Professor Montgomery

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Reading 4: Why is it important to understand exterior walls

Exterior Walls and its complexity


Exterior walls primarily  behave almost as a control for the site or the design. Being external there is the issue of exposure and structural requirements, primarily. Beyond the basic  requirements come other requirements such as protection which then sends the topic into multiple “safety issues”; fireproofing, entry deterrent,public/private separation, legal demarcation of property,  structural integrity.

But through these  Thiis-Evensen  in his  archetypes  treatise, “a wall  “delimits” and “supports” the roof”. There then is an extension of an occupant to a located building/house  provided these have walls. For without a wall vertical extensions cannot be made possible structurally. Let alone the outermost or primary wall, external be the initial build prior to any structure within the said walls.

To delimit can mean many things.. prevention, protection, political lines but to delimit from the occupants point of view can alter their living condition in that space. Exterior walls then become not only  components but as living components to the program for which any design is made for.

A wall can  connote meaning by its very form and structure.  A high wall can express privacy or imprisonment. a small wall can be an inviting wall. A picket fence is a friendly demarcation line which if its owners are threatened can be turned into a massive keep out wall.

As such even with its archetypes there is still the actual process of building the component and allowing it to withstand gravity.

for this, glossing over the details any exterior wall can  be seen from its archetype or its basic mechanical use which even then meaning for mechanical purposes validate protection.


Reading 3: Why is Masonry such an appealing material for construction


Masonry is natural occurring for the stones and mud binders.

But in a general sense, a monolithic effect such as a stone veneer or a lining or fake stone cover makes up for competition for other materials.

Stone has that heaviness, old rustic effect not just in paradigm but also its place in common jargon. It  exudes weathering, time tested effects even out of context. For stone has the first appeal of  standard antiquity but because it is also  still available in nature, it competes well with other materials.

Cost effective, rustic , good mechanical compression and relatively low skill needed to handle the material are what allows stone to continue as a viable building material.

In its simplicity stone along with wood and mud are the precursor to any building material especially after the industrial revolution.

As such the paradigm and jargon of stone is a reminder of how Stonehenge evokes of massive presence yet heavy enough to withstand nature.


Without structural elements implemented into the architectural field, there’d be a lot of chaos and a mass amount of money spent. In my opinion, structure must exist in order for architecture to truly be. The relationship between material, structure and design all go hand in hand and need one another in order to support the next. The proper materials are needed in order to create the foundation needed for structure for the design created. Previous to the readings, I always felt that the process for putting together the design is as important as the process of choosing materials for the structure. I’ll continue thinking of the different materials available, their abilities and more during my design processes.

Reading 5+6

I feel like it’s important for there to be so many variations of materials available for different construction features. This is an upside because then that way there’ll be variety in construction forms and functions. For example, steel beams come in several shapes and of course, sizes. Each of these have their own function and limits for different loads and strengths. I also think it’s important for there to be variety in exterior materials for different looks that are pleasing to different viewers.

Reading 4

The role that exterior walls play are more than one. Not only are they the foundation for the structure but they as well keep the interior from the exterior. They also help the interior by providing protection from things such as weather. Each layer to the wall plays an important role to the function and efficiency of a building. For example, the water/air barrier restricts the flow of water vapor into the insulation to keep it from forming into liquid. The rigid insulation is used to insulate the walls and keep the interior warm in colder conditions.

How important is the relationship between materials, structure, and design to you? How will you implement these relationships in the design studio?

The relationship between materials, Structure, and design are extremely important because it shows an aura of beautiful. For the architect, there is possibly no greater frustration than realizing at the end of the construction process, that the quality of the materials selected to complete the project, or the way in which said materials were installed, compromise the overall vision of the finished architecture. There for it is extremely important to understand the relationship between materials, structure and design. As a future architect we must understand the relationship between materials, structural element and design to create an architectural building. I will apply these methods in my design class, which will be beneficial for me future.


Building material signifies structural existence. It demonstrates the presence of aesthetic sense in design, and hence, defines the practicability of the structure. The use of building materials while designing a structure is symbolic of its existence in the field of architectural visualization.

Reading 5 and Reading 6


Wood, steel, and concrete each have specific structural advantages, each with their own characteristics. Concrete makes it possible to design very robust and durable buildings, and taking advantage of its thermal mass by keeping it inside the building envelope can help regulate interior temperatures. Steel stands out for its speed and efficiency in construction. Steel structures also have excellent durability. It’s relatively lightweight and ease of construction. Wood is much lighter by volume than both concrete and steel, it is easy to work with and very adaptable on site. It is durable, and structural performance is very high and its compressive strength is similar to that of concrete.

Reading 3 and Reading 4

In reading 3 and 4, it let me know the material about stone and masonry. Masonry consists of building structures from single units that are laid and bound together with mortar. Brick, stone, and concrete blocks are the most common materials used in masonry construction. Masonry is a popular construction technique around the world, due to its many advantages. Masonry is non-combustible, so it improves fire protection for the building and its occupants. Masonry offers high resistance against rotting, pests, weather, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Being durable and resistant, Masonry can withstand large amounts of compressive weight loads.


The exterior walls of a house have several functions. Not only do they define the shape of a house, but they also support the floors, walls, and roof. Equally important is their role in separating the house’s interior from the outdoors, and to do this effectively they have to block the weather with systems that insulate, shed water, and repel moisture and air infiltration.

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