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A Study on the Subtraction Method and Characteristics as Design Organization found in the Architecture of Aires Mateus
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 Title & Authors
A Study on the Subtraction Method and Characteristics as Design Organization found in the Architecture of Aires Mateus
Kim, Jong-Jin;
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Aires Mateus Architects is one of the most well-known Portuguese architects after Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura. The studio shows clear design methods in which the relationship between solid mass and void space are creatively inter-connected. Subtractive transformation of form is the fundamental aspect of this relationship. Most of Aires Mateus` projects were designed based on the subtractive method. Although subtraction can be seen as architectural formal presentation, in Aires Mateus` cases, there are deeper logics, strategies, and meanings. Not only to create a form, subtractive method has been flexibly used to organize and compose different programs and spatial atmosphere. To examine this hidden dimension of Aires Mateus` unique design process, 5 case projects were selected and analyzed in detail based on program, light & visual-perception, and site`s placeness. From the case study results, it is found that there are much deeper role of subtraction: relationship between solid-void are constantly changing to generate serviced and servant spaces, there are central spaces that are contrast against the complexity of exterior forms, aiming to build an archetypal form that transcends ever-changing time, ambivalent balance between universality and peculiarity in the genealogy of contemporary architecture. The study concluded that the unique characteristics of subtraction method as design organization have various possibilities that can apply on other architectural and interior projects which would have similar ideas and circumstances.
Aires Mateus Architects;Subtraction;Design Method;Solid Void;Portugal;
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