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Frontiers of Architectural Research

ISSN 2095-2635 (Print)
ISSN 2095-2643 (Online)
CN 10-1024/TU
Postal Subscription Code 80-966


, Volume 8 Issue 3

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Research Article
Architecture as spatial storytelling: Mediating human knowledge of the world, humans and architecture
Fangqing Lyu
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 275-283.
Abstract   PDF (306KB)

Since the 1960s, architecture has been interpreted by Structuralism as a system of signs, which results in the problem that architecture is isolated from humans and the world. In contrast with this idea, this paper demonstrates that architecture is designed as spatial storytelling to mediate human knowledge of the world, humans and architecture. The research method consists of an original survey of meaning and interpretation drawn from the fields of philosophy, linguistics, hermeneutics, humanistic geography, narrative theory, psychology, architectural theory and museology, in combination with the researcher’s personal perception and experience. By employing three elements e materials, configuration and time e to conduct parallel analysis of components of the world, humans and architecture, this paper contributes to an original theoretical model for analysing the idea of architecture as spatial storytelling. Moreover, this study concludes that, since it is constructed of meaningful materials, meaningful configuration and meaningful time, architecture is a form of spatial storytelling, which mediates human knowledge of the world, humans and architecture, thus shaping human intellectual record both tangibly and intuitively. Therefore, the fact that architecture is connected with humans and the world has been demonstrated by spatial storytelling, while also being carried forward from generation to generation.

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Increasing efficiency of atriums in hot, arid zones
Vijayantha Vethanayagam, Bassam Abu-Hijleh
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 284-302.
Abstract   PDF (5332KB)

This research evaluated the efficiency of Atrium in hot, arid regions and investigated the parameters influencing the total energy consumption of an existing shopping mall in Dubai, UAE using the IES-VE energy modeling software. The parameters tested included: Roof profile, Roof ventilation, Number of floors, glazing’s Light to Solar Gain ratio (LSG) and the Thermal insulation of the building envelope. The impact of using light sensors was also studied. The light sensors and the roof’s thermal insulation resulted in the highest reduction of the atrium’s energy, 8.5% and 7.5%, respectively. Increasing the number of floors reduced the energy consumption by 5% per unit area. The roof profile, external wall’s thermal insulation and height of the atrium resulted in similar energy reductions of 3.5% each. The external glazing’s LSG reduced the energy consumption by 3.25% while the roof ventilation resulted in a reduction of 1.3%. The internal glazing’s LSG did not affect the atrium’s total energy consumption. An optimal combination of the parameters studies resulted in an energy reduction of about 20%. Thus, this paper presents the optimal design configuration to reduce the energy consumption of an atrium located in a hot and arid climate.

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Dark Matter Garden: A case study in algorithmic modelling and digital fabrication of complex steel structures
Asterios Agkathidis
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 303-310.
Abstract   PDF (1356KB)

This paper is focusing on the application of algorithmic modelling techniques to represent, design and fabricate gravitational lens effects (as described by the astrophysical theory of the ‘Dark Matter’) in form of a garden pavilion for the Royal Horticultural Society’s, Chelsea Flower Show. In addition, this research-led project is exploring the challenges occurring in the use of three-dimensional CNC bending technologies. This is a research by design project and its method is based on a design framework, which incorporates a generative algorithm linked to feedback loops related to parameters such as laws of gravity, plot dimensions, materiality, positioning of the plants, construction and fabrication, requirements and cost as well as the overall aesthetics. Its findings are highlighting accomplishments and failures of a file to factory design and fabrication process, which incorporates algorithmic modelling and digital manufacturing techniques in a collaborative environment. The ‘Dark Matter Garden’ installation was awarded the gold medal for ‘Best Fresh Garden’ by the Royal Horticultural Society in 2015.

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Statics of space syntax: Analysis of daylighting
Khaled Tarabieh, Khaled Nassar, Mahmoud Abdelrahman, Islam Mashaly
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 311-318.
Abstract   PDF (2547KB)

Space syntax involves a set of techniques for analyzing the spatial configurations of various spaces at building and urban scales. Religious spaces, such as prayer halls, are examples of buildings where observers experience space mostly from a single point of view. Furthermore, traditional space syntax is mainly used in the analysis of visibility and space cognition in terms of isovists and graph-based measures. The other aspects of space cognition, such as day lighting, artificial lighting, and glare, are carried in the isolation of the space syntax analysis. This paper proposes the scaling of the space syntax field for the inclusion of other parameters, such as daylighting, and integration of the associated performative measures to space syntax analysis of the mosque typology to aid in the studying of overall space cognition based on comfort and environmental parameters. We present a case study on a typical mosque layout using multi-objective optimization. The analysis presented in the paper has implications for the architectural designs of spaces with respect to glare management and daylight potential. Moreover, it is unique and builds on our previous work for the exploration of comfort, visibility, and proximity thresholds for stationary observers.

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Adaptive biomimetic facades: Enhancing energy efficiency of highly glazed buildings
Wajiha Tariq Sheikh, Quratulain Asghar
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 319-331.
Abstract   PDF (4041KB)

In this paper, we investigate the design of an adaptive biomimetic facade as a practical solution for enhancing energy efficiency of highly glazed buildings in the hot and humid regions. We present an adaptive facade that reduces solar heat gain and hence the energy consumption of the building, with minimal reduction in visual comfort (i.e., indoor lighting levels and visibility to the outer environment) of the users. The basic module of the facade consists of four shading devices that can be folded along both horizontal and vertical axes. The design enables shading under both high and low sun angles, without blocking visibility to the outdoor environment. To develop the facade, we explore and mimic the physical, physiological and adaptation properties of an Oxalis oreganada leaf that has the natural ability to track sun path and change its angle/position accordingly. As a case study for the proposed facade, we take an existing 20-story office building in the hot and humid climate of Lahore, Pakistan. Our numerical results indicate that after retrofitting of the designed facade, the building’s existing energy load decreases by 32%. Moreover, 50% of the interior space (as opposed to 55% before the retrofitting) still has lighting level within the recommended range of 500e750 lux. The investigation demonstrates that the proposed biomimetic facade can significantly reduce the energy consumption, with minimal reduction in visual comfort, of highly glazed buildings.

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Forking path: De-scripting interchange architecture at the Ayalon Crosstown Expressway
Roy Kozlovsky
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 332-347.
Abstract   PDF (8071KB)

This study explores freeway interchange design as an example of traffic architecture. It reconstructs the design history of one bifurcating interchange along the Ayalon Crosstown Expressway in Tel Aviv, a project that initiated the transfer of American and European freeway technology to Israel. The different geometric configurations developed for the interchange were generated by the unstable, evolving relation among the expressway, city, and national economy and by a fundamental ambiguity within traffic engineering rationality. The realized interchange reveals the disparity among the semiotic, hierarchical concept of route continuity, the optimizing process of costebenefit analysis, and memory-based spatial orientation. This interchange advances the interpretation of highway technology as a cultural technique that organizes driving activity into a series of switching operations within an informational grid, one that is at odds with the humanist construction of concentric, directional spatiality.

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Nondestructive inspection of a bricketimber structure in a modern architectural heritage building: Lecture hall of the Anyuan Miners’ Club, China
Jian Jiao, Qiuling Xia, Fei Shi
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 348-358.
Abstract   PDF (3699KB)

Detailed survey and inspection of the structure of the lecture hall of the Anyuan Miners’ Club were conducted during a restoration project. Nondestructive inspection measures were used to assess the physical and mechanical conditions of the structure. The brick and wood structures of the building were tested, the overall bearing capacity was calculated, and a safety appraisal was conducted in accordance with the codes and standards of the existing building. Inspection results provide architects and construction engineers with reliable data to develop a preservation plan and ensure the safety of the heritage building.

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Urban planning historical review of master plans and the way towards a sustainable city: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Linda Lazaro Peter, Yuzhen Yang
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 359-377.
Abstract   PDF (6326KB)

Urban planning in Tanzania has focused mainly on economic development. The Tanzanian government prioritizes large-scale modern projects to increase national income and propel world-class urban settlements. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city and main commercial center has experienced remarkable urban development. Unfortunately, its growth has not been consistent with the master plans, which also overlook sustainable urban development aspects. The high urbanization rate has exacerbated the degradation of the city's environment, including roadside air quality, solid waste, and water quality. The city's ongoing environmental dilapidation has led to a call for a sustainable urbanization to curb past urbanization problems and implement a sustainable future.This work reviews Dar es Salaam's available planning documents and examines how master plans can stimulate sustainable urban development. Findings suggest that master plans should not be used as a mere urban growth control tool. Master plans that are designed and conceptualized as a comprehensive strategy and integrated with different aspects of urban development can play a key role in enforcing sustainable urban development for the city.

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Research Article
Physical upgrading plan for slum riverside settlement in traditional area: A case study in Kuin Utara, Banjarmasin, Indonesia
Meidwinna Vania Michiani, Junichiro Asano
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 378-395.
Abstract   PDF (3014KB)

This study aims to draw basic and global concepts for the physical improvement of slum riverside settlements as a fundamental step toward formalizing and securing tenure. Moreover, this work specifies attempts to arrange an upgrading plan derived from the basic strategy for our target location in the traditional settlement of Kuin Utara without failing to recognize its uniqueness and cultural activities.

This paper discloses that the basic concept for physical upgrading in a slum settlement consists of three elements: (1) arranging street networks as fundamental systems that structure the settlement, (2) constructing public utility systems that are essential for livelihoods, and (3) providing common space and amenities as “external organs” that form identities and reveal the physical beauty of the location.

The proposed infrastructures shall be directed to protect the local cultures and sociocultural activities of the inhabitants. The plan should also be adjusted with respect to the economic constraints in developing countries. Moreover, the improvement strategy for poor housings shall not orientate to modernization merely for beautification without considering the basic aspect: maintaining the dweller’s livelihood.

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The effect of qibla direction on the hierarchy of movement in mosque: A case study of mosques in Yazd, Iran
Mahya Ghouchani, Mohammad Taji, Fatemeh Kordafshari
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 396-405.
Abstract   PDF (2803KB)

In the architecture of Iranian-Islamic mosques, besides the geographic directions affecting the climate, the direction of qibla also affects their architecture. In the present study, based on the descriptive-analytical method and using the material flow pattern and the activity relationship chart, the pattern of the path of human movement from the entrance to the altar, as well as the degree of proximity of each space relative to other spaces in this movement path were investigated. After describing and analyzing the qibla axis through the structural study on 12 samples of the traditional mosques of Yazd owing to the attention given by the people of this region to religious discussion and their efforts to focus on the axis qibla direction- the hierarchy of human movement was investigated with reference to the mosque being placed in the axis of the qibla direction considering the geometry, arrangement of forms, and interior functions. Studies in this area indicate that the architects and builders of mosques have considered the preservation of the divine orientation or the qibla, the path of human movement from his early arrival to his placement in the direction of the qibla axis, and the preservation of geometry as the valuable principles.

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Research-by-design framework for integrating education and research in an intercultural parallel design studio
Oswald Devisch, Els Hannes, Tú Anh Trinh, Maria Leus, Jo Berben, Đặng Thế Hiến
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 406-414.
Abstract   PDF (6320KB)

Intercultural student exchange can positively impact education, research, and society. Research-by-design has been put forward in design education as an approach to explicitly address the integration of education and research. The problem is that design schools develop their own interpretation of this approach, which brings difficulty in virtually comparing and learning from the generated design proposals. This case is evident in intercultural parallel design studios that deal with diverging socio-cultural and institutional traditions. In addressing this problem and maximizing the benefits of intercultural exchange, this study proposes to adopt a meta perspective and use the design as co-evolution model as a framework for analyzing and comparing design data generated by different research-by-design approaches. The study applies this meta perspective on an intercultural architectural design studio jointly organized by Ton Duc Thang University (Vietnam) and Hasselt University (Belgium).

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Instructors' perspectives on the pedagogy of architectural graduation projects: A qualitative study
Mohammed Ghonim, Nehad Eweda
Front. Archit. Res.. 2019, 8 (3): 415-427.
Abstract   PDF (613KB)

In architectural education, graduation projects represent the transition from academia to the profession, and they are the courses that encourage architecture students to demonstrate the knowledge acquired and the skills developed throughout the educational program. This study aims to explore the instructors’ perspectives on improving the pedagogy of architectural graduation projects. To achieve this aim, this study has adopted a qualitative method, applied analytical and deductive methodologies, and conducted a survey among 44 academic architects from architectural schools worldwide. This paper is structured into three sections. The first section provides an overview of the topic and its current related issues. The second section introduces the survey, its methods, tools, and procedures, and the participants’ profiles. The third section presents the qualitative survey findings and their discussion. The conclusions of this study confirm the results of some previous studies. Some conclusions contradict common practices related to graduation projects, but the original approaches have been provided. The importance of this study inherits the relevance of adopting these courses; that is, for educators and employers to assess the extent to which graduates have acquired the competence necessary to practice architecture.

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12 articles