Space and materiality are the pillars of architecture. A simple spatial or material change, such as opening a new window or painting a wall, can completely alter one’s perception of the same room.
But space hasn’t always been conceived in the same way by architects. Sigfried Giedion taught this lesson by interpreting architectural spaces in various historical periods. The house, for example, has undergone several mutations, changing from a closed space, such as the Roman domus, to a permeable and open one that’s closely connected to the outdoors, as we understand it today.
Materiality, on the other hand, is a basic element of every building – every choice of material presupposes a particular aesthetic idea and will have a significant impact on the final result.
In interior design, the architectural language, which combines material choices and spatial compositions, becomes a distinctive feature of space, while also denoting the skill of the designer responsible. In designing interiors, architectural and design choices are even more evident because everything that surrounds us is the result of a particular compositional aim.
The projects of the architects invited to participate in the online event Perspective Virtual Northern Europe clearly demonstrated this. Peter Ippolito, cofounder and managing partner of the Ippolito Fleitz Group, discussed the importance of knowing how to control and make the most of combinations of materials in interior design projects. Natalia Nikolopoulou, project manager and senior interior architect at Studio Modijefsky, demonstrated how compositional elegance can be created through simple but conscious choices. Martin Lesjak, founding partner and CEO of INNOCAD architecture, showcased the History Museum Graz and Fractal Chapel – State Hospital Graz projects to provide an overview of the designs of the past and future. Finally, Alfred Berger, cofounder of Berger+Parkkinen, used a series of projects to highlight how different materials and spatial choices can produce entirely different results.
In view of the success of the event in terms of both the topics discussed and participation numbers, we’ll be reexamining this inexhaustible subject at Perspective Virtual UK and North America, to which we’re inviting some well-known international architecture firms, including dRMM, Cookfox Architects, and Marvel Architects.
With its design of the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre in Oldham, dRMM demonstrated how it’s possible to control spatial composition through the skillful use of wood. Maggie’s centers were established with the aim of helping patients feel protected, cared for, and listened to in an atmosphere that has more in common with a home than a hospital, and that can stimulate a patient’s imagination and spirits. The approach encourages informal relationships between patients and staff as a key part of the unique service the network provides.
The Sir Norman Stoller Building, the new Maggie’s Centre in Oldham, was designed by dRMM, a studio that brings together professionals from around the world. The practice’s portfolio includes the Hastings Pier in East Sussex, the Rundeskogen residential complex in Norway (in collaboration with Helen&Hard Architects), and WoodBlock House and Kingsdale School, both in London. dRMM is widely recognized for its innovative, valuable, and socially useful projects. The studio will be sharing its experience with designing calm, uplifting environments.
Rick Cook and Robert F. Fox, Jr. set up Cookfox Architects in New York in 2003. The firm designed the building at 512 West 22nd Street, in the heart of New York and bordering on High Line park. The project adopts the principles of biophilic design, interweaving human health and wellbeing, nature, and the city. Space and materials come together in this project to breathe life into a structure that’s fully integrated into its setting while also able to express its own unique identity.
We’ll be talking about this and much more at the panel discussion “A Journey through Space and Materiality” to be held as part of the Perspective Virtual UK and North America Forum, scheduled for June 29–30, 2021.
Read more about all the scheduled panel discussions and keep up-to-date by following us on social media. We’ll soon be revealing the names of the speakers and much more.
All credits relating to photos and render refer to individual articles.
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