Edited by: Riccardo Del Fabbro – Architecture Department Editor – email@example.com
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Artworks: “a terrible beauty is born”: top five about ugliness.
The position number four in the chart “a terrible beauty is born” is occupied by a residential building, which could be anywhere in northern Europe (yes, I still want to keep this city unknown, even if some of you have already understand of which one we are talking about). Someone might wonder why the reason of this choice, and rightly so.
Sincerely, I really do not.
Why this architecture can inspire ugliness?
Everything and nothing.
The thing that strikes me the most of this architecture is the impact that has on its urban surroundings.
This building is located in a “everyday” residential area, fairly peripheral, near a strong infrastructure and some industries.
I was saying.
The effect that has on the neighborhood is deeply massive.
This building once appeared, annhilates everything around it, makes neutral the other architectures, and makes sure we do not forget it for a long time.
Merely because of its colors?
I believe so, yes.
Previously said, it’s very interesting to relate this architecture at the thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein, in particular to his “Remarks on Color”.
The Austrian philosopher finds difficult to capture the color when you can not see the tint, even more difficult having to think of separating the colored pigment (historical-material condition) to his notion of color (the description that corresponds to it).
So the color can then be thought as a regular phenomenon, something that happens sooner or later, which manifests itself in different ways but in its resistance is restrictive and indeterminate, as this architecture comes out from nowhere and manifests itself in this neighborhood.
Therefore the difficulty in defining the color ensures that the represented color is different from the color that is perceived.
This architecture is a real apparition.
If we think that what you see is what it appears, the thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein can perfectly describe this architecture.
“Visible is what comes to appear, of this appear, the color is the formal condition itself.”*
“What I see can only be colored to be seen, space become space beacuse is colored, even an empty space can be seen because of its color, we do not give space which is not colored space, space that appears is the colored space.”*
This can shift one’s ground about how to perceive a building, architecture, residential district.
In the days after this discovery I was trying to think of other possible examples that could be taken into consideration, but nothing to do, in my head came back only this colorful facade.
But even worse.
Once seen the facade, probably in a unconscius way, I also started to visualize the building’s interior spaces colored, even though is possible to verify the opposite.
Is this enough to say that this architecture deserves the number 4 of a top 5 that has to do with ugly architecture?
This architecture is because it is colored, without color would not exist.
And now this thought does not leave my head.
*Wittgenstein, L. 1977. Remarks on Colour, ed. G. E. M. Anscombe, trans. L. L. McAlister and M. Schättle. Berkeley: University of California Press.