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the invisible cycle of architecture

Part 2 Dissertation 2007
Valeria Abrahan Garay
Melina Zabek
University of Mendoza | Argentina
This research paper started with a single but very deep question: what makes a work of architecture unique?
The examples we studied, allowed us to see that there was something special in each and every one of them, even thought this is sometimes not so evident in itself. We started our quest through Italo Calvino’s literary work and his proposal of “The Invisible”. The text was analysed from an architectural point of view and this led us to research meaning in Semiotics. Therefore we could extract evident philosophical truths in Architecture such as idea versus matter. We also discovered symbolic aspects from the Invisible Cycle of architectural works such as activity versus recycling.
By developing this idea, we thought we could have discovered what makes one building different from the other. We realized these reasons were beyond the physical aspects and these masterpieces represented a specific society and a specific period. We concluded that the real meaning of a work is found in the invisible and this allows a work of architecture to become part of a City and its community. The author plays an essential role since his understanding of a given society allows him to convey meaning and deliver his powerful message. This is a very personal process since there are no established formulas that will help the Architect .We concluded that these works caused such an impact in their communities because many aspects were combined. Among these, the author’s sensitivity, the epoch and even the perceptive capacity of people that live among these works of Architecture.
The individuals make buildings their own in the way in which they feel them because there is no preestablished form that will allow us to determine the essence of a Masterpiece. We can only say that if an idea prevails over matter, the image is impossible to replace.

Valeria Abrahan Garay
Melina Zabek

The following analysis is based on the literary work of Italo Calvino. From this work, Ms. Abrahan Garay and Ms.Zabek, extracted literary ideas which they related to some architectural concepts in different levels on a global scale. What is most important in this dissertation is the analysis of each architectural case.
These cases are related to a more abstract concept of Architecture. They imply an impact in a community when the most inherent aspects of a culture are projected in a work. Therefore a work of architecture inserts itself in the urban space, becoming an icon beyond its physical presence.

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