The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 6

I tend to identify architecture primarily with the mental work of creative invention.
Architecture is the result of that activity. Can thoughts expressed in words or pictures
compete with sensory experiences? Is walking around and through a building comparable to being told about it?
There is a real joy in experiencing, and having one's emotions stimulated by a building or a space. A work of architecture really stands up if, after experiencing it, you are
driven to communicate it to others by recalling forcefully and vividly the things that
stimulated your senses. The work holds up especially if you can repeat the experience
at different times of day and in different seasons.
I believe that authenticity has to do with both aesthetic judgement and the emotional experience. As an architect in practice for many years, I am always gratified
and delighted when clients, peers and complete strangers describe one of my
pieces of work to me forcefully and vividly. For me, this is how architecture embodies authenticity.
BILL BIRDSELL is an architect in Guelph, Ontario. He is a Director of the Built Environment Open Forum and
a Past President of the Ontario Association of Architects.

ON AUTHENTICITY IN ARCHITECTURE AND SPACE
by SCOTT A. LUKAS

n 2015, the ninth-century Castle of Matrera in Villamartín, Spain underwent a significant
restoration. The walls of the impressive castle had all but collapsed and the firm Carquero
Arquitectura was tasked with revitalizing and remaking the building. The project was a
controversial combination of historical and Brutalist styles that resulted in both public
outcry and international media attention and a prestigious Architizer A+Award in 2016.1 In
their design of the project, Carquero Arquitectura spoke directly of the politics of authenticity that were connected to the work: "The proposal aims to avoid the aesthetic mimicry
that involves falsification or loss of value of authenticity and, in parallel with the practice in
intervention of movable heritage, its historical value is enhanced."2 The project is a reminder
of the curious and challenging politics of authenticity that pervade the worlds of architectural
and spatial design.

Castillo de Matrera en Villamartín, Ignacio Palomo Duarte.
CC-BY-SA-4.0

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The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019

Authenticity
Index to Advertisers
Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - Intro
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - cover1
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - cover2
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 3
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 4
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - Authenticity
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 6
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 7
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 8
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 9
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 10
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 11
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - 12
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - Index to Advertisers
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - cover3
The Right Angle Journal - Winter 2019 - cover4
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