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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/921105
- Landscape in the house: performances of landscape in the courtyard house
- The courtyard house is a dwelling type as old as cities, open to sun, rain and air, and containing landscape elements; interpretation of the courtyard type challenges architectural methodology to embrace landscape ideas. The courtyard is an architectural setting where landscape elements may be said to ‘perform’, compounding and enriching everyday experience for inhabitants. This paper investigates how landscape ‘performs’ in the courtyard house in order to affirm the value of landscape not only as architectural context but as valuable and active content for architecture. Ann Whiston Spirn in The Language of Landscape notes spatial concepts from landscape discourse, such as territory, boundary, path, etc. which she names ‘performance spaces’, essential to human habitats, and generated by human agency. These and other performance spaces of landscape, transposed into architecture, arguably tie together human action and landscape within architectural methodology. While Le Corbusier incorporated landscape elements in the composition of the Villa Savoye, Alvar Aalto, in his 1926 essay ‘From Doorstep to Living Room’, idealized ‘the unity of the room, the external wall and the garden’; throughout his career Aalto involved landscape elements and strategies in his architecture, revisiting and reworking the courtyard idea. Aalto’s architectural landscape strategies in turn underlie Jørn Utzon’s designs for courtyard houses embodying the performative capacities of landscape in architecture. In recent architectural theory, Alexander observes principles or patterns of the courtyard type; Rapoport reviews problems of enclosure and landscape in the courtyard house; and Appleton’s notion of ‘foraging-ground’ provides a framework of landscape symbolism relevant to the courtyard type. This paper suggests that an understanding of the performance of landscape in courtyard house architecture expands an understanding of architectural aesthetics. The inclusion of landscape within architectural thinking improves understanding of architecture’s mediating role between human society and the natural world.
- 28th International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ 2011). Audience: Proceedings of the XXVIIIth SAHANZ Annual Conference (Brisbane, Qld 7 - 10 July, 2011)
- Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand
- Resource Type
- conference paper