Tectonic Elements Of Architecture

2341 Words 10 Pages
When looking at a built structure, the first thing that anyone will be drawn to is its overall composition. Regardless of the viewer’s previous disposition, level of education, or mindset this nearly universal constant will remain true. As the user continues to focus on the structure, smaller gestures will reveal themselves. Texture, colour, mass, and light may be some simple examples of this, however they all share the same trait; they may all be considered “tectonics” of a project.

The fundamentals of architecture may be referred to as “tectonics” due to the fact that they are elements “pertaining to building or construction in general” (Frampton, 1990, p.93). Frascari (1994) believes that “located within tectonics is an endless set of
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When looking at the micro scale, the tectonic elements that compose a structure may be referred to as a “detail”. A detail carries multiple definitions, none of which do it justice to its entire function. It is a rather complex concept due to the fact that it applies to so many different things in entirely different ways. Frascari (1984) says that “Dictionaries define “detail” as a small part in relation to a larger whole” (p. 501). In the practice of architecture, this is far too broad of a definition. Perhaps it may be “considered the joining of materials, elements, components and building parts in a functional and aesthetic manner” (Frascari, 1984, p. 501). This is a living definition in that it will change over time, and from person to person. A detail cannot be simply …show more content…
Any glazing must interact with surfaces to define light and shadow. The walls, floors, and ceilings must come together in order to define a volume. Even the surface finishes must work together to portray a certain aesthetic. These aesthetic choices can be independent of the overall idea for a building, since “detail is certainly not just a matter of detail. Obviously detailing does not necessarily depend on an overall guiding concept; even if it has inherent relations with such a concept, it is not simply a declination of general decisions; but gives them form, rendering them recognizable and articulated in their various parts” (Gregotti, 1983, p. 496). The implications of unified tectonic detail allow for the definition, separation or unification of spaces and features, independent of a guiding concept. However, they can easily be brought into a grand scheme if the design is considered holistically. This is just scratching the surface of the importance of unified detailing, the real wealth of possibilities lies within the structural

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