Book Spot! Casting Architecture

“This book is a powerful example of how education engages deeper issues of learning through thinking, in an exercise that puts design and making with a plastic material to the functions of sun, shadow, privacy, and moving air.” Kevin Mark Low, Author of small projects.

An almost forgotten art, the Ventilation block has a long history as a traditional building module in tropical regions. It provides climatic comfort, protection and architectonic a continuous application of modules.

Casting Architecture rediscovers the formwork’s beauty in a continuous application of modules, designed by AKICON 2012 | Year 02 architecture students from the department of Architecture at NUS.

(from the press release)

Casting Architecture shows the ventilation block as a unique tropical building element. Precast concrete pieces form not only walls, but also create, wonderfully fluent forms. By combining traditional principles with new, advanced building technologies, this studio generates excitement from old ideas and new products. The results are lightweight concrete screens with minimal materials, rich with tectonic reliefs, including fascinating forms and patterns. As homogeneous facades, they create a dramatic interplay of contrast with light. With each wall, the architect shows a unique construction expression.

“The collection in this book is the result of student experimentation with variations of the humble precast ventilation block. It is a powerful example of how education engages those deeper issues of learning through thinking, in an exercise that puts design and making with a plastic material to the functions of sun, shadow, privacy, and moving air. Some of the work has prioritized the effects of shading over those of ventilation, while others have devised beautifully intricate interlocking systems to the sacrifice of constructional ease. There are those, fully assembled, that provide for all the gracious subtlety building elevations strive for, while handling structural stability with somewhat less aplomb. A precious few strike that delicate balance between fabrication, assembly, aesthetics and function. Whatever their individual differences, strengths or weaknesses, a thread of continuity binds all the projects herein with vital relevance to a comprehensive architectural education, and as an indispensable exercise in thinking. Each and every constructed block and collective assembly has engaged in varying degree, that flow of thought which occurs when a mind works with its hands, and by virtue of direct application, makes one ask appropriate questions that go beyond the typical exploration of creative form, prioritizing instead, an attempt to design relevant form as a consequence of critical content.” — Kevin Mark Low.

Casting Architecture: Ventilation Blocks is available at Amazon, Kinokuniya, Basheer, Asia Books and APD.

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