Once regarded a secondary consideration, in recent years, materiality has emerged as a powerful concept in architectural discourse and practice. Prompted in part by developments in digital fabrication and digital science, the impact of materiality on design and practice is being widely reassessed and reimagined.

Materiality and Architecture extends architectural thinking beyond the confines of current design literatures to explore conceptions of materiality across the field of architecture. Fourteen international contributors use elucidate the problems and possibilities of materiality-based approaches in architecture from interdisciplinary perspectives. The book includes contributions from the professions of architecture, art, architectural history, theory and philosophy, including essays from Gernot Böhme, Jonathan Hill and Philip Ursprung.

Important 'immaterial' aspects such as presentation, agency, ecology and concept are examined, deepening our understanding of materiality’s role in architectural processes, the production of cultural identities, the pursuit of political agendas, and the staging of everyday environments and atmospheres. In-depth illustrated case studies examine works by Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, and Lacaton & Vassal, interspersed with visual essays and interviews with architects such as MVRDV providing a direct connection to practice. Materiality and Architecture is an important read for researchers and students with an interest in architectural theory and related fields such as art, art history, or visual and cultural studies. 

chapter |9 pages

Materiality and Architecture

Introductory remarks

part |67 pages


chapter |14 pages


Herzog & de Meuron and photography

chapter |20 pages


Material aesthetics and ethics in Lacaton & Vassal's Palais de Tokyo

chapter |12 pages

Material Splendour

A contribution to the critique of aesthetic economy 1

part |47 pages


chapter |18 pages

Material Antagonism

Art, law and architecture in Santiago Sierra's work

chapter |18 pages

Historical Materialism

The fabric of communist Yugoslavia's architectural aspirations

chapter |9 pages

Material Economy and Aesthetic Resistance

Three concrete shells by Ulrich Müther on Rügen Island

part |65 pages


chapter |19 pages

The Immaterial and the Material

An architectural dialogue in time

chapter |14 pages

Playing with Fragments of Modernity

Materiality, colour and light in the work of Melanie Smith

chapter |20 pages

Self-Organisation and Theoretical Reflection

The (im)material architecture of Venice and the Venice Hospital

chapter |10 pages


Designing with living material

part |51 pages


chapter |18 pages

Bauspiel as immaterial investigation

Avant-garde experiments with generative architectural models

chapter |19 pages

Recuperative Architectonics

Matter, memory, immanence

chapter |12 pages


Pragmatic takes on materiality