The search for an architectural language of dynamic space derived from changing relationships among material, structure, space and style

Khaled Mohamed Dewidar, University of Pennsylvania


"I cannot help searching for new images; and this I do, not for the sake of their novelty, but for the sake of finding an expression of the new outlook of the world around me."$\sp1$ In the historical development from a static to a dynamic perception of space, there are concomitant changes in the concept of architectural style. Materials become lighter, structures more kinetic; and spaces become less grounded, less bounded, and more energetic. The relationships among material, structural systems, space and style in the theories of Cesar Daly, Heinrich Hubsch and Viollet Le Duc are defined. Beyond those static perceptions, this dissertation examines the expression of movement in architecture; particularly through the ideas of Le Corbusier and the Russian Constructivists. It discusses more advanced concepts of equilibrium, (dynamic equilibrium) and a new sense of weight, (anti-gravity architecture), which finally lead to a new concept of space that expresses the essence of movement. The spiral structure and the inclined plane, are attempts in this direction, yielding a new concept of beauty based on movement and dynamism. The spatial solution and building theory that result from them diverge from the traditional horizontal and vertical architectural spaces, to create a dynamic, spiral space. This suggests a new ideology of movement and energy. The aim is to present a new theory of design, based on mathematical formulations and lines of force, i.e., a vector analysis as proposed by Moisei Ginzburg, Paul Klee and Kostantin Melnikov among others. This establishes a new spatial configuration, derived from models of dynamic concepts in architecture. Energy is the basic element of this language, since it is capable of articulating the emerging concepts of force and dynamic space in architectural form. It moves from a static to dynamic perception of space, and attempts to predict a new architecture whose major geometric expression is the spiral. In this new language, we begin to see the seeds of a new architectural style, in resonance with its time. ftn$\sp1$Naum Gabo. "On Constructive Realism," in The Tradition of Constructivism, Stephen Bann (ed.). New York: Viking Press, 1974. P. 246.

Subject Area

Architecture|Fine arts

Recommended Citation

Dewidar, Khaled Mohamed, "The search for an architectural language of dynamic space derived from changing relationships among material, structure, space and style" (1993). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9331771.