Architecture as anti-theology, March 8, 2009
By Jacob "Reformed Epistemologian" (Louisiana) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Living Machines: Bauhaus Architecture as Sexual Ideology (Paperback)
Bauhaus architecture can be seen in houses that have flat roofs, non load-bearing walls, and are raised above the earth. The nature of Bauhaus architecture is that of modern man: designed to be functional and nothing else. Not only in homes but in apartments as well. Bauhaus represents virtually every condominium, high-rise apartment, and college dorm in the world (is it any wonder that college dorm life is virtually synonymous with sexual orgy?).
Bauhaus architecture was the invention of Walter Gropius after the first world war. The goal of Bauhaus architecture is to design a building where man's ties to the ground and family are severed but at the same time he lives in close proximity with other people while never developing ties to these people (this is necessary for sexual liberation; p. 84). The college dorm gives one enough privacy for sexual escapades but enough proximity to other people to make the act possible. Dorms are simply cubes stacked one upon another. There is no soul there, nor can there be.
Bauhaus architecture is not merely meant to destroy the family, but to propogate an entirely new social order. It was to represent politics by design, or state socialism (107). The anti-Christian nature of Bauhaus is evident in the flat roof: a flat roof by definition is an imposition of ideology upon a reality (e.g., it will leak). But more importantly, a flat roof represents modern man's negation of God, and without God there is no future (102).
The alternative to Bauhaus, which Jones does not develop, is in the rich moral vision given us by Christianity. The Gothic cathedral, the meditarranean villa, and the Byzantium dome all represent a God who is not only truth and goodness, but beauty himself. The solution, Jones notes, is to go back to the fork in the road where we made the wrong turn and fix it (67).