Category Archives: Relational Logic – Critical Readings

Mark Wigley_The Architecture of Atmosphere

T3-Wigley-Arch Atmosphere-Daidalos68-1998-6


In his writing on Architecture and Atmosphere Mark Wigley is arguing several fundamental to the architectural practice concepts: the importance of atmosphere and what really creates it in a project, architectural representation of atmosphere and how it differs with the diverse design scales: from a city to a building.

The long tradition of architectural theory suggests that architecture is a complex medium, the mere purpose of which is to create a theatrical effect – an atmosphere. It is an intangible collection of particles that surrounds a certain configuration of walls and floors, and is volatile with the addition of a human touch to the building. Wigley’s writing raises several questions: who or what is the creator of an atmosphere: an architect or the inhabitant? Can a complete and fulfilling atmosphere be sole designed by an architect? What is the value of architecture as a design field if an inhabitant contributes as much input to the creation of a given “atmosphere” as does the long months of work of an architect?

Since early works of Frank Lloyd Write “architectural representation” became an expression that goes hand-in-hand with the word “atmosphere”. Several decades ago architects have already understood the importance of showcasing the best parts of the project design and even further enhancing its effects on the surrounding and vice versa, inherently influencing the project’s commission and revenue values. While some rejected the idea of manipulating the representational medium, the majority of designers continued creating idealized images of the pseudo-real projects.   Hence, further embedding the value of architectural representation visual “atmospherics” into the monetary equation of architecture as a business. Thus, an atmosphere of a building is no longer a predefined and carefully articulated “soul” of the design, but rather a mere commercialized product produced by “image-making artists”.

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Tarzan in the media forest, the Toyo Ito’s code



Reading Toyo Ito’s writing, Tarzan in the media forest, you feel dispatched into his architectural journey, a fortieth years journey where the architect deal with his works and the architectural movements he is related whit , in order to determinate an “architectural code” result of  four top events, four buildings which determinate his “code”. Read More »

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Where are the boundaries.

The Flammarion engraving

How can we convey our atmospheric sensual feeling of  the matter to others through the quiet physical materials?  What is the meaning of the environment for every person? Can we give a definite  line between the spaces? Is the atmosphere is the space between the walls or can it include kinds of constructions and natural elements?

Alison Smithson in her article speaks about the way of representation of the allegory of the Saint Jerome’s two habitats through the paintings. Several of them show the pure idea of the perfect place for studying  as a Desert – burned-in-clarity, open-minded, giving the pristine knowledge. And on the other hand we see kind of a protected domestic ordered space full of books, tools, with lots of comfort abilities and civilised services. But the purpose of these two polar spaces is the same and they achieve this goal through people’s understanding of atmosphere.

This understanding can be motivated by various combinations of elements. Mark Wigley says that even the air and the mood can change the perception of the space. Everything is related and we should search for these relations.

And going back to the borders the point is what defines them, even the definition of the space can be changing.

the sheep in the box of the Little Prince

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Saint Jerome and the Ying – Yang.

yin-yang BnW

The reading to analyze is about Saint Jerome, a saint who lived 1100 years before it became an artistic reference for painters between 1400 and 1700.

The artistic movement vary according years of painting and the author. The important thing to note is the cunning of the author of the article in question, as it takes this artistic reference of earlier times to refer to human needs.

The author’s analysis is divided into three main points:

Saint Jerome in the desert.

In the representation of St. Jerome in the desert, the author clearly states the individual’s interaction with nature in the simplest way, without protection of any kind of rock or sand, and in direct contact with nature and the introspection of the individual.

Saint Jerome and the Study

In the analysis of this stage of the monk’s life, it becomes evident the emergence of civilization, the building and the greatness of man through the study, organization and order, developing into community and to the common greatness of individuals.

Saint Jerome and the Grotto.

At this stage of artistic representation, is expressed at a Saint Jerome hybrid, in contact with nature and the study but protected by a cave.


Personal conclusion

It is evident that of the three passages in which is exposed the life of St. Jerome (for me a representation of the human being), the first two are completely polarized.
The first, the life in the desert, it refers to an austere lifestyle and in direct contact with nature, in total isolation from any interaction with other humans, highlighting the spiritual and divine through study and meditation.

The second, the study, it refers to life in the city, the civilization protection in contact with other human beings, more human way , civilized , physical and material where what matters is knowledge and the greatness of human.

Moreover, the third, St. Jerome and the Grotto , is a fusion of both human needs , not only divine but also material, not only natural but also with artificial protection , not only spiritual but also intellectual, making this mixture between “The desert and the study” , reveals the perfect way to complement the man , “enclaves” of nature – civilization or civilization – nature.

This apparent need to blend between two poles “Nature and Civilization”, is precisely successfully expressed in the draft House N by Sou Fujimoto, in which is easily to deciphered the architect’s intention, the need to interact between the house and the street, the city and the nature, getting to generating an advanced architectural project with a simple set of forms, gardens, spaces and the interaction between all previous with the city and the environment.

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Inside-Out // Klein Bottle


The indoor outdoor relationship has always been an endless topic in intellectual discussions , whether spiritual, philosophical , biological or physical.

Men is always involved in endless points of view and ideas, which are discussed under the term “the conditioned outdoor room” in how the necesity of create spaces with high standards , climatic controls , and re-create false enviroments simply to have “comfort” , which are caused by social criteria that lead us to implement these systems in our lives , and controls our metabolism, feelings and pleasures. Men did not dare to face in a more compatible perspective his physical needs with natural and virtual environments. Read More »

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