Next Project

Polemic Architecture: Proposal of New French Parliamentary Quarter

Part 2 Project 2014
Yee Pei Lye
Mackintosh School of Architecture, UK
Architecture has always played a vital role in politics; by materializing the presence and nature of power in its attempts to create fictional relationship with community through abstract idea of ‘nation’. Throughout the rise and fall of empires and political powers, architecture is constantly being reproduced in new forms and styles, ranging from classical to baroque, from modernism to de-constructivism, each and every empire intended to leave their legacies to the next generation through architecture.

Peter Eisenmen once said ‘a building takes ten years to build, but politicians work in four or five year blocks’. This expresses the incapacity of architecture to adapt to changing political landscapes. In the contemporary era, what would be the right architectural style to represent democracy properly?

Inspired by Palace of Versailles and its political symbolism of absolute monarchy, the thesis explores the interdependent relationship between architecture and politics. Architecture plays a vital role in materializing political power through its physical appearance; decorated with excessive ornaments based solely on an architect’s and a political parties’ conceptions of symbols and representation. My thesis argument is a critique of the inflexibility and style-driven architectural design of contemporary parliaments. Architecture in politics should be neutral; to allow interventions of political agendas into the generic space where people live and play, thus representing the nation through the public realm. In other words, architecture acts as a polemic tool, serving the purpose of propaganda in politics.

Yee Pei Lye

Mr Charlie Sutherland

• Page Hits: 4482         • Entry Date: 25 September 2014         • Last Update: 25 September 2014