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Structures are often perceived to be static due to their immobility, or assumed to undergo fewer physical changes when compared to mobile objects. My project counters this assumption by demonstrating that architecture is subject to numerous physical changes: modification, elimination, expansion, adaptation, and evolution. Looking at Andalusia, Spain I focused on the city of Granada where I saw the impact of how these changes presented an intricate visible layering of Spain’s history. After my experience studying abroad in Granada, interviewing professors and researching at UGR’s libraries, my instinct was to categorize these seemingly immobile buildings. But through anthropological and art historical methods I found that a structure could not be subject to one particular style of architecture nor one particular function. To confine the structure to a single function or architectural style would deny the structure’s original function and diverse composition of its crucial role in the 21st century. In fact, both architecture and the purpose of a structure transgress two modes of restriction—categorization and classification—in a fluid and figuratively mobile manner. This type of mobility allows for structures to be considered outside of a stationary and inactive standpoint. My three structures chosen from originally twenty examples demonstrate that structures also act as vehicles for visual communication derived from the architectural elements. Important decisions are made behind the scenes about what, how and why changes happen to a building. In turn, these decisions indirectly influence the end result of a structure’s use and architectural organization. In the case of Granada, the structures narrate a timeline from the past to the present as purpose is appropriated and the layers of architectural styles can be seen.
To read more from this paper, email art historian, Madelyne Oliver, at:
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