Tectonic Theory and Practice: interiority in the future prefab home

Marie Frier, Anna Marie Fisker, Poul Henning Kirkegaard

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Since the first optimistic originally Modernist prefab visions were formulated
there has been, and are still, challenges to be overcome in order to fulfill the increasing need for fast, precise and economically produced homes. The tectonic need to transform a home, into a system of joints and assembly processes, seems a paradoxical challenge which has left prefabricated houses raw constructions rather than inhabitable homes.

Based on the hypothesis that home is determined spatially via sensuous impressions of interiority at the threshold of furniture: The bath in Le Corbusier’s ‘Villa Savoye’ is an example of this sensuous interior transformation of a house into a home, a level of detailing which is, however, seldom represented in the prefabricated house. Consequently, this paper investigates whether interiority can be developed as a tectonic theory and design principle for uniting home and system in the development of novel prefab solutions. This is pursued trough a deductive study comparing Gottfried Semper’s theories on the origins of construction with Werner Blaser’s technical and practical studies of the joint. In combining Blaser’s constructive understanding of the joint with the interior softness defined by Semper as a constructive precondition, a theory for developing a novel tectonic relation between home and system opens up. As a research result the paper suggests a practical spatial exploitation of the actual prefab construction, defining interiority not solely as a visual occupation with the joint, but as a direct spatial transformation of the joint in a furnishing spatial approaching of the human body.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructures and Architecture : proceedings of the first international conference on structures and architecture, ICSA 2010, Guimarães, Portugal, 21-23 July 2010
EditorsPaulo J. S. Cruz
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCRC Press
Publication date2010
ISBN (Electronic)9780415492492
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventThe First International Conference on Structures and Architecture, ICSA 2010 - Guimarães, Portugal
Duration: 21 Jul 201023 Jul 2010


ConferenceThe First International Conference on Structures and Architecture, ICSA 2010


  • Sensuous Impressions
  • Prefabricated Houses
  • Tectonic Theory
  • Interiority
  • Constructive Precondition
  • Practical Spatial Exploitation


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