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Founding Myths

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Foundations, in both senses of the word, naturally play an important role in architecture. Histories and theories of architecture rely upon ideas of foundations and beginnings. On the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, the ETH Zurich's Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta) set out to address the problem of beginnings, looking at its own history and that of architecture in general while analyzing the role of founding myths in particular. As architecture's continual recourse to concepts such as the primitive hut or the three Vitruvian principles (firmness, utility and beauty) show, myths occupy an important place in professional discourse. The contributions to this issue of gta papers question the tradition of these myths, their potential for interpreting the past, and their role in the design of future projects.

144 pages | 33 color plates, 38 halftones, 10 line drawings | 8 1/4 x 11 3/4

gta papers

Architecture: Architecture--Criticism, History of Architecture

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Table of Contents

Laurent Stalder Introduction 4 Sabine Sträuli, Filine Wagner, and Lukas Zurfluh From the gta Archives 11 Alina Payne The Architect’s Hand 28 Maarten Delbeke The Idea of Architecture and the Origins of the Primitive Hut 41 Matthew Critchley Diachronic Dialogues 52 Mari Hvattum Rocky Starts–Ephemeral Beginnings 58 Adrian Forty Myths of the Origins of Modern Concrete 69 Andreas Kalpakci, Jacqueline Maurer, and Daniela Ortiz dos Santos On gta Films 78 Ita Heinze-Greenberg Zero Point–Birobidzhan and Tel Aviv 83 Stanislaus von Moos First Aid 94 Sarah Nichols Taking Stock 107 Mario Carpo Digitally Intelligent Architecture Has Little to Do with Computers (and Even Less with Their Intelligence) 112 Sylvia Claus Phantom Theory 121 Philip Ursprung End of Theory? 136 Illustration Credits 142

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