Tradition and conviction :architecture in context
Cooner, Roger M.
Master of Architecture
Ada Louise Huxtable states, "There is the irreparable damage that the rejection of the past has done to our cities, the uncaring and unthinking demolition and loss of our heritage, the destructively wrong scale and sabotaged relationships of the environment, the ignorance and neglect of the continuity that is urban culture." In a complex environment the realities of context must be considered to maintain a sense of order. Designers must transcend the narrow, egotistical aim of evolving a personal idiom and consider the broader problem of relating each building to the streetscape or in some cases the townscape in which it will be seen. In doing so a sense of place so vital within the urban environment can be maintained. There are several ways to design a new building so that it is sympathetic to its architectural context. On the one hand one may literally copy architectural elements from the surroundings. On the other hand, one may reinterpret earlier architectural forms by inventing new forms or by abstracting the original forms. The basis for this thesis is the investigation of the latter. Given the problem of designing a building in a designated historical district containing an assemblage of older significant buildings one can design a new structure that achieves a contextural fit without direct literal references to the style or elements of the existing structures.