Ephemeral Architecture and its Destruction in the Late 19th-Century Press

Paper for the session Mediating Modern Architecture chaired by Mari Hvattum, Mari Lending and Wallis Miller, Nordik conference, Reykjavik, May 13th-16th, 2015.

2015-01-29 17.09.09

Ephemeral architecture lies in a sort of indeterminate time and space as it is defined by its erection but also, and perhaps more importantly, by its eventual and eminent destruction. Its short existence is traceable by ways of words and images mainly in the printed media such as the illustrated press, architectural magazines and newspapers. In this collaborative paper Postdoctoral Research Fellow Léa-Catherine Szacka and PhD fellow Mathilde Simonsen Dahl investigate issues of construction/destruction of ephemeral architecture as staged in the form of public debate by looking at the ephemeral construction nicknamed the Palais de l’Omnibus (Omnibus Palace) for the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle d’art et d’industrie, and the light wooden building drawn by Adolf Schirmer for the 1883 Christiania Art and Industry exhibition at Tullinløkka. While allowing national specificities to emerge, the cross study will be the occasion of proposing a theoretical discussion on the paradigm of construction/destruction surrounding ephemeral structures and how it operates within the late 19th century public sphere.

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