File(s) under permanent embargo

Ontology of building in war and reconstruction

journal contribution
posted on 2002-01-01, 00:00 authored by Mirjana LozanovskaMirjana Lozanovska
Post-war cities epitomise both a disjuncture and resonance between the end of the nation-state, on the one hand, and a preoccupation with reinventing the city through building, on the other. Programs of 'reconstruction' and 'remaking a city' are preceded by destruction: a destructive force has altered the face of the city, buildings have been destroyed and damaged, their ordered and ordering materiality is eroded, and the city is no longer an image of an idealized symbol of unity and identity. Belying the mythical power of architecture as a material and symbolic force, is also its fragility. Architecture can be monumentally erected and can have a presence and persistence that inspires awe and wonder, but it can also, just as easily be de-erected, demolished, destroyed. It can be de-constructed in a way that the literal sense of the term signals its symbolic frailty. Perceiving the symbolic as intrinsically tied to the physical articulation and presence of the architectural edifice, both reveals and conceals that the symbolic is also tied to fantasy, memory and fiction. Drawings that precede construction are projections of an idealized image of something that does not yet exist, and photographs that remain after a building is demolished are representations of a past realist that is now fictional.

History

Journal

Architectural theory review

Volume

7

Issue

1

Pagination

117 - 136

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Sydney, N.S.W.

ISSN

1326-4826

eISSN

1755-0475

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2002, The Authors

Usage metrics

Categories

Keywords

Exports