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Vitrine-Gothic: A Secular Revival Of The Gothic

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posted on 20.09.2021, 23:43 by Bell, Reilly

Gothic for a time was the architectural style that represented all of Western civilization, in subsequent centuries it has been reasserted as the Western style in periods of cultural, national, and religious revivals. The thesis identifies the current societal conditions as conducive to potentially another such revival, this is the niche the thesis explored architecturally. To consider Gothic architecture in the context of modern secular society, using fractal based computational design to realize this ‘new secular Gothic’, a ‘Vitrine-Gothic’.

The concept of a Vitrine-Gothic was explored through the development of tool sets and design processes, experimenting with the best methods for integrating fractals as a secular substitute for traditional Gothic symbolism. The tools aimed for maximal adaptability, and design control, which were tested by how well they responded to a range of secular user requirements derived from spiritual concepts. Demonstrated architecturally in the creation of experimental pavilion’s, illustrating the validity of the developed tools, and the cultural relevancy of the architectural results in aesthetic, and functional terms.

The research suggests that there is an opportunity for merging digital tools with traditional architecture, to re-examine the fundamentals of traditional architecture in terms of aesthetics, function, symbolism, etc, in relation to the cultural and technological realities of modern society. Thus producing architectural results with greater cultural relevancy.


Advisor 1

Marriage, Guy

Advisor 2

Welch, Christopher

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture