Contemporary challenges and developments in technology inevitably trigger changes in the way we design and build our cities. SUMMARY is a Portuguese architecture studio focused on the development of prefabricated and modular building systems. Striking a balance between pragmatism and experimentalism, the firm develops prefabricated solutions in order to respond to a driving challenge of contemporary architecture—to speed up and simplify the construction process. Founded in 2015 by the architect Samuel Gonçalves, a graduate of the School of Architecture of the University of Porto, the studio has presented at prominent events such as the 2016 Venice Biennale. We talked with Samuel about the firm's practical experience in prefabrication and modulation, as well as their experiments and forays into research.
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The project presents a collection of buildings and building systems significant in the historical evolution of modular and prefabricated architecture. The contents are shown in a virtual reality environment, through VR headset kits, which transport the audience to a 20x20m virtual space filled with panels and architectural models.
The goal is to picture several stages of this evolution. Examples of different buildings are shown, from the 17th century to the present, from anonymous architecture to Jean Prouvé, Walter Gropius, Buckminster Fuller, Shigeru Ban and MVRDV.
“The Reasons Offsite” intends to point out conflicts between prefab building systems and traditional ones. Standardization vs.
The use of concrete in construction is probably one of the main trademarks of 20th century architecture. Concrete is composed of a combination of materials which when mixed with water solidify into the shape of the container where it is poured in. In this sense, it is the container or the ‘moulds’ who rule the outcome. The reuse of molds for casting concrete is a technique used to replicate and control the production of concrete elements or buildings. Architects and designers have used/created diverse types of molds and casting techniques to explore the limits of the material.
Text description from the architects. At the 15th edition of the Venice Biennale, Alejandro Aravena invited us to look at new fields of action, projects that intend to improve life quality and stories of success that are worth getting to know. Thus, Samuel Gonçalves, founder of the SUMMARY studio, the youngest studio invited, was selected to present his work “infrastructure-structure-architecture” with the purpose of showing the concept behind his project Gomos System.