Material Authenticity

They say fake it till you make it; but when is “Faking” it going too far? I think the improvement of technology has enabled designers and architects to do just that and perhaps, are now taking it too far. Tuesdays lecture has made me more conscious of every material I see on a building. Every building material I now see has me trying to figure out if it is real or not. With the improvement of technology, we are able to build cathederals like the romans did, and use fake materials on them while making it look real. What will the romans think about that? I understand trying to save money where you can and cutting cost, however if I think little to no credit should be given to buildings that were made with fake materials (No matter how incredible and the design looks).

The pain and money that is put into a building with real materials should be appreciated. When building a brick house, the labor of having to put the brick one by one and use motar to hold it together should be recozniged. I feel people shouldn’t easily get away with using fake building materials to make it look real.

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About dkat84

Architecture is my Life.

One comment

  1. I agree that after Blaine’s lecture earlier in the semester about how building materials are often faked, I too have been playing a game with myself, trying to figure out if every material is what it appears to be, or trying to figure out if a building is actually made out of brick or if it is just plastered on. I gave myself a victory smirk the other day when I finally saw a section of the wall for the new UMN dorm building, 1701 University Ave, before it was lifted into place. Where it was then revealed that it was in fact just façade tiling rather than the work of masonry. But I disagree with your opinion on “fake” material and how they hold no credit. I personally have not seen too many Cathedrals made within the last fifty years and if I had I would find it ridiculous if the architect had decided to build it how they did hundreds of years ago just to be “authentic”. In fact, I bet that if the Romans from that time had the option to use materials that were possibly stronger, more reliable, cheaper, quicker, or easier to build with than cut stone I am sure they would not have hesitated to use it just because it was not “authentic”. I mean what really determines if something is authentic or not? Should new alloys of metal, that may be lighter and more durable than what humans first used to build with, not be used because it’s not exactly the real deal? If the architect can get away with it visually and gain more benefits than they lose with the material exchange, I say go for it! To be perfectly honest as I have been doing my inspection around campus of what is most likely full brick rather than just brick cladding, the only real difference that I have noticed is that brick cladding looks newer and cleaner than the beloved “original”.

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