The Cornice (gta Papers)
Maarten Delbeke, Erik Wegerhoff (Eds.)
ETH Zürich & gta Verlag, 2021
Perspectives on the cornice in architecture from early modern to contemporary times.
Since the rise of avant-garde modernism, the cornice has kept a low profile. Dismissed by Le Corbusier but celebrated by Erich Mendelsohn in the form of architectural rally stripes, the cornice was finally rehabilitated in the age of postmodernism. In contemporary architecture it leads a secret life between shadow gap and gutter, often reduced to the practical aspect of keeping water off the façade. Historically, however, the cornice was the crowning element of architecture. Drawn, measured, and theorized over centuries, the cornice established meaningful architectural order beyond the classical era. Much more than just a decorative element, the cornice played a crucial role in mediating between an individual and space.