Space, Power and Political Ideology

´SPACE is fundamental in any exercise of

- Michel Foucault

The Relationship and Power
"Architecture reveals not only the aesthetic and formal preferences of an architect/client, but also the aspirations, power struggles and material culture of a society.µ

of Architecture

Buildings are not just mere empty or ´neutral containersµ
‡conventions of architecture operate within a system of power relations to perpetuate or transmit social values, which may stand to subvert or support hegemonic power ‡Buildings are mechanisms of representation, therefore, they are political and ideological ‡Architecture, is also deeply embedded within the structures of power and architects is no free agent and can only act in behalf or based on ideological dictates of the client.

To map the terrain of power discourse embedded in architecture is to question how architectural

program spatial arrangements and symbolic appropriation/representation of the body
operate as apparatuses of domination and subversions

architecture may become an apparatus for creating and sustaining power relation
independent of the person operating it.

Architecture becomes a form of social and maintains the


asymmetry of
power relation

SPACE is not inherently powerful«it is the
politics of spatial usage that governs its power. ´Force, coercion, domination, manipulation, seduction and authority are forms of everyday practice which are inevitably facilitated by the architectural built

neutral space is manipulated for self-serving
political intentions of colonialism, dictatorship, or capitalism.

Architecture and places have symbolic value, which represents the power of the state or capital.

Space becomes an instrument of thought and action, enacting the struggle over power between the

colonial and the indigenous, between the dominant and the dominated, between classes and genders.

An analysis of power discourse in architecture can be played out in the following thematic clusters:
‡ orientation/disorientation ‡ public/private ‡ segregation/access ‡ stability/change ‡ nature/history ‡ authenticity/falsity ‡ dominant/submissive ‡ place/ideology


Plaza Complex


colonial power legitimizatio


tropical empire

Custom House, Cebu, 1911

Capiz Provincial Government Building 1912

City Aquarium, 1912

Fire Station, 1913

Paco Market, 1911

Commonwealth and
Quezon·s Vision of a City

Architecture and Japanese propaganda


modern Marcosian
state architecture

The EDIFICE COMPLEX is a syndrome which plagues an individual, nation or corporate institution with an obsession and compulsion to build grand and monumental edifices as a hallmark of a greatness, as a signifier of national prosperity, as a conveyor of an individual·s status, or as a projection of corporate image.

Batasang Pambansa Complex

Philippine International Convention Center 1976


Museum of Philippine Traditional Culture

Philtrade, 1978

Population Center

Manila Film Center 1982

When Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, reigned they ordered 29 presidential rest houses to be built
ILOCOS NORTE Malacanang of the North Sarrat Museum Sarrat Guest House Batac Museum Batac Guest House Juan Luna Museum Currimao Guest House/Beach House LA UNION Presidential Guest House in Agoo PANGASINAN San Fabian Rest House BULACAN Romualdez Mansion MANILA Metropolitan Museum Coconut Palace Intramuros Administration Museum National Museum

RIZAL-CAVITE-LAGUNA Bamboo House in Puerto Azul Palace in the Sky, Tagaytay National Arts Center, Mt. Makiling Canlubang Presidential House

ALBAY Presidential Mansion Kagayonan Beach Resort

LEYTE Nipa Hut Olot Rest House People's Center Sto. Nino Shrine Price Mansion Green House Dio Island Resort

Architecture of resistance:



Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful