Friday, July 19, 2013

Architecture in Words : Theatre, Language and the Sensuous Space of Architecture

Architecture in Words : Theatre, Language and the Sensuous Space of Architecture
Louise Pelletier
Routledge | August 2006 |  PDF Format | 272 pages | 4 MB

What if the house you are about to enter was built with the confessed purpose of seducing you, of creating various sensations destined to touch your soul and make you reflect on who you are? Could architecture have such power? Generations of architects at the beginning of modernity assumed it could. From the mid-eighteenth century onwards, architects believed that the aim of architecture was to communicate the character and social status of the client or to express the destination and purpose of a building.
Architecture in Words explores the role of architecture as an expressive language through the transforming notion of character theory and looks at the theatre as a model for creating sensuous spaces in architecture.

Since the beginning of the eighteenth century, the theatre was more than simply a form of entertainment; it changed how individuals related to one another in society. Acting was no longer restricted to the performing stage in theatres; it became a way to conduct oneself insociety. Such transformations had obvious architectural repercussions in the design of theatres, but also in the configuration of the public and private domains. The succession of spaces, the careful crafting of lighting effects and the expressive role of architectural features were all influenced by parallel developments in the theatre.

Pelletier examines the role of theatre and fiction in defining the notion of character in eighteenth century architecture. It suggests that while usually ignored by instrumental applications, character constitutes an important precedent for restoring the communicative dimension of contemporary architecture.

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