Architectural education sets the foundation as to how architects learn in practice and can provide insights into how value systems are shaped. Cuff (1991) insists that architectural education has, for a considerable amount of time, been very much based around learning how to be creative and thinking for yourself; while (Lawson et al. 2003) adds that ‘knowing by doing’ is a readily accepted method of educating within architecture. A strong criticism of the education system is that “adaptive use is the destiny of most buildings, but it is not taught in architectural schools” (Brand 1994). Most programs emphasis innovation and novelty (Glasser 2000), very little education goes into how to change existing buildings, thus there is little knowledge taken forward from education into practice in this area (Kohler & Hassler 2002).
Dyckhoff (2011) states, “Too many architects design for this moment, the perfect idealised space on the inside, iconic form on the outside. But put the people in here and it just doesn’t work.” The quote suggests that architects tend to ignore the medium of time and how users will occupy and appropriate space …
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Recently, one of our collaborators discussed with us a project in which the client asked them to construct the adjacent parking structure floor to floor heights the same as their new building. The idea is that when the new building reaches capacity they will be able to easily convert the parking structure into inhabitable floor space (parking would move to a neighbouring site). It made me think about what other constraints might hinder the practicality of such an act and how feasible would it be to convert a conventional parking structure to other uses? Is it simply an issue of increasing floor to floor heights, typically designed at a minimum for cost efficiency given the weight of the concrete structure, or would more unconventional design measures need to be considered either initially or at the point of conversion?
For example, what do you do with the ramps? – Do you design them as a modular solution which can be disassembled and easily removed upon conversion or do you try to fit them out with a new use such as slanted travelators? If they remain, …
It is not disputed that buildings will need to change over time to accommodate the irresolute demands of its users. Nor, that the more conducive to change a building is, the longer it will remain useful, making it inherently more sustainable. However, buildings are usually built to fit a specific purpose for a particular moment in time, defined in a financially strict brief and proposed by a client that is generally not an expert in the built environment. In such a commercially driven industry, this means that none of the actors have a specific remit to consider the future of the building, rather, just the completion and documentation of it, and the conception of the next. This is in stark contrast to research highlighting architects interest in continually learning about their buildings in order to expand their knowledge in an ever more competitive business.
Currently there is a lot of attention being paid to feedback techniques that attempt to encapsulate knowledge of a building in use, and subsequently feedback relevant information to architects in order to improve design quality (Gorgolewski 2005). However, these techniques concentrate on …