The topic of the design studio was to project a large-scale building of 100’000 m2, and thus to study basic architectural principles being constrained by its extreme size. Big buildings are conferred a strong architectonical expression because of their sheer size. Big buildings provide extreme architectural quality because they tend to be something like an exaggeration of normal architecture only through their dimensions. And architecture starts to be good when it is exaggerated or extreme, in one way or the other. This slight simplification is a trigger for didactical purposes: by studying the potential of size of the architecture one can learn about the fundamental qualities of the architectural project: physical presence, order and tectonical structure, rhythm, physiognomy and expression, in interaction with a site.
We could almost say that every good architectural project is in a way a ‚big house’ even if its dimensions are very modest. Since ‘Bigness’, the French ‘grandeur’ and the Italian ‘grandezza’ is not only about quantity but also a matter of quality. Beside these theoretical aspects, the studio was more about testing a design method. The design process was structured into three distinct steps each of them dedicated to a fundamental topic of the project: body, structure and site. This means that the project was initiated by a pure formal gesture that turned more into a meaningful structure including a programme in a specific site. The result is a series of beautiful big buildings in the City of Belgrade that served as a very inspiring backdrop to our project of ‚Big House’.