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The tangible and material uninhabitability of slums is preferable to the moral uninhabitability of utilitarian, functional architecture. In the so-called slums only the human body can be oppressed, but in our modern functional architecture, allegedly constructed for the human being, man’s soul is perishing, oppressed. We should instead adopt as the starting point for improvement the slum principle, that is, wildly luxuriantly growing architecture, not functional architecture.
Functional architecture has proved to be the wrong road to take, similar to painting with a straight-edged ruler.
Everyone should be able to build, and as long as this freedom to build does not exist, the present-day planned architecture cannot be considered art at all.
The straight line is godless and immoral. The straight line is not a creative line, it is a duplicating line, an imitating line. In it, God and the human spirit are less at home than the comfort-craving brainless intoxicated and unformed masses.
Today’s architecture is criminally sterile. For unfortunately, all building activity ceases at the very moment when man “takes up quarters”, but normally building activity should not begin until man moves in.
From: MOULDINESS MANIFESTO AGAINST RATIONALISM IN ARCHITECTURE, 1958
Now we have the smooth. Everything slips off smoothness. Even God falls down. FOR THE STRAIGHT LINE IS GODLESS. The straight line is the only uncreative line. The only line which does not correspond to man as the image of God. The straight line is a true tool of the devil. Whosoever uses it is aiding the downfall of mankind. “La ligne droite conduit à la perte de l’humanité.”
All restrictions imposed by building-inspection authorities, leases etc., which forbid or place restraints on individual home improvements, must be lifted. Indeed, it is the duty of the state to provide financial assistance and support to every citizen wishing to undertake individual alterations, whether to outside walls or indoors. Man has a particular claim to his architectural outer skin.
The portion of the earth which is covered over and killed by the building construction must be transferred to the roof. A layer of earth so thick that huge, 100-year-old trees can grow on the roof.
From: LOS VON LOOS (“LOOSE FROM LOOS”)
A LAW PERMITTING INDIVIDUAL BUILDING ALTERATIONS
ARCHITECTURE-BOYCOTT MANIFESTO, 1968
The blind, cowardly and stupid application of the geometrically straight line has turned our cities into deserts, in the aesthetic, psychological and also ecological sense.
From: CONCRETE UTOPIAS FOR THE GREEN CITY, 1983
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