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Weathering, Masonry and Modern Movement

Author(s): Albert Algreen-Petersen
Paper category: Proceedings
Book title: Proceedings of the International RILEM Conference
Materials, Systems and Structures in Civil Engineering 2016 segment on
Historical Masonry
Editor(s): Inge Rörig-Dalgaard and Ioannis Ioannou
ISBN: 978-2-35158-178-0
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-179-7
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 268-268
Total Pages: 1
Language : English

Abstract: This paper investigates the relations between Modern Movement’s masonry buildings and the
idea of patina and authenticity. There is a schism between Modern Movement’s idea and
practice and the idea and practice of patina. Modern Movement’s rejection of history and
ornament was also often a rejection of building details, which were carefully constructed to
delay and control the ageing processes of a building. The term weathering describes both the
patina and deterioration of a building, but also the building details, which delay the deterioration
and controls the patina process over time. The term weathering is investigated by architects
David Leatherbarrow and Mohsen Mustafavi in the book On Weathering: The Life of Buildings
in Time (1993) and the geographical specificity of a building is central.
The invention and use of reinforced concrete became iconic for Modern Movement’s
international style and a mean for early Modern Movement’s architect’s desire to free them self
from historical ornaments and style. It provided architects with the white paper needed to start
over with a tabula rasa. Following, architects incorporated Modern Movement’s ideas into a
regional – geographical and cultural – context. Brickwork was used to root the ideas of Modern
Movement in Danish building culture and it seems possible also as a mean to construct
buildings better fitted to Danish weather conditions etc.
The adaption of Modern Movement in Danish building culture and the execution of Modern
Movement’s buildings in masonry raises a number of dilemmas regarding conservation: The
weathering – the patina and the traces of time – is considered important when working with
historical buildings and is connected with the idea of authenticity and age value. One may argue
that in the case of Modern Movement’s architecture, it is the building as a monument and a set
of ideas that is worth preserving rather than the physical building materials. Yet, when it comes
to Modern Movement’s masonry, there’s a schism between the well tested, long lasting and
solid material routed in a regional building culture and the Modern Movement’s ideas.
This paper is interested in the relations between Modern Movement’s ideas on buildings in time
and the ability of weathering of Modern Movement’s masonry buildings in Denmark. In his
project drawings, Danish classicistic architects C.F. Hansen demonstrates intentions of
weathering when prescribing the patina in the façade drawings. Is there a similar coherency
between Modern Movement’s architect’s project drawings and writings on a building from
before it was raised and the building is it stands today regarding weathering? As an example,
project drawings and writings on selected works from the Modern Movement by Danish
architect Kaj Gottlob is studied and discussed in relation to the building as it stands today.

Online publication : 2016
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros) : 0.00

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