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Bruno Zevi- Architecture as space.


The ideas presented by Bruno Zevi in the assigned reading “Architecture as Space� clearly define the architecture as an experience and not just the dimensions and “structural elements that enclose the space but the void itself�. Architecture has been depicted through out history as a series of elements or facades put together to create structures. History has treated the different elements independently and analyzed the parts separately instead of look at a structure as a whole. The true understanding of architecture comes from experiencing it; being within the form whether it is an interior or exterior space. There are some comparisons of architecture to art and Zevi’s description is very to the point when he stated that architecture is “a great hollowed-out sculpture which man enters�. Architecture is an art that surrounds you and involves all of your senses while art only can be experienced by one or two. The true real meaning of a church or other religious buildings can not be experienced in photographs, drawings, descriptions or the plans; it also cannot be experienced by the wealth of its contents but by walking around in it and viewing the structure from different points. The sprit of a building includes the light and shadows, windows and column, floors and ceiling and many other elements put together in one package.

My personal experience of this phenomena happened first in Belgium at a cathedral in Antwerp. This was my first experience in a cathedral and the beauty and mysticism overwhelmed me. I sat in that cathedral for over an hour trying to absorb all that I could and I do not believe in Christianity. I later thought how the Priest and monk that worship there can concentrate on the written words in the bible when the true spirituality surrounds and engulfs them. I finally came upon the painting of Pieter Pauwel Rubens “Descent from the Cross� and it was truly stunning sight. After taking this class I wonder was the cathedral built to frame the painting or was the picture painted to enhance an already beautiful church.
My next experience was with the Taj Mahal and it was equally impressive. Here love was the motive for the building but my reaction to the site was no less. I could not have felt the same magnificence seeing the Taj Mahal in a photograph or capture the splendor of the surrounding gardens from a painting; or look upon its misty presence from the distant Red Fort.
Since my first experience I have gone to many other place and experience structures as Bruno Zevi’s has described.