Between helsinki and los angeles: the early work of carmen and elin corneil

Download 124.75 Kb.
Size124.75 Kb.
Michael Milojevic, School of Architecture, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019,, New Zealand

tel 64 09 3737 599 x 5040; fax 64 09 3737 694; email



This paper investigates a significant facet of the migration of Scandinavian-Nordic architectural ideas into the Canadian architectural scene in the 1960's and their subsequent acculturation by contact with local and North American building traditions and circumstances.1 The diverse and eclectic early work of Carmen and Elin Corneil Toronto-represents a sub-current within the more prominent formal strategies of mainstream Canadian practice. While in the first years of the 60’s, coincidently also the first decade of their practice,2 they explored the formal strategies of their mentor-employer Aalto, his ‘methodical accommodation to circumstance’3 encouraging the Canadian-Norwegian Corneils to embrace conceptual and formal diversity into their oeuvre as a whole as well as within individual projects.4 Derived from tangible conditions, narrative programs and specific parallelisms their projects were a countercurrent to the relatively abstract and universal formal solutions by those such as Mies van der Rohe and Viljo Revell who had prominent works

underway within a few blocks of each of other in downtown Toronto throughout the 60’s.5 Both Revell’s ultramodern, sculptural and futuristic city hall (1961-1965),6 and Mies’s three-piece black steel set Toronto-Dominion Centre (1963-1969)7 are uneven-height tower schemes with podial pavilions which had been submitted for other competitions in other cities, other countries and other continents and in each case on more than one occasion... they were universal in the extreme5

Carmen’s 1954 Winnipeg City Hall Competition submission9 is a remarkably prescient part-Miesian10 part-Revellian scheme having the sleek overall shaping of Jacobsen and the single interior view is quintessenially. Aaltoian.

The Corneils thereby found themselves to be but a facet of this heady mixture of new foreign late Modern paradigms mooted into the Toronto scene when Carmen returned and Elin arrived in the city in 1960.

It was of course a coincidence on his scholarship fuelled grand tour Corneil arrived in Helsinki late in 1958 precisely on the night Revell was announced the winner of the Toronto City Hall. The next morning Corneil enquired at the Munkkiniemi studio if there was any work and later that day Aalto set him to work on some Imatra details; throughout 1959 and early 1960 however Carmen worked primarily on the big Wolfsburg Kulturzentrum job.11

Carmen’s precipitous return to Toronto directly from Aalto’s in mid-1960 was to meet with the Governor General of Canada, Vincent Massey, concerning the Massey Foundation’s endowment of the University of Toronto’s first graduate college. The Governor General referred to his beloved Balliol and Corneil’s preliminary sketches, that is before the process was re-cast as a limited competition,12 were for a horizontally-stratified perimeter block figure set around a fully enclosed court. The developed design for the first stage of the competition design was for a ‘U’-shaped college court as was traditional at Toronto, as well as for Ontario farmsteads but with the main common rooms (dining hall, common room, reading room, chapel, master’s residence) set across the gap and marked by a Aaltoian stadtkrone. Like Aalto’s acropolis schemes (ie. Saynatsalo) the project was to have a hybrid ‘podium courtyard’ with views reaching diagonally through a succession of spatial thresholds to address the greater university and urban context and like Wolfsburg the courtyard was to be accessorised with skylights animating the space sculpturally as well as lighting the public spaces below;13 Corneil’s is not the sacred and vacant Oxbridge parterre but a multi-level stage related to

both the piano nobile clad in rough-faced brick and capped by blackened copper roofing and the less formal black granite and glazed level at grade.

Responding again to Massey’s distinctly Oxbridgian position, Corneil’s

second stage was unfortunately retrogressive: the contiguous and enclosing

three-sided accommodation range which had been carefully modulated to articulate approaches, corners, transitions, and the shape of the court both sectionally and elevationally was dropped11 to be re-made into an scheme of freestanding and strictly orthogonal blocks akin to the recently completed test-piece for modern architecture Sir Basil Spence and Partners 1959-1960 Erasmus Building, Friars Court, Queens’ College Cambridge.14

The Girl Guides of Canada Headquarters Building (1960-1963, Toronto) 15 and the 1964 Massey Medal winning Toronto Township Library (1962, Cooksville, Ontario) 16 are the first significant public buildings realised by Corneil (in partnership with William J McBain). The parti of the unpremiated Massey submission - a heterotopic layering and splitting of the program elements – was employed for the Girl Guides in order to give the project’s three main programmatic components three distinctly articulated figures:: ‘a small brick box’ for the representational aspects (foyer and stairs, the retail, shop and cafeteria) of the brief entry, ‘a small glass office building’ and ‘a basement warehouse.’ This strategy allowed each of the separate building elements to be conceived as a persona dramatis within an overall formal-gestural theatricality.17 Programmatic individualisation, surprising layering and differentiation are of course hallmarks of Aalto’s oeuvre. In raising the distinctive brick box street element high on the warehouse podium Corneil ensured early visual contact for the project as a whole from the Yonge Street, Toronto’s main artery, approach. The overall tectonic conceptualisation of this element: subtly frontal and set forward on the podium but primarily intended to be read from a 3/4 view, trabeated using exposed steel but clad in strongly differentiated ‘rustic’ brick, concocts a heightened and removed and rhetorical stance (compare Aalto’s Jyvaskyla Faculty Dining Room). The approach, guided by distinctive tactile experiences (the handrails), is a dramatised spatial-temporal composition which suggests comparison with the final approach and withheld arrival to the Mnesicles propylaion, the tetrastyle Guides being the Nike temple on Merton Street. This element has more than a passing resemblance to a number of Aalto’s neoclassicalisms: the 1924 Jyvaskyla Worker’s Club, the much-commented on 1953 Otaniemi lecture theatre portico building, the 1962 Wolfsburg Kulturzentrum Poissy-form Porschestrasse colonnade and the entirely contemporaneous 1961-2/1963-5 Seinajoki Townhall.18 Above the fully glazed terrace level the piano nobile and flytower-like attic comprises three meeting rooms including the large subdividable national committee room across the front lit reflectively and dramatically across a curved baffle concealing the exposed underside of the steel flatroof-decking as well as the artificial light sources. Indeed this interior is an essay in the application of Aalto’s Vuoksenniska detailing on which, it will be remembered, Carmen worked in 1959: convertible spatial subdivision and unexpectedly subtle double-envelope clerestory-skylighting. Critics specifically noted the particular attention given to accessories: the handrails, doors, windows and the integration of joinery into the stair, as well as the ‘rustic’ split-textured brick. It should be noted too that the architects sought too to exposed the steel frame and did so for the terrace level. The ‘office block’ at the rear of the site9 is generously fenestrated but otherwise a plainer affair but stepped back a couple of times in the entry court area in the manner of a proscenium and the north side of Aalto’s 1948-1956 Finnish Public Pensions Institute.19

The four delightful ‘archangels wings’, light leave-like segmentally-curved screens which can, when occasion demands, be fanned-out from their stacked position against the walls of the Corneils’ community hall addition to Saint David's United Church, (1963-1965, St David’s, Ontario) are employed to re-define this multi-function space. Again we are reminded of the hemi-cylindrical sliding Vuoksenniska screens20 but the Corneil’s are much like early modern ‘theatre machinery’ such as Inigo Jones’ scaena frons based on Vignola’s visualisation of Vitruvius’s discussion of Greek periaktoi.21 The Corneils’ (in conjunction with the Massey College Competition winner Ron Thom) largest scenes de musique for Expo’67 are perhaps the most clearly derived plan, a clam-shell, from Aalto’s premiated 1953 Vienna Civic Centre Competition submission and 1955-1958 Helsinki House of Culture.22

Following the Massey Competition, ‘putting up’ the Girl Guides and Elin’s graduation23, together Carmen and Elin took on a steady stream of residential work which highlights the ways in which the Corneil’s drifted from Aalto-centric taking specific cues from the rural vernacular architecture of southern Ontario. Their responses to landscape particularities engaged with theatrical paradiigms regarding the performance aspect in everyday life and the public gaze.

Of the Corneils ten house projects of the 60’s24 their 1967 Massey Medal winning Wayland Buster Drew House (1963-1966, near Port Perry Ontario)25 and their House Project for Nick Pearce (1963, Belfountain Ontario)26 share a conceptual rhetoric about the stage, the ruin and the rural vernacular. These projects are conceived outside the scope of Aalto’s formal language drawing on a theatrical rhetoric about the stage and backdrop. Both are sited in remote locations: the Drew in a hardwood-lot in a small natural amphitheatre, and the Pearce on the crest of a hillock in the open cultivated landscape. Both are the placement of outdoor stages or backdrops in relation to specific landscape elements. Both are conceptualised as caved-in ruins like the collapsed barns or burnt-out farmhouses commonly seen in the Southern Ontario agrarian landscape.

In noting the tectonic logic of the traditional vertical, compact and four-square Ontario Victorian house the Corneils recognised a opportunity to conceptualise a ‘stump-like’ or ‘stone-like’ ihouse, a rugged and enduring feature in the landscape, a screen or stage registering the changing conditions of the forest setting bringing to mind Humphrey Repton’s Picturesque commentaries regarding the aesthetic and moral desirability of

inhabiting the eyecatchers of ‘the lifeless Brownian landscape.27 It is perhaps no coincidence that George Baird, one of the Corneils’ Toronto colleagues, in his book on Aalto identified the ‘construction of ruins’ as one of the Finnish master’s key propositions as exemplified by the ‘decomposition’ of the classical cubic clarity of the Enso-Gutzeit harbour facades around the back.28 The rough-brick exterior walls the Drew House rise turret-like in the corners and, for the most part, conceal the wood shingle roof. Like the typical Ontario a main street comprised of high theatrical screen-parapet facades fronting lower plain sheds. The house is sited such that the main exterior walls in their articulation relate specifically to the particular characteristics of site’s four clearings characterised by distinctive shape, texture, colour and light and leading to the design of the house’s main rooms to be an indoor counterpart.29

The main space of the Nick Pearce House (1963, Belfountain Ontario), composed as a miniaturised and representational landscape: a mountain, river, lake and hearth reticulated (like the surrounding southern Ontario landscape) suggests the return to nature (of both the client and building) within the site of a dramatic collapse. The raised terrace and folded roof of this vacation house is also presented as the original place of the theatre in the landscape (ie. both Greek and Icelandic) and yet an enclosed abstracted Cartesian stage like the perspectively contrived and raked Palladian-Renaissance stage.30 Axonometrically the dramatic disappearance of the bulk of the house’s accommodation below the surface of the roof-cum-stage reminds us that despite appearances the long, raked stage-like roofs, as if up-tipped ground planes, is also an Aalto device from the early 60’s. Between the Maison Louis Carre, the Seinajoki Townhall and the Shiraz Art Museum, Iran31 use this strategy. Big-roofed low-eaved traditional and pre-modern neo-vernacular structures, into which the Pearce and the Corneils’ four St Clair Avenue East Townhouses (1966-1967 Toronto) 32 fall, are also the strategy of choice for other architects working to extremely narrow site allowances: see Arne Jaobsen’s Soholm I (1946-1950, Klampenborg, Denmark)33 and Edward Cullinan’s Cullinan House and Kawecki Houses (respectively 1963 and 1964, both London).34

The Corneils two unrealised residential projects for Dr and E R Corneil on the Niagara Escarpment, one a two-house and bridge development of 1963-1964, and the other a single house comprised of distinct elements displaced onto a stage-like terrace (1968-1969). The earlier project proposes the two houses and garages sited to either side of a gully accessed by a platform-stage-bridge35, while the later house on another site proposes an accretive-like cluster of small similarly-materialised pavilion-like domestic components (house, office, garage, greenhouse, terrace) loosely defining domestic courtyard by an array of specific and subtle inflections. Again by a free reading of the brief, its fragmentation and a ‘methodical accommodation of circumstance’ the Corneils engage a powerful will to script and induce architectural theatricality in terms of the particularities of the site as a stage articulating specific distances and contriving specific spatial relationships in these interstices while allowing glimpsed views in a myriad of directions. It is perhaps not inconsequential that like Aalto’s own ‘experimental’ Muuratsalo36 these plans had the advantage that they could be realised over time.

The gradual folding of local Torontonian, Ontarian, Canadian, and broader North American, architectural ideas into the Corneils’ Nordic-Scandinavian tendencies can be seen to have taken form first with the 1962 Drew House and, notwithstanding the Aalto’ian wedge-shaped form with the presbytery at the thin edge, the Corneil’s Building Block Church project: (1960-1961, St Catherines, Ontario), the crate-like prefabricated sections and clerestoried Portable Church project (1961-1962, Niagara County, Ontario), and their own experimental ‘shack’ (1961-1964, nr Lindsay, Ontario) are all essays in light economical, modular and sheet- sheathed construction on point supports take their cue form ordinary local building processes. Their mantra at that

time, ‘economy of means, generosity of ends,’37 suggested that the advantages (and even the beauty) of the prefabricated, abstract, skeletal, re-combinable, convertible and multivalent object-building, Of course California, and more specifically the Los Angeles of Schindler, Neutra and Eames had been showing the way in this way of thinking for a generation. Carmen’s teaching appointment at the University of Toronto in 1966, and Elin’s at the Ontario College of Art soon after, coincided with their Expo’67 work and moving their studio from home to the massive, robust and grand scale of Terminal Warehouse’s ‘open’ framework in the (still) industrial Toronto waterfront. The architects have noted that ‘The Warehouse became part of the Philosophy’38 which coincided with a new orientation in their paedagogical and professional contacts from Helsinki and Trondheim to MIT, Delft, the AA and UCLA. Two houses projects both unrealised, the ER Corneil House (1966, nr Kingston, Ontario) and the unbuilt Armstrong Residence (1969, nr Orono, Ontario) prepare us for their (with Jeff Stinson and Schoeler Heaton) Carleton University School of Architecture Building (1970-1972, Ottawa, Ontario).39 Their most abstract works the clerestoried portable church and their shack are the text-pieces for their new conceptual and aesthetic field in which ‘open’, ‘ideal’ surveyors grid suggested the ideology of the tabula rasa for colonisation is readied for the infiling with light, portable and changeable components and Pter Prangnells ‘friendly objects’40

The Carleton school was conceptualised as enduring and rugged framework and envelope: a warehouse for architecture. Part Schindler Lovell Beach House (Long Beach, California, 1924-1925) 41 and part Hertzberger Student Dorm (1969, Amsterdam) 42 the school is skeletal, both unfinished and ruinous, neither overly-specific nor overly-general, conceptualising and aestheticising industrialised building components, processes and finishes. The realities of North American cultural values and building standards challenged and transformed the Corneils' Nordic architectural tendencies throughout the decade such that their formal inclinations drifted from Aalto’s shadow towards a structuralist-brutalist formal language while retaining the hetertopic play of the generic and consumerist product infilling the raw and ruinous framework.


1 A study, exhibition and publication based on the Canadian Architectural Archives Corneil Collection, McKimmie Library, University of Calgary was first suggested by Michael McMordie not long after the gifting of the these materials by Carmen and Elin Corneil in 1999, and so it is to him that I owe a debt of gratitude. For essential and ongoing research support, organising and lending all the images of drawings and original photographs, and the permission to use them here my sincerest thanks to Linda Fraser, the CAA Archivist. My thanks too to Canadian Architectural Archives for allowing access to unpublished text documents and to Carmen and Elin Corneil for permission to paraphrase answers to numerous questions in conversation and correspondance.
2 I have, here, the opportunity to refer only to a handful of key projects of the 1960’s.The Corneils, now based in Trondheim, Norway and in active practice, have been making buildings for almost fifty years and most of those in parallel with teaching appointments in Toronto, the United States and Norway. It is perhaps ironic that the first work which first came to them in the 70’s and therefore outside the scope of this paper is the Corneils’ biggest job and most significant competition win: the reconstruction of Vestmannaejyar, (1972-1978, off the south coast of Iceland).

3 For an essay on this phrase of Aalto’s see Stanford Anderson’ Aalto and ‘Methodical Accommodation to Circumstance,’ in Timo Tuomi, Kristiine Paatero and Eija Rauske, eds. Alvar Aalto in Seven Buildings. Helsinki, 1998. pp. 143-149.

4 For an easily accessible overview of the workings of Aalto’s office see Goran Schlldt, ‘The Practical Foundation’ in Alvar Aalto. The Mature Years. New York, 1991. esp. pp. 258-266. For Aalto’s ex-MIT students who subsequently worked in the Munkkiniemi studio in the very late 40’s and the 1950’s see Goran Schlldt, ‘Aalto at MIT’ in Alvar Aalto. The Mature Years. New York, 1991. esp. pp. 117-121 For a comparable uptake of Aalto formal language by German architects (but who did not actually ever work for Aalto) such as Ingeborg and Friedrich Spengelin,, Pentti Ahola and Dieter Langmaack Diethelm Hoffman, and Dieter Patschan, Asmus Werner and Bernhard Winking see Ulrich Hohns, ‘Learning from the Forest Apes:Alvar Aalto’s Influence on North German Architcture’, in Winfried Nerdinger, ed. Alvar Aalto. Toward a Human Moderism. Munich, London and New York, 1999. pp. 152-166.

5 For comparative analyses of these two key developments and the public space integral to the original schemes see Detlef Mertens ed., Metropolitan Mutations: The Architecture of Emerging Public Spaces (=RAIC Annual 1. Toronto., 1989. pp. 41-56, and Marc Baraness and Larry Richards, eds., Toronto Places. A Context for Urban Design. Toronto, 1992. pp. 68-71.

6 As seen in the 1959 promotional images Revell’s Toronto City Hall International Competition scheme had ultra-thin blade-like towers and highly reflective saucer-domed council chamber. These qualities were lost in the 1961-1965 realisation (with John B Parkin Associates Archiects and Engineers) ‘for reasons of cost’’ into a visually more weighty masonry-edged and thicker blunter tower forms and a more grounded podium and chamber structure: see Kyosti Alander ed., Viljo Revell- Works and Projects Bauten und Projekte. New York and Washington, 1967. pp. 82-89, also Thomas Kalman, A History of Canadian Architecture. Volume 2. Don Mills, 1994. pp. 806-808 and p. 898 notes 59-61.

7 The original 2 tower Toronto version constructed (with John B Parkin Associates Architects and Bregman and Hamann Architects) 1963-1968, is itself a compositional variation of the 1951 860 Lakeshore Drive (Chicago) Apartment Towers with detailing closely derived from the 1958 Seagram Building (for the same developers CEMP Montreal) was subsequently enlarged to a five tower project executed from 1968-1971. See Schulze Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Detlef Mertens, ed, The Presence of Mies. Princeton, 1994; . also Thomas Kalman, A History of Canadian Architecture. Volume 2. Don Mills, 1994. pp. 800-802 and p. 897 notes 47-48.

8 Revell’s competition-winning design was in fact a scheme which the architect had entered unsuccessfully on a number of competitions in the 1950’s, see Leon Whiteson and SR Gage, The Liveable City. The Architecture and Neighbourhoods of Toronto. Toronto, 1982. esp. p. 13; similarly Mies’s 3-part composition was first posited in his architecture studio in the 1950’s and first realised in the form of the Federal Centre and US Post Office Pavillion, Chicago from 1959, see Phyllis lambert, ‘Punching Through the Clouds: Notes on the Place of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in the North American Oeuvre of Mies’, in Detlef Mertens, ed, The Presence of Mies. Princeton, 1994; esp. p. 42. .

9 The CAA holds a full 10 sheet set of blueprints of Carmen Corneil’s submission to the 1954 Winnipeg City Hall Competition, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Is, in its parti, strikingly similar to Revell’s Toronto project but that it is a single, thin and undulating 10 storey curtain or screen-wall office tower and not an enclosing pair as Revell’s. Like Revell’s, Corneil’s is fully opaque to the back/west and fully glazed to the front/east in front on the podium level are fully circular council chambers; see Douglas Gilmour’s review of the competition in Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Journal 1954.

10 Corneil’s opaque West Elevation for the Winnipeg competition closely resembles Mies’s early Glass Skyscraper studies (1922), referring as they do to Gropius’s photographic collection of Western Canadian grain silos; see Detlef Mertens, ‘Mies’s Skyscraper Project: Towards a Redemption of Technical Structure’, in Detlef Mertens, ed, The Presence of Mies. Princeton, 1994; esp. pp. 54-55. Note that Corneil returned to Toronto during his 1958 grand to work, with a group around his ex-teacher the Danish-Canadian architect-professor Ants Elken, on the Toronto City Hall International Competition for which he has said his inclination was to work within the formal parameters of the historic utilitarian-commercial warehouses of the city ‘but the group submission didn’t in the end go that way’.

11 Aalto won the Wolfsburg Kulturzentrum competition in 1958 and it was realised between 1959-1963. For a conceptual analysis of the heterotopic composition of this project specifically see Demetri Porphyros, Sources of Modern Eclecticism. Studies on Alvar Aalto London, 1982. esp.. 1ff and 10f. see Karl Fleig, ed. Alvar Aalto. Band I. Zurich, 1963, pp. 258-261.and Band II. Zurich, 1971, pp. 58-69. For the Charlottetown competition see Karl Fleig, ed. Alvar Aalto. Band I. Zurich, 1963, pp. 258-261.and Band II. Zurich, 1971, pp. 58-69. See George Baird, Alvar Aalto. New York, 1971 pp. 11-14 for a Toronto-based analysis of the Aalto oeuvre. Carmen Corneil worked on the Wolfsburg production drawings during 1959 and there is an unmistakable continuity in thinking between this project and his and William J McBain’s designs for their Girl Guide Headquarters Building, Toronto 1960-1963 and their competition entry for the 1961 Fathers of Confederation Memorial Building Competition, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (the project was won by Affleck Desbarets Dimakopoulos Lebensold and Sise, Montreal; and completed 1964 as the Confederation Centre for the Arts). Note that during Carmen Corneil’s tenure at Aalto’s his colleagues were engaged in other prominent projects which can also be seen to have had an affect on Corneil’s own oeuvre, such as the Villa Louis Carree. Bazoches-sur-Guyonne (France) and the apartment buildings in Jyvaskyla and Bremen, the Enso-Gutzeit job was just coming into the office as he decided to return to Toronto.

12 The competition set up in April 1960 (coinciding with the publication of Arne Jacobsen’s design for St Catherine’s Oxford 1959-) was limited to two Vancouver offices: Ron Thom and Thompson Berwick Pratt (the eventual winner), and Arthur Erickson, and two Toronto offices John B Parkin Architects and Engineers, and Carmen Corneil. For a contemporary report of Carmen’s competition entries for both the first and second stages see ‘Massey College Projects’, Canadian Architect (December 1960) pp. 38-46 but esp 42-43. The view composed by the first stage scheme was of the University’s old playing fields across Hoskins Street to Hart House (another Massey-endowed project) and the provincial parliament buildings beyond and further still the towers of downtown. For a full account of the winning scheme as built see Douglas Shadbolt, Ron Thom. Vancouver, 1993. passim. 58-84.

13 For Aalto’s experience of and references to ancient and medieval sites and most importantly the Greek see William JR Curtis’ ‘Modernism, Nature and tradition: Aalto’s Mythical Landscapes,’ in Timo Tuomi, Kristine Paatero and Eija Rauske, eds. Alvar Aalto in Seven Buildings. Helsinki, 1998. pp. 130-141.14 see Nicholas Hughes, Grant Lewison and Tom Wesley, eds., Cambridge New Architecture. Saffron Walden, 1964. pp. 28-29.
15 For brief contemporary reports see: ‘Girl Guides Headquarters Building, Toronto’, Canadian Architect Volume 7 (September 1962), pp. 45-48; ‘Girl Guides of Canada’, Canadian Art (July 1963); ‘Girl Guides HQ, Toronto’, Architectural Design (September 1963) pp.333-335; for re-drawn plans, sections and elevations see O Kanada [exhibition catalogue] Berlin, 1982. p. 202 and ‘Architecture Building Carleton University’ p. 213; ‘Girl Guides of Canada’, Werk (1963) pp. 42-43. For a distinguished critic’s assessment that the Guides building was ‘the outstanding building of the [Massey Medal] show’ saying ‘I predict that its influence on local architecture will be considerable’ see Eric Arthur, ‘Architecture as a Purely Lyrical Thing,’ Canadian Architect Vol 20 (July 1963) pp. 2380240; see also Carmen and Elin Corneil, Storm Windows 1986. (an unpublished guide to the travelling exhibition Storm Windows.esp. Panel 8.

16 Indeed both of Corneil’s first published works done in partnership with McBain show Corneil’s distinctive influence: the Bradford school was done as William J McBain & Associates for which see ‘Bradford District High School, Ontario’, Canadian Architect Volume 6 (September 1961; for the Cooksville library done as as McBain & Corneil Associate Architects, see ‘The Township of Toronto Public Library, Cooksville, Ontario’, Canadian Architect Volume 9 (July 1964), pp. 53-56; and ‘Township of Toronto Central Library, Cooksville, Ontario’, Architecture Canada Volume 41 (November 1964), p.62; The 1964 Massey Medals for Architecture. Ottawa, 1964. p. 62.

17 For Demetri Porphyrios’s convincing heterotopic analysis of Aalto’s oeuvre see his first chapter in Sources of Modern Eclecticism. Studies on Alvar Aalto. London,1982. I have explored the theatricality of the Corneils' architecture as processa nd product and the connection with their interest in an anthropological reading of games through characterisation, role-playing and performance in a paper delivered to the Twenty-Second Congress of The Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, Universite de Laval, Quebec, 9 June 2001.18 For the Jyvaskyla Worker’s Club see Andreas Papadakis ed., Alvar Aalto (Architectural Monographs) London, 1979. pp. 28-29, and Goran Schildt. Alvar Aalto the Early Years. New York, 1994. esp. 270,; for the main foyer to auditorium and division lecture hall, Finnish Technical Institute, Otaniemi see Papadakis, Aalto 1979. pp. 85-289, and Fleig, Aalto. Band I. 1963, pp. 204-207.and Band II, 1971, pp. 186-201.; for the Wolfsburg Kulturzentrum see Fleig, Aalto. Band II. 1971, pp. 58-69, also Reinhard Roseneck, ‘Alvar Aalto in Wolfsburg’, in Winfried Nerdinger, ed. Alvar Aalto. Toward a Human Moderism. Munich, London and New York, 1999. esp. 142-147; for the Seinajoki Townhall see Fleig, Aalto. Band II. 1971, pp. 50-53.
19 For the National Pensions Institute see Papadakis, Aalto 1979. pp. 81-84, and Fleig, Aalto. 1963, pp. 176-187, also Timo Tuomi,, ‘The National Pensions Institute’ in Timo Tuomi, Kristiine Paatero and Eija Rauske, eds. Alvar Aalto in Seven Buildings. Helsinki, 1998. pp. 80-95.

20 see Fleig, Aalto. 1963, pp. 218-229, also Kristiine Paatero, ‘Vuoksenniska Church’ in Timo Tuomi, Kristiine Paatero and Eija Rauske, eds. Alvar Aalto in Seven Buildings. Helsinki, 1998. pp. 113-127..21 See John Orrell, The Theatres of Inigo Jones and John Webb. Cambridge, 1985. pp. 34-35 for Daniels’ Tethys’ Festival Whitehall circa 1610. Consider also the telescoping 1/4 cylindrical stair-door in that most transformative of houses, Pierre Charreau’s Maison de Verre (Paris 1923-1926)

, for which see Yukio Futagawa and Fernando Montes, Pierre Charreau with Bernard Bijvoet Maison Dalsace (“Masion de Verre”). (Global Architecture) Tokyo, 1977. esp. p. 18; also Brian Brice Taylor. Pierre Charreau. Designer and Architect. Koln, 1992 esp. p. 116. Note also that the Saint David’s screens have later echos in the Corneils’ mid-70’s memorial--bandshells for Vestmannaeyjar and Reykjavik.

22 For the Vogelwiedplatz Sport and Concert Centre, Vienna project see Fleig, Aalto. Band I. 1963, pp. 146-151, and also Friedrich Achtleitner, ‘Alvar Aalto in Vienna’ in Winfried Nerdinger, ed. Alvar Aalto. Toward a Human Moderism. Munich, London and New York, 1999, pp. 105-112; for the House of Culture see Fleig, Aalto. Band II. 1971, pp. 50-53.23 Elin’s 1962 graduation thesis project was for a Canadian Embassy, Oslo and together their ‘U’-shaped terraced site-plan for the Father’s of Confederation Memorial Building Competition 1963, show them operating in a comparable sub-Aalto vein.
24 The CAA Corneil Collection holds documents related to ten houses dated in the 1960’s not including the modest additions and interior work: Holt House, Drew House, Pearce House, Caccia House, three house projects for ER Corneil Wieland House, the Direct Investment townhouses, and the Armstrong House,

25 For the architects brief contemporary description, plans and photographs see: ‘Drew Residence, Port Perry, Ont.’, Canadian Architect Vol. 13 (April 1968), pp. 50-51; see also Carmen and Elin Corneil, Storm Windows 1986. (an unpublished guide to the travelling exhibition Storm Windows.esp. Panel 10. It is instructive to recall here that Aalto’s first plan for the Gullichsen’s villa commission was very compact for what was eventually to be the sprawling Villa Mairea, see Demetri Porphyros, Sources of Modern Eclecticism. Studies on Alvar Aalto London, 1982. esp.. 36-39.

26 For a brief contemporary report see: ‘Nick Pierce Residence’, Canadian Architect Yearbook 1966 , p. 96; see also Carmen and Elin Corneil, Storm Windows 1986. (an unpublished guide to the travelling exhibition Storm Windows.esp. Panel 9.

27 For Repton’s arguments addressed to the Earl of Hardwicke for the inhabitation of Sanderson Miller’s 18th century medieval park folliy at the end of the main axis of the great park Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire see Humphrey Repton, Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening. London, 1816..

28 George Baird, Alvar Aalto. New York,, 1971. pp. ??.29 These clearings are indicated on the published ground plan as three different -sized overlapping circles. The correspondance between interior domestic spaces to specific terraces and specific views is a significant aspect of Flieg’s description of Aalto’s Villa Carre which was in the office at the time Corneil worked on the Wolfsburg job: see Flieg, Aalto. Band I. Zurich, 1963. Pp. 236-247.
30 For Serlio’s three prospetti scenico: tragic, comic and satiric see Sebastiano Serlio, The Five Books of Architecture. [reprint] New York, 1982. Third Chapter Folios 25 and 26.

31 For Aalto’s Shiraz project see Flieg, Aalto. Band II, 1971. pp. 144-151.

32 James Purdie, ‘St Clair Avenue Townhouses’, Toronto Life (September 1968) pp. 66-67.

33 See Carsten Thau and Kjeld Vindum, Arne Jacobsen. Copenhagen, 1998.:for Soholm I pp. 340-347; for St Catherine’s College pp. 482-499. Aalto’s sketch sections of the Maison Carre indicate the referential importance to that work with respect to the subdivision of spaces under a long mono-pitch roof.34 See Edward cullinan Architects, Edward Cullinan Architects. London, 1984. esp. pp 16-19 and 24-25.35 For the domestic bridge crossing a natural gully before a house as a composition device in 20
th century houses one can refer to Sir Edwin Lutyens’s oak foot bridge for Plumpton Place, Sussex 1928 for which see AGS Butler, The Architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens The Lutyens Memorial. Volume I Country-Houses London, 1950 p. 60 and photograph 266; for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kaufmann House Bear Run, Pennsylvannia, 1935 see Donald Hoffman, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.. The House and its History. New York, 1978. esp. pp. 31-33 and photographs 25 and 26.36 For Aalto’s Muuratsalo Summerhouse see Flieg, Aalto. Band I, 1963. pp. 200-203.
37 Quotation from unpublished paste-up presentation on their shack for a presentation to Glassco from the CCA Corneil Collection.

38 Quotation from the ‘Us and Jane’ section of the unpublished typescript ‘Rough Guide to the Projects’ from the CCA Corneil Collection.

39 For an lengthy contemporary discussion on the curriculum and building brief by Douglas Shadbolt, an architects’ report by Jeff Stinson and a critique by Ron Thom see ‘School of Architecture Building Carleton University, Ottawa’, Canadian Architect (August 1973) pp. 24-44; see also O Kanada [exhibition catalogue] Berlin, 1982. ‘Architecture Building Carleton University’ p. 213, and Carmen and Elin Corneil, Storm Windows 1986. (an unpublished guide to the travelling exhibition Storm Windows.esp. Panel 5.

40 For Prangnell’s’ ‘Friendly Objects’ and ideas concerning 'support-fill–action'see Canadian Architect Vol. ?? (??,1973), pp. ??.
41 For Rudolph Schindler’s’ Beach House for Dr Phillip Lovell see David Gebhardt, Schindler. London, 1971. esp. pp. 82-90.

42 For Hermann Hetzberger’s Student Dormitory Building, Amsterdam see Herman Hertzberger ?? Amsterdam, 19?? esp pp. ??.43Notwithstanding this substantial-change in the Corneils’ formal language at this time they continued to insist on an architecture of continuity between the 'banal places of reappearance' of daily life (home, office, school) and possible ‘sites of theatricality’ that is, those spaces which are naturally and regularly shared, traversed, animated and thereby inspected by the public gaze. Views, especially interior views, are orchestrated and dramatised, enclosure and staging judiciously applied and spaces opened and framed, and as enigmatic objects their buildings and building elements invite performative interpretations.

Download 124.75 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2022
send message

    Main page