“material: simple gestures to overcome architectural problems” – Herzog & de Meuron.
Materiality in architecture is a touchy topic. During our long and painful learning periods, – yes, teachers can be tough especially in architecture – In most cases, the matter regarding the building is a choice taken at the very end of the project. Once all the spaces are solved and clear. Why are we putting a material on our project, at the end, like a wrapping paper ? this question should come at the very beginning. Indeed, at the first sight of the building the matter gives more than a “cool” visual aspect. It gives a feeling : rough, soft, warm, welcoming, repulsive. So you can’t neglect this side of a project because your can’t neglect anyone’s feelings. Especially when those feelings are the one you are willing to produce on people.
In some cases, like the Espana library, designed by Giancarlo Mazzanti we can literally feel the material’s potency. This very particular choice of matter related to this building, gives a real strength to the whole entity. The three blocs laying on the hillside are practically a part of the decor despite their massive shapes, this feeling became one, because of the true intimacy between the shapes and the matters that has been applied to it.