Culture: Modernisms 11 March 2014 SEVEN Tectonics and Transparency – Gerry adler

At the time of his death Schinkel’s great unfinished project was his Architektonisches
Lehrbuch (Architectonic Textbook); its place as textbook for the School of Architecture
would be taken by Karl Bötticher’s great three-volume study Die Tektonik der Hellenen
(The Tectonics of the Greeks) published between 1843 and 1852. Bötticher, according
to Frampton, “respectively assimilated the representational to the Greek and the
ontological to the Gothic.” In other words, he ascribed Kernform to Gothic construction
and Kunstform to the Greek ideal; his illustration for doing so could be found on the
Spree in the form of Schinkel’s Bauakademie. Britain and France led the way at this
stage; it was not until much later in the century that Germany and the USA would
challenge their technical superiority in constructional innovation. In London the prime
example was the Crystal Palace (1851) by Joseph Paxton; in Paris it was perhaps Henri
Labrouste’s Bibliotheque Ste Geneviève (1843–1850).


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