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On Flexibility in Architecture Focused on the Contradiction in Designing Flexible Space and Its Design Proposition
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  • Journal title : Architectural research
  • Volume 15, Issue 4,  2013, pp.191-200
  • Publisher : Architectural Institute of Korea
  • DOI : 10.5659/AIKAR.2013.15.4.191
 Title & Authors
On Flexibility in Architecture Focused on the Contradiction in Designing Flexible Space and Its Design Proposition
Kim, Young-Ju;
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Since Modern Movement flexibility has been one of the most attractive words in architecture. However, "overprovision first, division later" has been the most prevailing design method for spatial flexibility, and many of buildings designed for flexible use are practically quite inflexible due to insufficient building systems or/and irresponsible planning. There have been two dominant strategies to achieve architectural flexibility: multi-functionality and polyvalence. These two approaches, which point contradictory directions, actually reflect the difficulty in providing a proper form of architectural flexibility. Multi-functionality can afford changeable environments with satisfying spatial conditions; however it lacks tolerance to accommodate other uses but intended functions by architects. Meanwhile, flexibility by a polyvalent form relies on the vague anticipation of user`s various interpretations. In this study by looking up these two different standpoints and historical precedents flexibility in architecture is carefully scrutinized focused on the contradiction, and as an alternative for architectural flexibility contextual relations is proposed. Unlike both multi-functionality and polyvalence, which produce flexibility by changing its own properties, manipulating contextual relations infuses flexibility into space by changing the properties of a building, not of its individual room. By using this contextual relations method, a community-centered school in Manhattan, NY, which was in danger of being closed because of its academic failure, is represented as a flexible space.
Flexibility;Multi-Functionality;Polyvalence;Contextual Relations;Community-Centered School;
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