Two features emerge from projects.

The first one
is the almost systematic implementation of an autonomous
enclosure, sometimes made from scrarch, sometimes based on
existing elements. This enclosure, a complex component that is
more than a simple physical wall, is made of a single material and
is designed in the most continuous possible manner. Creating it
leads to a differentiation between the thermal envelope and a
vaster architectural interiority. Such inclusion of an inhabited shell
within a larger one generates specific details that express this
interleaving through a combination of formal systematic creation of
an autonomous enclosure, sometimes produced from inventiveness
with „craft“ (in the sense of a mastery of techniques).

The second feature is the manner in which this initial shell has an
„inside“ concretized by a furniture component that, in addition to its
specific functions, is installed in a way that ensures the division of
space required by use. A dialectic then arises between the outer
enclosure and this „meta-furniture“: the autonomy of the enclosure is
underscored by its relative indifference to the complexities of the
furniture and, inversely, those complexities are underscored by the
autonomy of the enclosure. Materials are also differentiated: usually
masonry for one, and wood for the other. The purposes of each of
these two components remain clearly distinct, for this approach
assigns the enclosure the responsibility of being the project. This
conception of the relationship between architecture (created by
the enclosure) and everyday life (organized by the furniture) offers
key analytical insight into the work of Topos

„It is essential therefore to exhibit a precise intention, and to havehad ideas in order to be able to furnish oneself with an intention.A plan is to some extent a summary like an analytical contentstable. ln a form so condensed that ir seems as clear as crystal andlike a geometrical figure, it contains an enormous quantity of ideasand the impulse of an intention.“ Le corbusier


Given these observations, it is easier to understand Le Corbusierwhen he suggests placing an „enormous quantity of ideas“ at theservice of intention. He implies that the initial intent sterns from thecombined potentials of a site, a proposed project, and a mission.That intent establishes the rules of game that must be played if theproject is to sueceed7. His four compositions do not designateobjects to be constantly reinvented in order to reinvigoratearchitectural output. They represent strategic choices available toarchitects when facing the tyranny of context, namely a complexset of pre-existing givens of all kinds.

Villa Savoye   -Le Corbusier

Final Touch

The radicality of a project’s philosophy does not lead to theproduction of simplistic, brutal, or exogenous forms. The intention governs form, function, and preexisting features, therebytranscribing the terms of a narrative.

This is what imparts power to
architecture, just as eloquence imparts power to words. The more
clearly the goal is expressed, the more radical the project may be8,
that is to say entirely devoted to the expression of that intent. All
projects that make architectural history display this radicality, from
which architecture draws the power that legitimizes its very


text by L. Salomon


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