe most Brazilians, across all social layers, would recognize the basic elements of Bunshaft’s House, they are so deeply rooted in our contemporary construction culture. We just have a close relationship to the simplicity of precast concrete houses.

Materially speaking, they are very modest structures, but at the same time, luxurious in their spatial generosity. I must confess that the house that lingered in my mind had no travertine layer, it was just two concrete block walls. Travertine gives its name, but for me, it would have the same value even if it was constructed without it. I would even prefer it uncoated, because from a Brazilian point of view, travertine means a high standard. I prefer what is essential to any sophisticated material. 

THE PRESENCE OF ART PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE TRAVERTINE HOUSE. IT MAKES THE SPACE MORE DOMESTIC IN WHAT IS AN OTHERWISE QUITE AUSTERE ENVIRONMENT. 

I think you are right. I find it very beautiful, that for Bunshaft the production of culture was what made him feel at home. The house manifests the ideas that form civilization. It shifts the attention from architectural elements to objects of art and conversations between people. Bunshaft himself was constantly working with artists and this is reflected in the contents of the house. I mean, Noguchi and Henry Moore were part of his everyday life. Pieces by Henry Moore were there, I believe, because they exchanged work, as colleagues, as friends, while producing culture as an architect and an artist. 

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE INTERIOR. WHAT MOTIVATED BUNSHAFT TO STRESS, SO STRONGLY, THE COMMUNAL CHARACTER OF THE HOUSE? 

First of all, I would point out that it was a weekend house, where it was anticipated you would live more casually. It was not a house that had to follow all the codes and rhythms of a permanent residence. At the same time, Bunshaft’s house was more like two houses in one. It had two spaces that I would consider very intimate because of the actual physical distance between them. 

In the floor plan, we can see the bedroom with a bigger bathroom and another room closer to the kitchen, which can be a guest room. Bunshaft’s house doesn’t expose you, it’s design accommodates the different spheres of intimacy, while not renouncing modernity or freedom.

THE VIEWS ARE FRAMED, THE GENERAL FORM OF THE BUILDING IS A PRECISE RECTANGLE AND IT’S A LITTLE ELEVATED FROM THE TERRAIN. WHY DOES BUNSHAFT DRAW SUCH A CLEAN DISTINCTION BETWEEN ARCHITECTURE AND LANDSCAPE?  

If you look at the house from the entrance, it is a continuous wall, like John Hejduk’s Wall House. You could also relate it to Saarinen’s original project for the Chapel in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There, a wall faces MIT, you go through it, and a neck like form connects the entrance with the cylinder behind. It also has something in common with Mies van der Rohe’s Brick House project, where the walls go far beyond the house. It is thanks to this, the strong presence of a simple element, that the interior and the exterior of the house are so well connected. 

Bunshaft uses the walls not to separate the spaces, but to qualify pieces of outside, as if opening rooms to three distinct areas. The house becomes a sheltered room inside a garden. In the first moment, it might seem that the geometry is against the surroundings. The opposite is true. Exactly because of its clean simplicity, it is able to merge the interior and exterior seamlessly. Moreover, the garden is so well designed that it renders the outside space more related to the house than to nature, and makes you feel like you are living outside. 

BUNSHAFT USED TO SAY THAT BUILDINGS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES AND THERE SHOULD BE NO NEED FOR DEFENCE OR EXPLANATION. DO YOU THINK THAT IN THE CASE OF HIS OWN HOUSE IT IS NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND SOMETHING FIRST, IN ORDER TO APPRECIATE IT? 

There is no pre-requisite to appreciate a piece of architecture and there is a small lesson to be had in refusing yourself the chance to explain any of qualities you want to be specifically appreciated. It’s a trick. By excluding any explanation, you become conscious of the very things that are not evident. I totally agree with Bunshaft’s statement. When you present an architectural proposition to someone and you feel that you have to explain too much, in general, it just means that you have failed. Bunshaft was a practitioner and I believe he found that statement by experiencing it several times.

Anyone can appreciate, or not, a piece of architecture, and more to the point, this is often according to their own cultural background. There is no way to impose an interpretation or explanation on someone and in any case, architecture has a role to expand and challenge our concurrent ‘spatial culture’ by exploring the edge of what is possible but not yet achieved. 

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT FROM THIS HOUSE THAT HAS STRONGLY INFLUENCED YOUR ARCHITECTURE? 

I could say that I have learnt to ‘clean’ a drawing a few times during the design process, as if we could shake the drawing and remove everything that is not essential. This is especially true of designing houses, where, through successive versions, a lot of ‘noise’ and ‘leftovers’ can accumulate, which in turn end up blurring the main idea. 

I think Bunshaft’s house is a very mature work because it’s a house that didn’t start from simplistic, reductive, or banal ideas. At the same time, it avoided any superfluous gestures, and it appears very clear and essential. I believe a house — in terms of arrangement, atmosphere, furniture, artworks, use — should be a result of an interaction with the person who inhabits it. In my opinion, feeling sheltered or the sensation of being at ease is more related to scale and light rather than material. Consequently, architects need to figure out when to stop designing and allow this to happen. 

10.07.2020

安杰罗·布吉: 在我的建筑师生涯中,戈登·拜夏之家(又名洞石之家)一直对我有着深厚的影响。话虽如此,直到2006年我受邀在东汉普顿设计一栋住宅时,才终于有了实地体验的机会。我踏勘基地时,有人问我当地是否有我想看的作品,我说:当然有,是洞石之家。意识到它不久前刚刚被拆毁时,我大为震惊。几十年来,我总是牢记着那栋住宅,庭院是野口勇(Noguchi)设计的,而当我终于离它很近时,它已不复存在了。

这么多年来,吸引您到这栋住宅的是什么呢?

建筑师如何通过放弃传统的重量来开放命题。戈登·拜夏之家仅由两堵平行的洞石贴面墙、“双T”形预制板屋顶构成。平面简单得难以置信:卧室在边缘,朝向花园的两个对角区域;起居室在中央,朝向湖面。

一切都与外部相联系。我们可将密斯·凡·德罗(Mies van der Rohe)的范斯沃斯住宅(Farnsworth House)与之比较。然而洞石之家(the Travertine House)某种程度上更为巴西或圣保罗的人所熟悉。

一块板放在一对承重墙上,如此极端,或者说如此基本,以至于我们可以在如此多的例子中找到相同的组合。巴西贫民窟的典型建筑物就是这样建的,每个非正式的聚居点都有一个生产混凝土块和板的工厂。我相信任何社会阶层的大多数的巴西人,都能认出洞石之家的元素深深根植于我们的当代建设文化中。我们与简易预制混凝土房屋有着亲密的关系。从物质上讲,它们是非常朴素的构造,同时从空间上讲,它们又是奢华的。坦白说,萦绕于我脑海的这栋住宅,没有洞石贴面,只有两堵混凝土砌块墙。这栋住宅的名字取自洞石,但对我而言,即使不是用洞石建造,它的价值也丝毫不减,我甚至宁愿它没有外表面,因为在巴西人眼里,洞石意味着高标准。我更喜欢一栋房屋中最重要的东西,而不是任何复杂的材料。

艺术在洞石之家中扮演着重要的角色。在一个原本非常简朴的环境中,它让这个空间更有家的感觉。

我认为你说得对。对邦夏来说,文化作品让他有家的感觉,我发现这很美妙。这栋住宅体现了形成文明的想法。它将注意力从建筑元素转移到艺术品和人之间的对话上。邦夏本人经常与艺术家合作,这也反映在住宅内的物品上。野口勇和亨利·摩尔(Henry Moore)是他日常生活的一部分。我认为,亨利客摩尔的作品之所以出现在这里,是因为他们以建筑师和艺术家的身份产出文化,同时以同事或朋友的身份交换了自己的作品。

我们来谈谈室内。是什么原因促使了邦夏如此强烈地强调这所住宅的公共特性?

首先,我要指出这是一所周末度假屋,你在那儿的生活更休闲。这栋住宅不需要遵循永久居所的规则和节奏。同时,戈登客拜夏之家更像是两栋住宅的合二为一。它有两个空间,由于这两个空间的实际距离,我认为它们非常亲密。

在平面图中,我们可以看到卧室带有更大的浴室,而靠近厨房的另一个房间可作为客房。戈登客拜夏之家不会暴露你,它的设计更好地适应不同的亲密感,同时又不放弃现代感和自由感。

视线被框定、建筑的整体形式是一个精确的矩形,它从地形上稍微抬高了一些。为什么邦夏会在建筑和景观之间作出如此清晰的区分呢?

如果你从入口看这栋住宅,它是一面连续的墙,就像约翰·海杜克(John Hejduk)的墙宅。你也可以把它与沙里宁(Saarinen)最初在马萨诸塞州剑桥(Cambridge, Massachusetts)的教堂项目联系起来。那里,一堵墙正对着麻省理工学院,你穿过它,一条颈部般的走廊连接了入口与后面的圆厅。它与密斯·凡·德·罗的砖住宅也有一些相似之处,墙从建筑远远地延伸出去。正是由于这种简单元素的强大存在,房屋的内部和外部才得以很好地联系在一起。

邦夏没有用墙来分隔空间,而是限定外部空间,就像将房间开向三个不同的区域。房屋成了花园中的一个有遮蔽的房间。乍一看,几何形似乎与周围环境相对立。事实正好相反。正是由于其简洁的外观,它能够将内部与外部更加无缝地融合在一起。此外,庭院的设计非常好,使得外部空间与房屋的关系比与自然的关系更密切,让你感觉自己就住在外面。

邦夏曾说,建筑自己会说话,不需要任何辩护或解释。您认为, 就他自己的住宅而言,是否需要先了解一些东西才能欣赏它?

欣赏一件建筑作品不需要前提条件,而且应当有一节小课,不给自己机会去解释那些你想强调的品质。这是一种招数,通过排除任何阐释,你将意识到那些不明显的事物。我完全同意邦夏的说法。向某人展示一个建筑提案时,你觉得必须要加很多解释,一般就意味着我们是失败的。邦夏是一位从业者,我相信他经过多次经历发现了这一点。任何人都可以根据自己的文化背景来欣赏或不欣赏一件建筑作品。你无法将一种诠释或解读强加给某人。而且无论如何,通过探索可能但未实现的事物的边界,建筑有责任扩展和挑战我们既有的“空间文化”。

建筑有重大影响的房子中学到了什么?

欣赏一件建筑作品不需要前提条件,而且应当有一节小课,不给自己机会去解释那些你想强调的品质。这是一种招数,通过排除任何阐释,你将意识到那些不明显的事物。我完全同意邦夏的说法。向某人展示一个建筑提案时,你觉得必须要加很多解释,一般就意味着我们是失败的。邦夏是一位从业者,我相信他经过多次经历发现了这一点。任何人都可以根据自己的文化背景来欣赏或不欣赏一件建筑作品。你无法将一种诠释或解读强加给某人。而且无论如何,通过探索可能但未实现的事物的边界,建筑有责任扩展和挑战我们既有的“空间文化”。

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Angelo Bucci

Since 1989, Angelo Bucci has been dedicated to building design, sharing his time between both professional and academic duties. These parallel activities define a special approach to his projects, in which the professional demands are understood as an engaging opportunity to research and speculate new ideas. Always based in São Paulo, Brazil, Angelo is founder and principal in charge of SPBR architects since 2003. He was also founder and associate of MMBB architects from 1996 to 2002.

He has taught studios at FAU USP since 2001 and also as a visiting professor in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Italy, Switzerland [ETH Zürich, 2014], and United States [ASU, 2005; UC Berkeley, 2006; GSD Harvard and MIT, 2008; UT Austin, 2010; Yale, 2013; MIT 2016]. In 2005, he got his PhD with a work that reflects about the role of experience São Paulo in his way to think about architecture. Some of his buildings have been widely exhibited through publications, lectures and exhibitions.

www.spbr.arq.br