Rhythm refers to any movement characterized by a patterned recurrence of elements or motifs at regular or irregular intervals. […] Rhythm incorporates the fundamental notion of repetition as a device to organize forms and spaces in architecture.
Francis D. K. Ching
Bodegas Ysios by architect Santiago Calatrava
Rhythm is a state of equilibrium which proceeds either from symmetries, simple or complex, or from delicate balancings. Rhythm is an equation; Equalization (symmetry, repetition) (Egyptian and Hindoo temples); compensation (movement of contrary parts) (the Acropolis at Athens); modulation (the development of an original plastic invention) (Santa Sophia). So many reactions, differing in the main for every individual, in spite of the unity of aim which gives the rhythm, and the state of equilibrium. So we get the astonishing diversity found in great epochs, a diversity which is the result of architectural principle and not of the play of decoration.
There is something very contemplative about looking back at the reasons why we wanted to be Architects and what guided us throughout our Architecture Education.
The text below dates from 1993, it is a translation from an interview or lecture (?) by renowned Portuguese architect and professor Fernando Távora. It was never meant to be secret but it has been hidden in a folder for 25 years – it is now time to share it as reminder to young (and maybe not so young) Architects.
The awareness of an Architecture of excellence, of quality, must always be present in every project. The Architect cannot take insecure positions, the Architect must be aware of his/hers responsibility as creator of a space that it is wanted with quality.
All Architecture must be a construction with quality, a construction of quality spaces because these spaces will shape the human behaviour.
From here we can discuss the education of the Architect; what shall this education consist of for Architecture students…Fernando Távora argues the education of an Architect, or future Architect, cannot lack PASSION, CONFIDENCE and INTENSITY. With wisdom these 3 characteristics must not be abandoned, and this will not be an easy task.
The Architect must be passionate about the projects s/he creates, be tireless, and always endeavour that they satisfy the required needs without compromising their quality.
Confidence must be the starting point, the Architect must create roots, must sustain deep reasons about what s/he does, must make sense, not be carried away with the easy success to satisfy the less affirmed taste of his/hers clients.
The intensity is linked to the other two characteristics… the Architect must deliver him/herself intensively to his/her project, and not passively!
Fernando Távora participated in several Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) and Team 10 meetings, he became a key person in the modernization of the Porto School. Two of his former students, Álvaro Siza (who also worked in his architecture office) and Eduardo Souto de Moura, have been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
One thing we can take it from granted when we visit a rural site in Ireland – green pastures!
On our first visit to this site we were greeted by our young clients and Bel, the sheep.
It was easy to get lost in the stunning open views of the hills but Bel reminded us this was a working farm.
This site in North Wexford has a gentle south-facing slope and it offers the ideal location for our farmer client to build his future family home.
Re-inventing the traditional farmyard layout
The proposal was strongly inspired by the rural location, the farm environment and the close proximity to existing farm buildings. The traditional farmyard layout (see no. 1 below) was the starting point for the new scheme.
The existing site contours are used as the regulating lines for the new layout. They shift the smaller volume until it is stopped by the 2 storey volume (see no. 2 above). The result is a layout that easily meets the current lifestyle of its occupants while reflecting cultural values of the traditional farmyard layout.
The main living spaces open up to south to enjoy the best views and passive solar gains. The windows frame the views to the surrounding farmlands and hills. The bedrooms face east to enjoy the morning light. The living room connects to an outside space that is sheltered from the weather and can be used all year around.
A palette of natural and man-made materials is proposed. Stone walls feature throughout the house recalling the character of agricultural buildings. The zinc has a strong agricultural feel that balances the composition whilst connecting the traditional gabled volumes. This is contrasted with the stone and white render which act as contemporary, yet rural materials.
The layout optimises the use of solar energy and aims to achieve an A3 BER rating (50 kWh/m2/yr).
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Isabel Barros Architects - Wexford is driven by a passion for creating high quality contemporary Architecture. Our goal is to make good design available to the general public while maintaining a strong focus on the energy efficiency and sustainability of our designs.
A graduate of Lusíada University in Lisbon, Portugal, Isabel is a Senior Architect with over 20 years experience. She is a registered member of both the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Portuguese Association of Architects. Isabel is also Accredited in Conservation at Grade 3.