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Geometry + Geology

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Created:
Last Edited:
1906
125
6
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Geometry + Geology is an exploration of the formal and expressive affinities between Brutalist architecture and glaciated rock formations. The particular similarities I want to depict are the sense of sublime scale and monolithic bleakness. The rough, weather-stained face of the shuttered concrete resembles the irregularities found in the erosion-scarred terrain of mountain rock. The darkness of the material in wet and grey weather matches that of the frequently dour conditions of the mountains. The shadowy nooks and crevices inspire trepidation and invite exploration. In The Seven Lamps of Architecture, Ruskin writes of the significance of ‘power’ (or the sublime) in architecture, citing the epic, uninterrupted wall, the ‘precipice’, as the archetypal expression of abstract power. The effect of severe, unyielding nobility also carries with it a sense of melancholy in its solitude. The Brutalist buildings photographed exemplify this sense of imperviousness: solitary, stark, with intersecting planes conveying a sense of geological force and weight. The geometric compositions add to a sense of abstraction. There are no obvious symbolic forms introduced by the architects. The geometry is strong, but irregular. The buildings, considered as wholes, do not have lines of symmetry; again, suggesting a comparison with mountain rock.
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  • Barbican Estate, London
  • Cow Rock, Ilkley.
  • National Theatre, London.
  • Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate #1, London.
  • Gordale Scar, Yorkshire Dales.
  • Hayward Gallery, London.
  • Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire.
  • Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate #2, London.
  • Cauldron Snout, Cumbria.
  • Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate #3, London.
  • Trellick Tower, London.
  • Armscliff Crag, Yorshire.
  • Robin Hood Gardens, London.

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