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议会建筑创新会让民主政治变好吗?

更新时间:2016-11-4 10:28:01 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What’s Wrong With Politics? Let’s Start With the Benches
议会建筑创新会让民主政治变好吗?

It’s ironic, really. Citizens have never been more distrustful of government, yet to alter certain sacred spaces would be considered sacrilege. We wouldn’t dare tamper with the chambers of Capitol Hill, for example … but what if we did?

真是讽刺。公民从未对政府产生过如此强烈的不信任,然而要想对某些神圣的空间做出改变,又会被视为一种亵渎。比方说,我们不敢对国会山的议事厅妄加改动……但如果真这么干又会怎样呢?

The form of just about every other institutional building type has evolved noticeably.

其他所有公共机构的建筑几乎都经过了显著的演变。

Even hospitals, the most complex of building types with perhaps the most constraints on design, code and form, are experimenting with human-centered alternatives.

医院堪称最复杂的建筑类型之一,可能在设计、规范和形式方面有着最多的限制,现在它也在向着更关注人性化的形式转变。

Of course, not all schools, corporations and hospitals have undergone these sorts of transformations. (And the need for improving the environments for low- and middle-income students, workers and patients is fodder for several more articles.) But the fact that many of these institutions have shown a willingness to ask how their spaces can be more efficient, pleasant and sustainable, suggests an openness to change — a recognition that as practices and processes evolve, the spaces they take place within might need to evolve, too.

当然,并不是所有学校、公司和医院都经历过这类改造(还有更多文章关注为中低收入学生、工人与病人改善环境的需求)。但是,很多类似公共机构都表现出意愿,希望探讨自己的空间应当如何变得更加高效、舒适、可持续,这意味着变化的广阔前景——人们意识到,随着实践与进程的演变,事件发生的空间或许也需要随之演变才对。

Then there’s government, specifically legislative buildings, the spaces where politics take shape — say, the House of Commons or the Capitol or the United Nations.

然后还有政府,特别是立法机构的建筑,政治活动成型的空间——比如说,下议院、国会大厦、联合国。

The architecture of political congregation is not only an abstract expression of a political culture, it also shapes that culture. In such a tumultuous period, shouldn’t we be questioning whether these spaces are working? Yes, there are far graver issues to consider about our political process, but perhaps the physical spaces of politics provide a well-defined place within which we can start tackling the system’s shortcomings.

政治集会建筑不仅是政治文化的抽象概括表现,它也塑造着政治文化。在这样一个动荡的时期,我们难道不该质问吗,这些空间究竟还能不能发挥作用?是的,关于我们的政治进程,还有各种严峻得多的问题有待考量,但或许政治活动所发生的物质空间也为我们提供了一个拥有明确定义的场所,我们可以从这里出发,处理这个系统的缺陷。

In their new book, “Parliament,” the partners in XML, a creative agency in Amsterdam focusing on architecture, urbanism and research, compared 193 different legislative buildings. Despite major differences among countries and cultures, the authors were able to sort the design of parliamentary structures into five typologies: the opposing benches, derived from the medieval royal court; the neo-Classicist semicircle of 19th-century European nation-states; the horseshoe, a hybrid of the previous two; the circle (rarest of all); and the classroom (commonly found in authoritarian countries).

XML是阿姆斯特丹一家关注建筑、城市化与相关研究的创意机构,公司的合伙人们在他们的新作《议会》(Parliament)一书中研究、对比了193座不同的立法机构建筑。尽管不同国家与文化之间千差万别,作者们还是把议会建筑设计分成了五个类型:源自中世纪宫廷的面对面型议员席;源自19世纪欧洲民族国家的新古典式半圆型议员席;以上两者混合的U型议员席、环形议员席(最罕见);以及教室型议员席(多见于专制国家)。

This relative homogeneity, the architects observe, suggests a systematic lack of innovation. The three dominant typologies (opposing benches, classroom and semicircle) were developed for the most part between 1800 and 1850, and remain mostly unchanged. The XML principal David Mulder (one of the authors, with Max Cohen de Lara, of “Parliament”), said in our recent interview:, “They are fixed in time. That’s crazy. The world has changed enormously.”

建筑师们认为,这种相对的同质性反映出系统性的缺乏革新。三种主要类型(面对面型、教室型和半圆型)主要都是在1800年到1850年之间发展起来的,之后就基本没有发生过变化。XML的负责人大卫·马尔德(David Mulder,《议会》作者之一,另一位是马克斯·科恩·德拉拉[Max Cohen de Lara]),近期接受我们的采访时说:“它们完全没有随时间而改变。这真是不正常。这个世界已经发生了那么大的变化。”

Today’s legislative buildings are responding to that change from a context that, in the case of the British Parliament, dates from 1215 when Magna Carta formalized an agreement between the king and his subordinates. The “opposing benches” typology emerged from this; early meetings took place in the nave of St. Stephen’s Chapel, creating the archetype of two long oppositional rows.

研究今日的立法机构建筑需要应对的变化,也要了解它们的历史背景。以英国议会来说,它的历史可以追溯到1215年,当时《自由大宪章》把国王与臣民之间的协议正式确立下来。“面对面型议员席”就是在这种背景下产生的;英国议会的早期会议在圣史蒂芬礼拜堂(St. Stephen’s Chapel)的正厅举行,为这种长长两排面对面的席位创造了原型。

These typologies persist in an inward orientation despite the huge changes in governing, from the emergence of global convenings and agreements to the hyperlocal decision making seen at the grass roots level. Voting can be done by machine. Developments in mass media from radio to Twitter have extended and transformed the space of politics outward. Yet in the room where it happens (to steal one of Aaron Burr’s lines from “Hamilton”), the process and physical space remain frozen in time.

这种类型固守一种向内的态度,完全不顾政治治理领域已经发生了巨变——从全球集会与协议的出现,到可见于草根阶层的超本地化决策,不一而足。投票可以通过机器进行。从广播到Twitter,大众媒体的发展已经延伸并改造了政治空间,令其向外发展。然而“在事情所发生的房间”(借用一句亚伦·伯尔[Aaron Burr]在音乐剧《汉密尔顿》[Hamilton]里的台词),它的进程与物质空间却依然冻结在时光之中,保持着历史的原貌。

Could architecture help shift parliamentary politics into a new era? Mr. Mulder points out that opportunity for change may be imminent: Because so many Parliament buildings were constructed around the same time, they tend to go through similar renovation cycles. In Europe alone, the buildings in Austria, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Norway are all due for an update. Usually governments incline to preservation and restoration, but this time around a few are revealing an openness to change.

建筑能够帮助议会政治进入新时代吗?马尔德指出,改变的机会近在眼前:因为许多议会建筑都是在同一个时期兴建的,它们往往有着类似的翻修周期。仅在欧洲,奥地利、英国、法国、荷兰与挪威的议会建筑都已经需要翻新了。通常,政府都倾向于在维持原状的基础上进行修复,但这一次,有几个国家已经表现出对于变化的开放心态。

The architecture firm Gensler has drawn up plans for Project Poseidon, a floating modular building on the Thames to house Parliament while its meeting place, the Palace of Westminster, is being refurbished (expected around 2020) — an idea that it claims could save British taxpayers more than $2.3 billion over plans to move the body into separate, existing buildings elsewhere. The red and green benches in the Commons and the Lords would be relocated to the temporary building but would be housed under a dramatic glass ceiling.

晋思(Gensler)建筑事务所为英国议会提供了“波塞冬方案”(Project Poseidon),它是一个漂浮在泰晤士河上的模块型建筑,议会所在地威斯敏斯特宫翻修期间(预计在2020年前后完工),议会便在这里召开会议。公司称,与其把议会挪到已有的几座分开的建筑中,采用他们的方案可以节约英国纳税人23亿美元。上议院的红色席位与下议院的绿色席位会被重新安放进这栋临时建筑里,但议员们头上却是戏剧化的玻璃天花板。

“The Palace of Westminster is one of the most important symbols of democracy in the world,” said Ian Mulcahey, Gensler’s managing director. “We thought, ‘Why not create a temporary Parliament on the river and give a sense of continuity for the government, rather than having one house in a bunker somewhere and another in a courtyard somewhere else?’” The Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has said the idea “should be looked at.” (Nine firms have submitted bids for the palace renovation; a decision will be made by the end of the year.)

“威斯敏斯特宫是世界上最重要的民主象征之一,”晋思董事总经理伊恩·马尔卡赫(Ian Mulcahey)说。“我们想,‘为什么不在河面上造一座临时议会,为政府带来一种延续性呢,这不是比把一个议会搬到什么堡垒里的房间,另一个议会搬到什么庭院里要好吗?’”工党领袖杰里米·科尔宾(Jeremy Corbyn)说,这个方案“值得一看”(目前一共有九家公司投标宫殿翻修方案;决定将在今年年底做出。)

George Ferguson, the mayor of Bristol, goes even further: His idea is to move Parliament to his city, in part to provoke debate around the growing economic and social disparity between London and the rest of Britain. In response, the London-based Studio Egret West envisions a temporary building designed to promote greater accountability, transparency and connection between politicians and people.

布里斯托尔市市长乔治·弗格森(George Ferguson)走得更远:他的意见是,把议会搬到布里斯托尔市来,部分原因是为了激发人们就增长的经济,以及伦敦和英国其他地方之间的巨大社会差异做出讨论。作为回应,伦敦的艾格雷特·韦斯特工作室(Studio Egret West)构想出一座临时建筑,是为了增进政府的问责可靠性和透明度,以及政治人士与民众的联系。

Moving the seat of government into a new city is certainly a way to shake up the structures of power. The rotating presidency of the European Union — the member states take six-month turns as president of the European Council — provides near continuous opportunity.

将政府迁移到一座新的城市,肯定是改变权力建筑的一种途径。欧盟的主席轮换制——欧洲理事会主席由成员国轮流担任,每六个月轮换一次——为这种改变提供了近乎无穷无尽的机会。

XML and Jurgen Bey were commissioned to design four spaces for the European Council in Brussels for the Dutch presidency in the first half of 2016. For the meeting hall, they created an informal space from 28 blue-gray interlocking furniture pieces representing the European Union’s 28 members, echoing the body’s motto of “united in diversity.” At the end of the presidency, each of the 28 members was presented with one of the unique pieces of furniture.

2016年上半年由荷兰轮值出任主席,XML与于尔根·贝(Jurgen Bey)受托为他们在布鲁塞尔的欧洲理事会内设计四处空间。他们用28件蓝灰色的,可以环环相扣的家具部件组成了一处非正式空间作为会议厅,28个部件象征着欧盟的28个成员国,也呼应了欧盟的格言“多元一体”。等到主席任期结束,28个各不相同的部件会分别赠送给各国。

“We combined two archetypes,” Mr. Mulder said. “The opposing benches and the semicircle combined in one space. The space that resulted is one in which people literally have to position themselves: Where you sit is where you stand.”

“我们把两种原型结合起来,”马尔德说。“我们把面对面型议员席和半圆型议员席放在同一个空间之内。在这个空间里,人们的确需要自行选择自己的位置和立场:你坐在什么地方就代表你支持哪一方。”

XML pushed these ideas even further with the installation of a European water bar in the main lobby of the Council building. The bar offered 28 water bottles, each filled with water originating from one of the member states. Which country’s water would the leaders choose? Their own, their allies’, their antagonists’? This symbolic choice, the architects suggest, contributes to a dialogue about differences between countries and shared identity. Why would you prefer water from your own country? What do you do if the bottle with water from your country is empty? (I am imagining how this might play out in the United States in light of the news about the poisoning of water in Flint, Mich.)

XML甚至把这些理念推广到欧洲理事会大厦主厅内的一座象征欧洲的水吧中。这个水吧有28种水瓶,每个瓶子里都装着来自一个成员国的水。欧盟领袖们会选择哪个国家的水呢?本国的、盟国的,还是敌国的?建筑师们说,这种象征性的选择能促进就不同国家之间的区别和共享的身份认同展开对话。我们为什么更喜欢来自本国的水?如果你的国家的水瓶空了,你会怎么做?(我听了以后不禁联想起密歇根州弗林特市水污染的新闻,想象了一下这个创意如果在美国会有怎样的效果。)

The European Council’s building is where the political leaders of the 28 member states make decisions affecting the lives of 500 million Europeans. “Paradoxically,” Mr. Mulder said, “the building is not open to the public. This is why our design connects the administrative reality inside with the reality of Europe outside of its walls.”

欧洲理事会大厦是28个成员国的政治领袖做出影响5亿欧盟人民生活的地方。“自相矛盾的是,”马尔德说,“这栋建筑是不对公众开放的。所以我们的设计要在这座大厦的墙壁之内,把内部的行政管理现实与外面整个欧洲的现实联系起来。”

XML’s experimentation presented a series of spirited explorations into the way architecture can shape political culture. This project was part of a larger Dutch initiative, Europe by People, that turned the brief Dutch presidency into a series of creative experiments in participatory democracy.

XML的实验象征着一系列建筑塑造政治文化的热情探索。这个项目属于一个名为“人民治理欧洲”(Europe by People)的大型动议,它把荷兰的欧洲理事会主席的短暂任期变成了一系列参与式民主制的创造性实验。

Can other countries follow the creative lead of the Netherlands? I hope so. An effort like XML’s shows how playing with the architecture upends stability and routine — and might just change the status quo.

其他国家能否效仿荷兰充满创意的榜样?希望如此。XML的这类努力表明了如何使用建筑来颠覆稳定与常规——这样或许真的能够改变现状呢。

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