Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
MONTE VERITA in Switzerland by BUREAUA A
March 21st, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: BUREAUA A
A unique moment in history occurred in Switzerland in the first decades of the 20th century. Following a larger search for utopia enhanced by the industrial revolution, a fantastic creative community gathered on the hills of Monte Verità in the Ticino region.
The commonly accepted idea that the 60 and 70’s gave birth to most utopian communities is a misguided comprehension of a rather continuous alternative movement probably initiated by Thomas Moore’s Utopia published in 1516. Robert Owen’s New Harmony in Indiana, Etienne Cabet’s Icarians or Charles Fourrier’s Phalanstery are only a few examples of the numerous attempts to question social and political behaviours and experiment alternative ways of living together. Within this context, Monte Verità holds its particular role; it condensed at the start of the 20thcentury many of the social subjects that were to become crucial 50 years later. Environmental concern, sexual liberation, gender issue, family dissolution, free education or ideological engagement were all important issues examined and experimented in new ways by the community.
Peut-on être révolutionnaire et aimer les fleurs? (Can one be a revolutionary and love flowers?), written and directed by Dorothée Thébert and Filippo Filliger (http://souschiffre.net), is a theatre play retracing, in a documentary and yet very free manner, the intense history of Monte Verità where Rudolf Steiner, Rudolf Laban, Herman Hesse, Otto Gros and many other creative and intellectual figures gathered to experiment new forms of living.
The scenography of the play proposes another community, one of simple and functional objects, supporting the activities and movements of the group. Benches, stools, shower, partitions, canopies, bleachers, standing lamps compose an elemental and direct aesthetic. Pine wood studs and natural wool felt referring to Josef Beuys’s survival obsession are the main construction materials.
The temporary theatre imagined by BUREAU A is an itinerary settlement moving with the comedian from town to town. Its details and assembling are conceived to be dismantled and stored easily; architecture at its minimum. A sweat lodge built out of the same materials encourage the visitors and the actors to dress down and celebrate a moment of utopian gathering.
Contact BUREAUA A