Façade Anatomization: Understanding Tectonics of Contemporary Architectural Enclosure

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Srisak Phattanawasin


Tectonic quality of an architectural enclosure expressing an art of construction process and long-time craftsmanship effort, might be confronted with the change of digital era, consumerism, environment and energy concerns, as well as people’s perceptions infatuated with picture media more than any other time in history. A contemporary architectural façade has not only been used for space defining function, privacy creating, and climate protection, but has also expanded its roles for more important functions such as creating a brand identity in marketing, or building performance in energy savings. This research article proposed how to investigate the tectonic qualities in architecture through contemporary architectural enclosure of case studies in Thailand, focusing on two major extents, architectural tectonic dimension and architectural effects. Three-dimensional architecture drawings both in isometric drawings and perspective sections were analyzed to clarify meaningful tectonic details hidden behind building skins. The results from the analysis of architectural tectonic dimension revealed issues from two key factors including a technological aspect which integrates between a design and a construction technology and a cultural aspect which reflects an awareness on a traditional value or Thai identities. Meanwhile, the study of architectural effects demonstrated the results in terms of building efficiency and perception in visual arts. Tectonic qualities correlated from the dual relationships between assembly dimension versus architectural effects such as raising floor vs. ‘lightness’ in visual perception, horizontal / vertical overlapped cladding vs. air ventilation, all the same material enclosing vs. branding creation, modular coordination system in building material vs. resources and budget savings, or local materials integrated with contemporary technologies vs. visual art and branding, were also observed in the research.


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