In our series Architectural means we’re trying to find answers to the questions: Which architectural means do we have to create specific atmospheres that can elicit specific emotions? In this post we’ll talk about the aspect Expression of form as one of the architectural mean we have to create specific architectural atmospheres.

Expression of form

How a material is treated, placed, and which shape it is in, influences our experience of the material. On the left there are two figures; one of an english bridge made out of brick and the other Palazzo Punta di Diamanti in Rome made out of natural stone. So both materials are quite simular, but its expression is completely different, because of the way it is used. The organic shaped english bridge has the impression of something that was kneaded and moulded. It has a very soft expression. This in contrast to the sharp-edged and clearcut shape of the diamonds of the Palazzo Punta di Diamanti.

An English bridge of the great canal-building period at the beginning of the 19th century. Example of a “soft” form made of brick (1)

Soft: It always has the impression of something that was kneaded and moulded

Palazzo Punta di Diamanti in Rome. A building with a typically “hard” form (1)

Hard: In contrast to the sharp-edged and clearcut shape of the diamonds

Reader involvement

We try involve our readers with Experiencing Architecture as much as possible. So we posted this question on Twitter a few days ago: How materials are treated, placed or shaped influences our experience of the materials. Any good examples for upcoming post?

stromarchitects replied: @exp_arch new forest UK project with locally sourced sweet chestnut.

Open boarded sweet chestnut cladding sourced locally from the New Forest (from: stromarchitects)

What do you think?

I really like the lightness and smoothness of the wood, especially in contrast to the dark and rough brick.

We’re always interested in other examples of Expression of form. If you happen to have a good example, please let us know! You can comment about it below or send us an email with pictures and explanation at:

  • experiencingarchitecture [at] gmail.com.

Follow exp_arch on Twitter


References

  1. RASMUSSEN, S. E. (1962) Experiencing Architecture, 2nd Edition

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