Vol. 3 No. 6 (2015): Orders in Architecture. Do Architectural Forms Have a Meaning? (eng)
ORDERS IN ARCHITECTURE.Â Do Architectural Forms Have a Meaning? The issue of the "orders" in architecture covers an extremely vast field of theories, studies and design experiences that have all been developed in the framework of the architectural thinking of the Western tradition.The classical architectural orders established a stylistic canon, a code, and a language as well, in order for architectures to speak, to transmit and to signify.Generally speaking, the core issue is the creation of meanings through architecture.In this view, a major vehicle of sense has not just been the experience of architectural orders, but rather their transgression, their variation, up to the extreme end of disorder. Following Ludovico Quaroni, "The Greeks, the Etruscans, the Romans, the architects of the Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism made use of the orders to design as many architectures, and these were different, and even opposite one versus the other. [...] The orders were only components of the architectural design, that is, elements drawn from manuals that could be used and transformed in relation to the various syntactic contexts"1.The issue of the architectural orders is therefore a partial answer to a broader question, skilfully phrased in 1886 by the twenty-two years old Heinrich Wölfflin in the introduction toProlegomena zu einer Psychologie der Architektur2, his inaugural dissertation at the Faculty of Philosophy of Munich University: "How it is possible that architectural forms are an expression of soul, of a Stimmung"?Therefore, the question is: is it still possible today to refer to the communicative resources of the architectural orders for creating meanings through architecture? 1 L. Quaroni, Progettare un edificio. Otto lezioni di architettura, Gabriele Mazzotta editore, Milano 1977, p. 215.2 H. Wölfflin, Prolegomena zu einer Psychologie der Architektur, 1886. French edition : H. Wölfflin, Prolégomè¨nes à une psychologie de l'architecture, introduction by Bruno Queysanne, Editions Carré, 1996.