Architecture in context

Following our discussion of Design Theory, Christine Storry has prepared these interesting collages of a building in different landscape contexts. She asks: ‘What do they illustrate? That there is a symbiotic relationship between a locale and architecture. Even great architecture. Architects might draw buildings on white or yellow paper or in model or paper space but buildings are built on a site and in a location with all that that means!’ 
Building in a winter landscape
Building in grassland
Building by a forest
Building on a waterfront
Building by a river
Building in the mountains

Sydney Opera House from the air (from Google Earth)

Building amongst lesser buildings

6 thoughts on “Architecture in context

  1. John

    There is something really scientific about montaging the same building into different settings. Good work! What is the building? Because the Sydney Opera House was designed as an iconic landmark it looks OK in the landmark settings but odd the ugly modern town.

  2. Adam

    This would be a lot more informative if the big square of pale blue sky had been removed during the compositing. As it is, the Opera House will always look more natural on a horizon with that color sky.

  3. John

    Adam has a good point and it would be worth re-doing the experiment with eg three different buildings in three different settings (eg waterside, countryside, town).

  4. Christine

    Tom posted a reference to Andrew Jackson Downing’s text ‘A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening’. Jackson refers to three principles which should be our guide in Landscape or Rural Architecture. They are;

    (1) Fitness for the end in view.
    (2) Expression of purpose.
    (3) Expression of some particular architectural style.

    Perhaps we might consider the Opera House collages in this context? Do you think these principles are still valid? Are they valid in geographical contexts other than North America?

  5. John

    Frankly, I’m surprised Downing said anything so sensible! His architecture shows a strong interest in style combined with really bad taste.

  6. Christine

    I look forward to seeing the new collages! Whatever Downing’s faults may have been as a derivative ‘romantic’ he bequeathed New York Central Park.


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