“Desire for Much versus Less is More”

“Desire for Much versus Less is More”



View the videos and read the articles found at the links below on Charles Garnier’s Paris Opera (1860-1875) and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion for the Barcelona Exposition of 1929.  Feel free to do more research by clicking on the bibliography links provided by these sites, or do your own Google searches on these two architects and/or buildings.

View Garnier, Paris Opéra: Charles Garnier, The Paris Opéra, 1860-75Links to an external site.

 (Yes, this is the opera house that inspired “The Phantom of the Opera”!) *Only audio is the Overture from The Phantom of the Opera.

Charles Garnier’s motto to describe his design for the Paris Opera (aka Palais Garnier) was “Bramo assai, poro spero” (Desire for much, hope for little).  Legend has it that he also described ornamentation on a building as akin to a lady’s rouge and lipstick (Trachtenberg and Hyman, Architecture from Prehistory to Postmodernity, Second Edition, p. 430).  The Second Empire Beaux-Arts style he employed on the Opera is highly ornamental, inside and out. 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s motto, on the other hand, was famously “Less is more,” as evidenced in his high Modern Barcelona Pavilion.  He is also the architect responsible for later glass-curtain wall skyscrapers, such as his Seagram Building in NYC, 1954-58, page 231 in our textbook, fig. 14.23.

Answer these questions under Module 4 Discussion Forum. 

Which motto/design approach do you agree with?  

Do you like a highly ornamented building or a simple, clear structure true to its form and materials? 

Does it depend on the type of building it is or the time period in which it was built? 

Give an example to support your opinion – this can be a building or structure that you are familiar with in your own city or a building you find on the internet. 

Write 3-5 paragraphs in response to the instructions below

Give the name and location of the building and include an image in your post.