The Phallic School of Architecture
“A monstrous carbuncle...I like!”
“There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste...unless it's a huge COCK!”
The Phallic School of Architecture was founded in 1917 by Walter Gropus in Weimar, Germany. In spite of its name, and the fact that its founder was an architect, the Phallic School did not have an architecture department for the first seven years of its existence, the students preferring to spend time drinking cheap German beer and making comments regarding the barmaid's breasts. From its humble beginnings the style grew quickly into a major architectural movement. Not since the crazy days of De Stijl had an architectural style caught the general public's imagination, and it remains popular to this day.
As with other architectural modes the defining morphological characteristics are focused on terms of form, techniques and materials. Also looking like a giant penis. Proponents of the technique used within the Phallic School of Architecture base their structural and aesthetic considerations on the overriding precept that within architectural design "form follows function. And looks like a giant penis."
Many view the work and influence of the school to be a direct reaction to concerns over the complexity of buildings (in terms of aspects such as structural systems, services, energy and technologies), which in the latter half of the 20th Century saw architecture begin to become more multi-disciplinary than ever before. Others simply consider that its just an excuse to make the top of buildings look like a huge pair of tits.
The Phallic School is well known for taking older forms of building and utilising them in new and modern ways. One such technique favoured amongst proponents of the architectural style is the use of the Flying Buttress, a common feature during the late Romanesque and Gothic period. French master builder Villard de Honnecunt utilised the Flying Buttress throughout his work on the famous Cathedral of Reams.
The Importance of Size and Form
During the evolution of the movement protagonists have debated the relative qualities which constitute outstanding Phallic Architecture. Some have argued that only large magnificent structures truly satisfy whereas supporters of minimalistic designs have claimed that correct placement and application of method is more important. For a short time several designs with knobbly and ridge like effects became popular, although it is now generally accepted that smooth edges provide a more authentic feel.
Prominent Dutch/American architect and artist Don Van Vliet favoured a number of key elements in his work, notably that buildings should be "bulbous, also tapered", a feature demonstrated in much of the Phallic Schools work.
Many of the techniques that would later become the bed
roomrock of the Phallic School's work can be found in much older works. Nelson's Erection in Trafalgar Square, London went up in the early part of the 19th Century but can be seen to share many of the fundamental elements that define the work of the Phallic School. Sir Christopher Wren, in designing the twin domes of St Nork's Cathedral, stated in his diary "verily, I do desire that those majestic domes hang heavily against the sky, the white marble set off with the rosy pink nipples of sandstone atop".
The Phallic School itself has always claimed to be a continuation of a style whose roots go back to that of our distant ancestors, erecting monoliths and menhirs on the plains of Europe. They point to the great obelisk of dark granite Cleopatra's Needle (named after the Egyptian Queen's favourite sex toy, a wedding gift from Marc Antony) standing stiff and proud on the embankment in London, or the hugely symbolic Washington Monument and of what it means to and about the people of the USA.
An extensive list of the works of the Phallic School is available here. More notable examples of the style include the following:
- Ypsilanti Water Tower - Michigan, USA
- Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower - New York, USA
- Big Ben - London, England
- La Belle End - Paris, France
- Torre Agbar - Barcelona, Spain
- Askew's Erection - Florida State Capitol, USA
- Hornblower's Shaft - London, England
A number of modern Phallic School Architects have won the Prikzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as "the Nobel Prize of Architecture" despite the rise in popularity of other architectural styles in recent years. The Avant-Garde Movement has gained a number of supporters within the planning department of many major cities, whilst the Randomly Throwing Things Around Like An Epileptic Using Lego School of Architecture has continued to make inroads in many metropolitan areas, despite their inability to look like anything, let alone a penis. In recent years the Phallic School has also faced stiff competition from the Neo-Genital Movement.
In an interview in 2007 reknown'd Art Historian and all-round thinking man's person Oscar Wilde described the Phallic School as "the embodiment of all that is great about the human mind, the constant striving for betterment, the endless seeking to create a thing purely for the beauty of it and the joy it brings. To see the morning sun coming over the twin ivory orbs of the Taj Mahal, Brighton is one of the most uplifting sights to behold, so it is."