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The façade

A liminal space

Simon Henley

In February I travelled with my students to California. We were following in the footsteps of European architects Rudolf Schindler and Richard Neutra who emigrated to the West Coast a century ago. They took with them the germ of an idea - “Modernism” - and transposed it to another place, climate and culture to which they were not accustomed. For our students, the field trip was an opportunity to also see things to which they were not accustomed. Then, to return to Europe where they might reconsider the culture and climate they had thought so familiar. In particular we asked the students to look at the façades, and in each case to consider their construction, spatial properties and atmospheric potential. We wished to draw the students’ attention to the liminality of a façade, and its role in relating the culture of...

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