Style as a Layer


stylish hairstyles by [kren]

“Intent, Strategy, Style” was the mantra during the beginning of my architectural education. I could understand how a clear intent brings architecture into purposeful focus, and the strategies used will elaborate the intent of the design, but style?

I think people tend to confuse architectural styles, with style per se; architectural styles are about certain typologies of buildings, deeply ingrained with the philosophies and context of each zeitgeist. A simple google search will indicate the overwhelming architectural styles that can be categorised. However, globalisation and disposable consumerist patterns have glorified the flashy styles of fashion and celebrity-dom, so much so that this style has crept into the realm of architecture with starchitecture and glossy magazine covers. (and even Simpsons)

Of course you can consider this as a sign of today’s age, where the inclusion of some zig-zaggy lines or polycarbonate or literal iconography or marketable personal trademark into architecture becomes the new “______ Style” of the 2000s. The gripe here is how it has become rather thoughtless, or worse still, contrived. I guess that’s why many architects like Steven Holl have ditched reading architectural magazines altogether, because architectural style with all its complexities of culture has been summerised and flattened into neat thin layers of paper with the seduction of photography or words.

To risk sounding like a tutor, I think the key is still the experience and the spaces, through understanding of place and time, that generates true architectural style. Here are 2 interesting articles to read that deals with this issue of style. Do read them!

qmark.jpgand interim on Monday…


5 responses to “Style as a Layer

  1. how about free-style?
    how to create you own style?
    seems like it’s kind of difficult to achieve. conversative tutors will have their old-style, modern tutors will have their modern-style, cintemporary tutors will have their contemporary-style, and weird tutors will have weird-style….

  2. yeah.. i think maybe its not that we should start from the creation of your own style but thinking more rationally towards a project. But everybody’s mode of rationality may be different so it gives that “personal touch” to each project. In that case, maybe you could call it a style then if it is a common thread throughout all your works (when you are like 80) haha

  3. Amen! moving. cogent. you hit the nail on its head. long live authenticity!

  4. sometimes, you dont need to wait until 80…
    look at zaha, rem and etc…
    hmmm…dream and you shall get it…haha

  5. style is something but it shouldn’t be everything…

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