Routledge – 2006 – 248 pages
This fascinating argument from Jonathan Hill presents the case for the significance and importance of the immaterial in architecture.
Architecture is generally perceived as the solid, physical matter that it unarguably creates, but what of the spaces it creates? This issue drives Hill's explorative look at the immaterial aspects of architecture. The book discusses the pressures on architecture and the architectural profession to be respectively solid matter and solid practice and considers concepts that align architecture with the immaterial, such as the superiority of ideas over matter, command of drawing and design of spaces and surfaces.
Focusing on immaterial architecture as the perceived absence of matter, Hill devises new means to explore the creativity of both the user and the architect, advocating an architecture that fuses the immaterial and the material and considers its consequences, challenging preconceptions about architecture, its practice, purpose, matter and use.
This is a useful and innovative read that encourages architects and students to think beyond established theory and practice.
'This culturally well-rounded book is organised around two main chapters and an illustrated dictionary … Far more encouraging of creativity than many a "beginner's guide", and more immediately applicable to studio practice than the raw ingredients found in anthologies of architectural theory. As such it deserves a place at the table of students and practitioners alike.' – Tim Martin, Architecture Journal
'Jonathan Hill's work is absolutely definitive.' – Building Design
Introduction: Immaterial/Material 1: House and Home 2: Hunting the Shadow Conclusion: Immaterial-Material Index of Immaterial Architectures: Introduction. Acrylic. Yarn. Air. Air Conditioning. Aluminium. Bamboo. Cloud. Compost. Condensation. Dust. Fabric. Fireworks. Fluorescent Light. Frosted Light. Lightning. Lily. Mesh. Milky-White Glass. Mirror. Mirror Glass. Night Light. Nordic Light. Oak Tree. Oil. Paper. Plaster. Rust. Sgraffito. Silence. Sound. Steel. Television. Weather.
Jonathan Hill is Professor of Architecture and Visual Theory and Director of the MPhil/PhD by Architectural Design programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He is the author of The Illegal Architect (1998) and Actions of Architecture (2003) and editor of Occupying Architecture (1998) and Architecture—the Subject is Matter (2001) among others. Galleries where he has had solo exhibitions include the Haus der Architektur, Graz, and Architektur-Galerie am Weissenhof, Stuttgart.