Unfinished Architecture: Urban Continuity in the Age of the Complete

Nicholas Temple

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Maurice Merleau-Pontys meditation on incompleteness serves as an appropriate starting point in this investigation of the unfinished in building. His argument that it is impossible to gain a complete picture of the world, on account of the inexhaustibility of our perceptions and experiences, prompts us to question the assumption of architectures closure, with respect to its creative process and its experiential presence. Stephen Parcell provides a useful spatial model when considering the question of the role of architecture in acknowledging a past and anticipating a future: Parcell argues that the resulting gap between things and ideas enables a work to be disengaged from the world behind. The role of architecture, however, in this strategy of concealment remains problematic, as we have seen in the context of the archaic presence of the building site. The example of the Brunswick Building, demonstrates how unintended suspension of building work, and its architectural consequences, can act as a catalyst for creative reflection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Material Imagination
Subtitle of host publicationReveries on Architecture and Matter
EditorsMatthew Mindrup
Place of PublicationFarnham, UK and Burlington, USA
PublisherAshgate Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315555713
ISBN (Print)9781472424587, 9781138573512
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2015


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