Working Within The Traditions Of A Building Culture

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Show simple item record Powell, David 2012-05-19T18:08:49Z 2012-05-19T18:08:49Z 2012-05-19
dc.description *Please download the PDF file to view this document. URI not working. en_US
dc.description.abstract What are the potentials of an architecture that strives for an earnest and truthful expression? What relationship do architecture and language share? What is the line between the physical and the metaphysical? This thesis is a pursuit into the metaphysical realm, but such an attempt may only be successful if it begins with an attentive fidelity to our shared physical reality. For architectural purposes, this primarily refers to site, material, and method. Peter Zumthor writes that “Richness and multiplicity emanate from the things themselves if we observe them and give them their due.”1 This pattern of observation (exploration into the “hard core”2 of architecture’s tangible qualities) and subsequent appropriation (a sort of [re]presentation of the discoveries made) is at the heart of the tectonic method. To clarify the significance of tectonics within building culture, it may be understood as the architectural result/response to the poetic event that occurs upon the confluence of site, material, method, activity, and imagination. The tectonic approach establishes architecture as a communicative practice, concerned with expressing its components in a meaningful way. This is not a ground-breaking notion by any means, (although it may sometimes be forgotten) for like all art, “architecture may be considered an attempt to make the immaterial, material.”3 An interesting relationship between architecture and language, and architecture as language emerges. A commitment to the value of words and a clarity of meaning may be analogous to an understanding of the essential nature of one’s media. Likewise, the bankruptcy of either is symptomatic of an inattention to quality. The import of expression here does not require that a successful architect must be a skillful writer or speaker. For example, where a poet manipulates his/her catalogue of words to express a story or idea, the architect may look to a rich material palette. Language here must be understood as Walter Benjamin refers to it, as a “communication of mental meanings.”4 To deny the expressive potential of the place, substance, and making of architecture is to miss out on an opportunity for a truly significant circumstance. When these elements are paid their respect and duly incorporated in the tectonic method, we may see the physical tending towards the metaphysical and vice-versa. These conditions are essential to a rich building culture, and they are mutually inclusive in and of each other. When the symbiotic complexities of this relationship are expressed, a truly poetic event occurs. That is this thesis’ objective: an architecture of qualitative substance, one that has an evident and significant presence in the world, that communicates with its user and enriches the human condition… an architecture that speaks for itself. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.title Working Within The Traditions Of A Building Culture en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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