A grammar for the city – project for the ‘New Multifunctional Administrative City’, South Korea / Dogma 2005

Sulcus Primigenius

An interview with Martino Tattara on the limits of the city by Vlado Danailov

Read intro

An interview with Martino Tattara

An interview by Vlado Danailov

Martino Tattara is a practicing architect, founder of DOGMA and the head of research and teaching at ETH Studio Basel: Contemporary City Institute. After graduating at the Università Iuav di Venezia, he obtained a postgraduate Master degree at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam and a PhD at the Università Iuav di Venezia with a dissertation centered on Lucio Costa's project for Brasilia. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between architecture and large-scale urban design and he has widely published and lectured on topics related to the project of the city.

The interview is focused on a specific approach to architecture and the city, which I find very significant and influential for the future development. The principle of setting limits in a way is forgotten today as our cities are growing more and more, seemingly without any control. Exploring the proposal for new administrative city in Korea, organized as a sequence of rooms that are formed by city walls and comparing it to Brasilia, the role of the architect today in the creation of the city is reconsidered.
Hide intro

Sulcus Primigenius, literally the original furrow, refers to the furrow ploughed by priests leading two oxen in the Etruscan ceremony that established a sacred area during the foundation of a new city.

After a careful study of your projects, one can clearly understand how you impose strict limits to the city using extreme architectural forms. Why do you consider limits important today? Are cities limitless?

The project of the city is impossibility in its own terms and architects can only put forward clear and intelligible spatial and organizational principles

The space of the limit has been at the centre of our work for a very long time. I would even say that all our work dealing with the city and the problems of the large-​scale is focused on defining the limit of the city. I believe that, especially today, given the constraints of a modern democracy on the one hand and the requirement to safeguard freedom of the individual for choosing his/​her own way of living on the other, the limit is the only place in which architects can attempt to redefine an otherwise seamless urbanisation that is covering large parts of our territories.

Yet, this understanding of the limit as central for the project of the city is not new. The definition of limits is at the origin of each process of civilisation, as you put it very well in your short introduction. Carl Schmitt, in his Nomos of the Earth, writes that the process of land appropriation, and therefore the demarcation of a limit through fences, edges, walls, is the primary legal status that underlies any subsequent law. In our work the limit, the physical space of delimitation and separation between two different conditions, is seen as the very place most able to inform the experience of architecture. Our hypothesis is that it is exactly the space of the limit that will be able to reintroduce today an idea of place within otherwise undifferentiated and generic urban conditions.

Stop City / Dogma 2007

Stop City /​Dogma 2007

Following your work, in 2005 you made a project for the new administrative city of Korea “A Grammar for the City” – a flawless example of the principle of limits. Is it the new Brasilia?

Unfortunately not! Brasilia was built in three years and was the result of a clear political agenda and of a fully supported competition’s winning proposal. In the case of our entry for the new administrative city of Korea, the organisers of the competition did not assign the task to develop the scheme of the new city to any of the winning teams (the competition had five ex-​aequo first prize winners). Unlike with Brasilia, in Korea they used architects to produce images of what the city could potentially have been like, and once these images were in their hands, they simply got rid of the architects and started building the city without any of us on board.

This somehow shows how marginal the role of the architect has become, especially in regards to urbanism and the production of the city. This was not the case with Brasilia. Lucio Costa, although he never moved to Brasilia, has remained the indisputable father of the city and the engineering team that literally built the city strictly adhered to the clear indications contained in his proposal.

The architect should go back to the city and be in charge of its project, rather than being simply a form giver or a decorator of urban mass

On a different level, I can say that both our and Costa’s projects are a clear representation that the project of the city is an impossibility in its own terms and that architects, once faced with the task of designing a new city, can only try to put forward clear spatial and organisational principles that need to be as clear and intelligible as possible in order to become the examples to be followed by all those that in the course of the years will participate in the construction of the city. This has clearly been the case in Brasilia and especially in the proposal for the Superquadra. Similarly to Costa’s way in which he proposed a solution to the residential problem in the Brazilian capital, we took a very similar approach in our project in Korea, in which we suggested a clear principle in the form of the cruciform wall while relinquishing control on all the rest of the programme of the city, which could be accommodated without difficulty in the space provided and defined by the cruciform wall.

Plano piloto of Brasilia / Lucio Costa 1957

Plano piloto of Brasilia /​Lucio Costa 1957

If the principle of limits is the future of urban development, how can it be implemented in Moscow’s case?

Unfortunately I do not know Moscow well enough to be able to answer this question. Based on the little information I have, it is clear that working on both the conceptual and physical definition of what the limit of the city is would have great relevance in Moscow, a city that has grown enormously in the last few decades following a rather generic pattern of development.

In practice, people from other disciplines are also involved in the process of reinventing the city, apart from architects. How can architecture be designed by a committee?

I do not think a committee should design architecture, nor the city. I think the architect should go back to the city and be in charge of its project, rather than being simply a form giver or a decorator of urban mass. This does not mean that I support a return to the autonomy of the discipline, rather the opposite. The architect should regain the role of one who is able to develop a synthetic approach, one in which the different contributions towards the project of the city are synthesised within a clear formal principle. This can only be achieved through exchange and a real collaborative effort, but the architects need to regain its central role in reinventing the city.

In an interview not so long ago, Elia Zenghelis said: “Hopefully with the new generations that are coming, there will be a new consciousness. There is certainly the group Dogma (Martino Tattara and Pier Vittorio Aureli) that have always been very good at imagining the future and I think that they are going to be a very significant architectural group that will influence future development”. What kinds of scenarios for future urban development are possible? Is the future something that belongs to the past?

The future of the city is based on what could look like old ideas

We certainly believe that the past is the best source for thinking about our future. But this understanding of the past, especially when we talk about architecture and the urban form, has neither a nostalgic tone nor is it based on a stylistic preference. The future of the city is based on what might seem old ideas: a denser and limited city, the regaining of importance of public transport and mass mobility, the transformation of existing urban typologies into new spaces able to accommodate the demographic, economic and social transformation of our society. Such a project is based on the understanding of the past and present and on its transformation, rather than in developing something anew. The future of the city is a project of consolidation and definition.

Stop City / Dogma 2007

Stop City /​Dogma 2007

+++

During one lecture at Edinburgh University you made a point: The city goes beyond any attempts to design it. Yet through its projects DOGMA has built up a recognisably original visual language. How can one avoid the risk of misunderstanding the complexity of the city while designing a ‘purified’ image?

I do not think that a ‘purified’ image is necessarily a simplification of the complexity and contradictions of the city. To me, designing the city does not mean being able to control the city in all its aspects; it means tackling this complexity with a clear position, with a point of view without which it would be impossible to develop any spatial or formal configuration that is able to question the status quo of the city. In this sense, purified images can be deceiving, being just the result of a certain aesthetic preference, but in other cases it is the only way through which a certain clear position and intention can today be expressed without compromise.

cialis dosage recommendations cialis on line what is cipro acyclovir 800 mg for shingles azithromycin drug class acyclovir medication cipro drug class viagra for women side effects of cialis buy generic levitra cialis samples overnight lexapro 20mg lexapro benefits for women finasteride for women viagra canada sex viagra for women cialis 20mg directions cialis vs viagra cialis canada cialis coupon cialis samples ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg tab ciprofloxacin spc what is azithromycin tamoxifen lawsuits cialis daily escitalopram 10 mg lexapro 5mg viagra from canada azithromycin class cialis coupons acyclovir 800mg ciprofloxacin 500mg antibiotics side effects what is acyclovir escitalopram 10mg tamoxifen side effects in women over 55 lexapro 10 mg lexapro acyclovir cream zithromax side effects of azithromycin 250 mg azithromycin pregnancy how does acyclovir work acyclovir vs valacyclovir ciprofloxacin 250mg first few days on lexapro what is finasteride cialis dosage online viagra lexapro and weight loss antibiotic ciprofloxacin price cialis cialis price cialis reviews azithromycin z pak lexapro generic name lexapro medication finasteride reviews what bacteria does ciprofloxacin kill azithromycin for strep throat ciprofloxacin used for cialis medication pfizer viagra coupons from pfizer azithromycin tablets cipro dosage acyclovir dose zoloft vs lexapro azithromycin 500 erfahrungen viagra natural tamoxifen side effects in women how long for lexapro to work cipro side effects buy viagra online viagra tablets is azithromycin penicillin viagra alternative ciprofloxacin dosage viagra for men cialis vs viagra finasteride medication cialis trial zovirax pills lexapro for anxiety lexapro vs celexa azithromycin for uti zovirax ointment finasteride tablets levitra vs viagra for hardness effects of stopping finasteride viagra coupons tamoxifen therapy ciprofloxacin 500mg cialis coupons 2017 viagra pills what is cialis withdrawal from lexapro revatio vs viagra lexapro and weight gain cialis or viagra discount cialis cheap levitra what is azithromycin for azithromycin dosage viagra sans ordonnance lexapro vs zoloft tamoxifen cost azithromycin 250mg tablets 6 pack azithromycin eye drops cialis pills how to use viagra is tamoxifen chemotherapy escitalopram oxalate propecia side effects how to wean off lexapro viagra without a doctor prescription usa lexapro side effects in women finasteride permanent side effects how does lexapro work viamedic cialis finasteride 5mg side effects mayo clinic cialis online finasteride vs dutasteride generic cialis tadalafil azithromycin side effects canadian cialis propecia what is ciprofloxacin prescribed for cialis for sale azithromycin tablet viagra receptfritt is azithromycin celexa vs lexapro viagra dosage finasteride 5mg utilisation viagra zovirax for cold sores viagra for sale canada viagra cheap cialis azithromycine eg 500 mg bijsluiter erectile dysfunction cialis cialis without a doctor’s prescription what is acyclovir for lexapro dosing what is acyclovir used for lexapro reviews ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg side effects side effects of acyclovir cialis 30 day sample viagra uk azithromycin 500 mg sophia viagra viagra 50mg azithromycin 250 viagra generic viagra vs cialis vs levitra ciprofloxacin drops lexapro para que sirve zithromax z-​pak viagra cost side effects of lexapro side effects of finasteride levitra dosage cialis professional buy cialis cialis effects cialis generic viagra prices levitra 20 mg cost walmart levitra 10 mg prezzo viagra what is ciprofloxacin generic cialis ciprofloxacin side effects after age 60 acyclovir dosage for cold sores cyalis how does cialis work free cialis what does ciprofloxacin 500mg treat what is lexapro for lexapro side effects men cialas ciprofloxacin ophthalmic solution ciprofloxacin 500 mg for urinary tract infection does lexapro cause weight gain viagra online viagra nebenwirkungen viagra 100 cialis coupon print azithromycin three times a week vardenafil 20mg cialis for daily use how to get off lexapro ciprofloxacin 500 ciprofloxacin 500 mg tamoxifen and foods to avoid buying viagra ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg cialis 20mg azithromycin 250 mg treatment lexapro manufacturer website generic viagra 100mg cialis coupon 20 mg viagra tesco cialis savings card viagra sex buy cialis online acyclovir for cold sores ciprofloxacin class cialis prices ciprofloxacin dose azithromycin without a doctor’s prescription tamoxifen side effects of azithromycin what is cipro used for what is ciprofloxacin used for ciprofloxacin side effects in women azithromycin vs erythromycin side effects of lexapro in women what works better than viagra viagra 100mg herbal viagra finasteride hair loss azithromycin pregnancy category cialis discount ciprofloxacin hcl viagra costs best price viagra viagra 100 mg finasteride dosage lexapro side effects in men acyclovir 400mg tamoxifen nebenwirkungen levitra bayer 20mg meilleur prix lowest cialis prices how long for azithromycin to take effect is ciprofloxacin a penicillin what is lexapro used for cialis 5mg daily zithromax 500 mg ciprofloxacin uses what is viagra weaning off lexapro cialis sample viagra ohne rezept aus deutschland cialis patent expiration 2017 azithromycin 5 day dose pack lexapro dosage lexapro dosages cialis for bph lexapro and weight gain in women lexapro vs wellbutrin cialis voucher side effects of ciprofloxacin 500 mg daily cialis what is cipro usually prescribed for what is tamoxifen escitalopram nebenwirkungen azithromycin 250 mg equipe argentine viagra 9 levitra at walmart cipro dangers cialis testimonials generic lexapro finasteride 1mg ciprofloxacin coverage cialis from canada lexapro bula is lexapro a controlled substance escitalopram side effects finasteride results cipro uses lexapro 10mg azithromycin uses wellbutrin and lexapro generic for lexapro levitra coupon zovirax dosage viagra without a doctor prescription how much does cialis cost lexapro withdrawal symptoms what does viagra do what does ciprofloxacin treat buy levitra escitalopram 20 mg cialis cost finasteride pfizer viagra acyclovir ointment 5 cilias acyclovir 800 mg 5 times a day ciprofloxacin 500mg antibiotics cialis patent expiration cialis 5mg viagra on line ciprofloxacin dosierung online cialis levitra ciprofloxacin hydrochloride ophthalmic buy generic viagra generic levitra vardenafil 20mg lexapro coupons zovirax cream order viagra acyclovir ointment finasteride side effects viagra soft cialis canadian pharmacy how does viagra work generic cialis at walmart cost of viagra viagra tablet azithromycine 250 mg viagra effects cheap viagra acyclovir 200mg side effects lexapro levitra 20 mg precio farmacia azithromycin cost side effects of tamoxifen side effects of ciprofloxacin viagra pillen kruidvat lexapro weight gain cialis free trial finasteride side effects in men cialis copay card finasteride efectos secundarios cialis 5 mg 200 cialis coupon levitra 20mg cost per pill cialis dosage strengths cialis 20 mg free viagra buy viagra lexapro and wellbutrin combination therapy what is azithromycin used for levitra vs viagra cialis azithromycin liquid escitalopram effets secondaires levitra 20mg cipro antibiotic how to take cialis ciprofloxacin 250 mg post finasteride syndrome cialis patent expiration date extended tamoxifen and bone pain lexapro withdrawal lexapro generic azithromycin medscape finasteride 5 mg acyclovir 800 mg viagra ohne rezept auf rechnung levitra coupons viagra substitute ciprofloxacin for dogs effects of stopping lexapro suddenly viagra pill zithromax dosage viagra wikipedia azithromycin 250mg viagra cialis acyclovir 400 mg viagra bestellen cialis tadalafil cialis coupons printable cipro antibiotics cialis generic tadalafil wholesale cialis what is finasteride used for ciprofloxacin eye drops finasteride and enlarged prostate tamoxifen side effects how long does viagra last levitra online side effects of viagra finasteride for hair loss cialis coupons from manufacturer levitra erfahrungen generic levitra levitra rezeptfrei deutschland cialis pills for sale what is lexapro levitra generic cialis for women cipro 500 cealis levitra prices viagra price finasteride 5mg tab canadian viagra viagra on line no prec ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets what is tamoxifen used for viagra for sale uk when will cialis go generic cipro for uti azithromycin 500 ciprofloxacin drug class buy levitra online women viagra cialis cheap viagra side effects cost of cialis cialis 10 mg viagra single packs female viagra cialis side effects levitra prezzo in farmacia cipro and tendonitis lexapro overdose cialis for men side effects of lexapro 10 mg viagra kaufen finasteride long term effects acyclovir lexapro side effects escitalopram 10 mg para que sirve viagra coupon what does finasteride do thuoc azithromycin acyclovir dosage cialis website tamoxifen langzeitfolgen levitra 20 mg von bayer generic viagra viagra alternatives where to buy viagra zovirax viagra samples escitalopram side effects of finasteride 5mg acyclovir for shingles azithromycin and alcohol over the counter viagra viagra generico common side effects of ciprofloxacin 500 mg levitra 20 mg what infections does ciprofloxacin treat ciprofloxacin bnf cialis otc vardenafil vs viagra what is escitalopram ciprofloxacin ciprofloxacin hydrochloride liquid cialis viagra vs cialis vs levitra acyclovir dosing acyclovir side effects generic for cialis azithromycine levitra without a doctor prescription finasteride effets secondaires viagra en ligne livraison 24h finasteride 5mg side effects viagra medicine viagra vs cialis stopping lexapro tamoxifen and weight gain levitra vs viagra viagra activate azithromycin 500mg azithromycin cialis pricing cialis generic availability cipro viagra 100mg tablets retail price cipro side effects in elderly finasteride 5 mg tab nolvadex discount viagra tamoxifen bijwerkingen ciprofloxacin nebenwirkungen cialis alternative ciprofloxacin side effects natural viagra cialis 30 day trial coupon cialis pharmacy prices ciprofloxacin 500 mg tabletten viagra vs cialis azithromycin pediatric dosing azithromycin for pneumonia tamoxifen citrate zithromax antibiotic azithromycin coverage viagra wiki what does azithromycin treat how to wean off lexapro without withdrawals tamoxifen interaction canada cialis