This thesis was the source for his Modern Movements in Architecture which criticised the suppression of some Modernist variations. Jencks married Pamela Balding in marriage ended, July, by whom he had two sons: one works as a landscape architect in Shanghai, while the other works for Jardines in Vietnam. The ad hoc use of readymade materials was championed in his polemical text with Nathan Silver Adhocism — the Case for Improvisation in and Based on the notion of self-help and the fact that cancer patients are often involved in a long, drawn-out struggle, the centres provide social and psychological help in an attractive setting next to large hospitals. Their architecture, landscape, and art are designed to support both patients and caregivers and to give dignity to those who, in the past, often hid their disease. Maggie Keswick Jencks is the author of the book The Chinese Garden, on which her husband also worked.
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Leave a comment Charles Jencks , the critic who helped bring postmodernism into existence, died this week. With populism on the rise, the pluralism of the movement is needed now more than ever, argues Owen Hopkins. Louis, Missouri on July 15, at 3. Jencks subsequently admitted to having made up the precise time for the sake of rhetorical flourish and impact.
Postmodernism in architecture existed before Charles Jencks decided to call it that — yet, it was still a latent force, disparate and disconnected.
In his work, postmodernism took centre stage and was polemicised as a set of values to which all architecture should subscribe, and which remain hugely important today. Jencks achieved that rare thing as a critic: his polemic helped bring the movement into existence The funny thing, though, was that when Jencks wrote the first edition of The Language of Post-modern Architecture in , very little postmodern architecture yet existed.
The chapter that actually deals with examples of the movement is very slim indeed, with few projects that we would now recognise as emblematic of the style.
Jencks, therefore, achieved that rare thing as a critic: his polemic helped bring the movement into existence. However, as a critical practice postmodernism was already on the wane, as Jencks himself was only too keenly aware. By the late s, it had become appropriated and transformed into a set of aesthetic signifiers frequently applied to commercial architecture.
Jencks, however, continued to plough the postmodernism furrow, its definition expanding to encompass architecture and architects who resisted the characterisation yet to his mind embraced its qualities. This made clear that despite his close association with postmodernism as the style of the s, postmodernism for Jencks was always more a set of values than a particular aesthetic. They exist always in relation and proximity to a hospital and offer emotional support to those suffering from or affected by cancer, yet are not medicalised spaces.
All the architects were given exactly the same brief, which they were allowed to interpret into their own individual way.
For all of his interest in codes and systems and classifications, this is what postmodernism meant for Jencks. For Lucas this was Star Wars, for Jencks postmodernism. As Star Wars led to the all-consuming summer blockbuster, so postmodernism heralded the age of the iconic building. Watch Pierre de Meuron and Charles Jencks discuss Elbphilharmonie Yet it is always unfair to blame something or someone for what came after, especially if their values stand in opposition to those of the followers or imitators.
This is all the more important when we consider the parallels between our own era and the two moments that Jencks was most fascinated by: the emergence of modernism in the s and s and of postmodernism in the s and s. These words remain as vital today as they were then.
To resist the monomaniacal we must continue to embrace individuality, contingency and pluralism which, for Jencks, were at the heart of postmodernism. It is deeply sad that Jencks was one of the first to go. His combination of provocation, generosity and an ever-enquiring spirit has never been more important. Read more:.