We began this discussion by pointing out that our immediate reactions to architecture are qualitative in nature. Buildings and rooms are spontaneously classified as ‘intimate’, ‘monumental’, ‘bleak’, ‘Spartan’, etc. These reactions can be founded on private or social experiences which as we pointed out, do not necessarily have anything to do with the structure of the building itself. The shared experience, on the other hand, is directly connected to the form itself, and, as a spontaneous experience exists without conscious comparisons to other conventions. In this way, an object’s formal ‘essence’ can be immediately ascertained, often regardless of the object’s function. A factory smokestack can in this manner seem sacred. Not necessarily because one interprets industrial work as holy, but because the form is vertical.

The qualitative character of architecture (intimacy, monumentality, simplicity, etc.) which is experienced on the basis of a form’s individual constitution, is especially related to how architecture is built. (Figs. 588, 589). Therefore, user reactions of this sort-must be taken seriously in the sense that the question is immediately raised of what it is about the form that elicits this or that response. An architect can thus arrive at effects that may be incorporated in other buildings at a later date.


Architectural construction: masonry (from Notre Dame du Haut, by Le Corbuslerl).


Architectural construction: log system (detail from storage house at Sevle, photo by Norberg-Schulz).

The theory of archetypes is therefore an attempt at supporting such a desire by ordering the principal solutions from which a choice will always have to be made, no matter what the building task. Subsequently, it seeks to interpret the existential expression which these archetypes have by describing how motion, weight and substance manifest themselves in form (Figs. 590, 591). Because shared experiences are based on the same qualities, it becomes possible to control the effects of architecture (Fig. 592, a-f).

Of course, these effects do not come automatically. They depend on personal creativity in the same way as notes and chords or words and syntax are only the beginning, but also the preconditions of music and poetry.


Motion generated by windows (from Norberg-Schulz, Intentions in Architecture).


Motion generated by doors and walls (from Norberg-Schulz, Intentions in Architecture).

592 a-f

Shared experiences based on motion and weight: (a) standing, (b) sitting, (c) bowing, kneeling, (d) lying, (e) walking, (f) running.

In the preceding work, we have sought to develop a theory of archetypes on the basis of those fundamental forms which exists within the elements floor, wall, and roof. The initial point of departure has been to classify the archetypes in terms of themes and motifs within each element. Furthermore, the intention has been to arrive at the expression inherent in each of the archetypes. This was approached as an interpretation of what we termed the form’s existential expression, which included a description of what the archetypes ‘do’ in terms of motion, weight and substance. This existential expression was additionally a description of the form’s effect, in that we suggested that shared experience referred to the same qualities, and was therefore a recognizable expression.

In the introduction, it was suggested that the theory of archetypes was design-oriented. At this juncture, it may be understood that the theory is also onolysis-oriented. It can serve to provide a better understanding of the common denominators present in existing buildings (intentions).

But does not such a theory go against both common design practice and established historical understanding?

As regards the first point, the following question must be asked: Is it not the complete space, or the whole, which is both the architect’s starting point and goal in design? (Fig. 593). The goal of design, of course, is synthesis, the completed building. And the starting point is nearly always linked to a vision of this whole, a concept which carries and directs the entire project ‘from top to bottom’. If the theory of archetypes is followed, it would seem that design could only be thought of in the opposite manner: as with a Lego system, in which a wall, floor, and roof are put together as isolated pieces to form a whole ‘from bottom to top’.


Architect’s goal in design: the complete space (Philharmonie in Berlin by H. Scharoun, from Philharmonie Berlin).

As regards the second point concerning the effectiveness of the theory as a method of analysis, the question pertains to the opposite relationship: Is not an existing building an historical reality, and in that sense, formally determined by changing historical events, which again are determined by changing architects and changing economic and cultural conditions? (Fig. 594). In other words, is it possible to speak of holistic solutions based on constants or archetypes in such a context?


Architecture as a cultural phenomenon (historical styles combied to symbolize an entrance for a museum. (Project by Chiswich, from Hersey, High Vicfiorion Gothic).

In the following, we will attempt to show with the help of two examples that the theory both as a method of design and as an analysis is based on holistic concerns. The example of design is from St. Svithun’s Church in Stavanger, Norway, designed by the author (1983). The analytic example is a discussion of the fundamental principles in the tradition from neo-classicism via functionalism to postmodernism.

Design and The Theory of Archetypes

Every architect works in relationship to an overall idea of how a problem ought to be solved. Based on the study of a building task, he creates for himself a spatial image which he feels responds to what the building ‘wants to be’, both practically and expressively. Understanding of archetypes and their expressive potentialities is essential when this vision is to be turned into a realization. If one has a vision of a directional space which is thus formed in order to focus upon an important act that takes place at the end of the space, these questions quickly arise: Should both the roof, walls, and floor reinforce this directionality, and if so, how? Or should only the floor reinforce the directionality while the walls remain neutral and the roof is oriented transversely? In the first situation, is the reinforcement attained with the help of the major forms, or by breaking up and articulating the surfaces, or both at the same time? One is immediately faced with a complexity which touches on the very essence of architecture, and which mercilessly puts the designer to the test.

The Chancel at St. Svithun’s Church

The Chancel at the Roman Catholic church of St. Svithun is the place for the most important act of the mass: communion. According to Roman Catholic beliefs, bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ during the service. The altar literally becomes a meeting place between heaven and earth. The union is called the incarnation. The chancel is to be a separate place in the church in order to mark this event. But the chancel must also be a part of the nave, which is the place for the congregation who are to receive both the word from the pulpit and the sacrament from the altar.

An overall vision of what the space ought to ‘do’ can be developed from this functional description. The incarnation implies a unification of up and down and suggests a reinforcement of verficolity, which means that the roof and the floor must be brought together around the altar. The union between the chancel and the nave implies a horizontal interaction between the two zones. Here, the floor plays a special part as a physical mediator of this spatial contact.

Just how was this vision realized? As in any project with a specific tradition, the architect is left with a choice which has to do with the relationship between the building as a symbolic expression and the building as an existential expression. The symbolic meaning is concerned with which forms are selected to express a society’s image of ‘church’, while the existential expression is concerned with how one interprets these symbolic images in relationship to our experience of the images in terms of motion, weight and substance.

In this instance, the symbolic meaning implied a chancel that was built up with images from ancient church forms, while retaining a modern character. The inspiration from ancient forms led to a chancel that was narrower than the nave, an altar that was vaulted by a baldachin (ciborium), a priest who sat behind the altar, and a rear wall with an apse (Figs. 595, 596). The ‘modern’ element was to be expressed in materials such as glass, steel and concrete. In terms of the existential expression, the challenge was one of reinforcing the verticality between the roof and floor in conjunction with the baldachin and the altar. Additionally, the floor, and also the apse were required to mediate the horizontal continuity between the chancel and the nave.


St. Svithun’s Church. Plan.


St. Svithun’s Church in Stavanger, Norway (by Th. Thiis-Evensen, axonometric drawing by Erik Norberg-Schulz).


The vertical continuity had to do with how the altar, baldachin and chancel roof together can attain a rising, sinking or balanced expression around a middle axis. The altar and the baldachin were located in the middle of the space so that the point of the vertical line could be accentuated. The walls of the chancel, with their white, unbroken surfaces were thought of as a neutral frame around this major theme in the centre of the space (the blue apse contradicts this notion for reasons which will be discussed later). Other furnishings, such as the chancel chairs, the tabernacle, the pulpit, etc. ring the altar for the same reason. The ascent begins with the raising of the altar level at the floor, is tranferred by the columns and glass pyramid of the baldachin, and runs out of an aperture in the roof of the chancel itself.

Throughout the church, the floor is covered with dark-red tiles. The idea was to provide a heavy, restful surface. This is accentuated by the walls being white, so that the floor becomes yet darker. The floor is conceived as the uppermost layer on top of a heavier, black mass below. This can be seen at certain places where the mass sticks up through the level of the floor. Around the baptismal font, the black floor is concave and given a shiny glaze. The circular opening is meant to give the impression of being lowered down into a hole of ‘water’. In contrast, the floor of the chancel is raised three steps above the floor level of the nave, thereby suggesting a rise in the whole floor mass below, which continues at the level of the altar that rises ‘through’ the tiled floor (Fig. 597). The tiles are pulled back from the edges of the black altar level in order to ‘make way’ for the penetration. The altar table itself is formed as the next and final step in the rise of the mass beneath. The altar sticks up into the baldachin, which with its pyramidal roof directs the forms below into a pinnacle that points further upward. This vertical energy then bores its way through the chancel roof above as the aperture leads inwards through the surface of the roof.


St. Svithun’s Church. View towards the chancel from the gallery.

The rise is accentuated by the major forms between the floor and the roof (Fig. 598). It is also emphasized by a gradually simplified detailing. The iron columns of the baldachin are constructed of perforated bases and capitals, and the shaft of the column is cruciformed in order to carve out its mass. In order to increase their lightness, the columns are separated from the level of the chancel by a slit — they do not ‘rest’. The roof is constructed of transparent glass, it does not ‘exist’.


St. Svithun’s Church and verticality. The chancel with its altar, apse and baldachin.

In this way, the baldachin partakes in the ascent which begins with the altar as it breaks through the floor. But it can also be seen quite differently as a mediator of the light from above downwards. The baldachin can be regarded as ‘built light’ which casts itself over the altar and is diffused by the rising form. The glass surfaces of the pyramidal roof ‘collect’ the light from the chancel roof and make it almost tangible by means of their extremely reflective surfaces. The columns and beams are plated with gold, which is the colour of light itself, and the perforated columns, which do not touch the floor, are a part of this interpretation of sinking from above.

In this manner, the light from on high has been interpreted in the forms and colours of the baldachin. Nevertheless, the baldachin is, of course, an autonomous figure independent of up or down. It ought to be able to express the balance between the two affected forces. In this context, the form of the pyramidal roof is essential, in that it is just as tall as it is wide, and therefore ‘rests’. If it had been more pointed, it would have risen; had it been more shallow, it would have fallen.

We understand that the existential expression of the forms in the verticality between rising and falling is also a visualization of the meaning of the chancel, which we call the incarnation. The altar is the earth, or man, which rises up toward the light in heaven. The light, on the other hand, shines down to meet mankind and make fertile the earth. The meeting between these two directionalities is a visualization of the conception of Christ as both god and man, expressed in the image of the communion.


The horizontal motion that joins the chancel and the nave is primarily initiated by the stair up to the chancel and the apse in the end wall behind the seat of the priest.

The apse is a well-known element from ancient churches with a background in Roman architecture. It was used in order to emphasize the seats of the bishop and priests. The major form of the apse expands the chancel as a reflection of the main directionality through the church from the entrance via the centre aisle forward to the semi-circle (Figs. 595, 599, 600). In this way the zones are connected in a gradual spatial reduction from the nave via the chancel to the apse. The movement through the spaces is taken up in the form of the apse — as in the altar and the baldachin. The apse is painted a heavy blue in order to emphasize its depth. From a distance, it appears as a hole in the white surroundings. Given that the apse recedes, the contrast between it and the light altar baldachin in front will reinforce the impression that the altar baldachin projects forward.


St. Svithun’s Church and horizontality. View towards the chancel from the entrance.


St. Svithun’s Church and horizontality. The entrance as seen from behind the altar.

The stair continues the projecting motion. It projects from the chancel space and overlaps between the chancel and the nave. Being a fan stair, it articulates this motion evenly in all directions. With its deep treads, this projection is slow and dignified. The pulpit desk is located on the protruding landing.

It is apparent that the apse as a focused form catches one’s gaze upon entering the church. At the same time, it ‘pushes’ the baldachin and in turn the symbol of the sacrament forward towards the entrant. The stair further transmits this motion, while at the same time the pulpit and therewith the Word are presented to the devout.

St. Svithun’s Church provides an example of how existential expression can determine a specific vocabulary subsequent to an overall vision of the project. In this context, the vocabulary includes symbolic forms from ancient church tradition (apse, baldachin, chancel, stair, etc.) (Figs. 601, 602). The existential expression — specific interpretations of motion, weight and substance — provides overall strength to the vision, which in this case implied the weaving together of the vertical and horizontal by means of the vocabulary.


From the Chapel of St Mary View of the alter.


From the Chapel of St. Mary. View towards the tabernacle.

Analysis and The Theory of Archetypes

The buildings of architectural history are not primarily results of various individual contributions, but rather the individual contributions’ elucidation of the same formal understanding. These formal understandings, which we call styles, hold the epochs together and give them commonality. These commonalities are clear, even quite dissimilar architects have been at work, and even though the building tasks and places have varied greatly.

What is it then that comprises these commonalities? The theory of archetypes can elucidate these interrelationships through the utilization of terminology equivalent to that which we used for our discussions of design. We must describe the styles based on the phenomena of overall vision, vocabulary, and existential expression. The vision, which in the case of design was the same as a conceptual foundation for a project, can be illustrated in the case of a style by the question: What is a period ‘comprised’ of, what is the sentiment of the period, and how is this expressed in its architecture? The vocabulary is concerned with those spatial types which the various periods have at their disposition. During Roman times, it was the vault; in Greek times, the skeletal system; in the Gothic it was the groin vault, etc. The existential expression has to do with how these types are interpreted as regards motion, weight and substance, based on the overall vision the architects have of contemporary attitudes. The development of the basilica is characteristic. As a constant spatial type, it is interpreted in numerous ways throughout history: in Roman times it was heavy, in the Gothic light, and in the Baroque ‘dynamic’, etc.

The Modern Tradition

As an example of the implementation of the analythical method, the development of what can be termed the primary phases of the modern tradition ought to be considered. Three styles stand in the forefront: neo-classicism, functionalism, and postmodernism. Neo-classicism from the second decade of this century is considered to be the final developmental advance within the traditional architecture of styles. This development was based on the Greek and Roman inheritance which had been sustained through the Renaissance and the Baroque to our own century. With its rationalist demands, functionalism from the 1920s and 1930s has been described as representing a fundamental break with this tradition. Postmodernism is the latest phase in the development of modern architecture. Its goals were first formulated in Robert Venturi’s book, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture from 1966.

By architects and others of the time, both functionalism and postmodernism have been viewed as completely new directions in relation to the periods they followed. Functionalism was to have broken all ties with neo-classicism, and postmodernism with functionalism. But if one studies the pioneers and prominent architectural examples of these three movements, it becomes clear that this is not the case. On the contrary, one can more accurately speak of prominent variants of a fundamental vocabulary. This vocabulary can be referred to as the basic geometrical forms, such as the sphere, cube, cylinder, and pyramid to name a few. Each of these three periods interpreted these archetypes differently, in response to dissimilar visions. As far as neo-classicism is concerned, the result was a desire for defined space> for functionalism it was the desire for open space, and for postmodernism it was the desire for complex space. The differences in interpretation were linked to dissimilar ways of assembling the geometric volumes (the expression of motion) and various ways of delineating spatial separation (the expression of weight and substance) (Fig. 603, a-c).

603 a-c

The major periods comprising the modern tradition, from (a) neo-classicism (1910s—20s) via (b) functionalism (1920s—30s) all the way to (c) postmodernism (1970s-80s). The periods have a common vocabulary made up of geometric volumes: the cube, cylinder, pyramid, etc., (604,1) but the interpretation of these volumes varies according to the dissimilar philosophies of each period. Neo-classicism sought defined space (604,3a), functionalism open space (604,3b) and postmodernism complex space (604,3c). This is due to dissimilar interpretations of the existential expression of the geometric volumes in terms of motion, weight and substance. Neo-classicism aimed for symmetry, additive forms and heaviness, functionalism aimed for asymmetry, overlapping and lightness, while postmodernism aims for all of these expressions simultaneously, in addition to its characteristic distortion (604,4a-c). The differences are expressed in the articulation as: placement of the opening (5), surface development (6), roof form (7), surface relationships (8), ornamentation (9) and corner resolutions (10).

The Geometric Volumes

The use of basic geometric volumes in the modern tradition was justified by the desire to accentuate various functions each with its own space. The principle was: ‘form follows function’.

History is full of examples of these sorts of ‘functional volumes’. An Italian stone village is built up of clearly accentuated volumes, as is a Carolingian or a Romanesque church. In the villages the volumes manifested the individual families, in the churches spaces for the various saints, chancel, and liturgical rites.

In neo-classicism these functional volumes are transformed into the very foundation of an esthetic program. This is most clear in the revolutionary architecture from the outset of our own era, just after the French revolution. Ledoux and Boullée enter the scene with their geometric volumes such as the sphere, cube and pyramid (Figs. 604, 605). And each of these ‘pure’ forms also represented various functions: the sphere was the farmer’s house, he who lived near the earth and had his life tied to earthly goods. The pyramid was the firewood carrier’s house, he who piled logs in pyramids. And the river guard’s house was a cylinder, formed as a wheel like the grist mill stone further up stream in the rapids. In this manner, the geometric volumes became ‘expressive discourse’ — ‘architecture pari ante’.


Geometric volumes os an expression of function (the farmer’s house by C.L. Ledoux).


Geometric volumes as an expression of function: river watch-house (by C.L. Ledoux).

The architecture of the revolution came to be a conscious reaction against the luxurious disintegration of defined volume during the Rococo period. In this way, it became a symbol of newfound sobriety after decades of joy in the parlours of the aristocracy. The same occurrence took place a century later, now with neo-classical cubism after the elegant Art Nouveau of the pre-war years. The first step is taken on the path of the modern tradition — first with neo-classicism, via functionalism to a temporary stopping point at postmodernism.

Neo-Classicism and Defined Space

Neo-classicism’s interpretation of the geometric volumes can, in spite of variations and exceptions, be summarized with the following catchwords: additive approach, mass and symmetry. Defined space is a reality — the additive approach emphasizes the individuality of the elements (Fig. 603, a). The volumes were interpreted as ‘things’, in that massivity and plasticity were the dominating expressions, while symmetry and articulation emphasized the balance of the elements. Each volume was considered as an isolated entity and was added to the next as an independent element. Sigurd Lewerentz’s crematorium in Malmo, Sweden (1928) is an example (Fig. 606). There, the small symmetrical entrance temple is flanked by two identical cones above rectangular bases with small cubes in between. The character is heavy, precisely because each individual was to be isolated from the others with thick walls and a unifying roof.


Geometry, symmetry and heaviness in neo-classicism man’s (Crematorium in Malmo, Sweden, by S. Lewerentz).

The volumes of neo-classicism were divided into horizontal layers which interpreted the varying gravitational surge to the ground. The rustic layer was at the bottom, above it was the layer with the small, often closely mullioned windows, and on top was the crowning cornice or a pitched hip roof (Fig. 607). And around the entire volume ran unbroken profiles as if to hold the mass of the walls tightly together. The corners were often reinforced with great blocks, and the portals surrounding the doors were carried by bulging columns with over-heavy keystones in the beam above. In this way, massivity is emphasized around a finite place, a sovereign world independent of its neighbours. This is why symmetry was important, because it joined the individuals together to form a whole. In this manner, the corner stones of the new tradition were laid, as a picture of a time that desired to begin anew and accentuate and lay claim to life’s true values.


Heaviness as an expression of neo-classicism (DnC-bank in 609. The lightness of functionalism (Residence in Oslo). Oslo, by Biong).

Functionalism and Open Space

According to Le Corbusier, the geometric volumes lived on in functionalism (Fig. 608). They were employed for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that they fit into the ideology of ‘form follows function’. Thus, the geometric volumes were a part of Le Corbusier’s theory of types, in that he considered them to be the ultimate product of nature’s own functional selectivity. And as with nature, architecture was a question of types arising on the basis of ‘well-formulated problems’.


Geometric volumes as ideals in functionalism (drawing by Le Corbusier).

However, functionalism’s interpretation of the basic geometric volumes were completely opposite to that of neo-classicism. Now they are seen as ‘containers’, not as masses (Fig. 603, b). They are dissolved, as opposed to closed and introverted. Therefore, the additive method was replaced by overlapping, mass was replaced by lightness, and symmetry by asymmetry. Overlapping integrates and unifies, and results in complex transitional spaces, while the skeleton opens up as it separates between load bearing and skin, between construction and spatial definition. And while symmetry orders and delegates, asymmetry provides for flexibility and free growth.

The walls of functionalism were made white and thin like a skin that en-swathed the volumes underneath (Figs. 609, 610). The walls of neo-classicism were firmly anchored to the ground; the walls of functionalism floated over the ground on high piloties. And now the windows are transformed into long bands, and the corners are dissolved in glass as replacements for small holes and plastic reinforcement of the corners. And whereas the entrance had once been framed in Doric plasticity, it was now superseded by a floating canopy. But all the while, it is still the volume that is being interpreted. The volumes express the individual functions, while the overlapping shows that they are still a part of a greater whole, which could continually adapt itself to new demands with budding freedom (Fig. 611). This formal image is optimistic and depicts an era that opened itself to the world because it believed in it and its technological visions.


The lightness of functionlism (Residence In Oslo).


The lightness of functionalism (Residence in Oslo, by A. Korsmo).


Overlapping of geometric volumes in functionalism (Residence in Oslo, by A. Korsmo. Axonometric drawing by A. Soreide).

After the post WW I functionalism, the basic volumes begin to be blurred. In the post WW II period, there remain only two aspects of the pioneers’ ideas: overlapping and technology. The former led to ‘the great space’ in which activities float as undefined currents between flexible wall elements (Fig. 612). The latter follows suit. Now the most important thing is the development of the structure surrounding the empty space. Look at the unbroken horizontal banding and the continuous strip windows from new town housing blocks of the 1960s and 1970s. What perfect proof of the post-war belief in a placeless architecture!


The esthetics of open space and technical expression in late functionalism.

The sense of place was re-established by the same man who indirectly provided the inspiration for its abolition, namely Le Corbusier. This new development took place with his church at Ronchamp (1955) (Figs. 613). With slanting walls, hanging roofs and plastic modulation, closed volume is re-established for defined activity. In this manner, the side-tracked development was restored to an even keel by once again concentrating on the interpretation of volumes. Robert Venturi defined the new thinking with his thoughts of ‘both/and’, and contradiction and complexity. In the 1970s and 1980s, these were culiminated by the first projects of postmodernism.


The heavy, volumetric expression in Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut.

Postmodernism and Complex Space

Postmodernism furthers the ideals which functionalism prepared for and revives those which functionalism left.

In functionalism, geometry volumes were overlapped at right angles. Those of postmodernism also overlap, but now mostly at acute and oblique angles. Where functionalism’s interpretations were made in order to attain dynamic continuity, the goal of typical postmodernism is to impel volumes one on another in contrasting conflict (Figs. 603, c, 614, 615). Thereby the volumes are accentuated at the same time as they are unified — the isolation of classicism and the openness of functionalism are joined to a single entity. Functionalism’s desire for overlapping and asymmetry answered the need for an adaptive architecture. The freedom that is implied by angling and pinwheeling is postmodernism’s furtherance of the same theme. And the accidental spaces which arise in-between are also welcome additions for both expansion and input. And if there is not enough space, the volume is deformed and thereby adapted to its neighbour. The walls of functionalism were understood as a light skin that enswathed the volumes within. In postmodernism, an extra step is taken and the skin is completely detached from the volume behind. In this way the wall is ‘free’ and can run like an unbound screen, modulating dynamic transitions between inside and outside (Fig. 616). Functionalism replaced the plasticity of neo-classicism with lines and surfaces, and the motifs of neo-classicism were replaced by abstract form. Postmodernism contains both. The motifs are resurrected, but often as contours and lines bound to a surface, not necessarily as independent plastic forms. Thus, the powerful rustic of neo-classicism is transformed into outlines on the surface, in the same way that modulated mouldings, gables, and colums are repeated as arches and triangles cut as abstract holes in thin walls (Fig. 617).


Volumes In contrasting conflict: Dominicon monastey (by L.I Kohn from Norberg-Schulz & Digerud, Louis Kohn, Idea a imagine).


Volumes in contrasting conflict: postmodernism (Wissenschaftliche Sentrum in Berlin, J. by Sterling).


Historical abstractions in Norwegian postmodernism (residence Kongsvinger, by Jan & Jon).


Dynamism in Norwegian postmodernism (axonometric in drawing of the offices and hallways in Norwegian University Press, Oslo, by Jan & Jon).

We see that postmodernism’s interpretations of the basic volumes, both in juxtaposition and in articulation, carry with them characteristics from all phases of the modern tradition. And so, it has also become a mirror of its own time, a time which seeks its identity and its roots, but which remains complex and filled with conflict.

Final Word

We have seen that for both design and analysis, the theory of archetypes has grown out of an holistic approach. In both instances, it was either a matter of fulfilling or describing the common expressive power of architecture. As regards analysis, we find that architects during any given period are influenced by a common architectural language. They do not work in an individual vacuum, but rather are bound together by a common intention which is typical for the period. There can be individual dissimilarities and disgressions, but even these must be seen in the light of the unifying formal will of the period in order to be understood. We have seen that the modern tradition was held together by the vocabulary of the geometric volumes. The differences between the three developmental phases were a function of dissimilar interpretations of expressions of motion, weight and substance. And these differences affected the entire space because they grew out of a vision which had to do with the period’s ‘image of itself’. In such a context, considering the roof, walls, and floor as isolated parts was meaningless without having considered their place in the development of an holistic expression.

The method of approach was the same for design. For the architect, it is essential to take advantage of the expressive potentialities of the archetypes only after considering the meaning of the whole in relationship to the content of the project.

The fundamental idea behind this work has in other words been to reinforce the creative potential of architects. This goal has been pursued by seeking the roots of architecture through a study of its expressive nature. In this, the author hopes to have contributed to a somewhat greater understanding of the role of architecture in the pursuit of more meaningful surroundings.


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