Article on TPJ

ARCHITECTURAL FORM AND THE MYSTERY OF BEAUTY


ABSTRACT
Architectural form lives a number of mysterious lives that are characterized by different yet
simultaneous temporalities. It has been said that a “secret date” exists between the modern and the
archaic, not so much because the modern is fascinated by the archaic but because “the key to
understanding the modern is hidden somewhere beneath the timeless and the pre-historical.” The
mystery surrounding the intellectual sources in the architect’s work arguably lies in the multifaceted
(aesthetic, sociological, political, spatial) relationships it establishes with a multitude of friends – be
they artists, poets, or architects - who are responsible for his development and keep feeding his
practice, even if long dead. This mystery, contrary to what the 1920s Lutheran modernists and the
current Dutch protestant practitioners believed and preached, is best left unexplained.
Keywords: Berlin, timber house, fragments, Aby Warburg, nachleben.