Tuesday, 25 October 2011

"We applaud the well-mannered box"

This was something else that Daniel Libeskind said that resounded.

I'm really struck by the nature of buildings as boxes. This has been highlighted several times by our west wall, that is a few degrees off right-angle and has caused a never-ending stream of problems.  

It seems a deeper part of the problem of a society that seems to always want to put us into boxes. 

In terms of design, two of my favourite structures are the geodesic dome and the teepee. I've never actually been in a geosesic dome, but I have been in a few teepees. I think the first time was in the teepee field at Glastonbury festival. I asked the owner how long it took him to put up. "The last time," he told me, "took twenty-five minutes.
"The first time took thirty-six years."

Another was at a harvest festival in a village whose name translates to "Beautiful Hemp", where over a dozen people were sat around a raging fire, in the middle of a giant teepee. 

The best thing about them is that they are not square. 

The geodesic dome is probably the most efficient structure known to man, in terms of providing the strongest volume of building with the minimum building materials. Its strength derives from triangles that join each other into the dome. Here's a picture of one. 

I can imagine building a house out of a geodesic dome, but there would be endless problems finding fittings for it, as everything, from beams and plasterboard panels to windows and doors, is made for square rooms. 

I should tell you the one about the architect who had the house made backwards, so he could watch television, but that loses a lot in the spelling.