"So much for stone; we must now deal with lime. . . ." - Leon Battista Alberti
This quote, to me, represents the text as a whole, as well as the view that the text takes. Alberti talks very much about the way in which materials work as objects. The only context that he refers to them in combination is to explain how they work with one another in regards to construction. He makes no reference to the immaterial aspects of any materials, there are no mentions of the experiences or feelings that the materials provide. In my opinion, the quote above shows how easy he finds it to disregard materials to move onto the next. The way in which it is written, whereas perhaps intended to be light-hearted, simply reads as though even Alberti himself is getting bored of the materials. There are multiple places in the text where this comes across.
I have a very keen interest in the physical side of materials, the way in which they work and in what/ how they can be used, so I genuinely do have a lot of respect for this text. I enjoyed reading it and learning from it. But I could not help feeling that Alberti was only looking skin deep in the text. There was no sign of emotion.
Smith, Korydon H. (2012) Introducing architectural theory, Chapter 4, “Material and Immaterial”, pp. 113
"Architecture is expected to be solid, stable and reassuring - physically, socially and psychologically. Bound to each other, the architectural and the material are considered inseparable. But Immaterial Architecture states that the immaterial is as important to architecture as the material and has as long a history. . . ."
I feel very much the same way about this idea. As previously stated, I do indeed have a profound appreciation for Alberti's explanation and understanding of materials, as well as for the materials themselves. I believe that it is important to understand how these materials work physically, but I also believe that there is more to them that just their literal presence. Each material is fully capable of possessing an immaterially to it.
Around a year ago I visited the Jewish Museum in Berlin, designed by Daniel Libeskind. That particular building has got a strong immateriality to it and it was also the first time I knowingly experienced the proper force of what immateriality in architecture can achieve. Before that point the concept felt purely theoretical, but now I have experienced it myself, it has influenced every idea for architectural design that I have since.
Smith, Korydon H. (2012) Introducing architectural theory, Chapter 4, “Material and Immaterial”, pp. 132