Materiality & Mindfulness

How important is materiality to a building? Immensely!

The materials used in a project profoundly influence how we see, touch and feel about a space. They enhance the way we become connected to a place. The physical contact encourages mindfulness, focus and memory.

Screen House by Warc Studio Architects in Camberwell Australia. The design focuses on interaction with the outdoor spaces with moveable screens which mitigate harsh sunlight yet can be removed for winter or maintenance. Images Aaron Pocock

Architecture can’t be successful unless it sparks that conscious awareness of being connected to a place. Once a material has opened a person to the experience of architecture, it is up to the craft of construction to make it memorable. 

There are many reasons why architects like to use timber. It is so environmentally friendly that it extracts carbon from the atmosphere rather than adding to it. Structures can go up at lightning speeds. It can be as strong as steel but much lighter. And with the help of technology, it is getting even more efficient and adaptable. 

Along with its versatility, wood has a natural warmth and the grain gives each plank personality to combine in a whole that has a richness few other materials can emulate.

The following homes explore the opportunity timber offers to create not just great spaces in which to live but to leave a lasting impression.

The Cross Stitch house celebrates  the concept of stitching the new house form to the old. Above: Timber beams form the thread which stitches the new living room to the existing house. FMD Architects Melbourne. Image: Peter Bennetts


The layout and materiality are informed by the landscape of this timber-clad house by More-Ulnes Architects in Norway. Images: Gut Rebelo

Tetrisuse / Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan + Carolina Castroviejo Images: Fernando Guerra FG & SG The ceiling of this living room, a slatted wooden lining – creates a cozy, intimate sensation, contrasting with the spatial sensation of larger monumentality of the lot.
A wooden home by Japanese architect Yoshichika Takagi where corrugated plastic surrounds a sunroom making the space an interior as well as an exterior in summer. Images Yuta Oseto