4) Living Whole

In the final step all elements need to come together to form a purposeful living whole.

A building only has artistic integrity and individual presence when all its various features and elements come together to form an interconnected whole. If the whole is able to give meaning and purpose to the individual parts we have the possibility of a living, breathing, inspiring work of art. If the various parts are thrown together without a common generative principle we get a bag of bones but never a viable skeleton. In living nature the skeleton contains the structural thoughts that have formed the species and there is always a perfect match between the outer form and the characteristics and personality of the species. In the realm of architecture we have to do it all ourselves, create the skeleton and match it with the characteristics and personality of the proposed new species so to speak. The point we are making, in a roundabout way, is that it is the skeleton which determines the essential form and, with the form, the potential and characteristics of the species.

What is the connection between skeleton and spirit? After all, without the presence of the living, soul/spiritual element even the most perfectly formed skeleton is little more than a bag of well placed bones. The connecting link between spirit and skeleton lies in the fact that both perform the same coordinating function, albeit on different levels of existence. Our spiritual core is that enduring part within us which integrates and places into context all our experiences, thoughts and emotions. As a result of this coordinating and integrating activity self consciousness and a sense of individual identity is able to form, develop and mature. People who lose their memories also lose their sense of identity. The physical skeleton has the same coordinating function with respect to the geography of our physical form. It places all the individual parts of our anatomy within a meaningful functioning context which we then are able to recognize as the physical identity of the particular species.

In the architectural context the same need for an interconnected physical and spiritual identity applies if we aim for a living, breathing, and potentially inspiring artistic whole.

In order to find the appropriate structural form for a building we must first have the inspiring thought which is able to imbue the future form with meaning. It is this very thought and essence which then becomes both: the generative and uniting principle. For the proposed Australian pavilion this principle was able to be expressed in the words: “Australia: a modern people in an ancient land”   Everything is contained in this generating thought. From there on it was just a matter of fleshing out the details and arranging them appropriately within the emerging whole.

The words “a modern people in an ancient land” convey a true and succinct image of reality. In the space of only 200 years a new, western population with a western consciousness has super imposed itself on an ancient land and clashed with an indigenous population of a very different dream time consciousness. The meeting of the two civilizations was not an easy one and is characterized by violence, hardship and lack of understanding. The new migrant population may have succeeded in settling the continent but, on a deeper level, understanding of the land and of the way and spirit of its original inhabitants is still lacking. The western, science and technology dominated consciousness and the spirituality of the dream time have yet to meet and learn to understand each other. This juxtaposition of two very different types of consciousness and the need for them to connect with each other, is expressed in the structural form and design of the pavilion.

The roof represents the new consciousness but it is not yet fully integrated with the rest of the building. The arcs of the roof sit lightly on the walls, like a great white bird that has just landed after a long journey from foreign shores. There is however a deeper, structural connection between the roof and the “continent” or exhibition space below. As was explained in the previous section, the central room which represents both, the heart of the building and aboriginal spirituality rising up from the earth below, forms the connecting link and structural support that carries the roof. The meeting of the two very different types of consciousness is built into the very structure of the building and places everything else into context.


Ultimately therefore, the spiritual essence of the building comes to expression through its structural gesture, which is possibly the most fundamental principle underlying the method of Biosculptural Architecture.



Although of course this particular Australian pavilion was never built and is not likely to ever be built, I hope the above notes have been able to give an idea of the biosculptural aim and approach to architectural design.

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