Meanıng In Contemporary Archıtecture: A Study Upon 2000-2016 Prıtzker Prıze Wınners

Institution Of The Thesis: Gazi University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2018

Thesis Language: English

Student: Alia Rahmoun



The study is an inquiry into the meaning of meaning in architecture and how the meaning frame is working in the 21st century. An exploration for the 20th century's architecture followed by literature provided by the theorists; Christian Norberg-Schulz, Charles Jenks, Juhani Pallasmaa and Paul Goldberger, whose investigations of meaning, has been interpreted to propose a model for the meaning frame in architecture. The proposed model takes its place under three meanings of meaning: 1. Manifesting reality; form as a capacity, building as a conveyor, 2. The purpose of the building; creating: a sense of place, enriched experience, and assigning values, 3. Enabling and connecting to other things; architecture as a visual expression of ideas. The proposed model has been exemplified on the 21st century's winners of the architectural Pritzker prize, who constitute the prized range from the year 2000 to the year 2016. The study has proven that the meaning frame is a plural notion and the borders of architecture exceeds creating merely aesthetical forms or well-functioned and economic buildings. The 21st century's realm demands reconsideration for the architectural conceptions. Regarding this, the awarded architects manifested the contemporary reality with the space conception that owns the notions of openness, flexibility and getting connected, while symbolism has been almost absent. The awarded architects have enriched the occupants' experience by creating pleasing environment, proposing spaces as an interactive instrument and considering the psychological factors of the occupants to let them assign values for the building. Whereas, the awarded architects whose architecture is directed toward stable and developed countries, they intent to concertize the soul of the contemporary age's democracy, freedom and advancement. While the ones who belong to countries that suffer from natural disasters, their attitude was devoted to proposing urban solutions away from previous architectural prototypes. Thus, after the year 2012 an awarding paradigm shift has been noticed, where the Pritzker prize is being awarded to architects who are more concerned about the issues their societies are suffering from. Consequently, a question is being asked; should the architectural direction go toward more prestigious high-cost buildings, or the urban issues should take the priority of considerations.