Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What is a Building? Is it a Dwelling?

Martin Heidegger wrote an article in 1951 called "Building Dwelling Thinking". The philosophical work ponders - What is it to dwell? - it's translated by Albert Hofstadter, 1971.

We try to fill the need by providing houses, by promoting the building of houses, planning the whole architectural enterprise. However hard and bitter, ... The real dwelling plight lies in this, that mortals ever search anew for the nature of dwelling, that they must ever learn to dwell... Rightly considered and kept well in mind, it is the sole summons that calls mortals into their dwelling
Not every building is a dwelling.
"In what way does building belong to dwelling? A bridge may serve as an example ... The bridge swings over the stream with case and power. It does not just connect banks that are already there. The banks emerge as banks only as the bridge crosses the stream. The bridge designedly causes them to lie across from each other. One side is set off against the other by the bridge."
<-- The "concrete bathtub" bridge over the Elbe River in Germany. Also located in Falkirk, Scotland - A giant wheel lifts and lowers canal boats from one canal to another. The move is about 200 feet.
When you watch the Falkirk Wheel video here is what to expect.
  • 1min 30sec the giant wheet starts to turn
  • 4min 30sec Half way there
  • 6min 30sec both boats leave the wheel

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