wk12 reading response

On Scarpa/Scope of Tectonic: Kenneth Frampton

Scarpa’s adoration for the joint has much to do with detailing of a space and an acute attention to the parts.  Further, there is importance placed on the interaction and interplay of these parts, rather than the focus placed on the whole.  For Scarpa, this all relates back to the experience of the place.  For me, this has much more to do with how small changes in the details affect much larger processes of the whole (not unlike Lorenzo’s butterfly).

This relates back to ethics insofar as we must “work with the recollections of traditions, with the traces of the past, with the expectations of meaning for the future, since there can no longer be absolute rational deductions”.  If the joint (or details, for that matter) are treated as a kind of tectonic consideration, the meaning of the whole can be found in the reality of the part.  This notion of a new way of seeing architecture can become a great generator for design.  Not unlike Corbusier’s plan as generator, Scarpa’s joint provides the impetus for creation and creation of meaning, based in the reality of experience.

Architecture is born out of a definite past, exists within the present, and will have a future.  Using the joint as a springboard for an evolution of the design doesn’t quite seem sufficient.  I hope, rather, to consider not only the evolution of design, but also the evolution of the built work.  I think the real potential of architecture lies within it becoming a framework for its users to then appropriate the spaces as they see fit, naturally evolving the space over time.  It is here, that the details are critical.  The details must carry forward from history the same language that the whole of the architecture is speaking.  This consistency resonates within the users of the place, promoting feelings of belonging, and subsequently liveliness of the place.  This is the potential I see in Scarpa’s joint.

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