LAUGIER PRIMITIVE HUT PDF

Illustration in the public domain courtesy of Open Library, openlibrary. The Primitive Hut Idea by Laugier Laugier theorizes that man wants nothing but shade from the sun and shelter from storms—the same requirements as a more primitive human. The horizontal pieces that are laid upon them, afford us the idea of entablatures. The essay is considered a major treatise in architectural theory.

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On the banks of a quietly flowing brook he notices a stretch of grass; he is drawn there and, stretched out at leisure on this sparkling carpet, he thinks of nothing less than enjoying the gift of nature; he lacks nothing, he does not wish for anything. But soon the scorching heat of the sun forces him to look for shelter. A nearby forest draws him to its cooling shade; he runs to find refuge in its depth and there he is content He leaves and is resolved to make good by his ingenuity the careless neglect of nature.

He wants to make himself a dwelling that protects but does not bury him. Some fallen branches in the forest are the right material for his purpose; he chooses four of the strongest, raises them upright and arranges them in a square; across the top he lays four other branches; on these he hoists from two sides yet another row of branches which, inclining towards each other, meet at their highest point.

He then covers this kind of roof with leaves so tightly packed that neither sun nor rain can penetrate. This man is housed. Admittedly, the heat will make him feel uncomfortable in this house which is open on all sides but soon he will fill in the space between two points and feel secure All the splendors of architecture ever conceived have been modeled on the little rustic hut I have just described.

It is by approaching the simplicity of the first model that fundamental mistakes are avoided ad true perfection is achieved. The pieces of wood set upright have given us the idea of the column, the pieces placed horizontally on the top of them the idea of the entablature and the inclining pieces forming the roof the idea of the pediment. Laugier believed that it was these three components which are essential to the perfect composition.

This simplicity makes it easier to distinguish between what is essential and what is not. Components which are essential are inherently beautiful, those which are necessary provide license but it is those added in caprice which present flaws.

By referring back to the primitive hut one can only choose the elements which are essential, and when they are suitably placed and formed within the composition, perfection may be achieved. The placement of these parts must ensure that not a single one could be taken away without the building collapsing. The close relationship between members is what makes each one essential, and therefore beautiful.

Architecture is founded on simple nature, as nature is what indicates the rules. This principle is exemplified in the story of the primitive hut. The narrative describes a primitive man seeking shelter and consequently building due to necessity for survival. Three simple elements compose the hut: The column.

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ESSAY: The Eternal Return of the Primitive Hut

It was written in the Age of Enlightenment , during a time characterised by rationalist thinking through science and reason. Architecture in France during this period was defined predominantly by the Baroque style with its excessive ornamentation and religious iconography. Laugier argued for the simplicity of architecture, that architecture must return to its origins, the simple rustic hut. It was through The Primitive Hut that Laugier sought to explain his philosophy of architecture. The Essay on Architecture provides what Laugier explains as the general rules of architecture: the "true principles", the "invariable rules" for "directing the judgement and forming the taste of the gentleman and the architect". The frontispiece was arguably one of the most famous images in the history of architecture; it helped to make the essay more accessible and consequently it was more widely received by the public. The message the illustration was suggesting was clear: that the essay would suggest a new direction or a new order for architecture.

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Photo Mattia Balsamini. Courtesy Fondazione Prada. Imagine a field. Not an extraordinary field. Just a field. Grass, yes. Trees in the distance, also yes.

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The Primitive Hut - Essentials of Architecture

On the banks of a quietly flowing brook he notices a stretch of grass; he is drawn there and, stretched out at leisure on this sparkling carpet, he thinks of nothing less than enjoying the gift of nature; he lacks nothing, he does not wish for anything. But soon the scorching heat of the sun forces him to look for shelter. A nearby forest draws him to its cooling shade; he runs to find refuge in its depth and there he is content He leaves and is resolved to make good by his ingenuity the careless neglect of nature. He wants to make himself a dwelling that protects but does not bury him. Some fallen branches in the forest are the right material for his purpose; he chooses four of the strongest, raises them upright and arranges them in a square; across the top he lays four other branches; on these he hoists from two sides yet another row of branches which, inclining towards each other, meet at their highest point.

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The Primitive Hut

This conception of the origin and history of architecture is adopted in all early modern treatises. It is the result not of archaeological investigation or speculation, but of a typical Enlightenment thought experiment. All buildings therefore always refer back to this first model, which embodies suprahistorical design principles. But how this is achieved, is left very implicit. The history of the transformation of the hut has not yet been written. How this is done, by means of which figures of thought or frames of reference, has not yet been studied, even if the principles proposed by Laugier and contemporaries caused considerable and well-studied controversy.

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