Contemporary design – styles and trends: Metabolism

Metabolism – (French. Metabolisme from the Greek. Metabole – change) – current in the architecture of the middle of XX century. , which replaced the functionalism of the international style of the 1930s-1940s.

The architectural language features of the metabolists were incompleteness, “misunderstanding”, relative “destructiveness” and openness of the structure of buildings for “dialogue” with the changing architectural, cultural and technological context of the urban environment. Metabolism is widely used by the technique of focusing attention on emptiness, with the aim of creating the effect of “materialization of attention”, the visual fixation of unbuilt and undeveloped spaces with the help of symbolic spatial structures. This creates some intermediate space (otherwise – mesop space), which, according to the theory of metabolism, is a missing link between architecture (as an extremely orderly habitat) and the environmental chaos of a changing urban environment or the “vacuum” of the natural landscape. In the structure of both individual buildings and their complexes, and even entire cities, developed under the influence of the ideas of metabolism, the temporal and permanent components are always clearly traced. Another hallmark of such architecture is its modularity, charm, most clearly illustrated by the example of Nakagin Capsule Tower.

Metabolism in general, and architects-metabolists in particular, have sought to develop the principles of constructivism in accordance with the concept of “variable space”.

The optimum structural basis of the buildings was combined with combinatorics – variational “cells”, which made architectural compositions more and more diverse (Neo-ritualism; new expressionism; organic architecture; futurological design). p>

Metabolists perceived the city as a living organism with all the inherent processes of the body – hence the exotic name of the movement. They divided the city into permanent and temporary elements – bones, blood vessels and living cells that change over time. The best work of metabolism has been recognized by the previously mentioned “Nakagin Capsule Tower” by Kisyo Kurokawa, included in the list of DOCOMOMO International architectural heritage.

You can read more about other architectural styles here about here .

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