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How To Express Poetic In Architecture Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1823 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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We live in the constructed world, where lots of buildings are built, from the tallest tower in the world to the small houses, its keep increasing, and keep constructing. But is there any aspect that we can get from it? Or are they just such a form for us in our living world? Very often we as the living human is easily to get used with the things around us, we do not really take any attention or care to the surrounding, most of the time we precept it as things that supposed to be there.

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Jun Ichiro Tanizaki says that we as a human being, it is our human nature that each one of us have a fundamental and basic requirement of dwelling, it is not only the interaction between human with human, but also human with the place where we belongs. It has pushed our human action to be desperate of inhabiting action to be able to interact and fulfill our fundamental needs. And a space that we seek it is not just an ordinary space that based on the physical dimension, but it based on the quality of its perfection, by means experiences the important values in space that’s more than just a shelter. Marilyn Monroe said that everything happen for a reason, where buildings built it’s not for the sake of nothing or just be a shelter for us,

“Architecture are more fully than just a forms, it is engages the immediacy of our sensory perception.”

Steven Holl, Question of Perception

it is more than just a form, its involving several elements like light, shadow, and transparency like colour, texture, material, and details, it is the reason that buildings are convenient to stay in, and make us joy to be in it.

“Our live surrounded with physical objects, but born into this world of things”, Steven Holl, Do we be able as a human being to experience fully all the elements of their interrelation, to derive our joy from our perception.

Steven Holl in his book “question of perception” said, architecture should have an experiential connection, a metaphysical link, a poetic link. It’s explained that architecture it has to express the poetic of its building, where means express the way of thinking to let us as a human to experience the important value in the space.

Thesis of Statement

How to express Poetic in architecture fully to the space?

Could the Poetics aspect in it aware people to experienced it? Specially in light?

Definition of Poetic

“Expression of people thought, emotion, feelings, and identity” Anthoniades, Anthony C., Poetic of Architecture, Poetic is an expression of people thoughts, emotions, feelings, and identity where people explained it in the poetry way, with simple messages but contain intense way of thinking, said John Pawson. Sometimes poetry can have an ambiguous definition

“Poetic as a vision of architecture” Le Corbusier, because of it is a present of unique arts works in architecture, where it is the combination of volume, light, colour, material, form, material, which translated into the space.

“Poetic as a sense of beauty in experiencing space” Steven Holl. According Steven Holl Poetic it is also means as ‘Logical understanding in architecture”, where it is always related and mediated with linguistically in human experience and context, based and expressed through different element like light, shadow, and transparency: colour, texture, material, and detail all participate in complete experience of architecture.

“Poetic Detail is a relationship of texture and of construction, in nature colour, light, reflection, Surface, and in the way material are juxtaposed” Steven Holl, by means its relationship of all the elements of architecture to express the poetic detail. Building should always be more when you go into it, Steven Holl said in his the Poetic of detail’, it is true, that building should have more attraction when we go into it, or so called experience it, through the meaning of the poetic into the space itself.

John Pawson said that poetic means simple messages in form and expression but with an intense way of thinking, using all the elements of architecture like : material, mass, lighting, structure, ritual, landscape, order, containment, repetition, volume, essence, and expression to express his poetic works.

“Poetic means a reflection of the luxurious simplicity of vital thinking of the architect” and “Poetic also means express through emphasizes and consider as of primary importance values of the articulation of spaces, tension, and mass” John Pawson

Poetic into space

Could we translate poetic in architecture? Poetic which means physically translated it is definitely not be able to translate it into the space function, Steven Holl said that written language its assume the silent intensities of architecture, it is caused the abstract words that poetic has contain, not concretized in space, material, and direct sensory experience, this attempt to penetrate architectural meaning through the written language will risk disappearance.

If architecture can be said to have poetic meaning we must recognize that what it says is not independent of what it is, Steven Holl said, where architecture it is not an experience the words that translate after it, it has its own meaning even before, it is an thought process of an architect in the way to expressed their arts work of design. It is figures as presence that constitutes the means and ends of the experiences.

The beauty of poetic is only be able to see when it reaches the realm of thinking process, not just reach the architect thinking process, but it really beautiful when it reaches the realm thinking process of the user where poetic creates the present or atmosphere or ambience that provoke the emotions of the people, not just only translated physically as a poetry words but duel with psychology or mental way of thinking. As how Le Corbusier said, the beauty of poetic is when it is reaches the realm of thinking process.

“Desire to make an architecture is to make a living being.”

Le Corbusier

Admire Le Corbusier so much in how he expressed his works with poetics of space, is by his own arrangement of forms, he used forms and shapes combine with the pure creation of his spirit, that he affects us in our deepest sense degree, and provoke our emotion through wakes us up with profound echoes, and give us simple understanding measurement of his, where it is give us a feel to be accordance with our understanding, and then that the sense of beauty we experienced and translated into the space successfully. He used the principles of Right Angle, written in His book of Poetic of the right angle, where the space that integrated all forms was the right angle, through his inspiration from Piet Mondrian, used volumes were brought to the surface ƒ  brought to lines ƒ  brought lines to two lines ƒ  which vertical and horizontal ƒ  and brought lines into a single unity that called the Right Angle, the meaning is basic human thought. Le Corbusier was a complex layer of lines, planes and volumes which he brought to a simple way and unity mad possible by spatial orthogonally.

Differently with John Pawson, his manner he used are materials, mass, light, structure, ritual, landscape, order, containment, repetition, volume, essence, and expression, his primary works is using light, inspired by Louis Kahn, is a material that his combine with or embodies a certain poetry and in which visual effect are metaphors, he used simple messages or called as simplicity of proportion and restraint in his form and expression of his works but with an intense way of thinking. And John Pawson Achieved dematerialization of the building using the structure of the building itself, so that the inner of the building vanishes visually amidst apparent fragility and transparency, so it is the way Pawson achieving a poetic of stillness, defined architecture sharply, spaces that enough, with simple white interior, and a balance form and materials, where most of the time he disappeared the boundary between interior and exterior, manages to make at the same times structure and place, light and illumination become one. And the results are bring luxuries simplicity of the vital thinking of himself.

After understand the two example person in translating poetic in architecture or in their own art works, both of them are combining all the elements in architecture, like material, form, volume, light, colour, and music, to create an easy understanding way in space with a very deep thought to let we as the user to be easily understand what they actually wanted to express in our measurement level of thinking. And slowly we realize that it provoke our emotion when we walk through the space that we found greater joy in experienced the space.

Elements Architecture

And what are the elements in architecture that we can use to express the simple message of poetic in our space?


There are lots of different type of material in the world we are living now, like wood, stone, granite, brick, cement, plastic, glass, fiber, etc, each of the material has their own characteristic, textural effects, surface, pattern, colours, and finishes effects, and each of this material has something to tell us, most of the time they affect our feeling when we are near them.

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Texture gave the highest impact in affecting our mood, smooth or rough, glossy or. Material its not standing alone in architecture, it always stand together with forms/ planes, it is give a contrast treatment to the form whether strong solid effect, rough effect, or smooth calm and lightness effect, while at the same time also play of duality. Not just only forms, but with lighting as well, light give the sense of shadow reflection where it gave the 3dimensional effect, where its strengthen the textural effect in material, material also work with colour, different colour give us different moods.Often material are used to highlight certain area in architecture,

“Respect for the inherent qualities of materials is one of the most decisive elements in the creation of powerful architecture”

John Pawson

John Pawson used same material between inside and outside to avoid the junction between one material and another. And same as Le Corbusier, He used material, with volume, light, and colour to express the symphonic interaction and make architecture a total work of arts.


According to John pawson














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