Vol. 8, No. 2 (March 2004)    


___Walter Nägeli
Gudrun Sack
Karlsruhe / Berlin
  Seven questions
Concerning the Production of Architectural Space


    1. Where is our architecture? ... For a culture of mediation

Architecture is in a peculiar intermediate position: It is a necessary complement of nature for man’s immediate needs but at the same time its material entelechy represents an opposite tendency. Compared to the technological products of today, architecture, seen in the light of history of development, ranks lower.
Architecture is able to mediate between the basic needs of man and the legalities of his self-created technology in a similar way as it has originally mediated between man and his environment. Architecture is more closely related to the tool than to the work.

2. Why are our buildings so arbitrary? ... For a culture of linking

Architectural work provides the possibility - sinngebend (giving meaning to) and zweckgerichtet (appropriate?) - to link fairly different spheres of reality by means of a theoretical tie.
This fantastic and unique possibility to create zweckgerichtete chains of decisions is the most effective and simultaneously the least considered characteristic of the architectural.

3. Why are buildings glassy but not transparent? ... For a culture of traceability

Buildings cannot be understood by mere direct view (Anschauung = Ansicht, Meinung, Vorstellung bedeutet view. Kann es sein, dass hier jedoch Ansicht = Betrachten gemeint ist? Dann wäre inspection richtig). In order to foster the understanding of a building in particular and therefore of things in general, spiritual ‘possibilities to look through’, a window to the inner structure is required.
The TRACEABILITY of the determining decisions for a building is a basic provision of service.

4. Why are we still in the prison of numbers? ... For a culture of fuzziness

FUZZINESS is the term for the sphere between subjective perception and objective composition.
Fuzziness signifies the liberation from the control of exact numbers.
The architectural cube has unequal edges.
It is not the all clarifying rationality of the geometric Orden (ist hier des OrdNens gemeint? Dann: putting on order) that is called into question here but the petty insistence on meaningless physical equalities which put connections only apparently in order instead of brightening them up.

5. Why are our buildings so inelastic? ... For a culture of robustness

The robust conception grasps and forms the space for the known without preventing the unknown. Therefore the robust conception moderates the constructional relation between restriction and freedom.
The robust edifice leaves narcissist complexities behind and stands courteously behind its ability to adapt.

6. Why have we forgotten the subject? ... For a culture of Zeitlichkeit

Majority calls for a state of being anchored in the world.
Architecture can be an orientation guide in the subjective continuum of time and space between experienced and real time, between place (subject) and space (object). Buildings can have time ... by rendering time experienceable (das wort habe ich in keinem wörterbuch so gefunden, finde aber, dass es trotzdem passt).

7. Why don’t our buildings lend wings? ... For a culture of constructional emphasis

Architecture is part of man’s offensive contact with his environment. This world will irrevocably change in favor of new societal programs.
The developers of technology are said to unscrupulously form man according to their products.
The practice of architecture lacks the active aspect, lacks INSISTENCE and high positive effectiveness as specific expression of the forward-turned, willing-to-risk-like Grunddisposition of man.
Architecture is able to lend wings to the will of the community.

Not to forget: The culture of the Architectural must consistently be created anew.



Vol. 8, No. 2 (March 2004)