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Centre for Modern Architecture Studies in Southeast Asia (MASSA)

Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Architecture)


Project 2
Submission Date

: Materiality of SPACE : An Experiential Exploration

: 40% (25% GROUP & 15% INDIVIDUAL)
: 4 weeks
: 20 June 2016 (Monday)

Building material is just about every type of available material that has been used at one time or another for creating
various human homes, structures, and technologies. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, sand, wood,
rocks and etc. have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-made
products in various compositions are actively used in construction. This assignment is designed to introduce building
materials that are commonly used in the construction industry. The spaces or building selected to study will allow one
to understand the reasoning behind choices made by designers in terms of concepts, function use, environmental
response, environmental profile, structural requirement, availability of resources and etc. when selecting or proposing
building materials. It is also essential for students to see the transition from vernacular point of perspective to the
current application in built environment.

Objectives of Project
The objectives of this assignment are as follows:
1. To introduce various types of building materials which are being used in the construction practices.
2. To create an understanding of the choices designers make in choosing the building materials based on the
3. To further understand the physical and chemical properties of the building materials being used in existing
buildings/ spaces.
4. To expose students to standard construction names and terminologies for materials in a building/ space.
Learning Outcomes of this Project
Upon completion of this assignment, students will be able to:

Produce a complete documentation and analysis of materials in respect to physical and chemical properties.
Identify the various types of building materials (finishes and structural).
Understand the effects of building materials on aesthetics and structural qualities of a space or building.
Understand the appropriateness of material used in context of several factors such as occupancy, concept
and climate.
5. Acquire analytical skill in understanding selection of building materials for a building/ design.
6. Understand the application/ installation of material as finishes and structural materials (simple construction).
Tasks - Methodology
In groups of 5, select a building (fun, creative space) which allows you to experience and explore most of the building
materials covered in the module. Buildings cover :
1. Shop lots (caf, boutique hotel)
2. Government or Private building (corporate office, mosque, church)
3. Galleries
Students will need to request for permission from the building owners for their case studies. Letter can be obtained
from the Department Office (D.O).
Students are required to produce:
(A) TASK A : GROUP (two A2 boards, LANDSCAPE orientation. 1 Mood board is separate on its own).
1. Brief Introduction of the selected building & reason for selecting the space
2. Mood Board
- Your mood board should include color, pattern, photographs, sketches and informative design
elements to reflect the materials used and ambience of the space of your choice (without using
any words or description)
3. Identification of Materials
- Draw out plans, sections and elevations to indicate the materials
- Explain briefly the type of materials that are used in a specific area/ space
4. Application of Materials (minimum 15 types of materials)
- The physical and chemical properties of these materials
- Explain the suitability of material used in context to concept, occupancy and climate.
- Explain and illustrate the findings in detail in terms of suitability of materials type, application,
aesthetics, maintenance etc.

(B) TASK B : INDIVIDUAL (One A2 board each student, landscape orientation)

1. The Sense of Materiality (Experimental analysis of the Material & Space)
- Design Intention & Concept : How that has influenced selection of materials?
- Space Analysis : Experience within the space. How the material selection and its application
within the space affect users experience? (Scale, proportion, installation)
- Include diagrams to support your analysis (Sketches, photographs etc.)
How to work on the case studies:
Introduction : From Lanes to Shophouses
A shophouse, normally has two or more storeys, is a commercial and private structure. The tenants
usually use the first floor for commercial purposes such as sundry shop, light industry or
warehouse, and reside in the upper floors. The building is not free standing; rather it is connected
to several other shophouses, which creates a shophouse block. This shophouse block is repeated
to form streets and town squares. Building materials such as brick, plaster, concrete and timber are
commonly found in shophouses.
Malaysian shophouses are laid out in rows or blocks. Each block is bounded by a main street (at
the front), side lanes and a back lane. Each block is also joined by a continuous sheltered five-foot
walkway (kaki lima) in front of the building to provide shelter from the tropical weather conditions.
Traditional Materials
Generally, old Malaysian shophouses are built using four main types of traditional materials:


Project Intent & Direction

The primary focus is centered on the silent dialogue between the body and material reality, to
explore the design efforts where quotidian experiences are heightened and made extraordinary.
Materials are investigated
How their innate materiality are amplified, overlaid and combined to provoke desired ambience and
Explore the use of light and shadows, the aural, tactile and visual qualities of materials and how
their juxtapositions can draw out emotional responses that engender a multi-sensory poetic
(For example, the sense of mystery and depth evoked by the withholding and concealing nature of
shadows, or one of intensity and focus by combining light with strong colours).

Thresholds transition between public walkway to private interior : experimential threshold

between the exterior and the interior of the house
Materiality Light & Shadow : explore how the manipulation of natural and artificial light has
effects on materials surface and transforms our perception of materiality and spaces
Tactically of Materials : texture, colour and installation.

Submission Requirement

The group work (TASK A) must be formatted on A2 paper and compiled in a clear A2 plastic folder.
The individual work (TASK B) must be collated together with TASK A.
Please include your names, student ID, tutors name and project title for each work submitted.

Assessment criteria
Quality of work shall be assessed on the following criteria:

Understanding of effects of building materials on building and environment

Understanding of compatibility of proposed material to occupancy space and concept
Explanation on how and what component component/ or materials are assembled together in the space
Clarity in communicating your findings and analysis
Richness of your content

Marking criteria

Individual (15%)

Group (25%)

Marks shall be distributed as follows:

Assessment Criteria
Site selection
Selectioin of appropriate case study
Mood Board
Creativity and ability to translate the mood of the space
Identification of Materials
Analysis of Appropriateness of materials in context of the selected space
Identification of Materials
Analysis of Appropriateness of materials in context of the selected space
Peer Evaluation
(Total 100% will be converted to 25%)
Design Intention & Concept
How that has influenced selection of materials?
Space Analysis
Experience within the space
How the material selection and its application within the space affect user experience?
(Total 100% will be converted to 15%)
Note : refer to rubric attached

Suggested References

Lyons, Arthurs, Materials for Architect and Builders, 2nd Edition, Butterworth Heinemann 2004.
Neveille, AM Properties of Concrete, Addition Wesley, Longman, 1995.
Everett, Alan, Materials, 5th Edition, Longman Scientific & Technical, 1994.
Robbin, Tony. 1996. Engineering A New Architecture. Yale University Press.
Mohamed Abdul Kader 2008. Introduction to Civil Engineering Materials. McGraw-Hill
Jackson, Neil 1996. Civil Engineering Materials, 5th Edition, Palgrave.
Illston, J.M(ed). (2001). Construction materials :their nature & behaviour (3rd ed). London. Spon Press