The Myth of the Matter: Parallel Surfaces of Seismic Linings

Taylor, Mark, Preston, Julieanna, & Charleson, Andrew (2000) The Myth of the Matter: Parallel Surfaces of Seismic Linings. In Ostwald, Michael J. & Moore, R. J. (Eds.) Re-Framing Architecture: Theory, Science and Myth. Archadia Press, Sydney, pp. 189-199.

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The structure/ornament discussion remains active territory within architectural history and theory. It has long been a site of vigorous positioning that often serves as a telling gap between historicism and modernism. The accretions of this dialectic have become an institution of our architectural predilections, documenting a tendency to pit one against the other and our impulse to declare absolutes about the value or dominance of one over the other. While Pugin sowed moralistic tones to our discipline’s use of ornament and structure, he did so in the context of refurbishing the necessity and presence of ornament from a historical and cultural perspective. Through the virtues of economic, social and political events, this living myth, has been seamlessly reconfigured and retold. Contemporary architecture flaunts its allegiance to rational thought and empirical processes in a plethora of naked structure and thin surfaces. Questions persist regarding the nature of ornament and decoration in these efficient constructs. Despite the lure of contemporary architecture’s technological prowess and neglect for ornament, an impetus remains to retell and reinterpret this particular architectural myth.

This paper recognizes the inconsolable nature of this dialectic in the form of a research-by-design project, a form of research recognized for its ability to query ideas, and even form ideas, simultaneously between praxis and theory. The project, an existing historic landmark, requires earthquake strengthening to protect its building fabric as well as its inhabitants. The existing building is a curious artifact of historic and contemporary stances on the subject of architectural origins and historic principles of style and taste. Augmented by verifiable conditions of structural engineering and the architect’s troubled romance with beauty, the project proposal reconsiders the myth between ornament and structure and re-presents it as a rivalry of parallel surfaces.

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ID Code: 11653
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please contact the author.
Keywords: Interior Architecture, Interior Design, Philosophy, Aesthetic theory
ISBN: 0725910968
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > History and Theory of the Built Environment (excl. Architecture) (120502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Interior Design (120106)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 (please consult author)
Copyright Statement: Posted with the permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution is permitted without permission of the copyright owner.
Deposited On: 09 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:55

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