How did architecture deem to repress in the 18 century
“The sublime” was established originally as an aesthetic concept by Anthony Ashley
cooper. Due to expansions and trade with the east the concept of the sublime was
adopted as an aesthetic quality in nature. Sublimity is said to be beyond calculation,
measurement or imitation. The publication of “On the Sublime” (a book that discussed
aesthetics and literature) launched a development based on the aesthetic dialect
between the sublime and the beautiful. Edmund Burke was the first to renounce that the
sublime and beauty are mutually exclusive, and that the sublime is capable of instilling
powerful dark emotions like horror, darkness, uncertainty, and solitude. Burke had an
antitheoretical idea of the sublime and even suggested that ugliness could be sublime.
He studied the dual emotional quality of fear and attraction and how we can experience
terror but are drawn to it with fascination. Burk described emotions attributed to the
sublime as negative pain and how “delight” is caused by the removal of pain and
confronting the sublime. “Terror is in all cases whatsoever, the railing principle of the
sublime.” –Edmund Burke. The publication of his book “treatises on the sublime and
beautiful” inspired prison architect “Jeremy Bentham” to study the human soul almost
mathematically. Doing so, he developed the ability to control and install fear in inmates
without harming them.
Using architecture to keep people in solitude he designed a prison- The
Panopticon (1785). The Panoptic on had massive daunting walls and had a semicircular
plan with an “inspection house” at its center from which the inmates are watched. The
concept was to allow a single watchman to watch all the inmates, but using special,
strategically placed shades the inmates could not see the guard. Not being able to know
when they were being watched elicited fear and instilled order; the inmates behaved as
if they were constantly closely watched. Bentham promoted the design of the
penopticon as one that is beneficial to any institutions that require surveillance such as
schools, hospitals and factories. An example of the concept being utilized was the
“Royal Salt Works (1775)” at France by architect Ledoux.
Ledoux was known for using architecture to reform society, this was
implemented in this structure. The design reflected hierarchical organization that had an
entrance with a guard room on one side and a prison other other. At the center was the
house of the director and behind that, the salt works factory. The workers were housed
in a semicircle setup along the circumference around the factory (like a theater), in
summary reflective of his utopian quest.
During this time it was deemed that the urban presence of prisons would have to
substitute for the public torture, such designs called for a structure that would project the
confused lies contained as well as the force that has contained them. Walls were
marked with deep recesses, high, thick walls and strong projections.
What did the individual represent in the city of ideals and styles? 1)Alberti- (1404-1472)
He wrote 10 books of architecture for the common people. Alberti saw the
use of nature as an interpretation of god making architects gods. He invented the
pilaster as a column within a wall and used for structure only. His treatise “on the art of
building” was the first treatise of the renaissance and covered a range from history, town
planning to philosophy of beauty and nature. Alberti opened up his theories and ideals
of the Florentine Renassaince to the people.
Baroque period; manipulated classical form using geometric rationales. He
was Michelangelo’s son but due to his idiosyncratic style and temper/social disorders
issues he was not as publically renowned as was Bernini. Borromini was known
between architects for designing buildings based on their programmatic needs.
How do these writings stand out?
-the books or treatises unlike Vitruvius’s books were written for the common
people and some even included others and illustrations to aid in understandi