Treaties Review 4: Viollet-le-Duc

Viollet-le-Duc applied old lessons of gothic architecture to new ideas of the industrial revolution, like lightweight steel, to develop a Gothic Revival.  He strongly believed that materials played a big role and that knowledge of these materials and their production processes was especially important.  Ornamentation should follow need.  In an example of an Ancient Roman shovel, the decoration came about directly from the need of having the tongs be suspended and not touch the ground.  Design follows functionality.  Respect should be given to the program and the constructive process.  Rationality should be a key factor and any design ornamentation, if well designed, should serve a functional principal.

Continue reading


Treaties Review 3: Ruskin

The Seven Lamps of Architecture

Architecture is an art form.  It creates beauty.  Building is the technical process of stabilizing and erecting a structure.  It doesn’t require the skills to create beauty.  The Lamp of Sacrifice inspires us to give up precious things, as in things that just hold sentimental value, not because they are useful.  This feeling has two parts.  The first is to wish to exercise self denial for the sake of self – discipline.  This is for self improvement.  The second is to desire to honor or please some one else by the costliness of the sacrifice.

Continue reading

Treaties Review 2: Laugier

Laugier’s notion of artists’ freedoms came with rules and restrictions since he believed that there is only one way of doing anything well.  In order to be led in that right direction, one must have clear principles by which he/she must follow.  Essentially, Laugier approved of creative license as long as it stayed true to fundamental laws which exist in every field.  Marc-Antoine Laugier believed that architecture was the last uncharted domain for constraints.  Architects were only relying on old examples and following undeveloped theories for guidance.  He believed it was up to him to take the lead and define the “unchangeable laws” of architecture just like every other science had its base laws established.

Continue reading