On Contemporary New Traditional Architecture
Eishin University Campus in Japan
by Christopher Alexander and Associates
KATARXIS is a new webzine dedicated exclusively
to a New Traditional Architecture and Urbanism: one that in its vernacular and classical expressions, incorporates a
re-evaluation of the many World Cultures; includes the humanist heritage of the West and the East; and acknowledges
the evidence of New Sciences, and the positive logistics of the contemporary world.
KATARXIS supports a broader Culture of
Reconstruction and participates to the emergence of a New Architecture and a New Urbanism of the 21st Century, solidly anchored
in the most updated knowledge of man and nature, and in the most universal intuitions and feelings of mankind.
KATARXIS offers a platform of information and
interaction for everyone interested in the construction of contemporary buildings, cities and landscapes; and for all those
who are sympathetic and supportive of concepts of a vital new humanistic culture, as articulated through the regenerating
process of tradition, and through a refreshed alliance of Science and Art.
KATARXIS will dedicate its pages to the
works of contemporary New Traditional Architects and Urbanists; to works in science, history and theory; to building
technologies and materials, and to discussion and exposition of issues of graphics and rendering, related arts
and crafts, Internet, and New Technologies --all the things that are relevant to the building of a beautiful, comfortable
and durable modern world.
KATARXIS considers that its purpose is
to promote the efficiency and importance, the quality and appropriateness, and above all the reality and realism of new
traditional architecture and urbanism as essential and influential contributions to the unfolding of a truer, a more
humane and universal modernity .
" Al-Esch ", a painting by Rita Wolff (1991)
It shows an " Analog City " of Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg)
with its post-industrial identity and the acknowledgement of a regeneration by its own traditions.
There are numerous web-zines dealing with architecture.
However the impressive production of very popular new traditional architecture and new urbanism is hardly touched upon in
the professional press!
Katarxis is exclusively dedicated to publishing
the type of architecture and city-building which most of people all around the world bear in their hearts, love and desire:
Traditional architecture, both in its Classical and Vernacular expressions!
Tradition is the result of selected popular wisdom and of the intelligence and experiences of whole generations
of craftsmen, artists and citizen. It is the most advanced form of collective intelligence yet devised by humanity.
The common sense, reason and sentiment of a contemporary generation of traditional architects and urbanists - representing
a vital and judicious reappropriation -- must be acknowledged as the most fruitful contributions to the renaissance
of a contemporary Art of Building. This is a most vital regeneration of modern city-building and environmental planning!
The Roman Baths in Charlottenhof park, built in 1829-1835 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Ludwig Persius.
The creation of this web-zine grows out of both frustrating
and stimulating experiences with other architectural publications. The written architectural press is generally
closed to anything about classical and traditional culture, in spite of the fact that this is an issue of relevance to
a majority of people!
Most publications are solely interested in
the propaganda of modernism and deconstructivism, which represent less then 10% of the world's achievements in contemporary
architecture and urbanism.
On the other hand the web offers new spaces for the expression
of a refreshing variety of creativity and imagination. The web bypasses the censorship of senile academies and reactionary
institutions, and proposes a democracy of cultural plurality, where new classical, and traditional architecture and city-building
can legitimately blossom!
" Filadelfia ", painting by Rita Wolff (1983)
Street-view in Poundbury (Dorset, England), the most emblematic new urban creation by Leon Krier, commissioned by HRH the
Prince of Wales (1988-1991)
A Belvedere for the new town of Poundbury in Dorset (England), by Duncan McCallum McRoberts
" For the first time in half a century traditional buildings and towns are being constructed around the world, with increasing
support and appreciation from a public eager to reinvest in a balanced co-existence with nature and the city."
Economakis and Michael Lykoudis (Building Cities,1999)
New Town of Brandevoort, Helmond, Holland (under construction) by Krier & Kohl
The development of the Katarxis online
version will soon be followed up by print versions, both in book and magazine format . With a growing number
of interested visitors worldwide, and because of the large spectrum of works and writings regarding New Traditional
Architecture and Urbanism, - not published by the established professional press -, the expansion of the publication
endeavours of Katarxis has presented itself as a most evident option!
Katarxis acknowledges positively the Internet
and new technologies of communication and interaction, and participates consistently to a wider virtual "polis" afforded
by the networking potentials of the web...From out of their isolation and exile, Katarxis brings together a
wide diversity of works and operational theoretical concepts supporting the practice of a modern traditional architecture
Enjoy the reading and please recommend Katarxis to your friends!
Public Loggia in Main Square
by Rita Wolff (1977)
Palm Beach Residence by Ferguson, Shamamian &Rattner
Residential Architect Design Award 2001
" The global destruction of cities and countryside, of human cultures and of nature itself, can only be reversed by a
global philosophical, technical, cultural, moral and economic project: by an ecological project. The city is not the unavoidable
result of a society's activities. It can only be built and maintained when it represents the goal of individuals, of a society
and its institutions. A city is not an economic accident but a moral project. Forms of production ought no longer to dictate
the form of the city; but the form of the city, its organic nature and moral order, must qualify and shape the forms of production
and exchange. "
House in Malveira, Portugal
by Jose Cornelio da Silva and Jose Franqueira Baganha
" That tradition was not mechanical or predictable.
On the the contrary, the classical language enabled Michelangelo
not just to build, but to compose, fitting detail to detail in his own Palazzo del Senatore, while matching his work to the
other buildings of the square. The strength of his composition is of a piece with the humility through which it was achieved.
" The Future is Classical "
Senior Citizen Housing as an organic village extension.
Muehlheim an der Ruhr, Germany, by Rob Krier (Krier&Kohl)
" The individual residential units are grouped around an oblong square. These mostly single-storey
"houses" are mixed with two-storey buildings housing common rooms and apartments for nurses. A chapel forms the
center of the ensemble."
Urban reconstruction in historic center of Esch-sur-Alzette by Mulhern&Steil (1993)
Public Housing in Esch-sur-Alzette by Lucien Steil with Herr&Huyberechts (1986)
Built in a traditional way with low
budget to accomodate affordable housing in the very heart of the city!
Tatum Residence, Scientists Cliff, Maryland (USA)
by Wayne L. Goode
Residential Architect Design Award 2001
" Silver Oaks ", French Chateau style house
(Coastal Homes) Miami (1999)