the materiality of stones
the early modernist concern to ‘let the material speak’ can be traced back to prehistory. the materiality of the stones selected for use in prehistory’s ceremonial assemblages is one of great importance, where certain stones are carefully chosen for there surface texture, visual tactility, shape and size, and these can be ‘imported’ over great distances to perform their part in these specialised cosmological complexes.
whether at callinish or stonehenge, bryn celli ddu or boscawen-un these special stones are singled out for their materiality and it this that gives the monuments additional status and endows them with the qualities understood to be held within the stone themselves. meaning is made material. material transfers meaning.
corbusier’s collection of stones and sea shells as he a child might, re-enacts this interest in the materiality of stones. wherein the ‘nature’ of these material-imbude objects are translated into the materiality of his ‘second-nature’ buildings.