One of the features of a great built environment is complexity. When facing big-scale projects, most of the architects have tried to recreate a complexity in their buildings, with a huge effort and not very satisfying results.
Moshe Safdie, Habitat 67 (image: wikipedia)
Frank Gehry, MIT Stata Center (image: wikipedia)
Another option allows a better result with lower effort. Instead of planning every single element, we can just design some « seeds » of the building, then wait. Even with simple seeds, the result turns often amazingly complex.
An example of this kind of architecture is the Quinta Monroy housing project by Elemental.
Quinta Monroy, just before the arrival of the inhabitants (image: ArchDaily)
The same view, some months later. People have arrived, and modified houses to match their needs. As a result, every house is different. (image: ArchDaily)
For further reading:
- Conway’s Game of life (playable versions are here and here).
- Procedural City Engine.
- Prescriptive and proscriptive building codes on CoolTownStudios.
- Emergent Urbanism, a complete theory on compexity in architecture and urbanism.