Architectural concepts in Peter Eisenman's axonometric drawings of House VI

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Journal Article
Journal of Architecture, 2014, 19 (4), pp. 560 - 611
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© 2014 RIBA Enterprises. Peter Eisenman's axonometric drawings of House VI portray the defining characteristics of what he considered the intellectual contribution of the architectural act. Fundamental to this interpretation of architecture was the perception that architecture should be polemically engaged with the conceptual arts. Eisenman's writing on conceptual architecture at this time can be contextualised by his reactions to a single catalogue: the 1970 Haags Gemeentemuseum catalogue to an exhibition of the sculptor Sol LeWitt. This theoretical milieu influenced the drawings for House VI. Evidenced in Eisenman's drawings are responses to the ideas and images seen in this catalogue. In response, Eisenman exploited an ambiguity found in the axonometric technique to define architecture's divergence from other conceptual arts while maintaining many of their material and spatial qualities. He extended the spatiality implicit in the conventions of architectural drawing through newly formed attitudes to seriality, media and geometry that went beyond the diagrams of Houses I-IV. For House VI, this achieved a new engagement for the viewer in developing a notion of conceptual architecture. It also repositioned the importance of architectural drawing and its relativity to realised architecture. This article examines the drawings of House VI for their diffusion of these complex visual and architectural effects.
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