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Ben Street

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Comments (1)

  • Comment on: Patrik Schumacher on parametricism - 'Let the style wars begin'

    Ben Street's comment 2 February, 2012 3:20 am

    David, you have made a mistake. You have applied a motive to the fact that Patrick is not communicating effectively with you. I can’t find a reason for the intellectual leap, from not being able to understand, to believing Schumacher is deliberately attempting to make his writing not understandable.
    I think confusion is arising from the disconnect between ZHA’s built works, and the utopian ideal Schumacher seems to suggest.
    One in which every point in a building is placed in its optimal position in three dimensional space. This position determined by measured factors, either site specific climate data or functional criteria for example. This is an attempt to determine the platonic ‘ideal’ building for each site and use. Often, though not always, such a design methodology would produce curvilinear forms, as we can see from the shapes of plants for example, which through optimisation of 3d form determined by light, structural integrity etc, adopt sinuous shapes.
    ZHA’s existing built works are unfortunately just a vanguard of this design METHOD, (rather than style) as, as yet they have only the appearance of having been designed in such a way. (I say appearance as I see little evidence, that each curve or volume in any current ZHA building is determined by real world criteria. For example a fluid form roof to optimise air circulation or whatever else.
    This does not mean that this methodology has no value. However I see the greatest barrier to its adoption as the reality of the global 2012 construction industry, which is optimised and designed around, mainly rectilinear forms. Therefore, what may technically be an optimal building is likely to offset its benefits via greater construction and design costs (design costs until, one day a computer can analyse every measurable parameter of a site, and use, and so determine by itself an optimised 3d form). This is not the optimal architecture of today, but it may be that of the future.