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86113 Context: Construction Technologies

6cp; 1hpw (lecture: Wednesday), 3hpw (tutorial: Wednesday)
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Recommended studies:

Active participation in Orientation week activities is highly recommended, as it is when students are inducted in software management.

Core subject: Context


In 86114 Context: Performance, students were introduced to the notion of tectonics. Geometry, gravity and materiality were explored, in conjunction with prescribed programmatic requirements, in order to create imaginative construction systems, components and connections. The ultimate goal of the subject was helping students to understand, through intuitive and creative approaches, the tectonic principles that drive spatial construction.

This subject is the second of four construction-oriented 'context' subjects. Across the session, students analyse the construction of existing buildings with the intention of understanding:

1. Hierarchical relations between macro- and micro-tectonic construction systems and components. In order to do so, they study spatial construction as the negotiated superposition of seven tectonic layers.

Macro-tectonic layers

i. Structure (Frame structures)

ii. Envelope (facades and roofs)

iii. Partitions (fixed and mobile)

Micro-tectonic layers

vi. Linings (walls, floors and ceilings)

v. Systems (electric, atmospheric, water supply)

vii. Furniture (understood as micro-construction)

vii. Decoration

Students achieve a sufficient ability to understand the principle of hierarchy through the production of the following documents:

  • one digital model (in Rhinoceros or equivalent modelling software) (individual work)
  • an annotated axonometric representation of the building, able to express the hierarchical relation between its construction systems and components (individual work)
  • a 1:10 physical model of the building. A successful model replicates, understanding the limitations associated to a change of scale, all the systems, components and connections involved in the construction of the studied building (teamwork).

2. Standards of representation in construction. Students incorporate to the orthographic languages or representation learned across 86008 and 86009 (first-year context subjects) specific codes that apply in the documentation of construction. To achieve the goal, students add to the abovementioned documents:

  • 1:20 construction plans of every level (individual work)
  • 1:20 construction cross-sections of the building; each student produces at least one long section and one short section (individual work)
  • a minimum of five relevant details documenting systems and components that belong to the macro tectonic layers (structure, envelope, partitions, etc.) (individual work)
  • a multi-scalar set of plans, sections and details (1:1 to 1:5) documenting the joinery and relevant pieces of furniture existing within the kitchen, living and bathroom areas of the house (teamwork).

3. Multi scale approach to construction. Students learn the relevance of thinking and documenting spatial construction in multiple scales simultaneously. The successful completion of the above listed documents proves the understanding of the multi-scale principle of construction.

4. Cultural relevance of construction technologies. Once students achieve an understanding of the technical logics that drive spatial construction, they produce a critical video-statement. Students critique the repercussion of historical, geographical and cultural contexts in the design and construction of their assigned case study buildings. In groups, they combine the produced technical documents (models and drawings) with archive resources like videos, photographs, etc., to produce a video narration that critiques from a cultural perspective the construction of the studied houses (teamwork).

The successful completion of this subject provides students with a broad understanding of the relation between construction layers, as well as the systems and elements within them. Additionally, students learn codes and scales of representation relevant to the understanding and documentation of spatial construction projects. Ultimately, they are able to contextualise historically, geographically and culturally the transformation and evolution of construction technologies.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.