Y E D İ: S A N A T, T A S A R I M V E B İ L İ M D E R G İ S İ. Laugier vs Durand: Revisiting Primitive Hut in the Classical. Architectural Discourse. Ece KÜRELİ *. In the abbé Laugier published his Essai sur l’architecture, to discover the true principles of architecture. To Laugier, these are embodied in “la petite. The structure was inspired by The Primitive Hut concept proposed by Marc- Antoine Laugier, the French philosopher and author of Essay on.

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Not an extraordinary field. Trees in the distance, also yes. A tempered blue sky, a few clouds, birds flying from season to season. Not in recent recorded memory. It is the silence of the not-city. There are no roads, no cars, no Starbucks, no automatic sliding doors, no security cameras, no imposing reception desks in stark office lobbies, no windows locked shut, no sticky linoleum, no Mickey Mouse gargoyles, no marble slabs of boutique shelving, no subsided brick walls, no wheezing air-con, no nicotine stained ceilings, no dusty vitrines, no talking toilets, no fascist fenestration, no storage cupboards and primitivr secrets, and definitely no soaring spires.

There is no architecture. Pdimitive what if you wanted architecture to appear on this field. With the minimal effort. What would that be? A wooden floor the size of a small room?

Walls arranged around it? A door to enter? One or two windows? Because, at some point, it will rain. And so, we might wonder, is that gathering of elements the most minimal architecture? Protection from outside threats — wolves, thieves — that too.

The idea of the primitive hut

However, the persistence of the hut in the history of architecture and culture suggests, very strongly, that its true symbolic significance vastly eclipses its modest, pragmatic pretense. The Primitive Hut — the house of the first man — is therefore no incidental concern of theorists, no casual ingredient of myth or ritual.

The return to origins always implies a rethinking of what you do customarily, an attempt to renew the validity of your everyday actions. In what forms, and at what times, has the hut appeared as an effort to house thought? How did it persist over advancements in society, belief, technology?

And what is it hiding? Or, what is it hiding from? Imagine climbing to the top of a ruinous column, in the desert heat of the Eastern Roman Empire, 5th century CE. There, you will stay for 37 years, in abstemious devotion to God. The best known of these is Anthony the Great, who became the father of desert monasticism. He chose to follow the example of Christ, and disavow his wealth and material belongings. In return, it is said, God gave him special privileges, such as the ability to heal the sick.


The Desert Fathers and Mothers had a profound influence on the early development of Christianity. They shaped the way for monasteries to emerge, as isolated communities defined by what was made absent.

The irreducible unit of the monastery was the cell: The monastic cell was its own hut. Simon tells Satan he wants to go home, back to the desert, back to the minimal means of existence.

But Satan says he cannot. Imagine a palace in 15th-century Urbino. In the center of this palace is a small chamber. It is set aside for study and contemplation.

You are Duke Federico III da Montefeltro, and every day, your routine consists of reading Greek literature, visiting the larariumand devoting yourself to Classical studies in this studiolo. These rooms became popular during the European Renaissance. It signaled that the owner was especially cultivated: The use of hht in the marquetry or intarsia creates depth from flatness, of course, but also introduces a realm of illusionand latency.

The studiolo was theatrics.

the Primitive Hut

A stage-set for the re- making of a character. The owner would meet with their tutor in this space. Here, they would turn away from daily duties — as businessman, military leader or head of state — and turn inwardstowards the space of knowledge.

In a letter to his friend Francesco Vettori, Machiavelli described the kind of personal retreat his studiolo represented:. When evening comes, I return home and go into my study.


On the threshold I strip off my muddy, sweaty workday clothes, and put on the robes of court and palace, and in this graver dress I enter the antique courts of the ancients and am welcomed by them Then I make bold to speak to them and ask the motives for their actions and they, in their humanity, reply to me.

And for the space of four hours I forget the world, remember no vexations, fear poverty no more, tremble no more at death: I pass into their world. In both, we see an elaborate constellation of objects, furniture, books and animals, all deeply recessed in spaces that exclude the outside. For, like the hut, the studiolo was an intense cosmos of interiority, one engineered specifically towards rarefied thinking.

A retreat laugire a private zone of worldly knowledge, where transformation — of the mind, the soul — was possible. Leaves are your roof tiles. Three years earlier, Jean-Jacques Rousseau published the first of his treatises on the corrupting forces of civilization upon human beings, Discours sur les sciences et hjt arts. Laugier returned to Vitruvius, a 1st-century-BCE Roman civil lauyier military engineer, whose De primirive is considered the earliest intact writing on the decorum of architecture, and served as canonical from the Renaissance onwards.


The man is willing to make himself an abode which covers but not buries him Pieces of wood raised perpendicularly, give us the idea of columns. The horizontal pieces that are laid upon them, afford us the idea of entablatures In pointing didactically, instructing a young child next to her, the message is clear: This is the model of excellence. A return to origins during the Age of Reason. As Giambattista Vico, the Enlightenment thinker put it:.

the Primitive Hut | the Contextualist

Philosophers and philologists should be concerned in the first place with poetic metaphysics; that is, the science priimtive looks for proof, not in the external world, but in the very modifications of the mind that mediates on it. Since the world of nations is made by men, it is inside their minds that principles should be sought. Imagine calling up Muji, because, you read this on their website hiips: The tools to make that dream huut reality are now available. Put it in the mountains, near the ocean, or in a garden, and it immediately blends in with the surroundings, inviting you to a ,augier new life.

Costing 3, yen, the MUJI Hut is a prefabricated single room unit finished to the same perfection as a Muji stationery holder. It contains a multitude of fantasies and is comprised of a history of intellectual fantasies, some of which have been outlined in this text.

The hut is the threshold between nature and not-nature, regardless of whether nature itself mutates into something altogether artificial, augmented and irreparable, as it is today. Indeed, the hut is a quantitative constant against the chaos of change — a veritable eye of the storm — and it is this supposed immutability that has rendered it perennially relevant. Will this fantasy persist for future philosophers?

Will they, too, crave self-exile, in order to turn inwards, to some ineffable essence, from which thought can speak? Perhaps simply choosing to cut off your Wi-Fi, or smashing your smartphone with a rock, will deliver the same results as cultivated removal once did. At this point, the hut is no longer made of wood, but rather, the articulated destruction of here-ness. To pre-order the the book available in the U.

In a letter to laaugier friend Francesco Vettori, Machiavelli described the kind of personal retreat his studiolo represented: Alone with Nature Imagine a forest. As Giambattista Vico, the Enlightenment thinker put it: A Lifestyle Imagine calling up Muji, because, you read this on their website hiips: Text by Shumon Basar.