materiaalsuse what i want to say really fits into one ...· what i want to say really fits into one

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  • What i want to say really fits into one sentence: materi-ality can serve as a concept for architecture. materiality is more than a set of textures or an atmosphere it is the lifeblood of our profession. in order to make my point clear, i shall expand on this thesis by firstly describing a couple of personal experiences with materiality as it pertains to archi-tecture, followed by a short discussion of the importance of materiality to the profession of architecture as a whole.

    BriCkit is somewhat common for architecture

    graduate schools in the us to give incoming students a series of very simple architectural exercises as their first semester assignments. this is probably done to trace the level of academic aptitude of the new students, who have previously attended very different undergradu-ate programs all over the world. in the case of virginia techs graduate architecture Program, this exercise was to design a border. according to the brief, because of the universitys expansion, it was necessary to draw a border between the town and university grounds. there were multiple reasons, and the students could address the brief the way they desired. having previously studied at the architecture department of the Estonian academy of arts, i started off with a conceptual analysis, trying to deconstruct the notion of the border. is a border a line of contact or separation? how does one design a border between two entities that are integrated and interdepend-ent to the maximum in this case, a town which depends on a 35,000+ student-strong university to maintain its economy, and a university that needs the town to provide its inhabitants with the illusion that they are not actually in the middle of nowhere?

    this was the conceptual approach taught back at the academy. although i made progress under-standing the philosophical ramifications of all sorts of borders, with two weeks to go before the deadline my philosophical explorations had not led me any closer to an actual design. the very first simple exercise at graduate school seemed to have defeated my previous four years of training just like that. desperate, i finally shared my concern with my advisor whom i had been meticulously avoiding (and who, i must say as a credit to the academy, was fascinated by my initial approach). he told me that if i could not start from the top (ideas), why not start from the bottom?

    see, mida ma elda tahan, mahub igupoolest hte-ainsasse lausesse: arhitektuuris vib kontseptsiooniks olla ka materiaalsus. materiaalsus thendab enamat kui teatud hulka tekstuure vi mingit atmosfri: selles seisneb meie professiooni elujud. oma mtte selgita-miseks ja seisukoha avamiseks kirjeldan esmalt paari isiklikku materiaalsuse kogemust seoses arhitektuuriga, millele jrgneb pgus arutlus materiaalsuse thtsusest arhitekti elukutse seisukohast tervikuna.

    Tellis mitmed usa arhitektuurilikoolid anna-

    vad vrsketele magistrilipilastele esimesel semestril lahendamiseks hulga limalt lihtsaid arhitektuuriala-seid lesandeid. kllap tehakse seda selleks, et sel-gitada vlja uute lipilaste akadeemiline vimekus: on nad ju oma bakalaureusekraadi omandanud vga erinevates koolides le kogu maailma. virginia Pol-tehnilise instituudi arhitektuuri magistrippes oli les-anne kavandada piir. vastavalt lesande tutvustusele oli likooli laienemise tttu vaja tmmata piir linna ja likooli valduste vahele. selleks oli mitu phjust ning tudengid visid lesandele lheneda tpselt nii, nagu nad ise tahtsid. olles varem ppinud eesti kunstiaka-deemia arhitektuuriosakonnas, alustasin kontseptuaal-sest analsist, pdes dekonstrueerida piiri mistet. kas piir on hendus- vi eraldusjoon? kuidas kavan-dada piiri kahe entiteedi vahel, mis on maksimaalselt integreeritud ja vastastikuses stuvuses? konkreet-sel juhul oli tegemist linnaga, mille majandus sltub 35 000 lipilasega likoolist, ja likooliga, mis vajab linna selleks, et jtta oma tudengitele ja ttajatele mul-jet, nagu ei asukski nad tielikus kolkas.

    seesugust kontseptuaalset lhenemist petati meile koduses kunstiakadeemias. kuigi tegin edusamme kikvimalike piiride filosoofiliste impli-katsioonide mistmisel, ei olnud minu filosoofiline uurimist mind selleks ajaks, kui thtajani oli jnud kaks ndalat, reaalsele kavandile kuigivrd lhemale viinud. magistrippe kige esimene lihtne lesanne nis olevat minu varasema nelja-aastase ettevalmistuse niisama lihtsalt seljatanud. meeleheites jagasin oma muret viimaks juhendajaga, keda olin seni hoolikalt vltinud (kunstiakadeemia kiituseks pean tlema, et ta oli minu algsest lhenemisviisist rmiselt huvitatud). juhendaja pakkus vlja, et kui mul ei nnestu alustada levalt (ideedest), siis miks mitte alustada altpoolt.

    31 materiaalsuse kiituseks / Embracing materiality30 ivan sergejev

    maTeriaalsuse kiiTuseks

    EmBraCing matEriality

  • he suggested i choose a material any material and give it a shot at leading my design process. taken aback and skeptical, i took a stab at it. it did not take me long to come up with the most obvious, probably sub-conscious solution, unconvoluted by any philosophy a brick wall. Could not have chosen anything more boring, could you? i thought to myself. still, i decided to stick with it. i went down to the library to see if there were any books on brick, made a batch of tiny clay bricks, and started right at brick 1.01.

    a week in, i learned all there was to know about brick: its different uses, exact composition and burn-ing techniques, but most importantly, the fact that brick was only one representative of an entire family of construction materials ceramics. i looked through a million exam-ples of brick structures from the structures of gaudi to gramazio and kohler, not to mention a fair amount of cute dutch houses, african mud bricks, and wallpapered brick walls of the new urbanism movement. the most relevant to my purposes, though, was the work of uruguayan engi-neer and architect Eladio dieste, who is famous for his use of structural ceramic tiles. his work showed me that brick construction need not mean straight walls with dif-ferent bonds being the only creative liberty one could take: you could make all sorts of curves and waves if only you knew how to make them stand up. inspired, i continued working and finally made my breakthrough: an amorphous brick wall that curved along the border between the univer-sity and the town, accommodating various functions and permeable to both parties, despite being very clearly there.

    in the end, the wall i designed was a great manifestation of the ideas i explored when i started the project permeability, transparency, clarity of presence. however, the way i approached it was diametrically oppo-site from what i was used to: i started off with the material and arrived at (what i thought was) a beautiful design with conceptuality serving an auxiliary function.

    SILICONmy fascination with materiality as a driv-

    ing concept for architecture did not stop there. it also guided me through the final year of my graduate studies, and served as an inspiration for my masters thesis.

    i am not sure just how ignorant you will consider me to be, but for the longest time i truly believed that the internet was an immaterial thing. i wholeheartedly bought into the rhetoric that the internet was ephemeral, and the cloud was just a cloud of some sort, unbound by any physical limitations: just there, always present, never failing. it was not until my internship in new york City

    Ta soovitas mul valida vlja mingi materjal kskik milline ja lasta sel oma kavandamisprotsessi edasi juhtida. hmmelduses ja skeptiline, otsustasin selle vimalusega siiski katset teha. sna pea judsin kige enesestmistetavama ja ilmselt alateadliku lahendu-seni, mis oli igasugusest filosoofiast puutumata nimelt tellismrini. midagi veel igavamat ei osanud vlja melda vi? ksisin endalt. sellegipoolest otsusta-sin selle lahenduse juurde jda. ma lksin raamatu-kokku, et nha, kas seal leidub raamatuid telliskivide kohta, valmistasin partii tillukesi savitelliseid ning tegin tutvust tellise phitdedega.

    ndalaga ppisin tellist phjalikult tundma: selle erinevaid kasutusalasid, tpset koostist ja pletusmeetodeid. mis kige thtsam, sain teada, et tellis on kigest ks keraamikanimelise ehitusmater-jalide perekonna liige. ma tegin tutvust musttuhande tellisehitise nitega alates gaud hoonetest ning lpetades gramazio ja kohleri omadega, rkimata kenakesest hulgast vluvatest hollandi majakestest, aafrika mudatellistest ja uusurbanismi tapetseeritud tellisseintest. minu jaoks osutus kige asjakohasemaks aga uruguay inseneri ja arhitekti eladio dieste t: ta on tuntud konstruktiivsete keraamiliste ehitusplaa-tide kasutamise poolest. dieste taiesed nitasid mulle, et telliskonstruktsioon ei pea thendama sirgeid mre ega loomingulise vabaduse piirdumist ksnes sideainete valikuga: luua saab kikvimalikke kaarjaid ja lainelisi vorme, peaasi, et oskad need seisma panna. sellest inspiratsiooni saanuna jtkasin td ja jud-sin viimaks lbimurdeni: amorfse tellismrini, mis kulges kaarjalt mda likooli ja linna vahelist joont, tites mitmesuguseid funktsioone ja pakkudes oma vga selgele kohalolule vaatamata mlemasuuna-list lbipsu.

    lppkokkuvttes vljendas minu kavan-datud mr suurepraselt neidsamu ideid, millega projekti algul tutvust olin teinud lbipsetavus, lbi-paistvus, selge kohalolu. kasutatud lhenemisviis oli aga tpselt vastupidine sellele, millega seni harjunud olin: ma vtsin aluseks materjali ning judsin (enda meelest) ilusa kavandini, mille puhul kontseptsioon mngis vaid abistavat funktsiooni.

    rniminu huvi arhitektuuri kontseptsiooni

    loova materiaalsuse vastu ei lppenud sellega. see suu-nas mind ka kraadipingute viimase aasta jooksul ja andis mulle inspiratsiooni magistrit jaoks.

    ma ei tea, kui asjatundmatuks te mind nd peate, aga pikka aega uskusin tsim

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