To fill in those long midsummer (or, for our southern hemisphere friends, mid-winter) nights, here’s some quick brainteasers. The answers are at the bottom – no cheating!
QUESTION 1: Which is older?
A: Villa Savoye?
or B: Joan Collins …
C. Froebel Blocks?
QUESTION 1: Which is older? Okay everybody, calm down and listen. One point for those who chose A: The Villa Savoye. Nice try. It was constructed over the period 1928-1931 but, two years on, the owners were claiming it was still uninhabitable. So … this then makes A: Joan Collins the correct answer. Two points! She was born on 23 May, 1933 and, looking a wonderful 79 years old in the above photograph. Well done Joan! Joan Collins and Villa Savoye are both tributes – no! monuments, to the power of restorative work.
QUESTION 2: Which toy did Frank Lloyd Wright’s mother give him to keep him quiet?: Froebel Blocks is the correct answer but, for anyone who chose LEGO, half points for making me laugh. (Have long and happy lives!) B, I’m sorry, is wrong because skyscrapers weren’t invented in 1876 when little Frankie’s mother is said to have come back from the Centennial Exposition with the famous toy. “Indeed, Wright’s own mother had brought him as a child into contact with the educational ideas of Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel founder of kindergarten. His philosophy was that children, when cherished and nurtured, would grow into beautiful grown-ups each unique in his or her own characteristics and qualities [bless]. Wright never failed to credit Froebel for his earliest architectural yearnings for he later stated,”The maple-wood blocks…all are in my fingers to this day.” (look here if you think I’m making this up)
QUESTION 3: Which architect didn’t pay enough attention to sun shading? And for which house? The correct answers are Peter Eisenman and House III. QUESTION 4: How much does a copy of Patrik Schumacher’s “The Autopoesis of Architecture” weigh? The book is the first of two volumes, contains 478 pages and “only” 18 illustrations (how effing pretentious is that!). It’s also “said” (quotation marks frenzy here – apologies) to contain “a unified theory of architecture that suggests a framework for the discipline’s next phase of development…” It is unquestionably a heavy read. I stupidly thought it would be a good idea to carry it in my hand luggage so I could tackle it on a recent long-haul flight but, once aboard, for some reason preferred to watch The Hunger Games directly followed by The Avengers instead. For the return flight, I wasn’t keen to lug it around an airport once again so I packed it. When checking in, I was told my luggage was 1.5kg overweight and that the problem could probably be solved by removing “a book or something” and carrying it in my hand luggage instead. This was good advice. So, although I haven’t weighed “The Autopoiesis of Architecture: Volume I”, any answer in the realm of 1.5kg is correct. (btw: Volume II has 774 pages which strikes me as too much information.)
QUESTION 5: How many rooms on the top floor of Fallingwater? One – the study. The remainder is a waste of space – which is why it’s there, of course. It’s unclear what the third floor actually does. But then, it’s a rich man’s house. It doesn’t really have to do anything except generate complexity and the artistic (and hence, unquestionable) “certainty” it had to be that way. Cheers.