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"The Concept of Limit in Architecture; its Application in a Rehabilitation Project"

Part 2 Dissertation 2004
Irina Teodora Tulbure
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism Bucharest Romania
The concept of Limit has seen many interpretations outside the field of architecture. Its most interesting incarnations have been advanced by anthropologists, philosophers, historians and philosophers of culture. Especially fruitful has been the discussion of the concept of Limit as a source of tension between the individual and the community, a tension both conservative and distructive, and also the debate surrounding the founding or establishing thrust of the limit.
In the first part of this paper I will try to offer a description of the concept of Limit by looking at its main characteristics. I will refer to the approaches of phenomenology, proxemics and theory of architecture in order to circumscribe the features of this concept. I will focus on the founding moment of the Limit and on its features of concentricity and permissivity.
In the second half of my paper I will discuss the relevance of the concept in the context of a traditional society in general and that of the Transylvanian Saxons, in particular. I will conjecture that in the case of traditional societies, the concept of Limit can be used effectively to describe the tension generated by the loss of a stable cultural identity and the need to (re)formulate a new one.
The rehabilitation project that I discuss in my paper makes use of all the characteristics of the Limit (time of foundation, features of concentricity and permissivity). Moreover, as I will suggest in the conclusion of my essay, the type of rehabilitation projects like the one I describe in my paper can not be effectively completed without taking into account the characteristics of the notion of the limit.

Irina Teodora Tulbure

As an architect, the author was confronted with the rehabilitation of the fortified church in Cincu Mare which has been for centuries the symbol of the cultural identity of a minority – the saxons in Transilvania. Thus, as a member of the majority – the romanians – the author chose to confront herself with the deeper significance of the relationship between these two types of social groups in order to find an optimum destiny for the fortified church at a time of changing borders. A clear but refined journey from the limits of the individual to those of a community and up to the cultural ones.

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