What Are Complementary Projects?

Architecture, to materialize as a constructed and functional building, requires the collaboration of a series of disciplines. During the design stages, these complementary areas are added to the architectural design, attaching systems that help in the construction's functionality, known as complementary projects.

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In general, building and house projects start with preliminary architectural studies, taking note of their context and customer demands. With the established program, the development of the project starts, making it necessary to include other technical areas that complement the architectural project. The complementary disciplines determine guidelines that influence the design and operation of spaces, directly impacting the architectural design, which, on the other hand, has the mission of making all systems compatible, ensuring the total functionality of the construction, technically and spatially, keeping in mind the concept initially pre-established with the customer.

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Elevação enviada ao concurso do Centro Pompidou. Image via Renzo Piano + Richard Rogers

Complementary projects include the disciplines of structures, foundation, electrical and networks, hydraulics, as well as fire protection and prevention projects, protection against atmospheric discharges, accessibility, lighting, pressurization, air conditioning, drainage, landscaping, interiors, among others. Each of these projects is a layer that adds to the architecture from the scale and size of the project, as well as from its program. There are some complementary ones that are fundamental in any project scale, from a residence to a hospital complex, as in structures, hydraulics, foundations and electrical projects' case. These disciplines, together with architecture, make up the basic set of projects for a building.

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via Bienal de Veneza de 2014

As the scale of projects increases, like the case of tall buildings or more complex structures such as schools and hospitals, specific needs such as accessibility, fire protection and others arise. In addition, the complementary project types also vary by geographic location. In colder climates, for example, it is necessary to plan for climatization projects involving heating and cooling, as it is not possible to guarantee good levels of environmental comfort with passive strategies only, while in warmer climates there is the possibility of mixing between passive cross ventilation and the climatization project. There is also the option of complementary projects aimed at building sustainability, such as solar heating, for example.

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Exposição SOM A Engenharia de Arquitetura. . Image © Saskia Wehler

Complementary projects, therefore, are disciplines that make up the systems that will exist within a project, and need to be developed by specialized and qualified professionals for that. At the same time, the architectural project is responsible for the sum of all these layers, paying attention to the specificities of each discipline and seeking to resolve constructive conflicts between them. In such way, one has in architecture the discipline that adds its complements to the project's program, to the concept and to the demands of customers, resulting in the project ready for execution.

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via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

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Cite: Martino, Giovana. "What Are Complementary Projects?" [O que são os projetos complementares?] 21 Dec 2021. ArchDaily. (Trans. Simões, Diogo) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/973641/what-are-complementary-projects> ISSN 0719-8884

© Photo by Adora Goodenough on Unsplash


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