Truth to Materials
Debates about building materials in architecture inevitably mention the term “truth to materials” (known in German as “Materialgerechtigkeit”). This refers to the suitability of a material in terms of its form and function. With John Ruskin and the Arts & Crafts Movement, truth to materials was even a moral obligation for authentic architecture. The discussion on material justice is determined by many aspects, the decisive ones being climate issues. Currently, the discussion on truth to materials is determined by many aspects, the decisive ones being climate issues. For this issue, we compiled recent projects made of timber, reinforced concrete, bricks, and Corten steel. And as varied as their materials and surfaces, as versatile are their construction solutions. Enjoy the issue! Sandra Hofmeister
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Update for an icon
Restored Book Tower in Ghent and Building Culture in Flanders
Ghent’s Boekentoren [Book Tower] is a late masterpiece by Henry van de Velde. After undergoing restoration by Robbrecht en Daem, the architectural icon has taken on new life as a busy centre of the Flemish university town.
Harmonious material composition
Convent Extension on Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architectes
An extension encased in sheet copper has been added to a former convent building on Corsica. The copper-clad facades evoke the same type of timeless quality as the granite of the convent's old walls.
Materials and surfaces
Truth to Materials – Editorial Detail 4.2023
The discussion on truth to materials is determined by many aspects, the decisive ones being climate issues.
Residing behind brickwork
Row Houses in Malmö
At a former industrial area near downtown Malmö, the Förstberg Ling architectural studio has realised a residential complex comprising three linear housing blocks.
Richly articulated facades
The Metropolitan Residential Building by Delugan Meissl in Vienna
The 20-storey residential high-rise by Delugan Meissl reacts to its location between Vienna's Central Station and Helmut Zilk Park with two richly articulated yet differing facades.
Innovation meets low-tech
Community Centre in Barcelona
With Casal Trinitat Vella, Haz Arquitectura have realized a community centre in Barcelona made (almost) entirely of wood. An intelligent energy concept completes the structure and minimizes its carbon footprint.
A new building in an historical context
Magdalene College Library in Cambridge
With the New Library at Magdalene College, Níall McLaughlin Architects add a contemporary note to the historical brick architecture of the university town without breaking with tradition.
Symbiosis of restoration and new construction
Education Centre in Frastanz-Hofen by Pedevilla Architects
In their education centre in the Vorarlberg town of Frastanz, Pedevilla Architects have joined old and new to form a harmonious whole without discernible transition between the two.
A wooden house on stilts
Yonder Planning Single-Family Home in Oberreute
Haus S represents a plan by Stuttgart’s Studio Yonder for a single-family home in Oberreute. Initial objections from the local council mean that the wooden structure may be lower than planned, but is no less sophisticated.
Materialprobe | Advertorial
Hotels, Hostels, Guesthouses 3.2023
Few sectors of the economy were so battered during the corona years as the hotel industry.
Taking Stock 1/2.2023
Not only in Germany and Europe but also worldwide, building in existing structures is currently gaining in acceptance and relevance.
Building Envelopes 12.2022
While compiling our personal favourites of the year in the Detail editorial office, I was surprised at the vast scope of projects my colleagues had experienced in 2022. For this issue’s review of the year, they describe their architectural observations in places like Jerusalem, Berlin, and Montagnana, Italy.
Circular Economy 11.2022
If the aim is net zero, demolition and landfill disposal must be avoided at all costs. Today, a progressive architecture is one that takes part in the circular economy and reuses building materials.
Lighting Interiors 10.2022
Our October issue is all about light and interiors. PPAG’s school in Vienna brings daylight into deep cluster spaces to foster daily well-being.
Cultural Buildings 9.2022
In 1997, the Guggenheim Museum opened in Bilbao, and Frank Gehry’s eccentric new building transformed the Basque city into an overnight hotspot for international tourism.
Urban Green 7/8.2022
Especially in big dense cities, roofs and facades are the only places left to make things greener.
Simple and Affordable 6.2022
“Doing away with everything superfluous creates the potential for an architectural quality all of its own,” says Florian Nagler about “simple building” in an interview with Frank Kaltenbach.
Prefabrication Modular Construction 5.2022
Naturstein und Hochlochziegel, Ortbeton und Stampflehm in vorproduzierten Elementen: Für die Massivbauweise kommen viele unterschiedliche Materialien in Frage, und oft ist ihre Anwendung regional motiviert.
Solid Construction 4.2022
Natural stone and perforated bricks, cast-in-place concrete, and rammed earth in prefabricated elements – these are just a few of the diverse materials used in solid construction, and their use is often regionally motivated.
Urban Housing 3.2022
“A villa in the countryside with a large terrace, in front of you the Baltic Sea, Friedrichstrasse behind you …”. Thus begins Kurt Tucholsky’s 1927 poem, “The Ideal”. While Tucholsky’s ideal of urban life might be unattainable in Berlin, there are cities where it has become a reality.