Poetics is a significant strand of architectural thought. An established seminar topic in theory classes around the world, it is taught in almost every architecture school. Until now, theory courses have tended to rely heavily on classic philosophical texts, such as Gaston Bachelard′s The Poetics of Space. The interest in poetics in recent years, though, has expanded beyond academia into design and practice, as the atmospheric and experiential qualities of built space have become more critical and seemingly elusive in a virtual age. How might poetics, defined as the accumulated experience of place, space and culture, be deemed to be at play in the designing of all well–conceived architectural spaces? Moreover, how might architects seek to invoke poetics when designing real projects?
The emphasis of the book is on analysing and explaining the sensibility of poetics at work in designing and constructing architecture. The book is rich in analytical diagrams, and documents featured projects through plans, sections and photography. The text is matter of fact and concrete. It, however, remains richly connected to its forebears and the writings of those such as William Lethaby, Gaston Bachelard and Steen Eiler Rasmussen. It is highly contemporary in its examples and in its connections to the evolving science of perception.
The book features selected projects from architects around the world, from emerging practices to well–established offices, including Peter Cook/CRAB studio, DSDHA, Sean Godsell Architects, O′Donnell + Tuomey, Ushida Findlay and WOHA.
Chapter 1: Making Home 030
1.1 Richard Blythe, Treehouse, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 2013 032
1.2 dRMM, WoodBlock House, London, 2013 041
1.3 John Brown (housebrand), FAB house prototype, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2014 050
1.4 Feary + Heron, remodelling and new Plant Room at Eagle s Nest, Zennor, Cornwall, England, ongoing 058
1.5 Minifie van Schaik Architects, Wattle Avenue House, Mildura, Victoria, Australia, 2012 066
Chapter 2: Feeding Body, Mind and Soul 076
2.1 Joost Bakker, MFWF Greenhouse, Melbourne, 2012 078
2.2 Jo Van Den Berghe, t Raboes Project, Eemnes, Netherlands, 2013 087
2.3 Peter Hogg + Toby Reed Architects, Precinct Energy Project, Dandenong, Australia, 2013 094
2.4 Peter Hogg + Toby Reed Architects, Arrow Studio, Tylden, Victoria, Australia, 2013 101
2.5 Kurtogpi Architects, Borgarfjördur College, Borgarnes, Iceland, 2008 107
2.6 Sean Godsell Architects, RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne, 2012 115
2.7 CRAB studio, Abedian School of Architecture, Robina, Queensland, Australia, 2014 124
Chapter 3: Healing Our City 136
3.1 Kerstin Thompson Architects, Community Police Station, Marysville, Victoria, Australia, 2012 138
3.2 CZWG, Canada Water Library, Southwark, London, 2011 146
3.3 O Donnell + Tuomey, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, 2014 156
3.4 DSDHA, South Molton Street Building, London, 2012 164
3.5 Three University Makeovers: Cincinnati, Budapest, Melbourne 172
Chapter 4: Capturing Nature 192
4.1 m3architecture, University of Queensland Aquatic Centre, Brisbane, 2012 194
4.2 W Architects, The Oliv, Singapore, 2013 202
4.3 Kristin Green Architecture, La Plage du Pacifique, Vanuatu, ongoing 209
4.4 WOHA, PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore, 2013 217
4.5 Ushida Findlay, Poolhouse 1, Home Counties, England, 2001 225
Conclusion: A Reflection on Practical Poetics 235
Select Bibliography 239
Leon van Schaik, AO, LFAIA, RIBA, PhD, is Innovation Professor of Architecture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). From his base in Melbourne, he has promoted local and international architectural culture through an influential practice–based research programme and the commissioning of innovative architecture. His PhD programme at RMIT in architecture and design practice has become an important template for institutions worldwide; it has recently been awarded a several–million–Euro grant by the EU Marie Curie Actions Fund to extend its activities internationally by partnering with institutions in Europe. At the 75th anniversary awards of the RAIA, Schaik was awarded the inaugural Neville Quarry Prize for Architectural Education. In 2006 he was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his services to architecture and education.