16 Details That Sing

Often attributed to Mies van der Rohe, the statement”God is in the details” is an oft-used and sacrosanct (for modernist architects) saying that elevates the architectural detail on level or over the whole construction. Whatever that announcement’s interpretation or polemic use by an architect, it’s simple to determine its significance to minimalism — where construction joints have to be carefully (and often expensively) treated to hide the relations that may otherwise be expressed, distracting from the bare spaces and surfaces.

But what about architectural design that celebrates these links by not only expressing them but by making them integral parts of someone’s experience and interaction with a construction? These examples point to layouts that make particular construction details an significant part the construction.

Nic Darling

If one area of a house is ripe for expressing construction information, it’s staircase. The mixture of the several components (steps, guardrails, handrails) and the willingness of customers to make these components unique creates many unique layouts.

Within this stair, the steps are simple blocks of timber, but the bolted connection of this post into the step (in center of photo) and the method by which in which the handrail floats over the steel support add complexity into the stair. The rounded corners of this steel are particularly fine, expressing the effort of actually bending the bars.

Designed by the very same architects, this stair floats, suspended from wires that double as the guardrail. The connection of the wires through the stair is expressed, both above and under the steel plates. The detail is industrial, yet still simple.

Sam Crawford Architects

A similar cable-guardrail can be occurring in this picture, but the effect is much different. The wires are connected to some diagonal joint between the stair and the custom doorways below. This line and the cable links truly accentuate the upward movement of the stair.

Maryann Thompson Architects

In this stair, something of a”non-detail” is taking place at the link of the steps along with the wall. A little reveal gives the impression that the timber steps float beside the walls, something reinforced by the dark cloth that retains them away from the wall (black steel to match the wall) .

AJArchitects.com llc

1 detail that’s only about constantly hidden is that the structural link between a column and beam. Hidden behind walls and ceilings in most buildings, out of lofts and conversions, this curious example opens up a hole in the ceiling to state that joint. A closer look …

AJArchitects.com llc

… shows the steel sleeve that beams and columns and are bolted to. It’s like a window into the building’s previous life, a way of showing what the white walls insure.

Doors are just another component ripe for some fine detailing, even in areas beyond hardware and hinges. The rollers on this sliding-glass doorway are minimal nevertheless totally expressive of what they do.

This double-door celebrates the joint between the two doors, what is often a simple vertical line. The ins and outs of those doors interlock to make a nearly De Stijl composition. Note the thick gaps towards the bottom of the doorways; these are the reveals that allow you to open the doors.

Five Twenty Two Industries

These fireplace doors made from strips of stainless steel are an intriguing composition inside themselves. They work well with the gray brick, both in color and with all the flat lines.

Five Twenty Two Industries

Even though these screens are busy with the vertical strips, the framework and the hinge are quite simple. Together with the latter, note the cylinder in the top corners, a depth that’s reiterated down below with a little angle.

The combined between both of these pieces of concrete counter is treated with an interlocking top notch and curve. More difficult than orthogonal (right-angle) pieces or a miter, this alternative makes the relationship unique.

Five Twenty Two Industries

This wood and steel table recalls the floating handrail before within this ideabook. There’s something attractive about a perimeter gap created by lifting the outside over the structure. Even the legs seem to float over the floor.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

Moving out, these timber slats are functional in the way they are connected to the substrate — countersunk screws but note the care in angling the top of the projecting pieces, therefore water sheds off the timber.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

In this front yard, parallel rows of burnished-block concrete walls have been tied together with poured-in-place walls at right angles. The latter actually envelopes the lower part of the wall, a detail that’s reiterated in a variety of plays throughout the job.

Stout Design-Build

In pavers the most important joint is the one between blocks, something that is treated as a fairly wide zone in this example. Small stones soften the otherwise flat and hard pavers and make strong orthogonal lines.

Arterra Landscape Architects

The antithesis of the previous photograph is that this walkway, where the joints have been planted and sinuous. The way the neural system of green ends at the steps, like an exclamation point, is a really nice touch.

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