U6_the experience of architecture, basic concepts

Architecture, is not like any other art or discipline, as it can be experienced as a whole. Unlike painting, cinema or music, architecture plays with form, space, placement, materials and function; making it really difficult to get the whole experience if not visiting it.


When architects project a house, they must take into account the locaction it will be built in, regarding this topic, buildings can establish different relationships with its environment.

Of contrast

In this type o relationships, the buildings are either juxstaposed (they clearly dominate the landscape, considerably changing it), or allien to it (they do not fit into the landscape, making it stand out).

some examples of this type of relationship are:

Of camouflage

the buildings melts with its surroundings via memesis (imitation of the place)

Of organicisim

unlike camouflge, when an organicism realtionship is stablished, the elemets of the landscape are reinterpreted to form a building that doesn’t camouflage with the place, but it’s also not allien to it. The building and the landscape work in a synergy and perfect harmony. Frank LLoyd Wright and Alvar Aalto used this concept on their buildings, for example:

Of contextualism

The relationship with its surroundings is justifiable


classic space

  • compact and closed becaouse of thick loadbearing walls
  • Renaissance: at least one axis of symmetry, centralized
  • Barroque: centralized, two axis of symmetry

spaces without a centre

  • Japanese, based on modular tatamis.
  • sum of individual rooms

Modern space

  • breaks the «box». Connections, double heights, free floor plans.

Contemporary space

  • entire space of the building is continuous and unique.
  • confusion
  • free section, end of the horizontality



  • repetition of forms in the space


  • linear element around which the elements are equally distributed


regular arrangements around an axis or point


supremacy of an elemet over the others


unitary elemet that serves as a proportional unit


conposition based on a grid or axes


irregularity inspires movement


the elemets seem like they belong to a whole


organization around a centre that drives attention towards it


not meaning symmetry, but just a global sense of equilibrium in the building, staticism.


Where a space ends in order for another one to start, would it be interior-exterior, functional differences…


Without light there is no space, Light gives shape to the space as well as the space gives form to the light.


contrast in material, form, scale…


highlight certain parts of a building, expression, for children…


surface of the elements


not always in a classical way, proportion is also used in modern architecture (Le Corbusier and the golden ratio)


if we change the natural scale of a building (relationship human-building), it will have an expressive effect. We are used to human scales, and when we change it, we notice. For example San Pietro del vaticano.


we can divide function in three conceptions of funcionalism

Mechanical Funcionalism

Started in the industrial revolution. Form is a direct consequence of function, without taking esteticism into account.

Sullivan daid «form follows function»

Form is not the objective, but the result of the work.

Organic Funcionalism

Adapts to the function it must be used for, adapted to human needs, social activities, environmet…

It developes from inside outwars

Moralistic Funcionalism

the form is trying to transmit intentionally what is the function of the building. The form is always linked to the function.

Materiality and Structure

can be realated to VItruviu’s Firmitas

Form is related o materials, that are both connected to technology.

Use the materials according to properties and qualities.

Materials and technologies are constantlly replaced by new ones, but the ideas and concepts of the buildings and primitive constructions survive through history.


traditional material, heavy, sturdy, still used nowadays. Structural function of stone has been replaced with reinforced concrete (lighter and sturdier).

Today it is mainly used with decorative intentions.


poor material, non resistant.

Adobe: blocks of earth reinforced with straws to avoid retracting. Sundried

Shutterings: Rammed earth walls, compacted, can be enriched

all this kinds of traditional materials are sustainable, so, who knows if future architecture will be made form them?


cooked clay.

there are infinite possibilities thaks to reinforcements


can be used in very simple structures or in more elaborated constructions.

Its possibilities are not limited to traditional uses.


relatively new material (industrial revolution)

First decades of the 20 century, ot was widely spread.


can be built in situ or precasted


allow light to come in being able to close the structure.

it gives lightness to the building.


the way the materials and technics are implemented.