Remembering myth and ritual in the everyday tectonics of hospitals

Tenna Doktor Olsen Tvedebrink


When discussing tectonics, the book Studies in tectonic culture by Kenneth Frampton (2001) is often mentioned for linking the ethics of architecture with a focus on structural genius. Another reference is the paper The tell-the-tale detail by Marco Frascari (1984), which in addition to Frampton put emphasis on both the physical construction and mental construing of architecture. With this dual perspective Frascari established a discourse in tectonic thinking which brings the tectonic expression beyond structural genius into socio-cultural realms of storytelling, myth and ritual. However, in everyday architecture like hospitals this perspective of construing is often neglected. In this paper, I explore if it is possible through a re-reading of Frascaris words to inspire for a re-construction of everyday tectonics. Based on project MORE at Aalborg Hospital, I argue that the perspective of construing and the realms of storytelling, myth and ritual are also important ethical aims of architectural construction, because they are crucial for what we experience, feel, and remember in our everyday life. Relative hereto, I suggest that the focus on structural genius is unfolded to investigate how myths and rituals for instance in the interior staging of meal situations can foster a more human-centred perspective in everyday tectonics.

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