From Gothic to Bauhaus: A Lineage for Modern Curtain Wall Façade Construction

  • YEAR
    Rushton, Hannah
    Marriage, Guy
    Schnabel, Marc Aurel
    2019 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Construction material and construction technology


From the craft production of the Gothic to the standardised industrial production of the Bauhaus, this research follows the development of modern architecture and the evolution of façade construction. This paper examines how, as technology has continued to advance and modes of production have evolved, complete dematerialisation – defined in this paper as a non-structural glass exterior walls – of the façade was achieved with the curtain wall. This research aimed to establish a link between Gothic and Bauhaus architecture to propose a lineage for modern curtain wall façade production and construction. The paper argues that changing modes of production is in response to construction issues, technological innovation and are dependent on the socio-cultural context of a specific time. Presenting a lineage that places this evolution into three stages – pre-industrial, industrial, and post-industrial – the relationship of architecture, technology and how construction methods respond to new technology will be illustrated. This paper will examine the curtain wall’s arrival in New Zealand as a case study for the international dissemination of this system, to conclude with a discussion that outlines how the architecture of a post-industrial age both favours and can produce customised and complex façades.

Keywords: Architectural History; Façade Construction; Dematerialisation; Industrialisation.


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