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The portable particular an integral theory of place /

by Butts, Arthur Paul

Abstract (Summary)
“Architecture [that brings man and nature together in a‘higher unity’] is likely to alter with the region in which it sends down roots…still it is open in the direction of universality.” -Tadao Ando ii Tadao Ando’s statement takes a step toward addressing the inherent paradox of the theory of critical regionalism: How to create architecture that is both universal and regional? In other words, how to create architecture that is both portable and particular? The theory of critical regionalism evolved as a reaction to the architecture of the International Style. With an onslaught of International Style buildings beginning in the 1930s, the importance of creating a connection between building and site was lost. Ian McHarg states:“Architects since the outset of Modern architecture have been anti-ecological…the International Style proclaimed that modern buildings are all coequally suitable for all people, all places and all times” (Kelbaugh, 67). This architecture was not particular. Critical regionalism, however, is a call for a celebration of cultural differences, as well as a participation in the technological advancements emerging everyday. According to Martin Heidegger, dwelling, in both a physical and psychological sense, means to be at peace in a protected place. It is necessary for an individual to be able to identify with his or her surroundings in order to fully dwell. Christian Norberg-Schulz believes that this act is not possible without the psychological functions of identification and orientation, two things that, if not developed, will lead to a feeling of being lost and eventually fear. Critical regionalism attempts to avoid this problem by creating architecture specific to its location. iii Additionally, a concern for more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly buildings is emerging as a primary architectural issue. The advent of climate controlled buildings diminished the importance of building in a way that respected the natural forces of a site. Sustainable design can re-connect the natural and built environments by creating an ecologically fit building. Sustainable Design can help to re-establish the relationship between the natural and built environments. Critical regionalism can help to re-establish the relationship between the built environment and the individual. A holistic architecture, however, needs to establish a relationship between the natural environment, the built environment, and the individual. This thesis proposes that an Integral Theory of Place will establish this tripartite relationship by combining the theory of critical regionalism with the practice of sustainable design. In doing so, it addresses both the objective and subjective aspects of design, i.e. the building’s form in relation to the climate, personal experience, and cultural meaning in the built environment. Conceived as a pattern of design, an Integral Theory of Place is portable by nature. It provides the particulars of the portable, but not the specifics of the particular. What is particular is the emergent architecture. An Integral Theory of Place will thus lead to a holistic design that is environmentally and culturally fit to its place.
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School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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