Toward a convergent model of flexibility in architecture

    Maryam Gharavi Alkhansari Affiliation


With recent advances in technology, fundamental changes have occurred in architectural flexibility methods, a great deal of experience has been gained, and many strategies and tactics have been developed in this field. However, a convergence is lacking in these experiences, methods, and tactics, which raises a need for providing a convergent approach in this regard. In this paper, it is going to propose such a model of flexibility. To do this, it is first reviewed the general concepts of flexibility, and provide a short review of its history and its main executional tactics. It is then divided its main tactics into eight main groups of: ‘open plan’, ‘pre-fabricated modules’, ‘similar spaces’, ‘extendable unit᾽, ‘attachment and detachment of adjacent units’, ‘common space between adjacent units’, ‘portable walls’, and ‘retractable furniture in a multifunctional space’. Analyzing these tactics, it is extracted the three fundamental principles of flexibility: ‘soft connection’, ‘diversity and multiplicity of spaces’, and ‘multifunctional space’. Accordingly, this paper proposes a concise rule for flexibility as: ‘soft connections between spaces’ which implies to the three principles if some special attentions are paid. Although the rule seems to be simple, the paper argumentations show that paying attention to what it implies, can produce much more flexible spaces than what is created generally. At the same time, new creative ideas along supported by new emerging technologies can enrich these simple solutions extensively.

Keyword : architectural flexibility, flexibility history, flexibility tactics, flexibility principles, the soft connection, multifunctional space

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Nov 14, 2018
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