Posted by d on October 31, 2002 at 14:19:28:
In Reply to: Re: BASEMENT SIDE NOTE; Notes from Le Duc posted by d on October 31, 2002 at 13:35:09:
But, setting aside the various derivations of plinths, basements et al, and focussing upon the functional meaning of these related terms, I would propose that they all refer to a "foundation"; but in this special sense:
The way these words are used in older texts, suggests to me that this type of structure was thought of in the same way a graphic artist or painter might think of a frame or the edge of a canvas; that is, as a "stage" within or upon which the work is performed.
Thus, we often see houses where care was taken to form a slight flare or kick just above the foundation, as though to say " above this is where the real work of art begins..."
Or, if you will, the foundation carries the sense of homage to an ancestor; while not strictly a part of the overlying, and thus derivative, structure, it typically lays out the plan on which its descendant rests.
So that, in a way, even in our rebellious modernity, it is possible to see that stable structures validate the stability of their
parents, who , perhaps, lie buried beneath the earth...
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