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Crystalline: A quest in the realms of skin structure and space - The physical and meta-physical aspects of transparency, theories, interpretations and re-interpretations.

This dissertation is concerned with the physical and meta-physical properties of the use (and the non-use) of glass in architecture, in order to produce the desired attribute to the
space, be it an environmental solution or a symbolic metaphor.
Throughout history Western architecture principally has been characterized by mass. It represented stability and protection. Culture, climate, and the availability of materials, determined the weight and permanence of the structure – yet the drive to overcome mass and gravity was there, and as knowledge of construction advanced in the Greek Classical period columns became lighter and moved apart. In the early Christian era a furtherdimension was added. The Church taught of the Celestial City of the Kingdom to come and emperors, such as Justinian of the 6th century A.D., looked to create such a heaven on earth, that is, they sought to deny the earthly reality and realize a spiritual, other worldly place. There was a conscious effort to dematerialize architecture, here through the suppression of the legibility of the tectonics of structure, through light, and dissolving allthe surfaces by undercutting and shimmering mosaics. The dematerialization of architecture for spiritually symbolic reasons, continued in the Gothic period, notably through the Scholastics’ revival of the Greek metaphysics of light.

Knowledge of construction had developed to the point where walls no longer needed to be disguised behind mosaics, but could actually be replaced by glowing panels of light representing purity and the presence of that which is holy. Thus, the dematerialization of architecture engaged both structure and surface, and was physical, spiritual and
symbolic. This led to an increased interest in the development of an astonishing new material, glass; and to a greater exploitation of the newly discovered potentials by architects, visionaries, writers and urban planners.

Transparency is the vital property that gives glass the importance from which it benefits today. The evolution of glass also saw in architecture the development of the word
‘Transparency’ in theoretic terms. Transparency has come to signify more than what is physically non-opaque or able to allow free movement of light through it. The word transparency has taken its role in the description of architecture form, as a tool in design, and as an objective method for analyzing urban and architectural layouts.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
1 Chapter One Introduction

International thesis/dissertation

Autore: Stephen Serracino Inglott Contatta »

Composta da 94 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 723 click dal 24/04/2006.


Consultata integralmente 2 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.