Other Topographies

Dominique Perrault  Frédéric Migayrou 

Sandro Boticelli, The Depths of Hell

Our relationship with the ground keeps us continually attached to what is the essence of a truly geographic approach, to our cultural tendency to accept the idea of making a mark, of a foundation, of geography in the literal sense, the one of rootedness, a trace, of writing on the ground. To place geography front and center is to invite a rethink of architecture based on the assumptions that overdetermine the understanding of our relationship with the ground. But this runs counter to the geography of history. We must therefore leave behind a certain still dominant form of postmodernism, and free ourselves from an understanding of a context determined by the historical sociology of its uses, in order to return to a more physical grasp of the territory, without abandoning the qualitative values specific to a local situation. Geography is not a complement to history. It is an essential element of every architectural approach... 

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