Tuesday, April 7, 2009


In Beedle (1995: 149) articulation is defined as follows: ‘Action or manner of jointing or interrelating architectural elements throughout a design or building.’ This definition is of general validity and it includes articulation of a ground plan to rooms, the division of a façade by repetitive decorations and/or dividing lines of floors or panels. Articulation of building volumes and of the urban space has acquired special meaning. Dutch architects (Aldo Van Eyck and Herman Hertzberger) designed buildings with strongly articulated premises and provided theoretical justification for this kind of articulation: ‘Things must only be big as a multiple of units which are small in themselves, for excess soon creates an effect of distance, and by always making everything too big, too empty, and thus too distant and untouchable, architects are producing in the first place distance and inhospitality’ (Hertzberger, in Lüchinger, 1981). However, articulation of the building volume (anti-block movement) and of the urban fabric does not exclude bigness. Articulation in our time is specifically used as a decorative (and constructive) subdivision of a surface (a façade or a ceiling) into uniform small decorative elements where there exists a complete neutrality regarding the size and shape of that surface. This led to the development of various ‘systems’ or ‘subsystems’ for façades, ceilings and other surfaces (Ornement, 2001).

Articulation of the space is achieved among other means by space divisions. In deconstructivist architecture (e.g. by Frank O. Gehry) spaces may be divided by quasi-virtual components, for instance, chains and grids.

Historical styles articulated the surface by a variety of flat or relief decorations. In modern architecture big flat surfaces, not articulated in any way, were employed.

Then in some designs large flat surfaces received an articulation of large sub-surfaces, frequently by marking these in specific colours. This type of ‘decoration’ may be applied in some cases but it never becomes a basic way of articulating and decorating surfaces.

CENG industrial building project, Grenoble, France, architect: Jacques Ferrier.
Example of façade building articulation with emphasis on parallel vertical lines.

IBM factory office, Basiano, near Milan, Italy, 1983, architect: Grino Valle.
IBM company design model.

Sebestyen, Gyula. 2003. New Architecture and Technology.

1 komentar:

Rajasthantraveling October 7, 2010 at 2:32 PM  

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