“Real Detail – Detail Reality”

In this article, Axel Prichard-Schmitzberger discusses the differentiation between real detail and detail reality.  He explains this subject through the architectural design process.  Many believe that real detail is that of ornamentation of a building, whether exterior and interior.  However, Schmitzberger disagrees. He believes that the detail comes from the design elements working together; plan with structure, structure with material, material with environment, etc. Details in the reality of architectural design are always changing and being revised, or removed.  The plan must work with public opinion, that is, the social contexts of the space and its purpose.  If the plan does not work with the needs of the building, it will not succeed.  The structure has the priority of successfully supporting each individual space in order to be used with the public (or private if it is residential). Every single property of the chosen material must be understood thoroughly , in that the capabilities and incapabilities of the material do not interrupt the design’s goal.  Also, the material must fit the environment, both internal and external.  If the material gives the wrong impression of the concept or disrupts the natural surroundings, it will interrupt the experience of the visitor.  These details need to be focused on, by both the creator and audience, during each step of an architectural project. 

In order for these details to be understood, an in-depth, precise model process should be the concentration. Drawings and diagrams may show ideas and concepts, but they do not fully convey what effect the final project will have.  A model should not overshadow the drawings per se, rather they should magnify what the drawings cannot.  For whoever may invest in the project deserves the right to fully conceptualize and understand what is being proposed.  Partial, section models may be used. Even as stated by Schmitzberger, a full scale example may be required, as the in-depth analysis of each system can be fully accurate. The material and structural systems are the two most important components in that they are the details of the structure.  If they do not successfully convey the ideas or concepts, or function as the visitor(s) need, the building will fail.  


Maitlyn Fitz


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