THE METRE AND THE FOOT ARE RIVALS,
Paper Castles imagines alternative future architectures, floating above the past. Fifteen practices have been invited to create a paper model to sit on top of the cases in the V&A’s Architecture Gallery. These new models sit in dialogue with those underneath, building on this history to project into the future. Contributing practices include: OMMX, Hayatsu Architects, Office S&M, Madelon Vriesendorp, Interrobang, RESOLVE, Mobile Studio, WUH architecture, Shahed Saleem, Zaha Hadid Architects, PUP architects, Sarah Wigglesworth, Prince + Selasi, Office Sian.
As Le Corbusier said, “I am seriously angry with the metre for having placed itself so perfectly, so dangerously, so unhappily outside the human scale.”
Corb wanted to put his foot in the door of history and insist on the rules for a new architecture. The five toes of the foot here refer to Corbusier's Five Points of Architecture and the Five Elements of Material City Planning.
The Modulor was meant as a universal system of proportions, to create a new visual measure. The ambition was vast: it was devised to reconcile maths, the human form, architecture and beauty into a single system.
Corbusier was joining a 2000-year-old hunt for the mathematical architecture of the universe, a search that had obsessed Pythagoras, Vitruvius and Leonardo Da Vinci.