Hierarchical polyvalence: The building for flexibility

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Date
2023
Department
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Arkkitehtuurin maisteriohjelma
Language
en
Pages
113
Series
Abstract
The longevity of most buildings' lifecycles is often determined not by the durability of their construction materials, but rather by their ability to adapt to changes. Throughout their lifecycle, buildings commonly face diverse challenges across multiple levels and disciplines, including climate change, technological advancements, population shifts, and more. When buildings are designed solely for predetermined functions, they often fail to accommodate unanticipated changes, leading to a shortened lifecycle. The goal of this thesis is to propose a building that can accommodate functional changes throughout its lifecycle. The thesis is based on extensive research on flexibility and its associated theories, with particular emphasis on the polyvalence theory proposed by Hertzberger in 1960. In addition to theoretical exploration, the study also examines various building cases that align with the principles of polyvalence theory. Drawing upon these research foundations, the concept of hierarchical polyvalence and a correspond design tool is introduced. This design tool serves as a practical framework for generating building proposals that are not bound by specific functions but instead prioritize the potential for diverse uses. The ever-changing conditions compel us to reconsider how buildings respond to change. While the physical structure of buildings may be difficult to alter, by designing appropriate architectural spaces that provide adequate support for activities, buildings can adapt to changes in functionality and incorporate these changes as part of their own characteristics.
Description
Supervisor
Lehto, Antti
Thesis advisor
Lindgren, Tommy
Keywords
flexibility, adaptable, polyvalence, multi-usability, sustainability, transformability
Citation