Ornament: a language of architecture
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 11:14 authored by Adryanne Quenneville
Ornament in architecture has only recently been questioned. Historically, the topic never wavered in uncertainty. From antiquity to the 20th century, ornament was explicitly considered - either in abundance or elimination. The subject has become difficult to grapple with due to its suppression in Modern, minimalist architecture. Ornament has persistently been cast aside since architects have been out of touch with its potential. This thesis documents how ornament once held a level of prominence within architecture and acknowledges its relevance in contemporary practice by offering methods for its implementation. Both historical classifications and contemporary examples of the term ‘ornament’ are examined to identify its definition today. Design research explores the ways in which ornament can be incorporated into future architecture: as a design approach rather than applied as decoration. This thesis reinstates the use of ornament in architecture by making a case for its aesthetic enrichment of the built environment.