architecture : theory and strategy

speciville, synopsis

object synopsis (english) subject future for urbanism and architecture date november 2005 words 225 pages 1 author christiaan weiler thanks to -

zollverein kokerei, essen, germany - once a cokes industry now a restaurant


hybrid identities
the notion of identity in a design context can be either explained superficially, as an applied image, or more precisely as an equilibrium between inherent and supposed characteristics. following the latter principle, a building’s inherent characteristics (its physical specifications), and its supposed characteristics (its intended or evaluated design) need to find an equilibrium for it to acquire identity. this needs time, and when a building is supposed to last for some time, we speak of sustainability. a building that lasts all the time necessary will come across third test, and that is to be able to adapt to the changes in time. finding the equilibrium between complex regulations and a rapidly changing society, is a central issue for the future of architecture.

according to this reasoning it becomes clear that acquiring identity requires sustainability, and sustainability in its turn requires adaptability, so in the end identity requires adaptability, paradoxically. an answer to the puzzle can be found in what is called ‘hybrid identities’. this new demanded hybridity calls for a new type of architecture, an architecture without typologie. however, in order to maintain a spatial diversity in the public landscape that was once made by building types, an architecture has to be devised that defines adaptability without falling to a one-size-fits-all mentality. when programme becomes generic that needen’t mean that architecture becomes generic.

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