De- and re-stratification of the urban tissue: Peter Eisenman’s cities of Artificial Excavation projects

  • Željka Pješivac Novi Sad, Serbia
Keywords: stratification, destratification, restratification, Eisenman’s Cities of Artificial Excavation projects


The study investigates the concepts of stratification, destratification and restratification of the urban tissue in Peter Eisenman’s Cities of Artificial Excavation projects. The main thesis of the study is that Eisenman’s Cities of Artificial Excavation performs a transgression of the three fictions on which classical and modern architecture were based by introducing narrative layers of non-classical fiction using strategies of relative destratification, that is, strategies of destratification and associated restratification of the urban tissue. This is a specific type of narrative de- and re- stratification based on a process, that is, on the concept of the disjunctive synthesis of real and imaginary or artificial narratives, which brings into question the traditional concept of (narrative) stratification, the concept of origin, the question of the beginning and end of a narrative line, and the question of true and rational, namely, the traditional line of influences of layers of the past on the layers of the present and potential future. For Eisenman, the layers of the present and potential future do not have to be based on the influences of fixed and unchangeable, a priori layers of the past. On the contrary, they have the potential to change the structure, meaning and significance of the layers of the past. In a wider context, this approach is related to poststructuralist perspectives that aim to break down the established mental structures of thinking and design and provoke different approaches to architectural and urban design, that is, different physical experiences, and the meaning and significance of the built environment.


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Original Scientific Paper