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Deep-Time Architecture:
Building as Material-Event
Cristina Parreño Alonso
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Despite our tendency to conceive, perceive, and represent buildings as static objects, buildings are, in their abundant reality, matter and energy in flux. As Heraclitus famously remarked in his panta rhei (πάντα ῥεῖ,): “everything flows.” Buildings are no different, and they need to be better thought through as entities in motion. In architectural literature, many voices have challenged the prevailing notion of the building as a static object. Bruno Latour, for instance, claims that a building is rather “a moving project, and that even once it has been built, it ages, it is transformed by its users, modified by all of what happens inside and outside, and that it will pass or be renovated, adulterated and transformed beyond recognition.” Another attempt to express architecture’s fluidity is Bernard Tschumi’s triad, “space, event and movement,” with which he aimed to expand what constitutes building beyond a static object and form: “There is no space without event, no architecture without movement.” And here we must add that there is no movement without time—and further, that given enough time, even a solid-like material (think of a building here) flows.

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