A More Perfect Union: Materials and When Space Harmonize

How does one compose architecture? What are the instruments? What are the attributes? Is it possible to define, or like most great art, does it just strike an undefinable gem?

In previous ideabooks I have researched the importance of simplicity for a caliber of successful architecture in addition to the significance of completing great architecture with proper detailing. This ideabook will concentrate on what is perhaps two evident characteristics of successful architecture: materials and space.

One can certainly write two ideabooks, one for all those subjects. However, I think that the point would be missed. Space and materials make up a two-part ticket; you cannot be successful without the other. An individual cannot exist without the other. Materials are used to compose distance; distance is orchestrated by substances. They cannot be separated.

Studio Pali Fekete architects [SPF:a]


Architect Arthur Erickson once said, “Space has always been the spiritual dimension of design. It is not the physical statement of the arrangement so much as what it contains that moves us”

Too often in our civilization, a fantastic space is equated with higher quantity — significance tall ceilings create great architecture. That is not necessarily correct.

This living area has a reduced ceiling height. The floor-to-ceiling glass extends the elevation and opens the distance to the views that are extraordinary. The interior space is uncluttered, and the room is decorated by the view.

That is not to say that a large volume cannot be lyrical. It certainly can.

Space feels lyrical. This is the interior of the previous picture. The clear cedar ceiling floats over the interior areas with floor-to-ceiling glass, leaving views unobstructed. A lower soffit in addition to a fireplace and TV wall bring down the scale into a individual level, while the big flying roof elevates the distance. It’s a lyrical solution for a huge volume.

Jeff Green Photography

Space exalts. A classic in the study of amazing space and one of the last homes on my bucket checklist to see This is actually the Sheats-Goldstein Home by John Lautner. Beautiful, yes. Lyrical, yes. Exalts, yes. The concrete roof geometry is a product of its own purpose and contains glass-filled holes like miniature skylights casting wonderful light forms on the floor. The large quantity manages to maintain a human scale while framing the opinions below.


Space is imaginative. Oh, if we could exercise our imaginations as adults the way we did as children.

There is not any architectural decoration which needs ceilings to be flat walls or airplanes to be perpendicular surfaces. A space can take a beat and dance. A distance does not have to be static.

This chamber composes a spatial symphony with structural components and mild.

Space is harmonious. Here a flat ceiling and vertical walls compose a space of complete serenity and beauty. The distance perfectly frames an outdoor view and tree, attracting both seamlessly in.

As the previous distance dances, this distance rests peacefully and harmoniously.

John Maniscalco Architecture


This picture makes for a wonderful transition into a discussion of substances and the way they compose distance.

The area is largely accomplished by its usage of substances; the exposed wood structure and ceiling create an anticipation of the space that’s confirmed with the view of the exterior. Materials form a distance appropriate to its context.

I have been known to inform clients that if a distance is well thought out, it could be addressed in poultry feathers and succeed. Although I feel that to be true, the important question to ask is, Are chicken feathers the proper material to use for this space?

The construction zone, ltd..

Material composition. An easy composition of raw concrete, metal, water and fire. This is a study of the way materials and geometries socialize and play with one another.

Shouldice Media

Material colors. This is an excellent understated colour composition. The house emerges from its site like a granite outcropping from a lush green landscape.

I once heard an architect say that a house should never yell at its neighbours. Poor material color choice can cause a house to do exactly that.

Grizzly Iron, Inc

Weathered materials. Materials don’t have to be refined and polished to become prosperous. Most substances age beautifully. An architect should know substances, how substances age and what materials are acceptable for a particular condition.

Mies van der Rohe said, “Each substance has its own particular characteristics which we must know if we would like to use it.”

Space is characterized from the materials used to match it. Material choice cannot be separated from the success of a gorgeous space. Nor can a gorgeous space be separated from its materials. Both must possess an unbreakable marriage if one’s need is to create successful architecture.

More: Have It Your Way What Makes Architecture Successful

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