International Competitions in Architecture
A HOUSE FOR FAUST
“There are two mountains, wrote Paul Klee. The mountain of the animals, they who do not know they do not know and the mountain of the gods, they who know they know. Between these two mountains there is the crepuscular valley of men, they who know they do not know.” Here lives, woks and plays, Faust. And together with him, all of us.
But who is Faust?
It might be that he is the quintessential man, the one who struggles, the one who arrives, at the very end, at these words of wisdom: “He alone deserves liberty, like life, who daily must win it.”
We ask you to envision A House for Faust. And through such a house, to ask (and perhaps answer) the following questions:
What is the relationship between knowledge and doing?
What is the relationship between knowledge and passion?
What is the relationship between knowledge and self-knowledge?
What is the relationship between knowledge and wisdom?
And, finally, what is the correct relationship between the three essential verbs mentioned by Jean Paul Sartre: to be, to do and to have…?
Perhaps these very questions animated Faust’s mind and soul, and through him, Goethe’s.
Faust can be seen as the Homo Europeus par excellence. But, more importantly, he can, and must be seen, we think, as Homo Universalis.
It is for this struggling Homo Universalis that we ask you to envision a house, a house that expresses, as intimately as possible, Faust’s existential adventures, and together with his, our own. If indeed a house is, or should be, as Le Corbusier said, “the temple of man,” then a House for Faust should be seen as “the temple” of our own essence.
While excessive anthropocentrism could be quite dangerous, especially today, contemplating the “great questions” again might be quite beneficial. In a way, Goethe, through his Faust, encounters Gauguin, with his eternally meaningful questioning: “Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?”
Please send us any work, in any size or any format that asks these questions, and envisions possible, but not arrogant, answers. Immerse the Homunculus in the works of The Great Mothers and proclaim, together with Goethe:
“All that shall pass away is but reflection.
All insufficiency here finds perfection.
All that’s mysterious here finds the day.
Woman in all of us shows us the way.”
This event is organized in conjunction with the many other cultural events that take place in Sibiu, Cultural Capital of Europe in 2007, together with Luxembourg. The opening of the exhibition A House for Faust will take place approximately at the same time when the play Faust, directed by the great Romanian theatre director Silviu Purcarete will take place, inside a giant industrial structure. The two events will be coordinated, so theatre and architecture will complement each other, richly. It is to be expected that a book will be published with all the works received. This event is organized by The Romanian Order of Architects, the Romanian architectural magazine Architext and Icarch Architecture Gallery, Chicago, USA.