High tech architecture: a new aesthetic that strives for improving the world using technology as an ornament, but taking advantage of its functionality

May 30, 2016
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by juan
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The architectural movement known as high tech is known for incorporating technology into the architectural space, not only as a building element, but considering its aesthetic role, even though it must be pointed out that the technical elements are used not only for aesthetic purposes, but also for functional reasons.

But high-tech architecture, does not only aim at using technology with an aesthetic role, but also exhibits it and this ostentation of technology can be seen as an act of provocation, even of rebellion. In fact, is this ostentation one of the elements that differentiate this stream from the modern movement that precedes it: the “living machine” of Le Corbusier sought efficient design but without displaying the technological components. The high tech movement reinterprets the modern style, providing it with a strong technological image that makes it survive to the present times.

High tech architecture also feeds from the metabolism, a movement of the 60`s where Japanese architects like Kenzo Tange, Kiyonori Kikutake, Kisho Kurokawa and the Archigram group, proposed buildings with futuristic aspects, almost with a science fiction look, showcasing technology deliberately.

High tech takes its name from the book: “The Industrial Style and Source Book for The Home”, published in 1978 by Joan Kron and Suzanne Slesin, where they put in evidence the attitude of rebellion of the high tech architecture and raise a discussion about its aesthetics.

High-tech architecture reflects the enthusiasm of 70´s for the space race, and in general, for the scientific and technological innovations of the time. Philosophically speaking it happens to be positive and naive at the same time: confidence in this technological progress generates in the architects of this movement the idea that through the use of technology it is possible to improve the human habitat and thus human life on the planet.

In the 80´s high tech architecture evolves in parallel to the so-called postmodern architecture to the point that it becomes difficult to differentiate one trend from the other, but at the 90´s high tech architecture, reemerges with its own identity, with the founding in 1993 of the READ Group, aiming at incorporating the use of renewable energy in architecture. With this evolution, the high tech movement ends up by adopting new names such as eco-tech movement and sustainable architecture.

High tech architects often make use of prefabricated components. Preferred materials are the walls of glass and steel structures. In what has to do with interiors, all aesthetics has to do with industry appearance.

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Minimalism in Architecture: “Less is more”

May 23, 2016
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by juan
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Minimalist architecture leitmotiv is to reduce the material expression to the essential, and is best known by the use of geometric shapes made with simplicity and precision. What defines this architectural style in a single concept is the word “clean”. For minimalism all elements must combine and form a unit: hence the minimalist precept that “everything is part of everything”.

This architectural trend emerges in New York by the end of the 60s´ and reaches its maturity in the 80s´, but its origins are anchored in Europe with the work at the German Pavilion of Barcelona´s fair of 1930 of the German architect later turned American, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. It is attributed to Van Der Rohe the phrase “less is more” which precisely reflects the minimalist concept of doing more with less.

 Minimalist architecture imposes in addition to the simplicity of the forms, the use of neutral materials employed in the purest way possible. Simple textures and monochromatic colors are used in floors, ceilings and walls (in particular the white color and all the shades given by its spectrum). At the end, the accessories are the elements that give a touch of color to the space.

The materials are a key point of minimalism. The minimalist ornamentation uses wood and rustic materials: polished cement, glass, steel and stone –mainly in its natural state, minimally manipulated-. Minimalism always seeks at creating contrast by the alternation of these materials and the use of different textures.

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3 pieces of invisible architecture with water as sole protagonist

May 16, 2016
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by juan
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Invisible architecture continuously challenges our senses making the spaces we know, visit or use, become an experience that brings us new feelings, surprising us when we discover what doesn’t seem to be there.

According to this architectural trend, each architect or architectural studio plays with the elements differently to create a fiction, an illusion of invisibility based on the very reality of objects. Consequently, we are transported to places that only these architects can imagine and that thanks to this trend, they can share with us.

Invisible architecture is based upon complex engineering, which deals with what we cannot see. This trend mimics the environment offering extensive views of the landscape, and merging with the surroundings. The source of inspiration shall determine, for sure, how these designs are built and shall shape how the ingenuity of the architects will be used to meet the expectations of the illusion of invisibility.

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