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Title: Influence and architecture : a study of Japanese and 'Oriental' influence in European modernism, with particular reference to the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto
Author: Veal, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 0131
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the influence of traditional Japanese culture and related 'Oriental' concepts in European Modern architecture, with particular consideration of the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto. The study is organised into six chapters, the first of which addresses the concept of influence, its direct and indirect modes of operation in architecture and the issues associated with Far Eastern sources. In the second chapter, the availability of information on Japanese architecture in Europe from the mid-nineteenth century through to the start of the Second World War is discussed, with reference to publications, exhibitions and architectural theory. In the following two chapters, the work of Mies is considered in the light of this available material. Although commentators have frequently referred to similarities between his buildings and Japanese precedent, direct connections have rarely been proposed. Consideration of the context in which he practised, however, reveals the availability of significant material related to the philosophical and conceptual basis of Japanese architecture, which, it is argued, finds various forms of expression in his work. In the case of Aalto, whose work is discussed in the final two chapters, parallels with Japanese precedent have been more readily identified by critics, with further examination of his context revealing an active interest in Japanese architecture and culture. Unlike Mies, who appears to have referred predominantly to conceptual sources, a more direct assimilation of the physical characteristics of Japanese buildings may be identified in Aalto's work. On the basis of this research, further conclusions have been drawn regarding the nature and effect of influence in architecture, most notably in relation to the 'anxiety' of influence experienced by practising architects, the significance of context, and the tension between traditional notions of influence and the broader understanding of 'intertextuality'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available