Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

WAF blog: Delight in architecture debated

  • Comment

Festival director Paul Finch opened the discussion by saying that the qualities of commodity, firmness and delight, as defined by Vitruvius, have become the DNA of architecture and deeply embedded, and are usually used to describe architecture

He then asked his panellists comprising – Will Alsop, principal of All Design, Édouard François, principal of Maison Édouard François Architects, Ted Kane of Morphosis and Wong Chiu Man, principal, of WOW Architects – whether this old model is still relevant today.

Alsop responded that the three items are useful and that space, structure and stability are delightful, but things have changed a lot because of technology. There are, he said, now no rules on how to experience delight in a building and, with the digital age, we experience it in a different way.

When Finch asked whether architects can deliberately design delight into a building, Francois replied that architecture needs extraordinary talking points and he cited the example of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, where WAF is taking place, as an excellent example of a building that elicits a reaction from everybody.

Alsop referred to a recent visit to Ronchamp. While the building is delightful in its design and light qualities, he said, the environment and location can also contribute to a building being delightful.

Finch said that an architect’s sketches and drawings are delightful and Alsop agreed with him, saying that he always draws by hand. However, when the sketches and drawings are translated into computer drawings, a lot of the essence in the design is lost.

All the panellists agree that delight is fundamental in architecture and that commodity and firmness will follow a delightful design.


Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week

Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to TheAJ.co.uk and the AJ Buildings Library

Are you a student?

Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs