High Tech

2. Column Details

2. In similar fashion we can analyze the details associated with each architectural style: Craftsman style with its celebration of wood joinery; Prairie style with its details that emphasize horizontally (sometimes even to the point of turning all exposed screws so their slots are horizontal); various Brutalist styles in which slabs and sticks of material seem to bang into one another without visible connectors; and High Tech style, in which the parts of a building are made to look like the pieces of a precision machine, joined with visible bolts and pins.

4. Try to imagine a building by Mies van der Rohe with Victorian Gothic details: If we could succeed in creating it, its composition would be so riven by internal conflict that it would fall apart compositionally before our eyes. The Minimalist space and form of a building by Mies are intended to be enhanced by Minimalist details; if they are not, it is not a Mies building. Try to imagine a Romanesque style building with High Tech details or a Baroque building with Brutalist details. It is impossible. A building's details are integral to its style.

5. Each designer of buildings works in his or her own style. The style may not have a name, but it has a personality. This personality stems from an approach :o space, to form, to light, to color— and to details. The style of the details must be integral with the style of the building. As a designer's style evolves and changes over the years, so must the details. The details must contribute their proportional share to the style of the building.

6. A building's details should be all of a family. It won't do to copy one detail from one source, another detail from another, and patch together a set of details that function well but bear no visible resemblance to one another. The designer should develop a matched set of a building's most important details as an ongoing part of the overall design process. This set of key details should then serve to guide the preparation of every other visible detail in the building. ■

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