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Architecture and Utopia

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  1. The progressist model
  2. The culturalist model
  3. Utopias in their concrete application

The world was created by man as his image. It was structured by his needs and expectations of life. Philosophers and thinker of all times have idealized, man's environment and the places he would live in after contemplating is needs. From the antique Romans to L. Costa and O. Niemeyer in Brasilia, houses and cities have always been the subject of great imagination and expectations. Architecture deals not only with the way people live, but at another scale it also represents its inhabitants' mentality and society itself. It may sometimes be taken to reflect the social ideology. Therefore the organization of a building, or a city and their aesthetic part, is strongly linked with the perception of the human being as well as the context he evolves in. The periods of greatness of a country or a leader, are always linked to dreams and the realization of a utopian architecture, from the Empires to the Industrial Revolution, through the "Lumières". The word "utopia" itself, invented by T.More is a lexical game, from its double etymology: Eutopia, means both ?a pleasant place', and outopia ? ?without a place, nowhere'. An architectural utopia should thus be as pleasant as it is inexistent, like the immoderate projects of Etienne Louis Boullée in the 18th century.

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