Small houses in concrete
Construction techniques have undergone a fundamental change since the 1970s. Building components are no longer connected monolithically and thick insulation divides walls into a series of layers, resulting in the separation of external and internal elements. This signifies a major shift from the construction methods of classical modernism. Addressing this theme, Swiss architect Peter Mrkli uses the example of a series of small houses in concrete that offer the opportunity to investigate both technical issues and design intentions in an integrated manner, as demonstrated in the use of concrete not only for the external walls of a building – its envelope – but also in its load-bearing structure. It might be said that the work of Peter Mrkli occupies the space between building and architecture. Greek antiquity, the Romanesque, and the farmhouses of the Po Delta are all, because of their elementary character, sources of inspiration, and, like them, Mrkli’s architecture approximates an ideality that it never seeks to achieve.