Venacular Materials

October 11, 2012

“ Architecture must explore materials in this way if it is to use them responsibly, to open itself to the potentiality of new and “old” materials and to reach and understanding of how materials may be productive of effects, both experiential and political, as it already has some extent in relation of space.”

Whilst reading this text I thought that the problem is as an architecture students we don´t know much about materiality.  In the history of building first comes the mason, who knows about his material. Architects arrive with the idea of form first instead of matter; Alberti inserts this knowledge of idea and theory.  In recent times theory has become more important and architects have lost the knowledge of materials.

To speak about sustainability is nowadays impossible without speaking of materiality. You have to know where the material comes from and how to use it: you have to know it´s qualities in terms of thermal and acoustic ect.

 The emerging role of materials may change the process of architecture. Firstly you have to analyse your site and see what materials you can manipulate locally. Then try to design the building with the material and not against. The materiality of architecture comes with this knowledge. You can´t design a steel and concrete building and add 5 mm of stone in the façade to pretend that it´s a stone building: it will not have the same thermal qualities.

I think that to learn more about the materials we have to look back to the lessons of the past like the vernacular housing around the world.   The continuity between landscape and urban is made by the use of material having a connection to its locality. Vernacular building forms differs in consequence to the material from which they are made and their surroundings. Only rich palaces could afford foreign building materials.

– Hava –

Material Matters, Architecture and Material Practice, Katie LLoyd Thomas

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