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Scale & Perspective 


Scale & Perspective 


Scale & Perspective 


Gallery Hours: 

Tuesday- Saturday, 12-6 pm 
January 29, 6-8 pm 

This exhibition is made posssible in part by a special 
giant from the Flemish Minister of Culture. 

1/29 - 3/6 


Scale ft. Perspective 
Jiaiary 29-Ftlrurj 6, 1991 

Gallery HOURS: TuesiAy-Srtw&.y, 12-6 pm 
OPENING RECEPTION. Tutsky, Jnwy 29, 6-8 pm 

1/29 - 3/6 


Luc Delta 
Scale & Perspective 

Juury 29-Fekrury 6, 1941 

GALLERY HOURS: Tu*sfoy-Satwky, 12-6 pm 
OPENING RECEPTION: Tu*s4jy, Jtiwy 29, 6-8 pm 

Earth, passengers and buildings 

In these dmes of great change, architecture could do 
with a change, too. The traditional place of architecture 
in society has become obsolete. The concept needs to 
be redefined. Its task, contents, aims, realization, and 
its emergence in social space must be re-examined. 

The architect would seem to be die obvious person to 
question architecture, but he is the only person vho 
doesn't. Although everyone knows that lack of 
destination leads to aimlessness, hardly any thinking 
has been done about die aims of architecture since the 
demise of the “modernist heroes ” I can't get away 
from the impression that architects today tend to 
concentrate on details at. the expense of the broad 

As early as 1980, in my “Orban Planning Manifesto," 
I pointed out die necessity of looking at architecture on 
a global scale. This immediately and clearly points up 
die relative significance of a. building, especially with a 
view to the total number of buildings. Since the 
explosive development of transport, (and the transfer of 
information) in the twentieth century, infrastructures in 
the world have become all-important. And, although in 
many places in the world it has become almost 
impossible to create new waterways, railways, 
motorways, and airways, this spatial problem is hardly 
ever thought of as an architectural one. 

Improbable as it may seem, die main issue is felt to be 
a gaaaBte flegigvabM All too often, architects are 
preoccupied with commissions, functions, side issues 
and objectives that are unworthy of architecture. And 
when architects do go to great lengths to design die 
most wonderful spaces, “earthly space" is left to Its 
own devices, to be ruined and wasted by the monetary 
and political lobby, without any protest, interest or 
concern from architects A strange reality! 

Apart from ite material function, architecture has a 
spiritual function and task The imaginative power of 
architecture must create examples for the future. 
Architecture must express, record and pass on future 
perspectives, and it must stimulate the imagination: 
architecture as medium, as data carrier for future 
generations. It is not even necessary for architecture to 
be realised, and not every space needs architectural 
envelopment The primordial requirement of 
architecture is that it should guarantee the freedom of 
the individual. The creation of freedom is the creation 
of spiritual space 

The fact that architects solve today's problems does 
not mean that architecture is only rooted in the present. 
It is also rooted in the future After all, infrastructure 
and architecture have a long to very long life span. 
Fate forces us to make a choice for many generations 
to come. It is of the greatest importance that the 
individual should preserve his or her freedom 

Urban development and planning should increase the 
number of possibilities, but they usually operate in a 
repressive atmosphere of what should or should not be 
done. In Belgium, building legislation, district plans, 
B P A (development plans), allotment regulations, the 
Order of Architects, administration, building 
premiums, and social premiums usually have a 
repressive effect and are hardly ever stimulating. One 
example the ecological call for the reduction of motor 
traffic will lead to repressive regulations (rush hour 
taxation, higher rates and taxes, higher petrol prices, 
stricter parking regulations), but it will not lead to 
improvements in public transport (more, better and all- 
night). The advent of the T.G. Y. in Europe will not be 
used to diversify the existing network: it will, to a 
large extent, run parallel to tire present tracks. Abo the 
ideas behind the railway network remain national 
ideas, many tracks stop at national borders and there 
are ama 2 ingly few border crossings by rail. Antwerp, 
for instance, has no direct passenger train link with the 
Ruhr-area, although a track partly alongside the Albert 
Canal might well be worthy of consideration. The 
above raises serious questions as to the morality of 
contemporary architecture, which considers building 
as a value in itself Architecture as dogma 

Architecture has two basic scales: man and the earth 
Architecture as ORB AN PLANNING (the world scab 
as context) can, in a modest way, contribute to a 
substantial improvement of the general climate of life 
on earth. Architecture could see to it that "earthly 
space" is better organized, made more comfortabb and 
intense To achieve this, the distinction between 
“beautiful" and "good" (now indistinguishabb in 
bourgeois parlance) must be restored 

There is a great need for new visionary models for the 
“earthly space." Contemporary architects may deny it. 

hut the architect helps to shape society, for the simple 
reason that he or she has no choice hut to work vithin 
a social context and space 

Complying vith this ethical architectural brief is a 
challenge, but also a major source of inspiration for 
every architect T O P office (Turn On Planning) tries 
to keep these objectives in mind, and can always be 
recognized by a consistent adherence to them, rather 
than by a consistent form. 

Between 1970 and 1980, when T O.P. office was still 
a one-man organization with occasional contributors, 
the basis for this approach was created. I took it upon 
myself to question architecture and building in general 
Soon I found out that, especially in the Western world, 
too much is built too quickly and too rashly; that 
building is the primary pollution on this earth; and that 
few people in the budding process realize that earthly 
space is finite and that further annexation of farming 
land will lead to starvation of others I also understood 
that the surface of the sea could be used and that 
architecture doesn't necessarily lead to immobile 
structures, and that mobile structures can be valid 

Then I examined how cities could become more 
complex, how they could combine more functions 
within themselves (thereby alleviating the pressure on 
Hie country) and still offer greater freedom to their 
inhabitants. It was a foregone conclusion: greater 
chaos means greater individual freedom and in this 
chaos a higher order can be recognized 

The urban development basis for T O P office's work 
couM now be formulated in a number of proposals 
(proposals are only proposals) and recommendations 
Proposal Air tots/ decenoalriatiin (of Antwerp) 
Ptopasal Air compile abtilishment at as/?*: rates fin 
Antwerp) Ptopasal Air avnptete disuse of the pukin' 
Ighting Ptopasal V plant Trait avenues Proposal to 
switch to 12 volts. Proposal Air the imptentioLin at 
tubaa dunghills) Ptopasal ti inttodmte plastic mone y 
fin Pnosehr) Ptopasal Air Aing lawns. PmpasalAw 
an open sewtinge fin Singes) Ptopasal Air mo bite 
monuments. Proposal Air an iiiternatkinal dunghill in 
the Sahata. Ptopasal Jar naked Olympte (lames fin 
Montreal). Ptopasal lor whan wood ptoducnon 
Ptopasal to shoot nixJear waste to the son Ptopasal 
Air car-Jiee noons. Proposal Air tton-ptogtammed TV 
broadcasts Advise Aar vegetable bores instead of 
lit wet -bates Advice Air ransuntpotvi strikes. 
Ptopasal Aw an imgativi svttani using' tain water 
Ptoposal lor viable telephone taring electricity 
cables Ptopasal it declassify womwiaiits and tecyzte 
them into svcia/Among Proposal Air tree masonry 
Ptopasal Av piotet'tivi of weeds Proposal Air tidy 
beehives. Advice to ciise the coo fin Antwerp). 
Proposal Av abalraan ol the law on the pintecbon of 
hti and gjivasanw of aichttect. Proposal Air tool 

Mm'ttftmv Pmptml to avUek A? paw 

Pjvpoxtf to stop PAw? actmtfcr. Pjvpoxtf Jiv tip 
juutvaoivi of tip pahlk' tnaapaiT. PtvptmlAvimf 
JiVfrmig: Pjvpcxi/AviiWpdympJit?. Av 
tuban xgxxnltwe_, mban AvUrufoas, oaf arite? 
Avktoj' Pjppata/Av-rjr?-ivrAvrfs. arypartunsj. xml 
lubxn wttfc PjvpaW Jiv mbxn Jixhmg poutt. 
Proposal Jar urban game. 

These proposals were first visualized in a project for 
the Quarter des Halles-district in Paris The principal 
idea is that jkv braiding a far-fetched programme 
preserves the district for the future The present 
situation has a powerful character of its own and 
could, with minimal alterations, generate all kinds of 
life in and around this district. 

This approach does not necessarily lead id a denial of 
architecture On the contrary, ■where possible it can 
lead to a more intense kind of architecture, more firmly 
based in society This does imply that the architect has 
to surrender his immediate building ambitions to a 
more theoretical and conceptual approach (He could, 
for instance, play with Lego blocks or containers.) To 
demonstrate this, I decided in 1980 to develop a new 
urban development principle: “Scale & Perspective." 
Whereas, since antiquity, the axial, more or less 
symmetrical perspective has always been a well- 
known and much-used means of achieving 
monumentahty, I developed an idea of standing and 
lying volumes, based on sleeping and waking man, 
which offers a more playful and dynamic 
monumentality and invites the visitor to explore the 
entire building, watching identical spaces and volumes 
from ever-changing angles With a project based on 
tiiis principle T.O.P. office received in 1989 an 
honourable mention at the Housing & the City 
competition in Barcelona. It is a combination of a 
standing and a lying volume, incorporating most urban 
functions and a wide "promenade architecturale ." This 
project is the most elaborate so far 

This theoretical and conceptual approach, a continually 
recurring theme with T.O.P. office, allows me, as an 
architect, to assume a very radical stance towards the 
braiding customer, an attitude which is also a forceful 
indictment against the monopoly of architects (as laid 
down by law in Belgium). When I started up "Scale & 
Perspective," I also decided to build a great many 
ready-made houses. I realized the clients' drawings or 
sketches with hardly any alternations The hand of the 
architect was absent. The totality of these houses was 
called "Luc Deleu manifesto to the Order " This project 
proves that it is totally unnecessary to give architects 
the monopoly of building; that in many cases their 
expertise is unnecessary and even undesirable. I am 
convinced that principals should only be given houses 
or buildings that they can visualize. I am even of the 
opinion that plans are not always necessary for 

It seems more logical to me that, if one -wants to have 
control over the building process, if one -wants to make 
district plans, structural plans, development plans and 
such, these only make sense if they serve to enable the 
“family as principal" to design and build its own nest 
in total freedom. However, when structures (like 
limited liability companies, promoters, multinationals, 
political groups, central administrations) take to 
building, society must be able to exercise die strictest 
possible supervision, in order to protect the individual 
quality of the family from plagues caused by 
monocultures In short, like die freedom of the 
individual is sacred, die containment of structures is 
necessary So chaos should be seen as an acquired 
right of the individual, and order as the counterforce 
unleashed by the individual within an organisation. 

I feel that within the broadest possible framework the 
architect can supply the examples for this. 

Luc Deleu, 1990 
Reprinted from FanaaQA!\) 

Ttaralaad bv Webe vxnder Wad. 


Por a Storefront HyperARCHITEXT 

With an accumulation of textual opinions: statements, 
criticism, and suggestions from a known and 
unknown audience; with a growing series of 
statements, manifestos, and explanations by Storefront 
writers, artists and architects; with increased gallery¬ 
generated announcements fessays, and dates-with all 
these documents at hand. Storefront requires a system 
and format for improved communications if it is to 
serve writing, discussion, and text-literaryfartstie 
dialogue-as fully as it does visual dialogue. Since 
textual exchange is, ironically, the foundation for 
architectural discourse, the neglect of such 
verbal/texfial exchanges and its records in the context 

of Storefront's history foattrs an infsfffiaflfin void It 
is this void that Storefront needs to fill, creating a 
forum that vill bring together new writers eM those 
who are currently engaged in a dialogue revolving 
around the gallery, but ■who, precisely for a lack of a 
foram are essentially unrecognized Storefront 
participants In effect, this lack positions ■writers as 
second-class aitisis, active at Storefront but never 
acknowledged as equal to the architectiartistidesigner 

Several formats are already in place at Storefront, such 
as discussions and publications. Yet they do not 
support the notion of a sustained, multifaceted 
dialogue about Storefront activities and their 
relationship to each other or the outside world: to 
politics, literary theory, philosophy, aesthetics, 
architectural history and theory-even anecdote 

Various electronic forms are currently employed 
(especially in university English departments) that 
could serve as a prototype for organizing an 
information/media system at Storefront, one that 
employs electronic paths and icons to frame co¬ 
authored documents collectively, providing a multi- 
authored history of the gallery and its satellite activities 
while also presenting a channel for unrestricted 
insertion of ideas, opinions, notes, and texts 
(eventually drawings, digitalized photographs, video, 
and audio etc.) by anyone willing to venture into the 
computer database. Loosely following the model of a 
hypertext document as devised for literary study and 
documentation-a system of computerized nodes and 
links of interactive text, graphics, video, and sound 
that can be entered and exiled from various points in 
the hyperdocument, allowing multiple users to 
browse, read, or co-author information-Storefront 
could create and stimulate dialogue between the 
gallery: willing but currently silent visitors, its critics 
and champions, artists and architects, and its writers 
And once on line, this hyperARCHITEXT could be 
available to any individual or group equiped wilh a 
computer and modum. 

By beginning an electronic net of architectural 
information, Storefront would be 3tategically 
positioning itself to benefit from the growth of, and 
individual reliance on, electronic communication 
media. In doing so. Storefront, even vith 
technologically modest hardware and software, would 
begin to position itself not only as an architectural 
communication center, an organization with a process¬ 
documentary of itself, but also as an experimental, 
showcase model to other organizations for the 
arrangement and transformation of hypertext into 

Dermis L. Dollens 



TEL 32 (0)3 230 40 67 




July 18, 1994. 

Storefront for Art & Architecture 
97 Kenmare Street 
NEW YORK. N Y. 10012 

Dear Kyong, 

It was indeed nice to meet you in Vienna. 

I think it is a good idea to publish a book about Storefront and I am glad to figure in it with such a lot of material. 

Enclosed you will find mostly all photographic material you asked for. When possible, I send you slides, otherwise it had to be B/W 
photographs and cibachromes (see enclosed list). 

As you also asked for material on more recent projects since the exhibition, I added : 

24. Housing (&) the City, Barcelona, Detail staircase 

This is a mock-up of a staircase functioning in two directions 

25/26. Housing (&) the City, Barcelona, Detail 'culture' deck and ‘sports’ deck with swimming pool and Detail swimming pool 
This is a model, which is a detail of the project Housing (&) the City (see also copy nr. 21) 

27/28. Journey around the world in 80 days Antwerp-Antwerp via Paciiic Ocean 51 C 13’’S - 175°35’W and 
Journey around the world in 80 days Madrid-Weber-Madrid 

This is a cartographic study to make journeys around the world (great circles = 40.000 km ), starting from Antwerp or from 
Madrid. Madrid was choosen because it is one of the only European cities that has land as antipode (the antipode of Madrid is 

This study makes it possible to choose the easiest itinerary around the world from Antwerp or Madrid. 

B.T.W. BE 509.535.753 


- 2 - 

If you have any questions or problems, you can always write or phone me. 

I am sure you will handle all slides and photographs with the utmost care, as some of them are unique and I trust that you will return all 
material as soon as possible. 

Give my best regards to Shireen, also on behalf of Laurette. We hope all is well with you both and your little son. 

Looking forward to hearing from you, 

B.T.W. BE 509.535,753 

POSTCHEQUE REK. : 000-0043586-33 BANK BRUSSEL LAMBERT 320-0295855-75 ABN AMROBANK NL 40 80.23.899 



Photographic material for Storefront (letter July 18, 1994) 

1. 35x24 mm. slide : Mobile Medium University Revisited (floating U.I.A.). 1989 

2. B/W photograph : Big triumphal arch, Neuchatel, Switzerland, 1983 

3. B/W photograph : Big triumphal arch. Neuchatel, Switzerland, 1983 

4. 4,8x5,4 cm. slide : Small triumphal arch for the exhibition “Beelden Buiten”, Tielt, 1986 

5. 35x24 mm. slide : Scale & Perspective, Watou, 1988 

6. 35x24 mm. slide : Bridge. Hoorn, 1990 

7. 35x24 mm. slide : Bridge. Hoorn, 1990 

8. B/W photograph : Big triumphal arch, Barcelona, 1987 

9. B/W photograph : Promenade pier, Flushing, 1985, model 

10. B/W negative Tent for 'Napoleon', first design, photo-copy montage, 1986-88 

11. Color photograph Tent for 'Napoleon', second design, model, 1986-88 

12. B/W negative photograph : Waterloo, Tent for ‘Napoleon) (the movie), 1986-88, Interior view of the tent with projection at night 

13. Photocopy : La Roche-sur-Yon, "En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait", 1989, Tent for ‘Napoleon’, exercise, scale 1/200 

14. BAA/ photograph : Waterloo, Tent for 'Napoleon', model, scale 1/5, La Roche-sur-Yon, 1989 

15. 6x6 cm. slide : Principle of a lesson in scale with two identical buildings, model with QE I and II, 1981 

16. Original (unique) copy: Scale & Perspective with two high-tention pylons, drawing, 1984 

17. 6x6 cm. slide : Demonstration of Scale Perspective, Exhibition “Initiatief '86", Ghent, 1986 

18. B/W photograph : Demonstration of Scale & Perspective, Exhibition "Initiatief '86", Ghent, 1986 

19. B/W photograph : Barcelona 1981 Towers, Housing (&) the City (Scale & Perspective), Fagade study, drawing, 1990-91 

20. B/W photograph : Housing (&) the City, Barcelona (Scale & Perspective), model. 1989 

21. Coloured copy : Housing (&) the City, Barcelona (Scale & Perspective), exploded view, drawing, 1989 

22. 35x24 mm. slide : Rotterdam, "De Hef", Sky plaza with civil registry offices, Study I, model, 1990 

23. Photocopy : Rotterdam, recycling of the vertical lift bridge over the Koningshaven, Preliminary study I: Sky plaza with civil 
registration offices, 1989 

Selection of works since 1991 : 

24. Cibachrome : Housing (&) the City, Barcelona, Detail staircase , mock-up, installation for Kroller-Muller Museum, 1991 

25. 35x24 mm. slide : Housing (&) the City, Barcelona, Detail 'culture'deck and 'sports' deck with swimming pool, model, 1991-92 

26. Cibachrome : Housing (&) the City, Barcelona, Detail swimming pool, model, 1991-92 

27. Colour photograph : Journey around the world in 80 days Antwerp - Antwerp via Pacific Ocean 51°13’ S - 175°35' W, ensemble, 

28. Cibachrome : Journey around the world in 80 days Madrid-Weber-Madrid, on World Map, physical edition, Kummerly & Frey, Bern, 
projection van der Grinten, 1992-93