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Mat buildings

Zad333

Does anyone know the principles of a mat building or mat layout? and how it affects istallations, facades, structures etc?

 
Sep 13, 05 9:37 am
4arch
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Sep 13, 05 9:45 am  · 
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dezku

You're not by any chance doing the Hybrid Buildings technical studies at TU Delft are you? Do your homework like the rest of us :D

Anyway the linked book is a good source.

Sep 13, 05 11:42 am  · 
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Zad333

yeah i am doing that course, got caught! hehe trying to find a concise summary. thanks though:)

Sep 13, 05 1:06 pm  · 
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h1

yes, the case book is good - and if you can get your hands on the original venice hospital folio that rice put out, even better. Mat buildings are so sixties, who has you guys doing this?

Sep 13, 05 5:06 pm  · 
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Yes, another late unbuilt Le Corbusier design reenacted within contemporary architecture. (I have a copy of the Rice Venice Hospital folio; bought it at Wittenborn Books in the late 1970s. I keep on meaning to put it up for auction, that is, after I scan it.)

Now look at Le Corbusier's design for the Electronic Calculation Center Olivetti, Rho-Milan, 1963-64--it's got mat, blob and funky hi-rise all in one. The first to reenact this one was Stirling with his unbuilt design for the Olivetti Headquarters, Milton Keynes, 1971.

Maybe 14 September is Reenactionary Architecturism day.

Sep 14, 05 2:07 pm  · 
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h1

Rita, you mean to say you're a former bonhomme who's been out book shopping since the late 70s - How outré and exciting! I think you must have your share of architecturistic reenactments with which to grace all of us neophytic apparitions - where were you in school?

Sep 14, 05 8:03 pm  · 
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h1

Oh, and Dezku and Huey - who's got you doing textiles?

Sep 14, 05 8:05 pm  · 
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dezku

Henk Mihl.. Bless the man.

Sep 15, 05 10:04 am  · 
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MysteryMan

OK, for those of us who have practiced 'low-brow' arch most of our careers, please briefly describe 'Mat building.' pretty please.

Sep 15, 05 10:59 am  · 
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strlt_typ

MM,

let me give this a try...the main idea is the organization and propagation of spatial and programmatic "modules" on a relatively flat plane. Usually the organization and connection of the modules are rule-based and the propagation within the site, seems to me, is inevitably affected by the rules of organization . Its similar to the idea of "modularity", in which modules, of however many types, are organized together to form a building. They're like lego, Escher's tesselations, puzzles...

some references...stan allen's field condition, Aldo Van Eyck...

Sep 15, 05 12:55 pm  · 
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MysteryMan

Dayyymmm-son,
All you had to day was for me to git out my pre-school bldg blocks. Maybe I'll develop a system to help my friend from Louisiana (the dry part) build his modular kingdom out of shipping containers.

Anyway, the 'peanut gallery' thanks you.

Sep 15, 05 1:25 pm  · 
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Given that mat buildings seem to have their origin with Le Corbusier's design for a hospital of Venice, the notion of using similar mat buildings as part of the solution to New Orlean's architectural future isn't all that off.

Sep 15, 05 1:52 pm  · 
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MysteryMan

No doubt that somebody will find a way for a new-age French colonial 'style' to make its way into the resultant architecture.

Sep 15, 05 2:06 pm  · 
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If the shoe fits the foot is forgotten.

Sep 15, 05 2:32 pm  · 
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MysteryMan

I gotta buy new shoes.

Sep 15, 05 6:34 pm  · 
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And if the belt fits the belly is forgotten.

Happy shopping!

Sep 15, 05 7:05 pm  · 
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bothands

Corb's hospital, Stan Allen's field condition discussion(s) and van Eyck (the Orphanage in particular) are all good sources, but one would have to include Candillis & Woods' Berlin Free University and especially the article "On Mat Building" by Alison (& Peter? - forgot if he co-wrote it) Smithson...

Sep 16, 05 1:49 am  · 
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h1

wow bothands, excellent references. Team 10 was indeed very heavy into the mats. Would add yona friedman's "spatial city" and a mess of van Eyck as pre-60s referents, though there's some of the latter in the case book, i believe.

Sep 16, 05 3:00 am  · 
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Maxat

Rita, mat buildings didn't start with Le Corbusier's Venice Hospital. The FU Berlin, of Candilis, Josic, Woods is from the fifties. You could read Alison Smithson's article "How to read and recongnize Mat Buildings" where there is a very comprehensive chronology of mat building cases. Venice Hospital is listed there.

As for Jullian's book about the hospital (the Rice one), if you consider selling it, I would buy it, so please let me know when you make up your mind on that.

Sep 22, 05 9:24 am  · 
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h1

Maxat, For the right price, I'd part with my copy - make me an offer.

Sep 22, 05 11:35 pm  · 
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marketfair

check out johnny bassett's thesis project on the princeton website...

Sep 22, 05 11:52 pm  · 
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Janosh

Hmm. Is the Monster Garden at Bomarzo a "Mat Building"?

Sep 23, 05 2:42 am  · 
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lucaf

hi ... I'm developing a PhD thesys on Mat Buildings. Are you still working on them?

thanks, LucaF

May 12, 06 1:50 pm  · 
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Maxat

Guys, I can add to this discussion the fact that right now I'm collaborating at my office with Guillermo Jullian de la Fuente, who was Le Corbusier's aide at the Rue de Sevres Atelier and inherited the Venice Hospital Building when LC died. I've discussed with him the issue of mat buildings and he is very suspicious of the categorization of the Venice Hospital as a mat building. It's true that Allison Smithson in her article about mat buildings cites it as an example (crediting it as Le Corbusier + Jullian), and Pablo Allard's article on it in the Case book also deals with that idea. Personnaly I think that there is a very close relation between the idea behind the concept of mat buildings and the Hospital... but I thought that Jullian's view (as co author) would be an interesting addition to this debate. By the way, working with him has been almost a school in itself. I offer the experience to anyone interested in taking contact with him.

May 12, 06 6:30 pm  · 
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Maxat

And if anyone has the Rice booklet available to sell, please let me know. In Alibris it's at $75, which is a little expensive, so I could offer less than that.

May 12, 06 6:32 pm  · 
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lucaf

Hello Maxat, I would be really interested in getting in touch with Jullian de la Fuente because I'm developing a PhD thesys on mat buildings architecture. How can you help me?
I just bought the Rice Booklet from Amazon.com for 18 euro. Have a look there, you might get it too.
Let me know, ok?

Jun 12, 06 8:32 am  · 
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Chetan Aggarwal

Hello lucaf, 

 I would really like to know if you could help me with the mat building typologies and principles for my research paper on mat buildings architecture. Please let me know if you could help me? Thanks

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shireenalali

hello lucaf,

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shireenalali

i would really like to know if you can help me also with the typologies and principles, i am a senior student and basically working on the mat buildings architecture. please let me know i would really appreciate your help, thank you

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cosmoe32

Hi Huey,

Don't know if you are still working on this, but having just done some peripheral research on the topic, I can offer the following knowledge:

As mentioned above, you definitely want to look at Team 10. There is a good book out there right now- “Team 10: In Search of a Utopia of the Present 1953-81”. That has several essays on the development of the mat building. Essentially, it was an idea of Shadrach Woods, and was first used in a competition for a new urban scheme in Frankfurt 1962. The concept at the time was referred to as “The Web”. It was later developed into the Berlin Free University, essentially that same year, although the scheme was not built until 1974. Right around when the building was completed, Alison Smithson wrote an article, “How to Recognize and Read Mat-Building” (Architectural Design, 1974), that essentially codified Team 10’s position in relationship to the building typology. You will find present in this concept, especially in the early stages of the thinking about this building type, the work of the Metabolists and the research of Christopher Alexander. However, looking at writings of Van Eyck would be going in the wrong direction since he disagreed with the concept, even though Smithson cited his Orphanage in Mat Building article. There is another book that was very useful on this subject by Tom Avermaete- “Another Modern: The Post-War Architecture and Urbanism of Candilis-Josic-Woods”. If you do an internet search on Team 10 you will find a website, with some essays by Avermaete about the development of “The Web”.

I might disagree with some of the comments above that the Mat Building diagram is outdated. It would seem to be well utilized by many of the hot firms of the moment- Koolhaas, Sejima, Ito, MVRDV, etc.- although the thinking about it in terms of a radical utopian free space has definitely shifted. Look at the Koolhaas’ IIT building, or Sejima’s Kanazawa Museum as an example…

Jun 12, 06 9:54 am  · 
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Maxat

lucaf, if you give me an email address I can send you Jullian's email so you can contact thim directly.

Maxat

Jun 12, 06 4:30 pm  · 
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Maxat

lucaf, if you give me an email address I can send you Jullian's email so you can contact thim directly.

Maxat

Jun 12, 06 4:30 pm  · 
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lucaf

Hello Maxat,

my e.mail is luca.finocchiaro@tiscali.it, it would be amazing getting in touch with Jullian. Maybe you can tell me more about your experience.
Thanks a lot,

Luca F

Jun 14, 06 4:22 am  · 
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athenaeum

check out Saitama Prefectural University by Riken Yamamoto.

Jun 16, 06 8:00 pm  · 
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bothands

also a mat housing project by Libera in Italy form the 50s, plus the Cummins Factory in Indiana (I believe) as well as the Oakland Museum both by Dinkeloo & Roche

Jun 21, 06 3:06 am  · 
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Chetan Aggarwal

Hello Maxat,

I would be really interested in getting in touch with Jullian de la Fuente because I'm working on my research paper on mat buildings architecture. 

Please let me know if you could help me?

Thanks

Sep 19, 18 2:12 am  · 
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