Australian Architecture Analysis

1763 Words 8 Pages
Over time there has been an increasing transition from stereotomic to tectonic architectural concepts. This transition was initially responding to exigencies, however poetic functional forms evolved which, in Australia fashioned a variety of uniquely Australian types of Architecture. These Australian types also differed depending on the local climate, with one well-known vernacular Australian architectural type, the Queenslander, developing from several existing styles, and adapted to Queensland’s climate. Tectonic aspects of the Queenslander are visible in the design of the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, which combines with stereotomic properties to provide a distinctively memorable structure. The use of both tectonic and stereotomic …show more content…
Tectonics peels back the heavy, earth-based building methods to reveal poetic, unmasked structures which encourage light to find its way inside while seemingly only barely kissing the earth. It is imaginative, creative, yet functional. Graham (1989, 249) clarifies the reasoning for the latter with “the architect who designs a house in which comfortable and convenient living is virtually impossible has failed, however attractive his building may appear in other respects”. Art is particularly subjective, so in any other realm, art and science are often in opposition, however Architecture fuses the two together to form “productive space with the tangible realities of gravity, material properties, and assembly sequences” (Schwartz 2016, 24) and tectonics establishes methods for this to be possible. Light is invited inside a structure to give it a sense of space, life, emotion, and a connection to the outside, and gives the appearance of light, floating structures. Fig.1 shows a diagrammatic example of the lightweight construction that tectonics uses. In contrast, stereotomic structures are largely solid mass constructions, comprising of stone, bricks, concrete, blocks, and rammed earth, and prevent or restrict light from entering. They are heavy and exert considerable compressive forces, and attempting or seeming to “belong to the earth” (Baeza 2009, 276), transmitting loads continuously through the form. The diagram in fig.2 demonstrates the type of compressive load that stereotomic structures use. Often built for longevity or due to locally available materials, stereotomic structures are built for functionality with minimal emotive influence. Stereotomic buildings, with their dense brick or stone walls, yearn for light through minimal vertical openings, windows and cuttings, and once inside is imprisoned. Baeza (2009, 284) highlights methods used historically in Romanesque

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