Retreat into Stillness: An Architectural Exploration of Beauty

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dc.contributor.advisor Linzey, M en
dc.contributor.advisor Barton, C en
dc.contributor.author Smith, Alexandra en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-08-02T04:11:40Z en
dc.date.issued 2015 en
dc.identifier.citation 2015 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29751 en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract This thesis was inspired by a curiosity about the dismissal of beauty as mere aesthetic preference. It seeks to question the role that the experience of beauty plays in the environment, and to explore how architecture could hope to approach elusive concept. The work proposes that beauty is the embodiment of value, an expression and confirmation of a certain vision of life. It is the manifestation of potential, a reminder not of what is, but of what is lacking and must not be forgotten. In a consumerist society, dominated by technology and efficiency, one form of beauty is deemed to lie in the embodiment of stillness. The thesis goes on to investigate three possible interpretations of stillness, and considers how these might be explored architecturally. The first is the stillness experienced in solitary ‘exclosure’ as engendered by the conditions of silence and solitude. The second looks at the stillness that arises in expressions of humanity, as experienced in intimate ‘enclosure’ and as intensified by the beauty of the fragile and the broken. Finally, it considers a more transient form of stillness, as experienced in the freedom of ‘openness’.1 The design acknowledges that stillness is relative, and could therefore, be intensified by the presence of chaos and disturbance. The chosen site, the collapsed face of Clifton Hill, in Christchurch, is a macabre disfigurement of the land and a poignant reminder of mortality. And yet, this scar could also be said to represent the emergence of a tender, perhaps even beautiful, layer of new skin. On this site, a critique of a modern culture of speed, power and consumption is staged, and an alternative understanding of beauty is proposed through an architecture of stillness. The design is a place of silent quality, a retreat from turbulence both physical and mental. Through the representation of an aspect of existence deemed to be lacking from the current cultural hegemony, it initiates a vital discussion about beauty. The thesis argues that beauty is not mere preference, but the essential expression of values and needs, and therefore architecture can, and must, attempt to instigate beauty. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264872597002091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title Retreat into Stillness: An Architectural Exploration of Beauty en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Architecture (Professional) en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 537542 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2016-08-02 en


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