The Wintergarden

Pringle, P 2012, 'The Wintergarden', in Stuart King, Anuradha Chatterjee, Stephen Loo (ed.) Proceedings of the Fabulation : Myth Nature Heritage SAHANZ XXIX 2012, Launceston, Tasmania, 5-8 July, 2012, pp. 875-887.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

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Title The Wintergarden
Author(s) Pringle, P
Year 2012
Conference name 29th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand
Conference location Launceston, Tasmania
Conference dates 5-8 July, 2012
Proceedings title Proceedings of the Fabulation : Myth Nature Heritage SAHANZ XXIX 2012
Editor(s) Stuart King, Anuradha Chatterjee, Stephen Loo
Publisher SAHANZ
Place of publication Launceston, Tasmania
Start page 875
End page 887
Total pages 13
Abstract Professional conjurors suggest that there are a limited number of basic 'feats' of entertainment magic, in which the things that happen appear to go beyond the boundaries of what is normally possible and are hence felt to be 'magical'. They emphasise that the magic happens in the mind of the audience, and that it works by playing on things that the audience feels to be significant, and worth attending to. In the paper I show how one particular spatial typology, 'the wintergarden', can be interpreted in many ways, and given my own interests, I have chosen to interpret it as an example of spatial magic. Behind spatial magic lies science, but also attention. It is affected by the changing technologies of its times and the culture ('that to which it gives its attention') of the society that observes it. I look at the ways in which the wintergarden has been reconfigured over the years to match the aspirations of its period for spaces with somewhat magical properties that nevertheless sit within the reach of everyday life. As a device through which to discuss this, various wintergardens are considered as spatial entertainments and examined in relation to the conjuror's 'feats'. By offering more than was normally possible, each of the wintergardens discussed in the paper reveals ideas or aspirations that had heightened significance for its audience - at that period. The examination of the wintergarden as a concept as well as a typology offers many spatial histories of waxing and waning prestige and glamour. The paper considers a range of wintergardens, from the 19th century to the present day, at their moment of glory - and suggests that the concept continues to be a powerful one which continues to find new forms.
Subjects Architectural History and Theory
Interior Design
Keyword(s) Wintergardens
spatial entertainments
spatial magic
Copyright notice © 2012 SAHANZ
ISBN 9781862956582
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