Ruins as deterministic future: Bank of England

john-soane-ruina

Architecture

Bank of England

London, UK. 1792-1823

Author: John Soane

At the height of classical science Sir John Soane builds the Bank of England between 1792 and 1823, not only projecting the building but even his own decline and ruin, depicted in the watercolors of J.M. Gandy. It is evident that the projection of the process of a building turning into ruins through time is a mere utopia and the very natural becoming of architecture will be responsible for demonstrating it. In fact, from 1921 a series of selective demolitions were carried out at the Bank of England, which evidently will never coincide with the vision of a deterministic and reversible time of Soane and Gandy.

En pleno apogeo de la ciencia clásica Sir John Soane construye entre 1792  y 1823 el Banco de Inglaterra, pero no sólo proyecta el edificio sino incluso su propia ruina, representada en las acuarelas de J.M. Gandy. Es evidente que la proyectación de la ruina de un edificio es una mera utopía y el propio devenir natural de la arquitectura se encargará de demostrarlo. De hecho a partir de 1921 se llevaron a cabo en el Banco de Inglaterra una serie  de derribos selectivos, que evidentemente nunca coincidirán con la visión  de un tiempo determinista y reversible de Soane y Gandy.

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The Bank of England might well have been designed by the Laplace’s demon. The ruin was the fatal triumph of nature over man, the work of the Great Architect of the Universe. The one to which Sir John Soane aspired to be. Stability in architecture was a sign of its resistance to future transformation. The Bank of England ruins sought to show that the future could be predicted, leaving no room for evolution or indeterminacy. Buildings were closed systems that retain their qualities over time. Thus, duration was a proof of its immutability over time. But in the case of the Bank of England the ruin could also be understood as its expiration or obsolescence. And so, although planned in a reversible and deterministic way, the insight of Soane and Gandy was the beginning of an approach oriented to the future.

El proyecto del Banco de Inglaterra bien podría haber sido diseñado por el demonio de Laplace. La ruina era el fatal triunfo de la naturaleza sobre el hombre, obra del Gran Arquitecto del Universo. Aquel al que aspiraba Sir John Soane. La estabilidad en la arquitectura era una muestra de su  resistencia a la transformación futura. Las ruinas del Banco de Inglaterra  pretendían demostrar que el futuro podía ser predicho, y que no dejaba  lugar para la evolución o para la indeterminación. Los edificios eran sistemas cerrados que conservan sus cualidades a lo largo del tiempo. Así, la duración era una demostración de su inmutabilidad al paso del tiempo. Pero en el caso del Banco de Inglaterra la ruina se podría interpretar también como su caducidad u obsolescencia. Y así, aunque planteada de forma reversible y determinista, la mirada de Soane y Gandy comenzaba a orientarse al futuro.

Manuel Pérez Romero – nodo17 group

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Cite:

“Ruins as deterministic future. Bank of England”. Evolutionary Urbanism

https://evolutionaryurbanism.com/

2 thoughts on “Ruins as deterministic future: Bank of England

  1. Pingback: Cities in Evolution – Patrick Geddes | EVOLUTIONARY URBANISM

  2. Pingback: Manifesto of Futurist Architecture | EVOLUTIONARY URBANISM

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