Conflict and Natural Disasters
Buildings destroyed
How does the effect of a destroyed
building have upon the architect? Isn't it a sign of an idea that once was, a time frame, a way a society or a person lived? What does an architect take from a ruined civilization or a destroyed building? What feelings and thoughts are evoked?
Abdul Basit Mukri
Buildings destroyed
Dear Abdul,

This is a very thoughtful question.

I think architects always live and have lived with the notions that their 'unique' buildings left on earth will be signs of their immortality even after they've left this world. As opposed to 'builders', such as the builders of vernacular architecture who probably see their work as a continuum of the work of their teacher, to be continued in the work of their trainees. Architects trained in the West or in the Western tradition have a deep melancholic connection to ruins -- especially if they are ruined by natural forces. At its most institutionalized, that's the "Grand Tour". Architects seek ruins, photograph them, draw them and I don't think they just have the idea of preservation of the building or the preservation of that civilization in mind; it's a way of consoling themselves that it's some past age and that their buildings will never look as such.

But there are always architects (or other enthusiasts) left behind who will fight for the preservation of the 'unique' work of architects who are not there to defend it themselves. Yet, who defends the work of the vernacular builder?
Ozgur Basak Alkan


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