The state of Non-CompletenessAs a motivator of the architectural imagination Prepared by Postgraduate StudentLawand Kamal Othman Advisor:Asst. Prof. Dr Amjad Ali The University of SulaimaniDepartment of ArchitectureJan, 2018 ContentsAbstract 31.Introduction. 32.
1The complete: 42.2Thenon completete : . 42.
3Representations of the non-complete in architecture. 52.3.1under construction. 52.3.2the ruin.
62.3.3designing the non complete.
62.3.4The fragment : 82.
3.5Design solution/problem. 8 10 3. Conclusions :Reasons for creating the Non-Complete. 94.References : 10 Table of FiguresFigure1 an architectural ruin (Non-Complete) 6Figure2 the tower of Babel 7Figure3 ideal forms. 7Figure4 design solutions make new design problems.
9 The state of Non-CompletenessAs a motivator of the architectural imagination AbstractWhen is a building finished? Orrather, when does a building begin and cease to be finished? Its publicly building is completewhen construction is finished. Architects goal is to make buildingsperfect and wish to keep it so permanently. And yet, buildings neverstay the same as built through the course of time. Their changes may be causedby natural forces or artificial means, and may manifest physically or inmeaning. Perhaps one could imagine that architecture achieves a’finishing’ point at several moments in its lifetime, and in between thesemoments, the architecture with – draws from its completed form and movestowards a new kind of completionin this opaper we will define the complete ans itsopposite the Non-complete and its forms then we willdiscuss the questions pertaining to the reasons for attempting to create Non-Complete architecture.
Keywords: incomplete, unfinished, architecture,imagination. 1.Introductionthe complete as the central idea ofarchitectural creation and thinking representsauthoritative, consensus, being finished and stable.
The Non-Complete, on the other hand, is offered as anambiguous concept – not final, unfinished and unstable. Finish does synonym with’complete’, but it also refers to the finishing of a surface, or the «Completion of the manufacture or decoration (of an article)by giving it an attractive surface appearance. Architecture prefers stability over uncertainty, fullness rather thanpartiality, and the complete rather than the Non-Complete. The Non-Completeis a state we form is not copying nature and its not targeting to create anew stability; it is a state of constant change, which contradicts completeand the finished, and its not aiming stability and unity. The Non-Completecondition preserves its independence without offering a beginning or an endexisting in a state of constant instability.According to Venturi, theunfinished, the juxtaposition of different elements without them meltingcompletely together to a harmonious unity, express an intriguing kind ofvitality and validity, and the unfinished form does not mean that thearchitecture is less achieved.
On the contrary, the complexity that thisambiguity represents triggers and challenges the intellect in the reading of thearchitecture more than a ‘resolved’ building does, and therefore makes thearchitecture more compelling (Venturi, 1977).2.1 The complete:The core values against whichcompleteness is measured are: function, esthetics and ethical standards. • ‘function’ indicates afinished product which is productive, cost-effective and efficient;• ‘esthetics’ means harmony, unity,integrity, centrality, stability and clarity of intention;• ‘value’ signifies preferencefor architecture that reflects majority opinion, serves the agents of power insociety, represents the moral good. Phaedros: Here are the most significant attributesof the perfect creation.
Socrates: Only architecture has need of them, andelevates them to the loftiest heights. Phaedros: I think it to be the mostperfect of the Arts (Plato, 2000).complete in architecture represents some basic rules and mesurements, theperfect ratiobetween thewhole and its parts, and the relationship between various elements of thecosmos, between nature and man (Bar-ali and Pliouchtch,2012). as architecture, is aimed to design and serve theneeds of human beings, in compliance with the laws of physics as well as allsorts of laws and regulations.
An exampleof this can be seen in how computerized imaging software is designed. Programsfocus on improving the speed, economy and efficiency in which architecture canbe presented realistically, with the emphasis on representing the finishedproduct. Programs that improve the presentation of the process and the initialsketch are still non-existent (Spiller, 1998).The concept of the completeresonates with religious thinking, and is prominent in Christianity and itsvalues, for instance: centrality, linearity, hierarchy, and the desire forredemption. The typology of temples and churches reflect these values?? in howtheir space is organized. These structures represent power and authority thatof God and that of the Church. The mechanisms for creating this are:centrality, symmetry, hierarchy, development along a central axis, a preferencefor self-improvement and progress towards that goal along a timeline.
All theserepresent the values of the complete. The search for ‘shape’ in architecture has traditionally been attractedto mathematical and scientific methods, including quantitative data analysis,diagrammatic analysis, and other types of analysis which enable the creation ofshapes based on objective and proven data. Another acceptable approach whenseeking the formal architectural model is to turn to nature as a proven modelof effectiveness and correctness. In the sense that: if it has already beentried successfully in nature, the man-made counterpart should also besuccessful.
Nature offers symmetry, growth in accordance with a series ofdefined shapes and natural logic. 2.2The non completete :TheNon-Complete is described as a conceptthat stands in resistance to or negates the values? mentioned before in thecomplete section of this paper the non complete represents a bold,argumentative, critical and experimental concept; not as an idea that isopposed to architecture, but a state that motivates imaginanion and takesarchitecture to stay in a state of continuous changing between completednon-complete. architecture finds itself in a unique situation when dealing withthe Non-Complete; it resists, but paradoxically also allows and encourages it(Vesely, 2004).
The Non-Complete does not try to imitate nature or create a newstability, but encourages a state of constant change Basically, it is possibleto see the Non-Complete from two different angles. The first views theNon-Complete as being part, or a remnant of a past which no longer exists; onethat had been rich in achievements, but which exist no more. The other angleperceives in the Non-Complete a hint or a proposal for a different and betterfuture, full of life and poetic/symbolic possibilities (Middleton, 2001). Italso preserves its independence, without offering an end or a beginning, justconstant change, with no desire to reach the end (Tschumi, 1996). andcomprehensible idea in art, but architecture naturally prefers the complete andthe stable both physically and conceptually. Thus, the Non-Complete is strangein architecture, especially if it has been constructed. According to Eisenman,when one feels the incompleteness of a finished structure, then one is underthe influence of a paradoxical experience. When the parts that constitute thewhole are clashing, the feeling of incompleteness contradicts the reality thatthe structure is, in fact, a finished and fully enclosed space (Hoteit,2015).
Nonetheless, there is still much evidence and many examples of Non-Completearchitecture throughout history. 2. 3 Representations of the non-complete inarchitecture 2.3.
1 under construction When a building is still under construction, and sorrownded withscaffolding and plastic, imagination works tocomplete its form and materials.This in-between phase is where the building motivates hundreds of differentstates of completeness through eyes of viewers and pass by pedesterians (Gjermstad,2015). It stands in the landscape like a sculpture, like pure form, like asketch where we can freely imagine how the work is to be completed, or simplylet that margin of unknown play in our sub-consciousness. The architect Jan De Vylder talks about hisfascination for the work on the building site. When arriving at the executionphase, the building is already drawn many times, and each time the building isdrawn it is potentially finished.
But as the drawings are done, and the projectbegin to maintain a complete form, that is the first moment when one can startchanging things, because only then we can understand what we can or shouldchange (De Vylder ,2010) when we are constructing a building there are hugeopportunities to change it. A building stays in the state of under-construction sometimes longerthat the daily ongoing proccess of the constructing. This might be called thephasing of construction (Peña, 2001). Phasing of construction may be considered as: When the initial budget is limited. When the funds are available over a period of time. When the functional needs are expected to grow. According to Kahn, the architecture reveals itsreal identity and ‘personality’, when it is free from its everyday function.This happens while the building is being built, but also when it becomes aruin, as the building is in both situations representing the unfinished.
Theunfinished could be a way of expressing the essence of a building, a definitionof what is remains when function is detached from architecture. 2.3.2 the ruin The ruin is the reminders andremainders of a world that used to be, The ruin represents the struggle betweenthe constructions of man and the power of nature.
We seek to construct andcomplete, and nature starts to tear the constructions back down, and bringingthe remains slowly back to its origin. The human works to construct, headingupwards, and nature is the force that drives that which human has erected todescend, leading downwards. It pictures the destructive powers that are forcingall architecture to falloff (Gjermstad, 2015),When we see an incomplete and partially destroyed building itgives us the urgeto repair it, to reanimate, to complete. An act of creating and completeig itsform in our imagination. artificial ruins, called ruin follies. Follies weresmall structures built for decoration, and are mainly found in English andFrench garden tradition. They find themselves in the ambiguity betweenunfinished structure and ruin.
known example of such a folly, is the Temple ofModern Philosophy near the Château d’Ermenonville, designed by Hubert Robertand René-Louis de Girardin in 1770. The temple appears to be a ruin, but wasconceived as an unfinished structure deliberately imitating a ruin. Figure 1 an architectural ruin (Non-Complete) 2.3.3 designing the non complete designing non complete form or leaving a form incomplete has been anintentional act by the designers and the builders to gain and achieve symbolic andphilosophical goals.
A known story from the perhaps first work of unfinished architectureknown to western literary tradition is the story of the Tower of Babel, knownfrom the Book of Genesis. According to the story, the people of God wanted tocreate a name for themselves, and with increased faith in their owncapabilities and common knowledge, they were convinced they could build a towerso tall that it could reach the heavens. The Lord interrupted the construction ofthe tower, seeing the development as a threat to the people’s faith in him. Hethen confused the people by giving them different languages, so that they wereunable to communicate, and scattered them all over the earth, so that they wereunable to continue the construction of the city (BibleGateway. Web. 25 Oct.
2012). Figure 2 the tower of Babel The constructions of man will always be imperfect, inadequate orincomplete, because we are not able to understand fully, nor create somethingthat is more complex than our understanding. the earthly forms are mereunfinished and simplified copies of the ideas. only is a ‘copy’ or an image ofthe world of ideas. No one has ever seen a perfect circle, nor a perfectlystraight line, yet everyone knows what a circle and a straight line are. Platoutilizes the tool-maker’s blueprint as evidence that Forms are real, perceivedcircles or lines are not exactly circular or straight, and true circles andlines could never be detected since by definition they are sets of infinitelysmall points Figure 3 ideal forms Plato believed that we only recogniseParticulars because of resemblances they hold to their Forms.
That in mindleads us to the believe that a form in never complete and always a non-completeversion of the perfect form. the way we perceive things is only an incomplete understanding ofthings. According to Plato, the insight to understanding the ideal world couldstill be achieved—if not completely, then at least partially—through what hecalled good sense, which can again be obtained though the study and practice ofphilosophy (Tranøy, 2014). When the architecture is leftunfinished, we still have the memory of the intention in mind, and perceive itas unfinished. When it is put into service, we can see that despite theunfinished form, that it can serve its function completely. Our understandingof its ‘whole’ develops over time, the unfinished character still visible, butnonetheless we accept it as an entity. The result is an ambiguous expressionbetween unfinished and whole.
The architecture historianNeil Levine claims that literally unfinished architecture is a paradox initself, because even though a building is visibly unfinished, it can stillfulfil its purpose andtherefore, be understood as ‘complete’.1 The notionof unfinished in regards to the architectural form can therefore be argued onlyto relate to architectural intention. Turning the question around, the buildingis unfinished according to who or what? The answer could be related to theintentions of the architect or the wishes of the client, or simply theexpectation of a group of people involved in a project. These are all subjectiveperceptions, which can change significantly during the potentially long life ofa building (Levine, 2006).an example of this case is Americanarchitect Louis Kahn was known for his extensive use of exposed materials, andan ‘unfinished’ state.
He was also known for his fondness for ruins, not onlyesthetically, but as representing the conceptual essence of pure architecture.The Kimbell Art Museum in Texas designed by Kahn (1966-1972) looks like theruins of a Roman Bath House, with many open and unfinished spaces which seem toserve no purpose at all. The building is, to a considerable degree, pretendingto be archeological ruins; of a building in a state of non-use, Non-Complete.The Phillips Exeter Academy Library in New Hampshire (1965-1972), also designed by Kahn, likewise represents valuesof being Non-Complete. This idea is reflected in a lack of closure, the vacuumin the center, corners that do not meet, the unfinished line of the roof, andso forth. All of these indicate that the structure is in a constant state ofdevelopment and construction or, alternatively, that the structure is one ofruins that are in a state of decomposition (Levine in Bergdoll, and Oechslin,2006). Also in a similar case The Gothic cathedral, like Beauvais, forinstance, of which only the enormous choir was built, is frequently unfinishedin relation to its program, yet it is complete in the effect of its formbecause of the motival consistency of its many parts (Venturi, 1977). 2.
3.4 The fragment : Thefragment or broken objects represents the loss of stability, harmony, andwholeness. The fragment by itself is partial and incomplete. Fragmentationsuggests that wholeness have existed sometime in the past or point towardcompleteness in the future . As such the fragments represent an unwantedtemporary condition. Metaphorically fragments represent moral breakdown, lossof belief, detachment from tradition and the past, and alienation from all thatis good (Bergdoll & Oechslin, 2006). The fragment has the ability for duelunderstanding. It can represent parts of whole in the process of becoming ormaturing into their future completeness or they can be exactly the opposite,representing a whole in a state of falling apart and disintegrating.
This isexpressed by Architecture historian Peter Carl in relation to Libeskind’s warmuseum: “…in the light of his emphasis upon the centrality of conflict, asa world both passing away and coming into being, under the dual forces of warand creativity.” (Bergdoll & Oechslin, 2006). 2.3.5Design solution/problemin manydeisgn cases a design solution itself creates another problem in a different effect.
it turns out to be the case that many of our contemporary designproblems arethemselves substantially the results of previous design activity (Lawson, 2005).This dual connection of design problems and solutions in a factor ofconsidering a building as “non-complete”, as the design always changesresponding to new problems accurying on different periods of time.We never stopdrawing a building. First we identify the design problems, after that theprocces of drafting the project comes up, and at the xcution phase all theimaginary visions and ideas are brought to life by construction materials. Thebuilding changes continuously and improves and adapts continuously.
A buildingis never identically typical to the drawn one before. after the end of thecontruction phase, one would say the building is finished, but actually it juststarts to live. First, it adapts to the people using it.
Maybe they put in anextra door or remove a wall. The building gets old, needs care, grows bigger,lose weight. And every time a change is made we partly or entirely draw thebuilding again (Gjermstad, 2015). Figure 4 design solutions make new design problems 3. Conclusions:Reasons for creating the Non-Completefrom all the states that we have explainedwe find that there are several reasons of existence or creating the non–complete architecture. the belief that reality itself is Non-Complete, and the understanding that the nature of reality is non-structured and lacking continuity; therefore, the perception of complete is incompatible with reality.
The powers of nature act as a deconstructive action that destroys some parts of an architectural project and leaves it in a state of non completion The undergoing procces of constructing a building specially building that take a long period of time to complete the non complete form as a goal for architect’s concept 4. References :Barry Bergdoll,Werner Oechslin, Robin Middleton. (2006). Fragments : architecture and theunfinished. Thames & Hudson.Gjermstad, I.(2015).
On the unfinished in architecture. Hoteit, A. (2015). Deconstructivism:Translation From Philosophy to Architecture. canadian social science.Jan De Vylder, IngeVinck, Jo Taillieu. (2010). architecten de vylder vinck tailleu.
Lawson, B. (2005). Howdesidgenrs think. Elsevier.Levine, N. (2006).The architecture of the unfinished and the example of Louis Kahn.
Fragments,architecture and the unfinished.Peña, W. M. (2001).Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer. Wiley.Plato.
(2000). TheRepublic. Cambridge University Press.Tranøy, K. E.(2014). On Plato and the Theory of Forms. Store norske leksikon.
Venturi, R. (1977).Complexity and cotradiction n architecture.