University of Tasmania
whole_GrantMichaelRupert2003_thesis.pdf (17.31 MB)

The influence of the architectural literature of Britain, 1715-1845, on the architecture of colonial Tasmania

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posted on 2023-05-26, 19:52 authored by Grant, MR
What inspires architecture? What fuels the generation and regeneration of architecture? Is it merely a printed image or is it a more complex set of influences. This study analyses the architectural literature that influenced colonial Australian architecture, how it has been used by contemporary architectural historians, how texts (and literary sources generally) may have influenced architectural design, and how they may be interpreted in the physical form, detail and method used in colonial Australian architecture. It also looks closely at the design process and attempts to demonstrate where and how architectural publications can influence that process. In particular, it explores the influence the trades had on colonial Australian architecture and will suggest that this is a field that is poorly understood. While very much a work of architectural history, this study is also a work of architectural theory that is equally applicable to the present as to the past. This study will suggest that contemporary architectural historians are interpreting the architectural literature of the colonial period in a limited manner and ignoring a whole range of other possibilities in the interpretation of the influence of these works. It will suggest that contemporary architectural historians only see the relationship between these works and the social and political elite and fail to see, or acknowledge, a relationship between the works and the working class people of England and colonial Australia. This study seeks to broaden out the way we view the architectural literature of the late 1700s and early 1800s and seeks to show that they could be and were used in many different ways by many different people. Many contemporary writers have limited their understanding of these works to a simplistic 'matching' scenario where a completed building is matched to an image in what they refer to as a pattern book. This study suggests that the direct copy scenario, with no other source, could not exist without some form of active shaping taking place, rather, it will demonstrate other ways in which these works can influence the development of architecture, both directly and indirectly. It will suggest that if these works are to be used they should be used in a more intelligent manner where the broad range of possibilities are acknowledged. This work is not a bibliographic study of potential sources of influence, nor is it a study which seeks to attribute the influences on any particular building. The primary aim of this study is to demonstrate, in an abstract manner, the many ways the early architecture of Australia may have been influenced by the published material of the time. It does not limit its scope to architects or the social and political elite, but views building tradesmen as equals in the development of Australia's colonial Architecture. This thesis will demonstrate that the printed architectural image was not nearly as important to classicism as was the social cohesion of the style. The 'patterns' that determined the Australian colonial Georgian architecture came here as part of the social and cultural fabric not simply as printed images.


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Copyright 2003 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis ( M.Des.)--University of Tasmania, 2003. Includes bibliographical references

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