Lectures 2005
Skip Navigation Links : Lectures 2005 : [Not yet translated] : "The building surface as a multi-layered skin" Eleni Kaftangi - Christodoylidoy Diana

"The building surface as a multi-layered skin" Eleni Kaftangi - Christodoylidoy Diana

This essay investigates the double role of the ‘faηade’, which acts as a protective shell of human activity from the external environment and at the same time as a cultural and ideological expression of each society and historical moment.

An attempt is being made to map the ways in which structural, constructional and cultural changes in the past decades have affected the ‘processing’ of the outer building skin, focusing on the different levels of its reading. The roles, that is, of this envelope as material structure of control and at the same time as meaning-carrier and symbolic structure.

The historic examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture are approached, as they offer a differentiated association between the building shell’s practical characteristics and the cultural expression of the building.

The structural, constructional and also cultural significance of transparency concerning the building skin is being looked into, in the context of the examples of the 19th century Paris arcades, the Modern Movement and current architectural practice.

One could not leave out the bioclimatic function of the building shell, in a time when ecological design education and experience becomes again an essential tool of architectural thought in general.

Finally, the essay engages with the contemporary advertising or media building skin, exploring at the same time the role of the image of architecture as both a consumer and cultural product.