The architecture of the disaster

Teresa Stoppani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This essay considers the irruption of the designed destructive event in the order of the project of architecture. The artificial disaster brings onto architecture destructive sudden forces that operate against it with an intensity and a speed that are different from those that are at play in it. It imposes on architecture the man-devised, forceful and violent interference of a project that is alien to that of architecture. The violent orchestrated event in space is interpreted here as a paroxysmal – explicit, sudden, violent – actualization of the forces that contribute to the shaping of the environment. Design and planning are about space definition and form making, while the destruction inflicted by the disaster concerns the undoing of form, of planned orders, of structures (be they societal, urban, economic, national). Through a series of examples, this text explores those practices which – in architecture and around architecture – work on and with the energy released by the disastrous event. It aims to understand the effects of the planned disaster on the wider questions that the discipline of architecture needs to ask, and suggests that silence – or, the project of silence of architecture – is an act of design too.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-150
Number of pages16
JournalSpace and Culture
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012

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