Architecture / Design / Environment

Free Form Buildings

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Although we spend majority of our lives in different types of buildings, architecture seems to be an area, where innovations have a long way to go until the public accepts them. Sometimes it makes me think, why 99.5% of the buildings that surround us have a square inner and outer shape. If we look at nature, we hardly find any creatures or nests, that follow the shape of a mathematical square, but we find a lot of round shapes – maybe not circle round, but certainly the fewest things have sharp edges in their natural form.

This is also the direction, where Hungarian architect, Adorjan Portik’s innovation leads us to, that combines many current requirements and desires that we have towards architecture and building construction, such as solutions that are environment-friendly, energy-saving, cost-efficient, enable easily customizable surfaces, and do not necessarily require high-tech equipment to erect a building – be it a private house or a public, multifunctional venue. Adorjan Portik and his team have developed a special method called ‘Free Form Buildings’ that

“assures energy efficiency and environmental soundness for the entire life-cycle of the building with an innovative architectural and static approach: freely formable buildings with a simple, accessible technology. To achieve this, we applied state-of-the-art materials and technologies of the design and construction industries, and created a new building concept. As a result we have a new construction method, by which our building appropriately reacts to the local demands: by adapting contemporary technologies and materials, as well as by highly considering the natural, built and cultural environmental circumstances.”

The heart of this new concept lies in the fact that a house or a building can be erected in any desired shape. This opens new opportunities in the redefinition of using inner spaces, à la the motto: form follows function. Based on the client’s needs in terms of inner space, its interior plans and the given area where the building shall be erected, an outer shell can be built around the actual required living space that can also have a curvy shape. From an environmental perspective this method also has the huge advantage that areas will not be included into the building that otherwise would have no function, thus this results in a lower quantity of covering materials needed as well as these areas do not have to be heated nor kept cool either. To make the planning process easier Adorjan and his team have developed a 3D program that breaks down the outer cover area – such as roof and walls – into several triangle shapes that in turn are very well suitable for customizable mass-production. This self-supporting structure forms the roof and external walls, whereupon any cladding material can be applied.

To further promote and to showcase this new building concept, a few model houses are planned to be built and respective authorities have already approved the plans of these buildings. Below you may find a selection of the building renderings.

Personally, I am a huge fan of the works by Zaha Hadid, who really brought and still brings a lot of round, feminine shapes into our rather rigid architectural environment. Obviously, not everyone can afford to have Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry as a personal architect and therefore it is very refreshing to know, that such curvy shaped homes and buildings are now accessible to a wider audience.

For more information please visit Adorjan Portik’s website and the Free Form Buildings YouTube channel. For regular updates about ‘Free Form Buildings’ please join his Facebook page.

Source of images: Adorjan Portik’s courtesy.

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