Lakeside Buildings


This view shows more clearly how diagrammatic is the 'Primitive', or Wooden (but cast in concrete) Order.

It also shows how even such a simple framing (I use the verb 'steadying', as in homestead, farmstead and bedstead) of columns and beams can compose a diverse group of Architectural inventions. But this is an architecture denuded of all ornament, colour or surface pattern. It is, in this sense, genuinely 'antique'. These are the bare bleached bones of Architecture found, like a skeleton, in the desert. Although this Architecture may appeal to some (and I am still proud of its compositional ingenuities) I publish it again (after 30 years) to show the 'origins' of my 'Architectural Project'. This is where I started. This is a vocabulary of mere 'tectemes', irreducible elements, like a child's building block set, that then had to be 'matured', cultivated and cultured into something capable of being drunk (or 'read') by adults.

Today, when I compose, I always do so with a complex set of iconic refrains which bring with them a decorative dimension (which I call 'Iconic Engineering'). These colours and patterns, which tend, like Mogul decoration, to be inlays that do not scar the pure forms they 'stain', bring, like a flush on the cadaver of Architecture, an evidence of life. My 'intelligible decoration' brings the body of Architecture back to life by evidencing some mental activity within the giant form. Ideas flit across its facade, in the way that they are evidenced in the body-language of a human face. But today, with my inventions, these 'surface stirrings' are not mere skin, as they have always been throughout history. They penetrate into the hitherto inanimate, untrodden, material body of building. Today, the idea that animates the face, just as in the living human, animates the body as well.

Medium: pencil on tracing paper: Size A1+, Scale 1:200.

The Competition design for the Burrell Museum.