Category Archives: Maja Czesnik

Maja Czesnik

Architecture Machine

Atessa-Zandi-Toward-a-Theory-of-Architecture-Machines Read More »

Also posted in Luisa Roth, Zachary Trattner | Comments closed



Text under study: Toward a Theory of Architecture Machines, Nicolas Negroponte Read More »

Also posted in Uncategorized | Comments closed

Form and Function Follow Climate



The construction industry leaves a significantly negative environmental footprint.  It is one of the main contributors of greenhouse gases production, which leads to a global environmental disaster.  How should we act to stop the ecosystem devastation before it will be too late?  What our priority should be nowadays during the design process? Phillip Rahm answers this question with two simple words:  sustainable development.

The idea of sustainability is to ensure that our present actions would not inhibit the opportunities of future generations.  Sustainable architecture must take into account future forecasts.  It should also take into consideration a limited capacity of the ecosystem and the necessity to maintain its functioning.  Nowadays, an architect has to adjust his role to space and energy use manager.  His goal is to reduce building’s non-renewable energy consumption.  His focus is not only on the esthetical aspects of the building, but also on its guts and skin.  In other words, his role is to optimize the functioning of the building as if it was a complex organism.

In the essay “Form and Function Follow Climate” Rahm presents designing priorities of the last century:  Sulivan’s dictum “form follows function” – a credo of functionalism and “function follows form”- a doctrine of Luis Kahn, who treated architecture as a system of hierarchies and relations.  Rahm opposes above statements to his designing philosophy in which form and function follow climate.  His objective is to literately built space from functional determinations, to leave it interpretable, to permit architecture to be driven by climate, leading it to discover innovative forms and functions.  The following quote is a thorough summary of his thesis:

“What we are working towards is a reversal of the traditional approach to the design in order to achieve a new spatial organization in which function and form can emerge spontaneously in response to climate”

Form and Function Follow Climate, Phillip Rahm

Case study house related to Rahm’s philosophy is called Never Never Land and was designed by Andres Jaque in 2007 on Ibiza.  It corresponds perfectly with the idea of interpretable space, liberated from functional determinations.  The main assumption of the project refers to sustainability philosophy.  Never Never Land maintains the continuity of the valley’s natural base, its arboreal mass and the cycles of matter in the soil. Designing process was started by making accurate path analysis which took into account all existing arboreal mass. The building is fitted into the free space between the greenery, raised on piles, which minimizes trees removal and disturbance to the ground.  In terms of relational logics that are given between advanced architecture and the environment, in this case we can explore the existence of positional relation.  The form put between the trees stays in strong relation with them e.g. in terms of shading.  In my opinion, there is also a disturb relation- Never Never Land shows how we can alter the relation with nature and its elements.

Is the Never Never Land a good example of advanced architecture?  In my opinion, it is not.  Architecture is always connected with other various fields.  The more connections it has, the more advance it is.  In Jaque’s design I cannot notice many other aspects than maintaining the continuity of the valley’s natural base.  Moreover, his assumption is realized without consistency.  The house is raised on piles to avoid disturbance on the ground and at the same time a huge concrete cube with tank is installed in the ground.  Other drawback is a lack of eco construction materials.  Sustainable house should not be made from tons of steel and glass.  I think that advanced architecture is about complexity which is perfectly described by the following quote from the Metapolis Dictionary of Advance Architecture: “The complexity of a real object is measured by the wealth and variety of the parts that make it up and by the wealth and variety of the different states it can take on”.

In light of the above conclusions, the area of my personal research which I would like to explore deeper is a relation between function, form and climate in housing.  This would help me to understand how these connections were established during the history, what events triggered those transformations, how these relations would look in the future and what would be their consequences.

Also posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed