Saturday, March 24, 2007

Building Code -> Security Code?

A question in relation to the post on Trüby’s essay on 5 Codes which wasn’t mentioned in the previous post; one thing which I didn’t address in Trüby’s essay was the other type of codes (along with design codes) which are building codes. He makes reference to building codes while discussing the role of the corridor and the way which throughout history there has been a move from the importance of design codes to building codes.

The question I’d like to pose is that much like the creation of the building code after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, is there not the opportunity to create something positive from the 9/11 disaster in the form of something similar? It seems that the architectural response to the event if systematized in any way has been in reaction rather than in prevention.

The next question is, is a Security Code even possible? I wonder about the following sticking point; mostly that security from attack is primarily a secretive thing. How do you create a standardized code for security without then completely invalidating it? Maybe you can’t. Perhaps you can create an outline for which we all create our own personal security codes.


Jeannie said...

Personally, I'm somewhat grateful that no real attempt to formalize top-to-bottom reform of the building code occurred post 9-11. Things have changed, obviously (I refer here, again, to the Citicorp building and, more specifically, to Ouroussoff's review of the SF Federal Building by Morphosis that I think you missed while away), but the most useful aspect of building codes and zoning laws for a particular type of architectural practice seems to be that they are so vaguely defined that they invite creative interpretation and transgression. One way to ask the question in reverse (and with more agency on the creative potential of architecture) would perhaps be, how can architecture respond to, say, changes in security codes? Or how can architecture pose its own questions about defensible architecture without having them answered for us?

g+a said...

I'd also prefer to see that architecture pose its own questions without the imposition of the answers in systematized code. One thing I can't help but think about however is how the imposition of the building code was received during its beginnings and how now after (quite) some time it can be viewed as vague and open to interpretation. Would something like that happen again if security measures were introduced into the code? I'm not sure I really want to find out.

Candie said...

Good words.

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