SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING & DESIGN
Center for Modern Architecture Studies in Southeast Asia (MASSA)
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Architecture
BUILDING MATERIALS [BLD 60103] / [ARC 1513]
Project 2: “Materiality of SPACE: An experiential exploration”
Marks: 40% (25% group & 15% individual)
Duration: 5 weeks
Submission date: 06/06/2014, Friday
Building material is just about every type of available material that has been used at one time or another for
creating various human homes, structures, and technologies. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay,
sand, wood, rocks and etc. have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many
man-made products in various compositions are actively used in construction. This assignment is designed to
introduce building materials that are commonly used in the local construction industry. The spaces or building
selected to study will allow one to understand the reasoning behind choices made by certain designer in terms of
concept, functional use, environmental response, environmental profile, structural requirement, availability of
resources and etc. when selecting or proposing a building material. It is also essential for students to see the
transition from vernacular point of perspective to the current application in built environment.
Objective of Assignment
• To introduce various types of building materials that are being used in the construction practice.
• To create an understanding of the choices designers makes in choosing the building materials based on the
• To further understand the physical and chemical properties of the building materials being used in existing
• To expose students to standard construction names/terminologies for materials in a space/ building.
• Produce a complete documentation and analysis of materials in respect to physical and chemical properties.
• Identification of various types of building material (Finishes and Structural).
• Understand the effects of building materials on aesthetics and structural qualities of a space or building.
• Understand the appropriateness of material used in context several factors occupancy, concept, climate.
• Acquire analytical skill in understanding selection of building materials for a building/design.
• Understanding of application/ installation of material as finish and structural material (simple construction).
In groups of 5, select a commercial / residential building (a fun, creative space) which allows you to
experience and explore most of the building materials covered in the module.
You are required to produce:
(A) TASK A: GROUP (two A2 boards, landscape. Mood board is separate on its own)
1. Brief introduction of the selected building & Reason for selecting the space
2. Mood Board
• Your mood board should include color, pattern, photographs, sketches and informative design elements to
reflect the materials used and ambience of the space of your choice (without using any words or description)
3. Identification of Materials
• Draw out plans, sections and elevations to indicate the materials.
• Explain briefly the types of material that are used in a specific area/space,
4. Application of Materials
• The physical and chemical properties of these materials
• Explain the suitability of material used in context to concept, occupancy and climate.
• Explain and illustrate the findings in detail in terms of suitability of the materials type, application, aesthetic,
(B) TASK B: INDIVIDUAL (ONE A2 board, landscape) *Georgetown,Penang
1. THE SENSE OF MATERIALITY [Experiential analysis of the Material & Space]
• Design intention & concept: How that has influenced selection of materials?
• Space Analysis: Experience within the space. How the material selection and its application within the
space affect user’s experience? (Scale, proportion, installation)
• Include diagrams to support your analysis (sketches, photographs, etc.)
Introduction: From Lanes to Shophouses
A shophouse, normally has two or more storeys, is a commercial and private structure. The tenants usually use the
first floor for commercial purposes such as sundry shop, light industry or warehouse, and reside in the upper floors.
The building is not free standing; rather, it is connected to several other shophouses, which creates a shophouse
block. This shophouse block is repeated to form streets and town squares. Building materials such as brick, plaster,
concrete and timber are commonly found in shophouses.
Malaysian shophouses are laid out in rows or blocks. Each block is bounded by a main street (at the front), side lanes
and a back lane. Each block is also joined by a continuous sheltered five-foot walkway (kaki lima) in front of the
building to provide shelter from tropical weather conditions.
Generally, Malaysian shophouses are built using four main types of traditional materials:
Project Intent & Direction
The primary focus is centered on the silent dialogue between the body and material reality, to explore the design
efforts where quotidian experiences are heightened and made extraordinary.
Materials are investigated
How their innate materiality are amplified, overlaid and combined to provoke desired ambience and atmosphere.
Explore the use of light and shadows, the aural, tactile and visual qualities of materials and how their juxtapositions
can draw out emotional responses that engender a multi-sensory poetic experience.
(For example, the sense of mystery and depth evoked by the withholding and concealing nature of shadows, or one of
intensity and focus by combining light with strong colours)
• Thresholds – transition between public walkway to private interior: experiential threshold between the
exterior and the interior of the house
• Materiality of Light & Shadow: explore how the manipulation of natural and artificial light has effects on
material’s surface and transforms our perception of materiality and spaces
• Tactility of Materials: texture, colour, installation
1. The group work (TASK A) must be formatted on A2 paper and compiled in a clear A2 folder
2. The individual work (TASK B) must collated together with TASK A
3. DO NOT bind your work
4. Please include your names, student id and project title for each work submitted
Quality of work shall be assessed on the following criteria:
• Understanding of effects of building materials on building and environment
• Understanding of compatibility of proposed material to occupancy and concept
• Explanation on how and what component/or materials are assembled together in the space.
• Clarity in communicating your findings and analysis
• Richness of your content
Selection of appropriate case study
Creativity and ability to translate the mood of the space
Identification of Materials
Successfully identify the relevant materials with clear drawings (plan/elevations/sections) including proper
Application of Materials
Analysis of appropriateness of materials in context to the selected space
(Total 100% will be converted to 25%)
Design intention & Concept
How that has influenced selection of materials?
Experience within the space.
How the material selection and its application within the space affect user experience?
(Total 100% will be converted to 15%)
Note: refer to the rubric attached
1. Lyons, Arthurs, “Materials for Architects and Builders”, 2nd Edition, Butterworth Heinemann, 2004.
2. Neveille, AM, “Properties of Concrete”, Addition Wesley, Longman, 1995.
3. Everett, Alan, “Materials”, 5th Edition, Longman Scientific & Technical, 1994.
4. Robbin, Tony. 1996. Engineering A New Architecture. Yale University Press.
5. Mohamed Abdel Kader Ismail.et.al. 2008. Introduction to Civil Engineering Materials. McGraw-Hill
6. Jackson,Neil 1996. Civil Engineering Materials. 5th Edition, Palgrave
7. Illston, J. M. (ed). (2001). Construction materials: their nature & behaviour. (3rd ed.). London: Spon Press.