Tectonic expression of concrete as an architectural material

Şimşek, Aslıhan
This thesis is an inquiry into the position of concrete as an architectural material in architectural production and expression. With increasing use of concrete in architecture not only technical properties but also aesthetical ones of the material came to foreground. Reconsidering concrete as a building material, the thesis aims to find out tectonic possibilities of concrete as an architectural expression tool. The purpose to search for concrete's tectonic potentials is to rescue it from its bad connotations and reveal it as an architectural tool instead of being mere constructional mean for an end. In order to explore aesthetic qualities of concrete as a part of architectural production, the scrutiny of tectonic theories provide a conceptual framework for a contemporary interpretation of concrete usage in architecture. Kenneth Frampton, Karl Bötticher, Gottfried Semper and Martin Heidegger are the key references to understand the tectonic potentials of concrete material in architecture. Within the framework of Semper's abstract procedures, manipulation of concrete material is analyzed through the specific examples. Structure and symbol, material and method, clear structure and joint are the consulted binary keywords related to the evaluation of tectonic aspects of concrete in architecture. By the technological developments, concrete material -both as a science and art- has been freed from the constraints of traditional production techniques and generated a field for the imaginative creations of the architect. When considered as a part of architectural design, concrete constitutes not only the "core-form", but with its innate qualities revealed by the designer it transposes the building into an "art-form". Constituting the structure, surface, or detail of building, concrete material has the ability to express architectural meanings behind design concept. This study attempts to identify concrete material as a value indicating to tectonic, craft, "poiesis", technology connotations and emphasizes its architectural expression power.