The impact of globalization and consumerism has established the need for well-equipped and structural buildings that emulates the modern services rendering processed. However, coming up with these modernized structures require both the architects and planners to consider the impact of their structural designs in promoting human activities. This has prompted architects and planners to adapt unique structural systems that enable them to come up with buildings that are not only modest, but those that can also effectively enhance human interactions. This paper, therefore, discusses whether the unique conduct and formula adapted by architects in reorganizing the concept of bigness in urban developed translates into the professionalism of architecture. It bases its arguments on the formulaic order that was taken by Rem Koolhass, an architect who adapted new approaches for designing architecture in boundary of bigness which is clearly elaborated by the Seattle Central Library project.
According to Banham (2006), the architectural designing and planning of urban cities has precisely translated into professionalism in architects. It has widely been governed by a concise role played by architects and planners. He notes that architects should view architecture as a professional activity that emphasizes their contribution in providing fit environments for human activities. This is due to the fact that the greater awareness in architectural and planning activities in promoting real society’s values is dependent on their ability to design structures that can improve the quality of life. This can happen through a direct enclosure.
Banham (2006) points out that architects and planners have continuously adapted unique designing procedures which have adversely changed the principle of architecture in addressing the present and future social life of people. He notes that the flexibility that is seen in architecture and planning is due to the clinching and adopting limited life of structures by architects in their designs. This is entirely dependent on particular artifacts. This has presented architects and planners as seeking to promote the principles associated with architectural business by designing building for the purpose of existence, rather than for suitable human activities.
This paper discusses whether the unique conduct and formula adapted by architects in reorganizing the concept of bigness in urban developed translates into the professionalism of architecture. It bases its arguments on the formulaic order that was taken by Rem Koolhass, an architect who adapted new approaches for designing architecture in boundary of bigness which is clearly elaborated by the Seattle Central Library project.
Significance of Adapting Unique Architectural Designs
In his designs, Koolhass adapts a structural skin system that supports the main column and the beams inside of the library. This model consists of independent “floating platforms,” large steel net, which is wrapped around glass skin. Koolhass equally adapts this design to bring out uniqueness and give a striking appearance to the structure. His main objective is to achieve freedom from formal structural systems. As pointed out by Banham (2006), architecture, at face value, is normally concerned with a careful balancing of horizontal materials on top of the vertically installed materials. This, however, does not present any structural formation as a sign of architectural professionalism.
According to Cook (2002), architects should determine the impact of structural development on the validity of social life. This should be reflected in their artefactual designs that dictate the constituent of the aesthetic material they use. He notes that such recognitions can be widely contributed by the existence of residual activities that require not only physical location but also good tastes. For instance, the Seattle Central Library project was viewed by the architect Koolhass as a premise for public educational activities, which would not only attract large population, but rather acts as an archive for architectural tours. This was evident even from the time of the opening of the library in 2004 when over 2 million people visited the library. Most of them came for architectural tours.
Moreover, Banham (2006) points out that those major industries, which are a potential source of employment and delight for the public population, should be implanted with a minimum amount of physical unnecessary materials. This is to avoid the imbalance of the building or structure in enhancing urban development. Therefore, Koolhass, by adapting new structural skin system that gives the uniqueness and striking appearances of the structure, considered not only the modesty but also the relevancy of the structure in coping with the modern urban development requirements.
On the other hand, Rem Koolhass uses stocked masses as a representation of discriminated programs which are moved either horizontally or vertically. This allows him to create space for various activities between different programs that are situated in the gap between the different masses. Koolhass adapts this approach in order to accomplish the freedom of space. However, it stipulates correct architectural practices. According to Banham (2003), conscious and purposely architectural designing and planning requires an architect to view structures as demanding an increase of the availability of major activities on a national scale but through the dispensation of services on a limited space. This necessitates the development of container-based structures in public institutions. Such structures are normally with limited space and can only be accessible by certain populations.
As Price (2003) points out, Environment Controlled Human Operational Enclosed Spaces (ECHOES) is an architectural concept that effectively attributes to architects’ decision in creating space within a premise. He notes that this concept compels the architects to consider the ability of a structure to enhance mobility and offer incisive capacity for internal activities. Through combination of dislocated masses, Koolhass was able to create space for parking of almost 143 vehicles in enhancing mobility and that for 400 computers for the public all in an attempt to promote internal activities. Therefore, Koolhass’ approach denotes the integration of his intelligence based on the available information rather than his experience in considering the Library as amalgam of activities which requires considerable space for its internal activities. This is to increase the efficiency of communication and the exchange between internal and external services.
Additionally, Koolhass’ concept of enhancing freedom of space in his structural design demonstrated his ability to acknowledge the necessity and relevance of the building. By creating different programs between different masses, especially through the localization of computers, Koolhass agitates the importance of the internal activities that require less physical human interactions. According to Banham (2003), computers and other electrical machines normally enable individuals to gain information and facilities at a physical proximity. This allows the public to get accesses to information or services that were previously designed to certain elite people.
On the other hand, Rem Koolhass uses different colors on elevators and escalators in denoting the change of programs inside the library. By doing so, he breaks the traditional accustom of using colors and symbols in architectural practice. This demonstrated that he stood for the freedom of symbolizing. According to Anter (2008), color is normally used in signifying human experience in architecture though it also having economic and practical significance. He notes that architects normally deploy the use of color in a manner that does not present their artifacts as visually unreliable in certain weather conditions while being used.
Moreover, colors are also used in architectural designing and planning as a way of making average citizens understand the building. For instance, Koolhass’ usage of different colors in decoration of the inside of the complex Seattle Central Library was to demonstrate his intention of revealing to the average public the kind of internal services that are transacted within the building. This is in line with the architectural practices that demand that architectural design and planning should promote the construction of buildings that increase human activities.
In conclusion, architecture has been highlighted as an essential component in designing and coming up with building that enhances social values in the society. The write-up has pointed out to the need for architects to adopt architectural practices that enable them to use unique structural formations which not only instill attractive appearance in their structures but also make these structures archives for future designing. It has also noted the need for architects to consider the validity of enhancing space in their structural design in order to promote human transactions. Moreover, it is important for architects to appropriately and effectively use colors in their structures to promote human understanding about the building.