On the occasion of J. S. Bach’s 325th birthday (31st of March 2010) we are pleased to announce the following international architectural competition:
A HOUSE FOR J. S. BACH
We are sure no architecture school in the world would ask its students to have their projects inscribed, at the beginning, with the initials “J.J.” and at the end, with the initials “S.D.G.”
Nor is there any contract document, today, that starts and ends similarly.
Yet, perhaps they should.
Both of them.
After all, this is how Bach inscribed his musical compositions. J.J. stands for “Jesu Juva” (Jesus, help me!), while S.D.G. stands for “Soli Deo Gloria” (Glory to God alone!)
But we live in “liberated” times, when, according to the scientist (Einstein included), God does not exist.
Fortunately, we do have some artists, very few indeed, mere “dinosaurs” like Ingmar Bergman, for example, who used the very same inscription, sometimes, at the end of his scripts: S.D.G. – For the glory of God!
Let us make an experiment!
Let’s try to celebrate 325 years since Bach’s birthday and 260 years since his death through the attempt to conceive A HOUSE FOR J. S. BACH, as inspired and inspiring as his own music!
We think no other musician is so close to architecture, potentially, as Johann Sebastian Bach. His name was also invoked in the recent work by Zaha Hadid, a good work, but one that we do not truly think is specifically connected with, or inspired by, Bach’s music. Her work, while brilliant, could have served other references as well, none better, perhaps, than her own very name… since, as someone said, there is more “Zaha” in this work, than “Bach…” Nevertheless, it is a good work and we must applaud it as such.
But to return to Johann Sebastian Bach…
We invite you now to a “BACH Charette,” between March 31st, 2010 (Bach’s birth) and July 28th (Bach’s death).
Louis Kahn wrote:
Spirit in will to express
can make the great sun seem small
The sun is
Thus the Universe
Did we need Bach
Thus music is
Did we need Boullee
Did we need Ledoux
Thus architecture is
Let us see if we cannot replace, above, the names of the two neoclassical French architects, with our own names.
Let’s pray that our God (not necessarily the one whose initial is “J”) will be auspicious and that at the end of our work / project, we could proudly and humbly at the same time inscribe, the way Bach and Bergman did, S.D.G.: To God alone the Glory!
“The aim and final reason of all music,“ Bach said, “should be none else but the glory of God.”
Perhaps, one day, we will be able to say again the very same thing about architecture.
Please send us ANY work, ANY size and ANY format that responds to the theme to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will publish all the works received on our website, http://www.icarch.net. We also plan to have a traveling exhibition with all the works received. There is an entry fee of 30E (15E for students) payable through the registration section of our website. This fee entitles you to enter another competition that we launch, without paying another fee. The competitors whose work will receive a merit award will be invited to participate in tow other competitions, without paying an entry fee, while the first prize winners, three times. This is one way in which we hope to be able to encourage and promote creativity in architecture, which is the true aim of what we do. The deadline for registration is June 28th, 2010. The deadline for submitting your work is July 28th, 2010. For additional information or any other questions, please be kind and contact us.