Wednesday, April 29, 2009

[Pairing Down]

Throughout the whole week we have been working on window projects. These project have had to show dualities in which the main things were Meditation and Celebration. The project we are currently working on now consist of redesigning an interior space for 2 rooms. This two rooms were put together and the wall that connected them was taken out. In this space we are to show an area of meditation as well as an area of celebration. When thinking of these two works two things come to mind. Meditation creates an image in my mind of darkness, relaxation, and comfort; and Celebration being an area full of color and spirit.

Talking further about our studio project and building on from the light habitat we have to keep in mind where light and shadow hit. This is something that we are to always keep in mind when working on projects, whether it is on a model or in a drawing. In a drawing it is important to look where the light is hitting the object so that then you can recreate the shadow on paper. Shadows always give a drawing a more realistic look. When making a model it is important to keep in mind where the light hits that way whatever you are planning on designing in the interior wont affect the placement of it.


When designing, it is always important to be abstract. This week we revisited the work of Paula Carr. He we noticed how she illustrated different areas that went from something original that you might be used to seeing to something completely different that comes from freethinking. Something that is abstract is really rare to see so this creates an even bigger impact on the people who see it.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Action Verbs

This shows the conclusion after speculating the window project for a while.


Meditation and Celebration was the topic for our past project. When working on this project we had to think about creating light by both celebration and meditation. Speculating came in handy when working on these window projects because it helped us think and come up with different ideas by meditating different areas that the light came in through the window. I already had the basic design, however, within the next couple ideas after speculating the design for a while I realized that their needed to be some changes. In designing many things will change because the first iterations are just drafts that need to be improved. Another way speculate can be talked about is by something that is seen ahead of time. Baudelaire “clearly anticipated the challenges modern art must face” (Weston 16) By this we see how he speculated that he must ‘set up his house in the heart of the multitude’. Ahead of time he speculated what he must do and his vision of what he wanted this place to be known as.

This is one of the drawings that I have composed so far of the Chrysler Building.


There are many things that I can relate to compositions. One of the main things we are required to compose is the Opus. This composition is made up by reviewing everything we have done throughout the week and different information that we learned from History class. Also in History class we are working on the Precedent Analysis project where we are concentrating on one building in particular, in my case the Chrysler Building in New York City, where we will compose multiple drawings of our building and create one big presentation where the way you layout your information will be critical.

This drawing began as just a pencil drawing. However, after adding color it energized the overall appearance and made it look realistic.


Last week we worked on the composition of Fallingwater, where we drew different interior and exterior view of this house. However, we began by just creating an outline that was then made final with going over it in pen. This wasn’t the end. We then worked on energizing this drawing by adding color. This enlivened the drawing and made it look real. I feel that in everything we do we should add something to it to give it “oomph” or energize to give it more excitement. A way Richard Weston talks about energizing is by using columns to raise the house of the ground. I feel like this energizes the house because it “emphasizes the cubic nature of the building by enabling the underside of the first floor slab to be seen.”(Weston 9) This way it is easier for people and cars to circulate around the house.

This is an outline of one of the walls. As you can see this section drawing just shows you the overall shape of it without it being 3D.


In drafting class we worked on reproducing both on paper and by creating a model of two rooms. I realized when recording the dimension for these rooms that it is very important to keep in mind the shape/outline of the overall room. One thing that we did was taking away the wall that connects both rooms and we had to keep just the outline and the basic shape and duplicate in on the floor plan. I feel that the overall shape of something is very important. However, when reading the handout on modernism we see how different pioneers shaped the world in a different way. For example Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre produced the first negative/positive process in 1841. However later on George Eastman “invented flexible negative film and five year’s later launched the Kodak No 1 camera and roll film, initiating the era of universal, hannd[held snapshots.” (Weston18) This was one of the ways that shaped peoples sense of the world through photography.

Going from the section drawing you can say it is stretched out and made 3D.


Working on from the floor plans and section cuts we were to extend these drawings a little further where we were to create a model. In many ways this is like stretching the drawings a little further to get a better understanding of what the drawings may be. We see through Brunel’s production lines that were widely stretched “demonstrated… that machine-tools could in principle replace most, if not all, of the traditional crafts.”(Weston12) We see that throughout the stretch of time machine-tools will affect both the social and economic outlook.

Different designers often speculate the are that they are planning on working on.Then they go further into this process and compose their actual thoughts both on paper and reality. This design that they do energizes the area and gives it a different feel. This area is then shaped to fit the main design which begins to stretch and become bigger.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Unit Summary : Reflection

This past unit began with the origin of modernism, which resulted in the Age of Enlightenment. Overall this is a period that wanted to get rid of religion and focus more on “Reason”. This is why it was also known as the “Age of Reason”. Many philosophers, such as Newton, would give their thoughts about certain things and reasonings. They felt that change and reason were both possible for the sake of human liberty. The overall purpose of the enlightenment period was to get rid of religion. The enlightment period was also a period that The central theme of the Enlightenment is the effort to humanize religion. The philosophers didn’t believe in original sin. Also during this time was when they began modeling mathematically and during this period was when the strength of material was recorded. We could also see how Age of faith and age of reason were combined in the church of Sainte-Geneviev, Paris, where “the study of antiquity might contribute to a new architecture.” (Roth 446) Here we see how Soufflot used rows of Corintian columns in the interior of the church for structural support which coming the structural realism of load and support. However it soon changed purposes for this church and turned it into a pantheon. In the 19th century many things changed from eclecticism to neoclassicism due to the reaction to Rococo Style that had dominated European Art. In the 19th century is where people become aware of cast-iron architecture. A great example we saw of this would be the Crystal Palace.
We later talked about Arts and Craft Movement which dealt with industrialization. People felt that the structures no longer had the same meaning since it was no longer handcrafted. They didn’t want to use machines anymore and let people handcraft. Here we see where many people wanted to change the different directions of design due to the mass production and lack of quality of design. Another movement Massey talks about is the Aesthetic movement, which was an “alternative style of reformist design in Britain which was to have a great influence n America.” (Massey 25)
Overall this unit was ways to see the different reactions people had overall with different types of architecture. From the reactions to trying to change religious designs to changing the way people make things. Where at first it was Isaac Newton who came up with a theory of how people should react to the religion thoughts to upperclass having a fit about middle class people wanting to put input into the different types of work.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Road Trip

This drawing shows the plan view which would be considered the root, which then leads to the room itself.

Architecture has many roots. However, in class when designing something or working on a project it often leads to different other projects. The different projects can be considered a root from the other main root. For example Massey talks about how “Andre Groult and Paul Iribe” used the inspiration of past French models to create a new style.” (Massey 74) The past French model would be considered the root from where they can get different characteristics to design the new model.

These drawing show duality of light were they are both congruent but certain characteristics such as the place of color is different.

Congruence is the state of being similar and the state of agreeing. With these two meanings you can easily relate it to drafting class. We are often asked to duplicate things that when redrawn to scale it is congruent to the actual room. When you look at things this way you can see the congruence they have. Roth talks about congruence as two buildings having the same characteristics. We see how Mies, who was put in charge exhibits combines the same characteristics in both buildings that he is working on. “ The two buildings are much the same in their free organization of space.”(Roth 527) We see that since he is designing two places at one he uses congruencies between both to combine and perhaps make it easier for him.

This is a thumbnail drawing of part of my project where you get the concept of where light comes from and shadow is created.

The main idea or main point of something is considered the concept. When you think about what you are planning on doing it is always important to have one main idea that will make all the other ideas evolve from that. For example we are working on a project in studio class that is centered on light. The concept here is showing light in two different ways where you demonstrate duality throughout your design. In my design, I decided to use a transparent paper as well as the gaps between each gap to allow light. Another example of a concept would be in modern architecture. Here we see how during the nineteenth century Hegel and Jacob come up with a concept stating, “history evolves as the result of an inner spiritual necessity.” (Roth 519) Then we see how other philosophers would add to this concept. By doing this they eventually build up history by creating their own thoughts and ideas. Later we see how people also take other peoples concepts or thoughts. For example, when Mies, moves to Behrens office he “absorbed the concept of the artist as the agent of the taste of the age, and of architecture being an expression of technical power.”(Roth 526) By taking in other peoples concepts we see how they can gain appreciation for certain things.

I decided to post this drawing of the Chrysler Building to show the intricate details it has and the metal material that was used in it. The Chrysler Building is built after the Chrysler Automobiles, so the material is similar

In designing material has a major influence. For example you have to know what kind of material you will be working on before you decided what to do. In class we are often required to work with different materials from paper to wood. This shows that there is a variety of material we can use for different things. However, what material you design to build with influences the overall appearance of your structure. For example, when going to Fallingwater it impacted me to know that Wright only used for different types of material, sandstone, reinforced concrete, steel and glass. It impacts me how he used each different material not just for looks but also for a purpose. Glass was used to let light shine through, Stone to make it fit the landscape where it would look as if rock was coming up from the ground, concrete to make the leafs blend in and steel, which was painted red, to remind people of the red color of iron ore. So from this we see that material is used in several ways. Just like Wright used material to symbolize different things Mendelsohn also did the same thing. After mendelsohn drawing different thumbnail sketches we see that after choosing his design to create a “boldly molded building” they build it of “ reinforced concrete, the material that for Mendelsohn symbolized the potential of the new century.” (Roth 535)

I decided to put this composition of several drawings of Fallingwater that are compressed into one sheet of 18x24 bond paper.

There are many ways of seeing compression. However, one way I see compression is with compressing data. In perception communication class we are working on making a composition of Fallingwater. In this project we are to compress different views of the building in one sheet of 18x24 paper. By compressing all this data we are giving people the opportunity to take in this information by composing it as a whole. I feel that when you compress information it would be more difficult to understand but you can have as much information as you need on there. In a building such as the Notre-Dame-du-Haut the curves can make it look more compressed. “When seen from outside, the curves seem to open out toward the landscape, but when experienced from within, they give a sense of compression and containment.”(Roth 551) Here we see how certain things can create an illusion and make things seem more together.

Overall Architecture came from one place in particular. However eventually it starts spreading different roots to form different concepts that overtime create congruencies. Many different building are duplicated in some kind of way except that many times different materials are used throughout the different buildings. Many times the designs on the buildings are compressed to make it look better.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Precedent Analysis

Chrysler Building

Being the most recognizable building in New York City, this building was once the tallest building in the world. It is located in midtown Manhattan, New York City. The architect responsible for such a spectacular building was William Van Alen. This skyscraper was built around 1926 to 1930. William Van Alen was designing this building for Walter Chrysler. Walter Chrysler was a professional in mechanics and he was head of his own company. However, when he saw that he was growing he decided to make a headquarters of his own. This is where Walter and William decided to come together to design what would be known as the tallest building in the world; The Chrysler Building.

Being 1048 feet high, this building is no longer the tallest in the world. It has a total of 77 floors and near 5000 windows. This building is considered one of the most admired landmarks. This isn’t just a normal building. Its exterior qualities give it the purpose of being the heart of the city. Even though it is now no longer the tallest building it still attracts many tourist by its exterior qualities. The Chrysler building was one of the first large buildings to use metal extensively on the exterior. Keeping in mind that it was designed with characteristics of a car each level depicts different car ornaments. The peak also known as the crown of this building looks as if it is piercing the sky. However, when looking at it closely we realize that it is very delicate and has intricate details. First we have seven terraced arches that form a cruciform groin vault that are sliced into seven pieces and mounted on top of each other descending in size. Between these arches we see little triangular windows that go along with the peak of the crown. Many elements used on this building came from actual Chrysler products. These elements include hood ornaments and hubcaps, steel gargoyles. All these characteristics make this an inimitable building. It can be seen from many distances and at any time of day. During the day the sunlight gives its crown a gleam and at night the lighted triangular walls as well as colorful floodlights define the seven arches and makes the whole city seem illuminated which also made it look like a “diamond against the night”.

The interior is just as magnificent as the exterior. When entering this building you cant help but notice the lobby ceiling that is covered with the mural “Energy and man’s application of it” by Edward Turnball. What is unique about this mural is that it also has a painting of the building itself on it. It also has many different types of stones, such as marble, wood marquetry, onyx and amber. These different types of marbles also gave this building a very dark entrance until it was renovated. Also the interior was made of steel and concrete walls that insulate that building but are not necessarily needed to support the building. The interior used metal and aluminum to mirror the exterior. The Chrysler building has so much to talk about since its interior was made with a purpose to be unforgettable. The interior isn’t just known for the designs on the walls but also for the different things that were put into them. For example, the elevators that were used with its marvelous design stand out with the abstract designs that have been put on the doors. Overall it has a very geometric interior.

The Chrysler building has many qualities that buildings from the past had. Beginning with pyramids where the ziggurat shapes where seen. The same way the crown of the building makes the terraced arches smaller than the one below, the terraced pyramids had each story smaller than the one below it. Then following down to the base we see how they kept the old square base and brick. As well as Greeks, Romans borrowed heavily from the early Hellenistic styles where their building were extremely ornamented. By this we see how the Chrysler building is highly ornamented and takes after similar characteristics.

This is by far the best example of Art Deco architecture. It is known for its distinct ornamentation and is still admired by everybody. Its elegance and glistening appearance makes these 80 years still be listed as people favorite buildings. Even though it is no longer the tallest building in the world it will forever be the most viewed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Between Silence

Architecture itself must always have impeccable craft. Massey talks about Horta’s specific style of designing. When reading about his style I stop to picture it in my head and see a flawless building. One characteristic that sticks out is how he uses color “as the uniting feature of the dining room.” (Massey 37) This shows how the craft is very important because he decides to include some way of unifying everything and make it one. Detailing is very important and Horta’s attention to detailing is evident because he uses many abstract and unique things throughout his design. Everything he does he tries to unify some way. When going on the trip to Monticello and Fallingwater I saw that both building were unique in their own ways. Monticello is always being renovated and even though it has started decaying overtime you can still see that certain design characteristics are still great. In a similar way, when touring fallingwater I came across an interesting piece of information. When the tour guide mentioned the laborers that were used , she said that they really didn’t know what they were doing since this style was different. However, it was very impressive to look around after I found this out and still think of this building as a spectacular and flawless building. Also, when working on projects in class it is best to focus on the skill and time you put into making it. A project isn’t worth much if you don’t put sufficient time in it to show the care and importance in it. For example if you design something and later want to present it, you want to make it appealing to people so that this will make them focus on the overall model itself.


Many buildings that are constructed are always constructed with each room having a purpose. The main entrance, or porch, is always going to be the public space of a building. As you walk further into the building you realize that you reach the hearth of the building that is considered to be the private area. Everything that is constructed always has private and public rooms. In the development of modernism private rooms are talked about when Henry Richardson talks about the courthouse and the different public/private rooms its has. “ Its external walls are modeled with projecting towers that correspond to the alteration of courtrooms and private judges’ chambers inside.” (Roth 502) This private room is specifically for the judges. This room has a different detail that is focuses on the exterior walls are modeled with projecting towers that correspond to the private room. However, different details are used to demonstrate the public areas. Henry used Romanesque details that grace the public areas of the courthouse. On the trip to Fallingwater we learned of how Frank Wright designed his room as being private. The only public spaces were on the first floor or the guest part of the house. The Guesthouse was apart from the main house so that each could have their own privacy. As well as guest and himself, his employess also had a space for their own. This shows how he separated each space to show public/private areas.

Throughout architectural history we come about many different kinds of styles and techniques used to create these styles. In the 19th century Roth talks about eclecticism. This was a time period that was the “creation of new building types that exploited new building materials.” (Roth 469) However, even though this epoch was being created it the architects still took techniques used in the past. For example things that a building that was built in the past had, might be taken and put into the new building but with different forms. However, Roth states that as the architects “knowledge of the architecture of the past expanded, architects began to mix historical references.” ( Roth 470) This technique was names synthetic eclecticism. By mixing historical references they created unique and unusual designs. An example would be the church of Saint-Genevieve (“Le Panthenon). This church was designed by combining both greek structure and roman design. The same way they also used the techniques that “Gothic structural techniques”. When Massey talks about art nouveau he talks about Galle and his different inspirations. These inspirations cause people to come up with new techniques. The new technique was an organic one and came from the inspiration of plants. He felt that “ all artistic inspiration should come from nature.” (Massey 42) Architecture and design require a lot of techniques to be learned. In perception and communication class we’ve learned many techniques already. These consist from different forms of drawing to different supplies used to draw. We’ve been working on perspective views where we were to “trade spaces” with a classmate and rearrange their interior. We then rendered their space with either colored pencil, prismacolored pencils, or watercolor. All these different techniques can be used in many different ways.

Architecture is like human language, when you don’t understand it because it might be from a different culture. In a similar way, you might be able to point out a building and say “look at the marvelous building”, however, if you don’t know the true meaning or the translation of that building then you don’t know what it is trying to say. When Gaudi is designing his own way in Barcelona, Brussel comes in “creating a new design language.” (Roth 514) This new language was called L’art Nouveau. Instead of using past designs, the architect Victor Horta decided to come up with “ a new architectural idiom for his progressive, wealthy industrialist clients.” (Roth 514) This was by using ornamental motifs in metal and glass forms that came from plants. This would be considered a completely different change since l’art nouveau was an international style of decoration for interiors. The new language is created when it goes from modern to decorative. Massey says that “ Art Nouveau was used as an expression of new national and political aspirations.” (Massey 46) We see that two artist may have distinct meanings of the same kind of “language” but just turned into their own way of doing it. When we design its our own language. Its like when we create a model that has a certain meaning behind it, if we don’t explain it then the audience won’t understand the true meaning behind it.

Virtual has many different meanings. When using virtuality in Iarc classes, I feel that it talks about it as something that comes from the mind. Virtual can be existing from the mind, especially caused by the imagination. This can be ideas we form in our heads that not necessarily become an actual thing but instead are a thought. Roth talks about two churches that are being constructed and the contrast between both was “ one an expression of visual illusion and the other a celebration of structural fact.” (Roth 441) To me a visual illusion is similar to virtual because they both create things that are hard to figure out and may cause a different way of looking at things.

Architecture is an impeccable work of art that with its different kinds of techniques creates a different language. I feel that it doesn’t matter what it is that you design as long as the craft is perfect then your work will be thought of as amazing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009