Caruso St John Wall Analysis

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A theme in the work of Caruso St John is the wall as bearer of meaning, herewith they seem to critique the 1914 Dom-ino principle of Le Corbusier, which exist of a structure of columns with horizontal slabs where a free infill of non-load-bearing walls and façade is possible. In contrast with Le Corbusier they understand the wall not only as a room divided device but as an element with significance, the wall as bearer of meaning. Here the walls surpasses his functional role as a room separating device. Caruso St John construct their buildings wall for wall, you can find this for example in their first larger building; The New Art Gallery in Walsall (picture 1). In this museum you will not find a single column, the ground floor for example consist…show more content…
The appearance of the building works with and enhance the collective memory of the neighbourhood. Although the building looks like a large house it consist of three apartments. The image of bigger house suits its context and urban setting. De street façade borrows its language from the neighbouring row of Victorian houses. The expression of this outer wall is formed by its material. The façade consist of two types of brick, a darker construction brick with flush mortar joints in a similar dark colour and a light colour lime stone which continues the one floor high plinth of the adjacent building. A tracery of open perpends, far more than necessary, are forming a pattern over the lime stone plinth with a textile quality. In the essay Wickerwork, weaving and the wall effect Stephen Bates writes about the notion of dressing and a relation is made with the ideas of Adolf Loos, Gottfried Semper and the work of Sergison Bates. By surveying the ideas of Semper Bates comes, like Caruso St John, to the idea of the façade as bearing of meaning . The brickwork in this project is a manifestation of this idea, the idea of the wall as a ornamented carpet rather than just a pure structural…show more content…
Like Frampton I am not talking about the technical expression of the structure but about the poetic manifestation of it, an action of making and revealing. The tectonic, derived from the Greek word Tekton, has a relation to the presence of the materials and the intention how a structure is designed and modelled, in ancient Greek literature the word Tekton is used to describe the art of making . Like, Sergison Bates and Caruso St John, I derive this idea from Loos and Semper, it is the choice of material and how it is put together which forms the character of a building. An outer-wall or a beam is not only a room separating or structural element but as well a bearer of meaning. It is about paying attention to its materialisation. In a time of curtain wall facades and complex regulations the articulation of the structure and its dressing can make a building readable for its spectators. Here it is the tectonic that provides meaning to
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