1. Materialism & Immaterialism
Architecture is the putting together of materials Stone, wood, brick, concrete,
glass, metal to create a space. Throughout much of architectural history,
architects focused on qualities of solidity, permanence and heaviness.
Material and immateriality are the still discussing and using in architecture
• ”Architecture is expected to be solid, stable and reassuring - physically, socially and
psychologically. Bound to each other, the architectural and the material are
considered inseparable.” Jonathan Hill
• Materiality in architecture today is a true form of a material which reflects directly
what it is from the appearance itself. It is a raw form of the material and showed
without modified or decorating it with any other element. Next, It is natural in
either appearance or form. Its predominantly about the expression of material
properties. The richness of the user’s experience of any building depends on
awareness of all the sense.
3. Materiality and its Characteristics
According to me materiality refers to the concept of a material that is used in a building. Its
about how someone feels about a certain material, the sense of touch, smell and visual.
Basically the involvement of the five senses in a material.
Its also the use of raw natural materials such as stone, brick and wood that allow us to
envision the accuracy of matter.
Materiality in terms of architecture is about applying different materials that can be
perceived through the 5 human senses namely vision, smell, touch, hearing and taste.
With the use of the natural materials such as stone, brick or wood; the user can visualise and
touch the various texture and also hear the echo’s as the sound resonates on the said
material or smell and taste the material when either hot or cold air is applied on it.
ROLE OF MATERIALITY
It initiate an idea that create architecture and the material used to produce spaces. The
structure that brace the building is assembled by raw materials.
It can be defined as appropriate use of material and honesty towards the material. More to
honesty than deception.
“The thingness of the thing” – Martin Heidegger’s.
Woodness of wood
Form and Knowing
Studness of a stud
Brickness of brick
Stoneness of stone
Steelness of steel
Concreteness of concrete
The “you-ness of you”
6. Immateriality and its Characteristics
Its the idea that material is an object.
ROLE OF IMMATERIALITY :
Its a contradicting impact and its suitability to an active and creative arrangement with
architecture. An idea a formless phenomenon, a technological development towards light,
focus on action rather than forms.
Its not about the matter of the material, nor the absence of matter of the material, but the
perceived absence of matter, as how Jonathan Hill said in his article. Hill proposed that
immateriality and materiality not only has equal weights in good architecture, but should be
My standpoint in all is that today we are try to achieve both materiality and immateriality. In
the essence of materiality, materials will grant to the immateriality side of space. While
immateriality will be the richnness of the user’s experience towards a building depending
on the awareness of all senses.
My altercation is that both aspects should be laboriously considered at the same time and
should also involve the content of the building. which can be achieve by the immaterial
aspects and would need more functional aspects such as lighting quality and acoustics
which can be only achieved by material aspects. it is hard to set a standard, but what can be
done is to adjust to the situation given and consider and understand all aspects and provide
the best solutions to the end product.
Immaterial is an idea where material is an object.
The immaterial in man is the expansive form inherent in him
A building is expected to be solid, stable and reassuring – physically,
socially and psychologically – bound to each other, the architectural and
the material are considered inseparable
When we define a space , we try to describe its characteristics with “what
it is?”, but not with “what it is not?” Architecture is something more than
the management of natural and social situations, we except to find a
justification for this claim in philosophical aesthetics / theories.
The richness of the user’s experience of any building depends on awareness of all the senses,
but immaterial architecture may trigger a sense more often associated with the immaterial,
such as smell and touch.
The experience of immaterial architecture is based on contradictory sensations, and is
appropriate to an active and creative engagement with architecture.
The complexity of whole experience depends upon the user’s interpretation of what is
present and absent.
There are many ways to understand immaterial architecture – as an idea, a formless
phenomenon, a technological development towards lightness, a programmatic focus on
actions rather than forms.
Focusing on immaterial architecture as the perceived absence of matter more than the actual
absence of matter.
It dependent on perception, which involves creative interpretation, fictions rather than facts.
The user decides whether architecture is immaterial, but the architect creates
conditions in which that decision can be made. Both are creative.
Coupling of ideas and forms, the immaterial is sometimes associated with the
formless, from which some of its fascination derives. But the formless is not
absence of order, it is order that is unrealized.
The soul must be immaterial, which belongs to being whose thoughts are not
confined to the words ‘here’ & ‘now’, but are able to abstract from every
limitation…..by St. Thomas in – Natural Longing For Unending Existence. On a
fundamental note, immaterial architecture revels in qualities – the subjective,
unpredictable, [porous and ephemeral – that are contrary to the solid, objective
and respectable practice expected of a professional
12. VASTU PURUSA MANDALA
We tend to follow vastu shastra designing of house
The allocating of spaces according shastra now a days belived as
some spiritual but not as an important science factor. Eg: we place
kitchen at South-East direction, so that it gets more sunlight to dry
as it is a wet area.
So, following vastu purusa mandala is an immaterial sense which
an order in space while designing home.
13. SOLIDS & VOIDS
• Space defined and enclosed by boundaries or
perimeters, is more than a 3-dimensional cartesian
X-Y-Z matrix, but a material & immaterial
identifiable entity, the existence of which depends
on varieated material and immaterial, such as
imaginery, yet definitive lines implied by edges,
columns or other frames.
• a set of 9 miniature concrete buildings playing
with volume and voids.
• “Each piece is an individually complete space
defined by volumes and voids that give the human
imagination a glimpse into what could be lying
inside. The nine pieces from this first set can put
together around the central ‘Kund’ to create a
14. SOUND & SILENCE
• When we put our ear up against the any metal/surface, we feel
the vibrations, sense the sound emanating.
• The sound materializes not merely through human ears but in
connection with a physical attachment of listening to it when the
‘vibrations on a surface’ materializes silence into sound. As silence
is the absence of sound.
• So, sound is immaterial, that it cannot be seen except through its
• Silence is immaterial , through the absence of sound, so it
focuses increased attention on the senses and materials present .
• The relationship between form and
function is established not only in the
quality of the form, but all above through
a sequence of voids or transparent
textures(like glass) which defines the
internal space of the architectural object,
both in the sense of illumination,
lightweight materials and the
architectural view of itself.
• Eg: glass usage in Gothic architecture
16. Example:- A VAPOROUS FOLLY BUILT OF STEEL AND
Japanese architect sou fujimoto has designed a light and airy
pavilion for the 2013 serpentine gallery in london.
A porous steel cube is iteratively repeated in all directions,
creating a three-dimensional grid or "space frame" that could
withstand the most violent of storms.
The steel members are arranged in an irregular, amorphous
shape, almost as if the algorithmic sequence was cut off
before completing its full course.
"The fine, fragile grid creates a strong structural system that
can expand to become a large cloud-like shape, combining
strict order with softness," Fujimoto says in a statement.
Seen from a distance, the pavilion seems more like land art.
But visitors can actually walk into the sculpture and perch
themselves on raised platforms while enjoying a coffee or a
conversation. It’s an elegant solution that comfortably
accommodates human occupants while not tarnishing the
heady purity of Fujimoto’s geometric concept.
17. Difference btw Materialism and Immaterialism
Immaterials is having no matter or
Material is having to do with matter
More of a flat, sharp-edged, and unreal. A true form of a material
It exist as part of the history even when
the materiality term existing.
Reflects directly what it is from the
It is not the direct term that born from
Raw form of the material
It describes anything that is not raw and
are modified from the original form
Showed without modified or decorating
it with any other element
It can be an untouchable element such
Natural in either appearance and form
The combination of material with immateriality, is like an art between human
sensor with the physical natural creating a harmonious atmosphere.
19. Material vs Immaterial
Concrete roof seating
as a viewpoint
The light entering
through the ceiling
The Church of seed
The abstract form and space of the church is not just conveyed through material and
texture , but also play of light and shadow which is immaterial.
21. Materiality plus Immateriality
• In ancient times the walls, roof, floor, etc. and their timelessness was given the most
• Whereas, in modern times the architecture is focused more on the immateriality of a
• But, it is usually forgotten that materiality and immateriality goes hand-in-hand and
to produce a balanced structure the materials should be used in a way that the
immateriality of the structure is enhanced.
23. • The role and importance of materiality thus includes
much more than structural properties but equally
informs a person’s experience of a building through
its aesthetic, visual and haptic qualities as well as its
associated social, cultural and historical meaning.
• Both constructive and ornamental elements represent
fundamental parts of a larger assembly, whether
obviously appealing or on a more subliminal level.
• Applying the right materials therefore represents a
truly demanding task and requires not only knowledge
and experience on the various material properties, but
also sensitivity and intuition in anticipating their
meaning and value over time; a combination, which
paired with a clear understanding and interpretation of
the term appropriate, might essentially distinguish
good from bad architecture.
MATERIALITY & IMMATERIALITY IN ARCHITECTURE
24. WHY MANY OF THE HINDU TEMPLES ARE CONSTUCTED NEAR
• A temple is usually designed like a home/ palace in
resemblance of god’s residence.
• The appropriate site for a temple, suggest ancient
Sanskrit texts, is near water and gardens, lotus and
flowers bloom, where swans, ducks and other birds
are heard, where animals rest without fear of injury or
harm. These harmonious places were recommended
in these texts with the explanation that such are the
places where gods play, and thus the best site for
Temple at Badami
Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple
Dwarkadhish Temple Mathura
25. Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Architect : Jan Letzel
Location : Hiroshima, Japan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
commonly called the Atomic
Bomb Dome, is part of the
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
and was designated a UNESCO
World Heritage Site in 1996.
• The ruin serves as a memorial to
the people who were killed in the
atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6
• Over 70,000 people were killed
instantly, and another 70,000
suffered fatal injuries from the
• Today we can very much see the chaos and emotion of the tragedy in the building not only the ideation .
• Behind the building tells the immateriality but also the sentiments of the building with respect to the
people and the influence it make also becomes a part of the building which are not physical in nature.
26. JEWISH MUSEUM, BERLIN
Daniel Libeskind uses the voids to address the physical
emptiness that resulted from the expulsion,
destruction, and annihilation of Jewish life in the
Shoah, which cannot be refilled after the fact. He wanted
to make this loss visible and tangible through
Architect : Daniel Libeskind
Location : West Berlin
Style : Deconstructivism
• Conceptually, Libeskind wanted to express feelings of
absence, emptiness, and invisibility – expressions of
disappearance of the Jewish Culture.
• It was the act of using architecture as a means of
narrative and emotion providing visitors with an
experience of the effects of the Holocaust on both
the Jewish culture and the city of Berlin.
27. CHURCH OF THE LIGHT
Architect: Tadao Ando
Building Type : Christian Church
Town Or City: Ibaraki, Osaka
Date Completed : 1989 ,1999
Structural System: Reinforced Concrete
The concrete construction is a reinforcement
of Ando’s principal focus on simplicity and
minimalist aesthetic; however, the way in
which the concrete is poured and formed
gives the concrete a luminous quality when
exposed to natural light.
• For Ando, the Church of Light is an architecture of duality – the
dual nature of [co]existence – solid/void, light/dark,
• The coexisting differences leave the church void of any, and all,
ornament creating a pure, unadorned space.
• The intersection of light and solid raises the occupants
awareness of the spiritual and secular within themselves.
28. • Architect : Peter Zumthor
• Peter Zumthor was able to play with both
materiality and immateriality in the Therme Vals
• Peter Zumthor worked with the natural
surroundings the bath rooms lay below a grass
roof structure half buried into the hillside.
• The Therme Vals is built from layer upon layer of
locally quarried Valser Quarzite slabs. This stone
became the driving inspiration for the design, and
is used with great dignity and respect.
• His work expresses the use of materiality and
immateriality in the sense of mixing of shadow,
light with the natural raw material.
• The use of specific materials which would help
reflect and echo the water as it streams down, the
use of textures stones ad rocks to create an
interaction between the visitors and the building
• Zumthor even makes use of light and shadows
within the spa to generate a sense of relaxation
and calmness for the people to enjoy.
Therme Vals, Switzerland
29. • Location : New York, United States.
• Architect : SANAA Architect
• Built in : 2007
• Both materiality and immateriality should be
considered in today’s architecture. However, with
evolving technology and new types of materials
immateriality is more appropriate for the 21st
contemporary and sustainable architecture.
• Glass, a material that creates illusion is wildly
used over building facades as compared to
traditional natural materials. They allow us to
confine in the aesthetics of today.
• The New art Museum by SANAA built in 2007 is
an example whereby immateriality is appropriate
for today’s architecture.
• The use of glass panelling allows light to enter
the spaces within the building which is one of the
concepts of immateriality. The properties of glass
as being reflective and transparent allows light to
enter the building in various spaces and hence
defines the internal spaces and foremost creates
an illusion for the overall building.
The New art Museum, New York, United States
30. • Location : Milan Design Expo, Milan
• Architect : SO-IL, Mini Living - Breathe
• The term of immateriality is also related to the architecture
in a state of “disappearance”, a building simplified and
reduced to its essential elements; lightness, transparency.
• The white mesh skin wrapping the house is coated with PVC,
it is designed to filter and neutralize the air.
• The roof garden on top is filled with plants intended to
further improve air quality and the urban micro-climate.
• Inside the house, the light-permeable textile walls separate
spaces. They also offers plenty of natural light inside, as well
as offering views between the different areas and not much
• The installation encourages the visitors to confront their
tendency to take resources for granted, By making living an
Air Filtering House, Milan
31. • Location : Huizhou, China. Architects : O Studio Architects
• This building located at Luofu Mountain Scenery District. It is speaking a raw, natural
and non-decorative material language.
• The main structure is constructed by in-site concrete with bamboo form-works.
Although the concrete wall show the solidity and heaviness but bamboo texture left
on the concrete surface reduces the massiveness of concrete wall and harmonizes
with the surrounding trees and green landscape.
• This strongly show the materiality of the building. The transparent windows and
doors, and the handmade bamboo furniture showing the church is humble and
close to village life.
• The abstract form and space of the church is not just conveyed through material and
texture, it also play of light and shadow which is immaterial.
• The form of this building, a curve line follows the outline of a seed to form an
• Although a seed is the starting point of this design, the church does not intend to
literally illustrate its image.
• This is not a piece of sculptural, it is an architecture interact with human, natural
environment and culture. The architect using light and shadow which is immaterial
to create spiritual atmosphere of the space , to made a place like a space.
The Church of Seed, China
The experience of immaterial architecture is based on contradictory sensations, and is appropriate to an active and creative engagement
with architecture. The complexity of whole experience depends upon the user’s interpretation of what is present and absent.”
32. Arch Theory Book (Argues for / Against)
• Argues for : he prefers brick as compared to any other materials
• ‘ I would be so bold as to state that there is no building material more suitable than brick, however you wish
to employ it, though it must be baked rather than raw…’
• Against : one digging during any other season apart from autumn
• ‘ The best moment to dig foundations is at the time of the Dog Star or during autumn itself..’
Original text: Leon Battista Alberti
• Argues for : Using natural materials as a building element. We should be able to see the true nature of the
• ‘Natural materials express their age and history, as well as the story of their origins and their history of
• Against : The idea that we do not acknowledge the purity of architecture
• ‘In our culture of pictures, the gaze itself flattens into a picture and loses its plasticity. Instead of
experiencing our being in the world, we behold it form outside as spectators of images projected on the
surface of the retina.
Reflective Text : Juhani Pallasmaa
• Argues for : Immaterial is as important as material. He makes his case by exploring not only architectural
production but the means of architectural production.
• ‘instead, i advocate an architecture that embraces the immaterial and the material’
• Against : the term design
• ‘ In this book i refer to the architect caught between the immaterial idea and the material object, the
creative artist and the solid professional.
Philosophical Text : Jonathan Hill
33. Arch Theory Book (Agree / Disagree)
•” in the process of construction all the right materials are used in the right places. ”
•I agree with this statement , because the way we use the material is very important. Each of the material should be treated in specific way ,
dimension and type. For example the brick should’t be too thin because might crack.
•” We shall now deal withe materials suitable for constructing buildings, and we shall relate the advice handed down to us by the learned men of
the past, ……… knowledge is better gained through long experience than through any artifice of invention.”
•I disagree with this statement because nowsaday we have a lot of new technologies and materials can be used. We must try the new material
and figure out the new way of construction.
Original text: Leon Battista Alberti
•” Natural materials express their age and history,as well as the story of their origins and their history of human use.”
•I agree with this statement because natural material after long period , it show the aging part to let us feel the age and also the history behind
•” the machine-made materials of today - scaleless sheets of glass, enamelled metals and synthetic plastics - tend to present their unyielding
surfaces to the eye without conveying their material essence or age. Building of this technological age usually deliberately aim at ageless
perfection, and they do not incorporate the dimension of time, or the unvoidable and mentally significant processes of aging. ”
•I disagree with this statement because not only natural material express their age and history, machine-made materials showing their origins &
history used by human too.
Reflective Text : Juhani Pallasmaa
• ” Strong boundary consciousness can be interpreted as a desire to be in control and to exclude the unfamiliar because the unfamiliar is a source
of unease rather than something to be celebrated. ”
• I agree with this statement because we always comfortable with the familiar thing, we are use to it rather than the new thing.
• ” I devise new means to explore old concerns: the creativity of the architect and the user. The user decides whether architecture is
immaterial.But the architect, or any other architectural producer, creates material conditions in which that decision can be made… ”
• I disagree with this statement because we cannot leave everything to the end user and let them judge your design. They can experience and
observe the space but not judge and decide what it will be.
Philosophical Text : Jonathan Hill
34. Conclusion :
Material and Immateriality in today’s Architecture
Materiality and immateriality has to do with both the properties of the materials
and how the person perceive it.
The material’s properties provide a different atmosphere and essence to the
building and helps the user to enjoy and appreciate the structure when visiting it.
However, the way in which the person views and observe it, also helps with the
concept materiality and immateriality.
We can conclude that even though materials are evolving with new available
technology which helps with the concept of immateriality, materiality still has an
important role in for architecture.