What is material as such in architecture? A place acquires meaning through human intervention and transformation. These transformations interpret and represent values and aspirations. Materials used and applied uncover these issues and potentials of a project through a very careful analysis of purpose and place.
Materials are defined by their shape, colour and texture. When used contextually they challenge the notions of space and concretise concepts to cultivate a more complex understanding of the processes applied to produce and create space as perhaps the most significant and crucial component of any material culture.
Delhi – based Vir Mueller Architects’ two recently completed multi-storey dwelling projects – unite in geometrical and structural ideas through materials; materials that affect the mind and senses of the observer. Both the projects are similar in scale. The first project located in New Delhi, The Vasant Vihar Residence has been designed as a multi-family residence, comprising of a basement, ground and three floors. The open core concrete frame is wrapped in load bearing brick masonry walls on three sides, while a reinforced concrete frame system anchors the core. The brick envelope is neatly wrapped around the building and is punctuated by pockets of screens that allow for light to filter in during the day and to beam out at night. This approach and selection of material echoes Louis Kahn’s modernist abstraction of establishing order by honouring materials.