Official 37 Passage 3


Modern Architecture in the United States


Why does the author mention that Le Corbusier included "photographs of American factories and grain storage silos, as well as ships, airplanes, and other industrial objects" in Toward a New Architecture?

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  • A
    To argue that Le Corbusier should be considered more of a builder or an engineer than an architect
  • B
    To support the claim that modern architecture was influenced by practical structures and the ways they were built
  • C
    To provide evidence that modern architects were more concerned with practicality than with aesthetics
  • D
    To document how architects moved from designing only buildings to designing vehicles and industrial objects
正确答案: B

我的笔记 编辑笔记

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  • At the end of the nineteenth century, there were basically two kinds of buildings in the United States. On one hand were the buildings produced for the wealthy or for civic purposes, which tended to echo the architecture of the past and to use traditional styles of ornamentation. On the other hand were purely utilitarian structures, such as factories and grain elevators, which employed modern materials such as steel girders and plate glass in an undisguised and unadorned manner. Such buildings, however, were viewed in a category separate from "fine" architecture, and in fact were often designed by engineers and builders rather than architects. The development of modern architecture might in large part be seen as an adaptation of this sort of functional building and its pervasive application for daily use. Indeed, in his influential book Toward a New Architecture, the Swiss architect Le Corbusier illustrated his text with photographs of American factories and grain storage silos, as well as ships, airplanes, and other industrial objects. Nonetheless, modern architects did not simply employ these new materials in a strictly practical fashion-they consciously exploited their aesthetic possibilities. For example, glass could be used to open up walls and eliminate their stone and brick masonry because large spaces could now be spanned with steel beams.

    The fundamental premise of modern architecture was that the appearance of the building should exhibit the nature of its materials and forms of physical support. This often led to effects that looked odd from a traditional standpoint but that became hallmarks of modern architecture for precisely this reason. For example, in traditional architecture, stone or brick walls served a structural role, but in a steel-beam building the walls were essentially hung from the internal skeleton of steel beams, which meant that walls and corners no longer needed to be solid but could be opened up in unexpected ways. At the Fagus shoe factory in Germany, for example, German architect Walter Gropius placed glass walls in the corners, effectively breaking open the box of traditional architecture and creating a new sense of light and openness. Similarly, steel beams could be used to construct balconies that projected out from the building without any support beneath them. These dramatic balconies quickly became a signature of modern architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright'zs most dramatic residence, Fallingwater, has balconies that thrust far out over a stream in a way that seems to defy gravity.

    The ways in which new technology transformed architectural design are dramatically illustrated through the evolution of the high-rise office building. After ten or twelve stories, masonry construction reaches a maximum possible height, since it runs into difficulties of compression and of inadequate lateral strength to combat wind shear. Steel construction, on the other hand, can support a building of 50 or 100 stories without difficulty. Such buildings were so different from any previous form of architecture that they quickly acquired a new name-the skyscraper.

    From the standpoint of real estate developers, the purpose of skyscrapers was to increase rental space in valuable urban locations. But to create usable high-rise buildings, a number of technical challenges needed to be solved. One problem was getting people to the upper floors, since after five or six stories it becomes exhausting to climb stairs. Updated and electrified versions of the freight elevator that had been introduced by Elish Graves Otis in 1853 (several decades before skyscraper construction) solved this problem. Another issue was fire safety. The metal supporting buildings became soft when exposed to fire and collapsed relatively quickly. (They could melt at 2,700 Fahrenheit, whereas major fires achieve temperatures of 3,000 degrees). However, when the metal is encased in fire-retardant materials, its vulnerability to fire is much decreased. In Chicago, a system was developed for surrounding the metal components with hollow tiles made from brick-like terra-cotta. Such tiles are impervious to fire. The terra-cotta tiles were used both to encase the supporting members and as flooring. A structure built with steel beams protected by terra-cotta tiles was still three times lighter than a comparably sized building that used masonry construction, so the weight of the tiles was not a problem.

  • 在十九世纪末尾,在美国主要有两种建筑。 一种是为财富或者为城市而建,这种建筑沿用了过去建筑的设计,使用的装饰物也是中规中矩的。 另一种是纯粹功利主义的建筑,例如工厂和谷仓。这些设施采用了现代的材料,例如钢铁大梁和玻璃板,建筑风格朴素且不加装饰。 然而,这样的建筑是不被归类到“好”的建筑一类中的,它们实际上常常是被工程师或者建筑者设计的,而不是建筑师设计的。 现代建筑的发展很大程度上被视为这种功能性建筑的变种以及其日常生活的普遍运用。 实际上,在这本影响巨大的《走向新建筑之路》里,瑞士建筑学家Le Corbusier通过很多图片阐述了他的文字,这些图片是关于美国的工厂、谷物仓库、筒仓、船只、飞机,以及其他的工业产物的。 然而,现代建筑并不仅仅是简单使用了这些新型材料作为严格的实用用途——他们还发掘了这些材料的美学可能性。 例如,玻璃可以被用在开放墙壁上,减少其石头和砖块的使用,因为钢铁的横梁可以横跨巨大的空间。

    现代建筑的基础前提是建筑物的外观应该展现出其真实的材料和物理支撑的形状。 这就经常会导致它们与传统建筑相比,看起来很奇怪,但是也是因为这个原因这就成为了现代建筑的特征。 例如,在传统建筑里,石头和砖墙被用作搭建一座建筑的结构,但是在钢铁做梁的建筑里墙壁是悬挂在内部的钢梁结构上的,这就意味着墙壁和墙角不再需要是坚固的,可以以意想不到的方式被打开。 例如,在德国的Fagus鞋厂里,德国建筑家Walter Gropius在墙角放置了玻璃墙,打破了传统,创造了新的光感和开放感。 相似的是,钢梁可以被用作建造阳台,这种阳台可以伸出建筑,不需要底部的支撑。 这种戏剧化的阳台很快就成为了现代建筑师的标志,比如Frank Lloyd Wright。 Wright的最富有戏剧化色彩的住所是Fallingwater,这个住所拥有一个悬于溪水之上的阳台,看起来就好像是克服了重力。

    新科技改变建筑设计的方式通过高耸入云的办公楼戏剧性地展示出来。 在十层十二层楼之后,高大建筑达到了其最大的高度,因为强大的压迫力和不足的抵抗风力的侧面强度不能支持楼继续长高。 然而,钢铁结构就可以毫不困难地支持50或者100层的高楼。 这样的建筑与传统的建筑大相径庭,以至于它们很快就获得了一个新的名字——摩天大楼。

    站在地产开发商的立场上,摩天大楼的目的是在可用的城里地点上增加可出租的空间。 但是为了创造可用的摩天大楼,大量的技术问题需要解决。 一个问题是如何把人们带到高层去,因为在五六楼之上,爬楼梯就变得很累了。 Elisha Graves Otis在1853年(摩天大楼被造出来的几十年前)发明的、经过改进和电气化的货梯解决了这个问题。 另一个问题是防火问题。 钢铁支持的建筑在遇到火灾时会变软,并且很快就倒塌了。 (它们可以在2700华氏度融化,而一场大火的温度可以到3000华氏度)。 然而,当钢铁结构用防火材料包裹起来后,它对于火灾来说就不那么脆弱了。 在芝加哥,人们研发了一个系统,以便于使用类似于陶瓦的空心瓦片来包裹住钢条。 这种瓦片是防火的。 这种瓦片既被用来保住承重墙,也用于保护楼板。 这种由陶片保护的钢条建造的建筑比相似规模的石头结构的大楼要轻三倍,所以瓦片的重量不是问题。
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    原文定位:第一段倒数第三句:Indeed, in this influential book Toward a New Architecture, the Swiss architect Le Corbusier illustrated his text with photographs of American factories and grain storage silos, as well as ships, airplanes, and other industrial objects

    前一句:The development of modern architecture might in large part be seen as an adaptation of this sort of functionalbuilding and its pervasive application for daily use.

    两句的大意是:现代建筑的发展很大程度上被视为这种功能性建筑的变种以及其日常生活的普遍运用实际上,在这本影响巨大的《走向新建筑之路》里,瑞士建筑学家Le Corbusier很多述了他的文字,片是关于美国的工厂、谷物仓库、筒、船只、机,以及其他的工业产物的。