Architecture in Words Theatre, Language and the Sensuous Space of Architecture
What if the house you are about to enter was built with the confessed purpose of seducing you, of creating various sensations destined to touch your soul and make you reflect on who you are? Could architecture have such power? This was the assumption of generations of architects at the beginning of modernity.
Exploring the role of theatre and fiction in defining character in architecture, Louise Pelletier examines how architecture developed to express political and social intent. Applying this to the modern day, Pelletier considers how architects can learn from these eighteenth century attitudes in order to restore architecture's communicative dimension.
Through an in-depth and interdisciplinary analysis of the beginning of modernity, Louise Pelletier encourages today's architects to consider the political and linguistic implications of their tools. Combining theory, historical studies and research, Architecture in Words will provoke thought and enrich the work of any architect.
Acknowledgements Introduction Part 1: Character and Expression: Staging Architecture 1. Architecture as an Expressive Language Character Theory and the Language of Architecture Le Camus de Mézières and the Metaphor of the Theatre 2. Character Theory at the Theatre Servandoni, the Master of Special Effects The Modulation of Light and Darkness Unity of Place and the Perfecting of an Illusion 3. Rules of Expression and the Paradox of Acting Le Brun's Theory of Expression The Paradox of the Actor Part 2: Playacting and the Culture of Entertainment: Architecture as Theatre 4. Theatre as the Locus of Public and Social Expression The Rules of Civility and Conventions at the Theatre Louis XV and the New Taste for Private Performances Society Theatre and Diderot's Drame Bourgeois The Staging of a Play 5. Theatre Architecture and the Role of the Proscenium Rethinking the Space of the Auditorium The Beginning of a New Tradition and the Relocation of the Spectator The Theatricality of the Marketplace Part 3: Language and Personal Imagination: An Architecture for the Senses 6. Taste, Talent and Genius in Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics Theatre Theory and the Decadence of Taste Genius and the Complex Relationship Between Rules and Talent Génie and the Encyclopédie 7. Newtonian Empirical Sciences and the Order of Nature The Expression of Nature in Architectural Theory Newtonian Empirical Science and the Role of Tradition 8. Empirical Philosophy and the Nature of Sensations Étienne Bonnot de Condillac and the Nature of Imagination Edmund Burke and the Materiality of Light and Shadow Denis Diderot and the Importance of Language Part 4: Plotting an Architectural Program: The Space of Desire 9. Staging an Architecture in Words The Space of Seduction The Genius of Architecture and the Distribution of a Hôtel Particulier 10. The Narrative Space of Desire Aabba, a Romance Chantilly, a Picturesque Garden Conclusion: The Temporality of Human Experience Endnotes Selected Bibliography