The Pumping Station on the Isle of Dogs as an Example of Postmodern Architecture

Postmodernism, as a divergence of modern design, has become more of a tree, with many sub consecutive subdivisions stemming from the same root. Jencks describes this as, “nearly every major postmodern designer has adopted parts of the classical vocabulary” [ 1 ] . It is justified by other resurgences related straight or indirectly to classicalism. In my sentiment by stating “the resurgence seems to be pragmatically motivated” Jencks was conveying that all these resurgences were traveling back to rudimentss, to the European cradle of architecture. All ‘attempts’ of reinventing the wheel, in his sentiment, ended with debacle ; and therefore started looking back to the beginning. Nevertheless, classical architecture as we know it was used in of import and frequently olympian edifices, they were a minority of lodging stock built at that clip, therefore ; “As Joseph Rykwert has shown, the beginnings and development of the word ‘classicism ‘ have ever kept a category differentiation, connoting societal favoritism along with the architectural variety” [ 2 ] . This manner links modern-day constructions to the canon of architecture which were built harmonizing to certain “ancient norms of perfection” [ 3 ] which were already established by the Greeks. Temples or other of import edifices were backed up by a double/hidden significance, this might be something to make with booming philosophical idea, doing a edifice more complex than it might look.

The Pumping Station in the Isle of Dogs designed by John Outram, so called the ‘Temple of Storms’ ; was clearly designed with the classical Grecian temple in head. This resulted in concerns that such a edifice might non be fit for its intent. The chief concern was functionality, everything else was considered otiose by the client as it was merely to be visited by applied scientists during hebdomadal care cheques. Possibly ignoring this, Outram decided to plan it with sculptural architecture in head. Since building the client, London Docklands Development Authority ( LDDC ) , has deemed it suited to its intent.

Like most classical edifices this is besides related to the spiritual beliefs of the age. It has been designed to look like a goddess “walking out of the river” [ 4 ] on brace of leg like columns. The mated outsize, mostly cosmetic columns represent the stableness and hardiness of edifice. 3m diameter columns were considered appropriate, particularly because this portion of London was frequently flooded, and the edifice, harmonizing to brief was to hold a life span of 100 old ages in this unfavorable environment. This has been achieved by making a superimposed construction, where the extended usage of brick that is used externally every bit good as internally, is merely cladding, used for the coveted visual aspect as opposed to its structural heritage as a stuff. The chief construction is made of a portal frame that is cased with unmoved dramatis personae concrete, which provides protection against fire and corrosion. This is shown as necessary investing by the value of the land it is protecting against implosion therapy, which would do huge harm to the metropolis should the machinery the edifices contains fail. The walls, non merely the columns are extensively thick and over engineered, it about feels as though it is a sand trap, emerging from the land, it gives definite statement ‘nothing is traveling to travel me’ .

The construction of this edifice uses 3 common burden bearing edifice stuffs. Steel, present in signifier of the portal frame, concrete, and finished with brick. “The building of a new linguistic communication from the fragments of the old 1s is common in eclectic periods, and Postmodern Classicism is unquestionably syncretic” [ 5 ] . Having this extended usage of three stuffs all accomplishing the same map shows that this design starts off being eclectic, even at the structural degree. The outside is besides kept in same visual aspect with smaller columns on either side in a different manner. Colour suggests integrity among the stuff picks and a divergency from the stylistic beginnings, for illustration most of the edifice is covered in gray technology brick, binding it with likewise coloured paving brick environing the edifice. This shows hardiness and in a manner, merely like in Richardsonian architecture, suggests that the edifice is go uping from the land and yet is still held/pushed down by a high volume overhanging roof. The usage of brick and the horizontal division with different coloured brick besides gives a certain nexus to another American designer, Frank Lloyd Wright. He uses similar techniques as described earlier, where the roof ‘pushes’ the edifice down, however he uses with Roman brick, and horizontally articulated brick, giving the consequence of a much wider and lower edifice. Outram used this fast one to interrupt up the facade and accomplish a similar consequence. This can besides be representative of the tide rise and falling, while the Thames, as any river, leaves horizontal Markss. The forepart and back facades, have two big columns which “are orangish-red, and stand Forth from the boxlike organic structure of the ‘mountain ‘ apparently capable of back uping the roof-raft on their four giant organic structures alone.” [ 6 ] , With a narrow Grey brick set at the underside, doing it look like clay rinsing down after stepping out of the Thames, one time once more the edifice demoing its hidden significance. The ‘boxy mountain’ is largely made out of Grey technology brick common in constructions such as railroad Bridgess, tied with a thick xanthous stock brick ( used for their ability to command H2O and supply a care free tegument ) , with minor ruddy brick horizontal speech patterns binding all frontages together. The side faces are similar in construct, they are extrapolations of the forepart, maintaining the Centre of the face between columns unique. In this sense it might be more appropriate to state that front facade is ‘clipping’ the sides with two columns. The side walls are accentuated with minor Tuscan pilasters partitioned into 3 articulated castings. Resting on a white concrete set on top of yet more brick, holding been arranged to organize bases for pilasters above.

With any classical manner, building columns play a large function, each one of the four ‘legs’ has a brick shaft and pre-cast concrete capital with a centralized cylinder. “To this interior bluish cylinder are attached radiating ‘fins ‘ of painted concrete, which give the four giant columns the gloss of a ‘capital ‘ ” [ 7 ] The capitals are made of concrete and painted with 4 vivid colorss, demoing the kernel of what post-modern classicalism may be considered as being. Simple geometric forms cast in concrete, doing it modern in footings of its fiction and design in comparing with how an ancient Grecian temple would hold been. The vivid colors, used as a signifier of ornament have been assembled in a calculated manner ; this has been even spotted by William Turnbull, composing in the Architect ‘s Journal, he talks about the “congruence of the Pumping Station design with the narrative of the beginning of the Corinthian column described by Vitruvius.” [ 8 ] These modern and classical motives feel about indispensable for the manner, however critics may state that it is more of eclectic design, unluckily in architecture there is seldom a right or incorrect reply.

We can come across primary colorss when looking at the precast concrete beams, although when looking closely at them, they look more like a wooden construction or at least more lightweight, back uping an elegant roof. The pediment, with a centralized fan, shows that it’s non merely, the Temple of Storms but besides the temple of mechanical technology. Yet, it maintains a classical expression and feel, last but non least it implements its design via articulation in its color strategy. The forepart of the pediment is made of corrugated steel, painted white, with a black fashionable boundary line, the same applies to the turbine’s white blades with a black boundary line.

This might look like all of the edifice is exposed and analysed, but nil could be more incorrect, the edifice itself is merely portion of the architecture of this topographic point. As in the original brief it was stated that the edifice needs to be vandal and more significantly terrorist cogent evidence. One of methods to accomplish this was to step the edifice back and firmly fencing it, surround it off to people that may damage it. But what is the point of constructing a ‘Temple’ , a great piece of architecture, and so concealing it? Outram spent clip planing entryway gate and environing wall. This concrete cantilever wall clad in brick is really robust, so much so that there are rumors ( non official, but sensible ) that the wall is capable of halting any auto from perforating into the site. This wall is divided with 220mm slits that allow public to see in and look up to the edifice, but more significantly from security point of position and harmonizing to Outram “These are designed to let the Public to see anyone who has entered the compound of this uninhabited edifice, and describe it to the Police.” [ 9 ] This leads to the crown gem of the fencing – the gate.

Gate and the country around it is planned out to complement the edifice. It is symmetrical, following the same axis that full edifice is. The circle on top is placed such that when person is looking directly at the edifice it frames the building’s iconic characteristic the fan absolutely. As Outram wrote: “the steel-tube gate into the bastioned compound of the Station is given a signifier of a elephantine oculus, whose vacant ball can be got to line-up with the ‘solar cave’-between-two-mountains. The two wings of the gate-eye so lie over the two ( aetos ) ‘eagles-wings ‘ of the split pediment.” The gate is bracketed by two 2.8m column membranophones, these columns are used as plantation owners, the traditional capital has been replaced by workss. Possibly this is paying testimonial to thought behind Corinthian columns which had flowered carvings all over its capital, and merely like Outram suggested “plants sprout, stressing their function as ‘ruined ‘ sentinels” . The ‘columns’ are besides really practical, as at the base, they are partly hollowed and can be used as storage for horticulture and other care equipment.

In short the pumping station at the isle of Canis familiariss is a great illustration of postmodern architecture. The columns used are representative of both modern and classical manners. The edifice is full of dual significance and concealed links to the classical canon of Grecian architecture. The ‘Temple of Storms’ fits absolutely into it’s context, which even though abandoned besides being functional, remains as a piece of architecture. And merely similar classical architecture was about obsessed with columns, this is column oriented physique, reenforcing what I said earlier, this physique, and decidedly certain parts, are the kernel of postmodern classicalism.