Paris (France) 5 January 1961
The aim of Team 10
At the end of 1960 the old guard of CIAM — Giedion, Gropius, Sert and Tyrwhitt – sent out a public letter expressing their dissatisfaction about the way CIAM had come to an end and the direction chosen by Team 10. The letter was co-signed by Le Corbusier. To formulate a quick response the ‘inner circle’ of Team 10 met in January 1961 in Paris, and shortly after in July in London. They reached agreement about a ‘group structure’ and a short declaration was also drawn up:
Those who have prepared the 10th C.I.A.M. congress in 1956 at Dubrovnik and have given an essential contribution to the Otterlo-meeting in 1959 (Team X) have arranged a meeting at Bagnols-sur-Cèze in 1960 and are now together in Paris.
1. That they have to prepare a publication about their thinking on the actual situation in architecture and urbanism,
2. That they like to work individually and collectively at the same project to clarify their thinking.
3. They think it very useful that the results of their work can be confronted with similar work of other individuals or groups.
4. For such confrontations it is possible to have a simple centre of communication. For such aims is available the B.P.H. (Post Box for the development of the Habitat) which was created for this purpose at Otterlo in 1959.
5. This means that for this task the organisation called C.I.A.M. is not necessary for Team X. Nevertheless Team X who participated in the postwar C.I.A.M.-congresses express their gratitude to those who maintained that platform.
Those of Team X who are in Paris:
Woods, Voelcker, Smithsons, Josic, Van Eyck, Candilis, Bakema.
The publication mentioned in point 1 was the Team 10 Primer, which was compiled
by Alison Smithson and published a year later as a special issue of Architectural
Design. She distributed a preliminary version for discussion to those present
at the London meeting. This was a substantial A3-format volume and contained
a collage of the submitted contributions, articles published earlier, statements
and illustrations. A second short statement, the ‘Aim of Team X’,
was discussed in London and included in the Primer as an introduction. The statement
spoke of a new start, ‘concerned with inducing, as it were into the bloodstream
of the architect, an understanding and feeling for the patterns, the aspirations,
the artifacts, the tools, the modes of transportation, and communications of
present day society, so that he can as a natural thing build towards that societies-realisations-of-itself.’
To this end, Team 10 aims to invent a ‘working-together-technique’.
The goal is to arrive at ‘meaningful groupings of buildings, where each
building is a live thing and a natural extension of the others. Together they
will make places where a man can realize what he wishes to be.’ The signatories
to this statement, Alison and Peter Smithson, Candilis, Woods, Josic, Erskine,
Bakema and Van Eyck, describe Team 10 as ‘utopian about the present’.
The following conclusions were drawn about the group structure: Candilis and Peter Smithson were to be ‘responsible’, Bakema was the ‘coordinator’ and Erskine, Van Eyck, Grung, Voelcker, Woods, Alison Smithson and Soltan were to be ‘participants’.
A number of plans were also discussed at the meeting in London. Designs by Candilis-Josic-Woods for Caen Hérouville and Toulouse-Le Mirail were discussed, as well as Hamburg Steilshoop. Bakema, the Smithsons, and Candilis-Josic-Woods had all entered this competition for a large urban expansion scheme.
Dirk van den Heuvel
Team 10 members present
organized by Candilis
Aldo van Eyck