Gottfried Semper and the profound surface of architecture
Spelman, Elizabeth Rowe
Master of Arts
Gottfried Semper argues for a return to the surface of architecture. In response to the aesthetic crisis brought on by the integration of industry and art, he sought a new source for principles with which to guide architectural invention. By looking to man's own productions, Semper creates a kosmos for architecture, one that both describes the primal forms out of which all art and industry arise and that outlines the way in which those forms transform over time. Semper believed that all cultural productions, both physical and conceptual, arose out of the Volk. Architecture's role is to express the social structure monumentally, just as government expresses it in its political institutions. Architecture does that symbolically through its Bekleidung, the cladding. In the making and ordering of architecture, the culture itself is ordered.