chapter  9
22 Pages

Surface: The A-tectonic of Roong and Wrapping

The argument presented in this chapter does not intend to underestimate the role theory plays in architecture. The intention rather is to highlight the fact that theory today operates in an autonomous realm independent of architectural praxis. To map a productive relationship between history, theory, and criticism, this chapter will attempt to turn the focus of analysis to the historicity of architectural discipline. Deploying Gottfried Semper’s theory of dressing, the argument presented here gives particular attention to Semper’s discourse on the tectonic rapport between the two elements of the roof and the enclosure, and will examine its theoretical implications for contemporary architecture. Semper is important because his idea of theatricality suggests discussing the expressionistic tendencies of computergenerated forms in reference to the aesthetic of commodity fetishism.4 A dierent understanding of roong and wrapping would plot architecture in the domain of landscape. To this end, the nal section of this chapter will examine projects designed by diverse architects. The binary underpinning of this comparison is problematized by placing Greg Lynn’s views on the tectonics of blob in the fuzzy picture of contemporary architectural practice.