Reading 7 – Ruskin

Nature in Gothic architecture is less about reflecting on the beauty of god’s creations, or representing natural forms in stone and glass, but better communicating the human condition in relation to the greater good and lesser evil. Its aim, to debase mankind from this static position amongst familiarity, is judged by Ruskin’s six “moral elements,” which offer qualities of experience that help to define and alter the human condition within Gothic architecture. These characteristics may be incorporated to varying degrees of severity. They work to genuinely modify the form with a natural, humanistic dialogue. Ruskin sees this personification as the natural way forward in architecture when he writes, “This [natural] character follows necessarily on its extreme love of truth. The truth that Ruskin speaks of is more than just representational. It should be recognized as a vehicle for the proliferation of a nature in architecture that epitomizes or defines human ecology. This natural character works as an affecting force upon the architecture and the occupant. It is, for Tschumi, the purveyor of violence in Gothic architecture. The natural character must extend beyond the decoration that Ruskin speaks of, and bridge into an ephemeral condition. The natural character must embody the power of that pristine environment, communicating a higher level of ontology.


About jasonsedar

My final year of architecture school at the University of Calgary!
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