American Architectural Identity Article Review

Pages: 4 (1064 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Architecture

Laugier

What is Laugier's justification for speaking about architecture as a non-specialist? What do you find convincing or unconvincing about his argument?

Laugier's justification for speaking about architecture as a non-specialist is that tools that knowledge provides are available for everyone and since even great men falter in their theories and ideas, there is no reason that he should be barred from commenting on a specialist subject. I find this argument only partly convincing. Laugier may comment on aesthetics of architecture as a non-specialist but essentially this view would be a superficial one. Ultimately it is the specialist who must decide the merits of certain architectural design.

Why does Laugier think the column, entablature and pediment are the only "natural" elements of the classical vocabulary? How does this relate to his "once upon a time people lived in caves" story?

The story of the evolution of architecture from caves to huts simpliciter and onwards to developed architecture with a column, entablature and pediment relates to the necessity, need and finally aesthetics of architecture. Columns are said to be round because nature does not raise anything in squares. Entablature and pediment are two elements that can found in even the earliest most basic huts made by humanity coming out of caves.

Banham:

Banham claims that "Left to their own devices, Americans do not monumentalize or make architecture." Why not? What does he consider "America's monumental space," and do you agree?Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Article Review on American Architectural Identity Assignment

The author believes that Americans create the basic human shell and then endeavor to fight off the elements by the use of technology -- modern heating and the like. He says that this is because the great outdoors is America's monumental space, which is why there is so much emphasis on verandahs and terraces. No doubt it may be true in part but I disagree that this is an accurate reflection of all American architecture. The main point of departure is that in my view American architecture is divided along urban and suburban lines where genuine American architecture can mean different things at different places.

Describe what Banham means by "a standard-of-living-package." Do you agree that this could be "architecture," and does it appeal to you?

What the author means by a standard of living package is creating conditions of comfort without unnecessarily burdening the architecture with artificial devices etc. To me architecture is more than simply a standard of living package. It is much more intrinsic to one's self and has a deep interplay with emotional and psychological needs of security and continuity.

Greenough:

What difficulty does Greenough think America's 'youth' and its variety of beliefs, national origins, and geography pose in defining its architectural identity? Explain why you agree or disagree with him.

Youth and variety of beliefs and national origins in addition to Geography -- in the author's view- makes whole scale adoption of European Architecture unsustainable. Greenough feels that while America was a new country, its people were old in terms of civilization and were heavily influenced by the ideas that informed their parent nation(s) such as Great Britain. Therefore the author feels that the architecture in America is at best a second rate copy of the existing European… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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