The exhibition “DETAILS, architecture seen in section” opened last Wednesday at the Guido Nardi exhibition space, at the School of Architecture and Society of Milan Politecnico. DETAILS will stay open until February 27. Three international guests, Grafton Architects, Yvonne Farrell, Peter Maerkli, and Christian Schittich (editor in chief of the DETAIL journal) were invited to the inauguration.
The exhibition is the result of a wider research on current trends in construction, and it involves fifty renown international architectural firms, each contributing a selection of detail section drawings from their projects. The exhibition will feature over 200 details, already available on the website. These materials create an original atlas with a huge potential for both education and architectural practice, a common ground for students and professionals that will also include some boards about the great masters and topics of Modernism.
The aim of this research project is to demonstrate how insightful a section can be, in order to represent the complexity of the architectural artifact. In fact, sections allow for a simultaneous perception of both materiality and form, of building envelope and interior spaces. The research originates in a scientific project by Marco Pogacnik, professor in the Department of Architecture, Building and Conservation of Venice IUAV and has been further developed in collaboration with Orsina Simona Pierini, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at Milan Politecnico.
“Arte del costruire – The Art of Building” is a research group formed by professors from different academic disciplines (history, architectural design, technology, preservation) working at the School of Architecture IUAV in Venice. Together with the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of the Milan Politecnico, we are the promoters of a collective project dedicated to the architectural detail titled: “Details. Architecture seen in section”.
The aim of this research project is to demonstrate how insightful a section can be, in order to represent the complexity of the architectural artifact, since it allows the simultaneous perception of materiality and form, of building envelope and interior spaces. From this point of view, the section acquires an iconic character.
This year, Koolhaas’ Biennale, titled “Fundamentals”, is dedicated to the basic components of the architectural vocabulary (e.g. door, window, roof). Rather than analysing each of these elements as a separate and absolute object, we want to focus on the interplay between them: how is the façade joined with the roof, how is the window inserted into the wall?
Our research project about the detail emphasises the relationship between the different fundamentals in architecture and tackles the issue of tectonic syntax that regulates the architectural composition.
The emblematic character of the section will be highlighted through a series of panels, divided in three major thematic groups:
1. a first group of panels illustrating, in a historical perspective, examples from great masters (Le Corbusier, Wright, The Smithsons, Mies…);
2. a second group of panels will highlight the theoretical framework resulting from our research. The detail will be represented in its different expressive articulations: the detail as decoration, as punctum, as joint/Junktur and as a no-detail. Depending on the compositional strategies used by the architect, the detail can generate different expressive outcomes: it can be isolated (punctum), it can be a part of a wider structural system (joint, Junktur), it can be reduced to a minimum until it disappears (no-detail) or it can be emphasized its expressive nature, thus becoming mere decoration.
3. a third group consists of panels dedicated to a single contemporary architect or architectural office: they are asked to express a peculiar statement about their conception of the detail, and to explain how it is understood and used in their professional activity.
Following the example of a series of portfolios published by the magazine “Architectural Record” in the 1960s (see attachment), architects with different backgrounds and culture are kindly asked to partecipate. As a preview, an exhibition has already been organized during July 2014 at the Venice Biennale of Architecture with panels by the offices which have already contributed to our research project.
DETAILS, ARCHITECTURE SEEN IN SECTION
February 11th to February 27th.
Politecnico di Milano
Spazio Mostre Guido Nardi