Architecture and the Memory of Landscape

By Laurence Keith Loftin III.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Currently there are many and various definitions of sustainable architecture. In general such buildings utilize highly technical solutions to solve architectural programs with the least expenditure of energy. These solutions emphasize the Modern Project: the technical, the industrial, and the scientific - fostering what Heidegger calls “the forgetfulness of being.” None of these technical solutions lead us to a renewed awareness of the land or the world around us. This paper argues that the development of a truly sustainable architecture will require a dramatic change from this technological imagery. It will be proposed that a significant imagery will be based on the landscape, and memories of inhabiting the landscape. The writings of Gaston Bachelard will be the primary reference. Several well-known works of architecture will be briefly examined to make this point, and an unbuilt project will be described that uses the imagery discussed.

Keywords: Sustainability, Landscape Imagery, Dwelling

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.25-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 6.403MB).

Mr. Laurence Keith Loftin III

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, College of Architecture and Planning, The University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA

I grew up in the moist lowlands of Tidewater, Virgina and was educated at Princeton University and The University of Virginia, but abandoned the east for the Wild West where I have taught architecture for the last 18 years at the University of Colorado Denver. The semi-arid desert of the American West has been a constant inspiration for research into and design of passive ecological and sustainable architecture.

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