To seek the essence of architecture in the provision of physical control would be to reduce architecture to mere building1. This dissertation questions the accepted pre-eminence of the rational over the intuitive in architectural design. Further investigation into the question forms a themed theoretical discourse around the origins of architecture, or enclosure and the escapism provided by ornamentation. The question is not restricted to the current architectural context and is discussed and ordered by the title trilogy. The investigation departs from a mythical scale gradually focussing to the macro and micro theories, ending on a site contextual level. Anima is the feminine Latin root for ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’, also ‘animal life’ (related to a creature’s breath); Technic is from the Latin technicus which means ‘details’ and ‘methods’. Combined, the words anima and technic refer to an imaginative creative ability, mediation between the unconscious and conscious mind2. Animatechnic becomes a mythological state of process and becoming in which the art of making or representation blurs the boundary between the emotional artisan and the technician; it is further viewed as a simile to the origins of architecture and the art of enclosure. Architecture as Escapism presents the post-modern theoretical debate regarding representation in the current age of production and consumerism, where the authenticity of product and experience plays a vital role. Ornamentation and representation provides objects with narrative lines and places objects in a metaphorical position against each other. The relevance of this understanding to the dissertation is in a possible neo-archaic approach to inventiveness and meaning in an age of production devoid or illusive of sacred being or awareness. ZOO becomes the metaphysical space where the situations of enclosure and escapism accumulate in multiple forms, a place where man’s perceptions of authenticity and reality is challenged. The concepts within the ZOO situation crystallises in the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG). ZOO is regarded as a collective, a world within a world, a representation in itself of the post modern situation, a microcosm. NZG is the place where, the situations and conditions of the mythical and further theoretical discourse are staged. It is a place where contemporary Animal and Man meets; a landscape of enclosure, cages or artificially copied habitats and representations to provide escapism. ZOO is a space where the collection of Animal and Man can be observed on a global spectrum; the mythical tempus of Paradise, of primordial plenitude. The dissertation aims to communicate the interconnectedness of the trilogy and investigates, interprets and gives form to the discourse and the metaphors or analogies surrounding the theme on various theoretical scales. The project hopes to inform intuitive design approaches by documenting and illustrating the design process involved. The building is redesigned and reinterpreted throughout the process. The investigation should therefore, be seen as the near final synthesis of method or the becoming of a structure and not the rationalised drive to a product.
Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2011.