Monday, October 25, 2010

Proposed sections for Space

The sections in this image were apart of what I envisioned the interior space of the building to look like. I believe the section image in the bottom left corner is the most powerful because it clearly communicates the relation of the interior space to what is going on outside the building.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Point Alternatives

While studying this unit, it has become evident that the idea of alternatives is seen throughout different time periods. However In the Baroque period it seems to stand out even more. This is because people during this time period are interested in pushing boundaries and breaking the rules that were set by architects before them in order to express their own personal statements. The renaissance period, which came before Baroque was all about the revival and rebirth of architecture. However we learned in class that renaissance is only a part of a complete cycle of revolution and “as one cycle ends an new one begins”. Patrick gave a good example of this in class with his “super cartwheel” showing that once the cartwheel was complete one would return to their original state, but off balance. This example can be used as a metaphor to compare how after the renascence came to a full cycle a new one began in the baroque period. This new cycle was offset by the fact that architects knew the rules and boundaries set by the renaissance but began to test and break them through alternative forms of building. When looking at this new cycle in baroque we can see that where man was the measure off all things in the renaissance period, things are now focused more on the theatrics of man and their emotions, which is captured in the designs and ornamentation of buildings. One example of a building that does this is the vestibule to the Laurentian library; the steps in this building emphasize the movement and idea of upward progress with fluid like structures. The detail of the steps is a repetition of movements that exaggerate what could have simply been steps to get a person from point A to point B.

Michelangelo who was considered as one of the leaders of the transition from the renaissance to the baroque period was an expert at finding a way to come up with theatrical alternatives to sculptures, paintings, or architecture. One example was his work o the Sistine chapel, where each of the Biblical depictions contains exaggerated paintings of people who are out of proportion. Even the poses that they were in seemed to be exaggerated the movements of the people even down to the smallest detail like the hands in The Creation of Adam.

Michelangelo who was considered as one of the leaders of the transition from the renaissance to the baroque period was an expert at finding a way to come up with theatrical alternatives to sculptures, paintings, or architecture. One example was his work o the Sistine chapel, where each of the Biblical depictions contains exaggerated paintings of people who are out of proportion. Even the poses that they were in seemed to be exaggerated the movements of the people even down to the smallest detail like the hands in The Creation of Adam.
Details like this are seen all throughout the baroque movement emphasizing on movement. Even in the architecture of buildings such as the Palace of Versailles. The hall of mirrors in this building creates a form of movement by either “thrusting” one outside as they walk through the hall or pulling the outside garden into them the interpretation is up to the person’s experience. This is done though the use of oversized mirrors, which counter act the light that floods in through the large arched windows. The arched ceiling as well as fluid like ornamentation adds to the rhythm that flows throughout the hall. Even details like the glass chandeliers and the pose of the golden candle holders emphasizes on movement in the space.

Buildings like this are examples of the strong overall idea of creating alternatives to boundaries and rules that were set by time periods before. They also show the emphasis on movement, and the idea of taking things that have been made and expanding and making them your own.

Perspective Project

Form: Paragraph
Scale: Space
For the Counter Point Perspective project I wanted to explain the interior space of the Florence Cathedral through paragraph form. This included describing how the aspects of material, people, nature, and symbolism were incorperated in the interior of this building from the perspective of a Florence city leader.

Reading Comprehension 4

1. When comparing the artifacts from the reading I have found that the principle of contrast is the main language of design connecting each of these items. Looking at each of these artifacts it is the one thing that stays consistent among them. For example the light marquetry and ornamental designs that adorn the desk and bookcase from the Neo-Palladian and Georgian period contrast its heavy structure and solid appearance through the use of carvings of flowers and bronze and gilt. In the case of the Windsor chair, which was first imported from England in the 1720’s, the language of contrast is displayed through the use of repetition between the spindles of the chair and the open spaces between it. There is also a contrast in the proportion, size, and form of some of the high back Windsor chairs compared to the “splayed” formation of the legs. However this unusual proportion was necessary because most chairs from this period were designed to be functional and more comfortable, in fact Harwood states “Comfort is important, so arms curve and seats contour slightly to fit the body.” In the early neoclassical period the same type of contrast that was evident in the Neo-Palladian and Georgian period between the artifact and its ornament reoccurs. This is seen in Martin Carlin’s Tall clock where the golden intricate carvings and bronze gilt decorate the heavy, solid and rectangular clock. Later in the English Georgian period the same language re appears with the design of the State Bed in Osterley Park. This bed shows contrast between not only the proportion of the actual rectangular bed to the round posts that support the canopy above it, but also in the structural formation of the bed in comparison to the free flowing hangings that would be draped above the bed. Lastly, the ornamental design encircling the urn on the back of the Sheraton side chair contrasted the overall rectangular structure of the chair.

Looking at each of the spaces given it is evident that each of them expresses the same language of heavy roman influence. The Holkham hall clearly derives most of its design from classical roman architecture, from the entire layout of the building down to the front portico and use of arches on the facade. Gunston hall also follows this language with its symmetrical interior as well as the ornamented stair way decorated with arches, columns and pilasters from classical roman design. The bedroom of Marie Antoinette also shows this language with the use of a lightly colored pallet, swags, symmetry, and a geometric curves and straight lines. While most of the buildings clearly follow some form of classical architecture the Saltram house through its ornamentation instead of geometry and symmetry. The use of decorative swags, pediments, urns, and other roman derived symbols tie this building in with the other. Lastly the Gardner –Pingree house like the rest of the spaces uses roman decoration in order to celebrate classical design, which is most prominent on the mantel above the fireplace in the parlor.

When comparing buildings like the Chiswick house, Nathaniel Russell house, Drayton hall, S. Genevieve, and Montechello, one major language of design that stands out is ornamentation. Each of these structures are highly decorated with influential design motifs like pilasters, columns, arched windows, and pediments, which are all a product from roman architecture and influence that help create an overall state of harmony throughout the building. It is evident that in each of the scales that were covered are connected through the use of design principles like symmetry, harmony, and contrast in order to convey one language of design through roman influence.

2. When looking at American design and culture one thing to keep in mid is that just about everything the American’s got during this time was from across the Atlantic in Europe. Since this was a developing country at the time buildings were smaller in scale, less formal; less refined, and had a more horizontal emphasis. Architects are building for common wealth and middle class families as opposed to royalty. Also the people who are building are not necessarily architects, but people simply trying to make a living. For example the Gateleg table, Arailiures, Armoirs, and Shrank are all examples of less formal pieces of furniture that differ from the intricate designs we see in Europe, however there are traces of European influence on these artifacts. Also buildings like the Hart House Chamber, Columbus House Entry, Parlange Plantation, and Jackson House display one of the main ideas in America during this time, which was to make things more functional than decorative. This was done with the use of beamed ceilings and spaces for multipurpose use making these spaces functional. The use of light scale, rational planning and mathematical proportions to help form their structures and emphasize straight lines and geometrical forms were a way to break away from European design. While it was important for interiors to be different from the styles of Europe it became somewhat of an unavoidable art. Almost all American made architecture during this time mainly reflected the styles of English, French, and German architecture which shows the strong influence that each of these countries had on the foundation of American design.

3. I designed this building based upon the Balletto Terzo. It seems fitting because Palladio was known for his use of geometric structures as well as symmetry. This villa contains room a family to live and gather friends from the wealthy class of Italy during this time period.

4. Personally I do believe that the designs and architecture in the Baroque period are a form of social performance in the theater world. This is because most of the buildings in the Baroque time period were designed to move away from the more structural and symmetric forms that were seen in time periods before and more towards artistic structures. In baroque style architecture the effect of movement and action was more important than the effect of symmetry and balance that dominated the art of the Renaissance. “Baroque artists aimed to undo the classical unity of form and function, to unbalance the composition and achieve the impression of movement and space that the new age demanded.” (Norman) When we compare this to actual theater and the ideas that are expressed in this art, which are to emulate and evoke human emotion, we can see these same ideas present in baroque design, which gives the same qualities as the art of theater. One building that I feel captures the essence of the baroque theater movement is the Coranro Chapel. The main statue in this building is an example of how architects attempted to capture human emotions in their work, the same thing an actor would capture in their film.

Point: Foundations

During the foundations unit most of the structures that we have discussed transcended the way that architecture was viewed in their respective cultures and have taken original ideas of building further. Through out these time periods new methods are developed for more effective forms and structures. We also see the use of arches, vaulted ceilings, flying buttresses, and domes, which have lasting impacts on buildings to come. The scale of buildings are also taken to another level, as seen in the Roman temples to the Cathedrals during the “Dark Ages” and the idea of the Wu-Wu, emphasizing on the importance of the power of verticality. The idea of stacking also occurs both in the structures like the Roman Coliseum and the Cologne Cathedral. The use of stacking allowed buildings to be built upward with stronger support. Arches were also used to help support and strengthen these structures. However we see the use of flying buttresses in the Cathedrals, which was a new idea to help expand the idea of verticality and reaching Heaven. Stacking doesn't only serve the purpose of firmness, but also serves as a commodity because of it allows more room to be used, and ads visual delight to buildings like the cathedrals. At the same time the Romans stacked with the use of arches for structural support because horizontal stacking was the most important to the Romans.

We are also able to see how important the elements of Circles are in two of the cultures we studied in this unit which were Rome and England. The idea of the circle was important to the function of worship in religious structures like the Pantheon in Rome. This can be compared to the Stonehenge in England. The Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious structures that stands today, however there are hints indicating that it could have been used for religious purposes. The idea of using a circle to worship creates an area where there is complete equality among those who are in the structure, but the verticality and scale of the structure is what emphasizes on the function of the building. In the case of the pantheon the size of the space emphasized on the power of the gods and made one feel small in comparison to their might almost forcing religious experience on them.
We also see in this unit the use of line as a form of building. It is evident with the rise of Mycenaean architecture. Unlike the earlier Minoans, whose architecture was based on a carefree culture that took pleasure out of life, the Mycenaeans built large walls around the city of Mycenae in order to fortify it out of fear of invasions. Another culture that also uses this form of building is the Roman culture with the use of structures like roads and aqueducts. While there were not exactly buildings or places of worship, these structures helped to transport people and items freely along an axial plane. For example the aqueducts transported water into the city and help provide for the baths. At the same time the roads of Rome all met at crossroads at some point or another, which almost supports the phrase “All roads lead to Rome.”

Reading Comprehension 3

One of the first things to note about the Cologne Cathedral is its vast and grand scale. This also adds on to the idea of building up towards the sky and Heaven and enhancing the religious experience one would have as they approach and enter the building. Lighting was also a very important aspect of the cathedral. This was made evident through the use of the main forms of natural lighting during this time, which were clerestory and stained glass windows, as well as ribbed vaulting.
The Salisbury cathedral has a more complex plan than the Cologne Cathedral. However light still remains as one of the main elements when building this cathedral especially during the dark ages where people felt that there was no change or movement culturally. The use of light in this building can be compared to the Cologne cathedral because they both attempt to make the lighting effect more dramatic. This adds to the religious experience one would have when they enter, by making the church seem more purified that any other building or structure around this time period.
The Amiens Cathedral has a layout that is the closest to the Cologne Cathedral. In fact most of their similarities are mostly structural and decorative. One of the main similarities seen here is the introduction of flying buttresses. Flying buttresses were an important aspect in the vertical build of both Cathedrals. Originating in Notre Dame, France flying buttresses allowed a building to be taller with a more stable structure. Also the exterior details on both cathedrals have similar images causing one to believe that the purpose of these buildings are influence by the same beliefs.
Unlike the previous building that were compared many differences take place in the Florence Cathedral in comparison to the Cologne Cathedral. The entire structure of this church is different because it actually symbolizes a change and a preview of what is to come in the renascences age. The Florence cathedral has evident roman influences in its structure like the dome which helps set it apart from the traditional pointed and vertical churches. The dome signifies a change in attitude toward the church and what feeling people should get from it this also goes back to the round effect that one would feel in the Pantheon making the presence of whoever was being worshiped more omnipotent.

In this Image the woman is in the kitchen cooking, possibly preparing a meal for multiple families because it in common for several families to live in one castle or household during the dark ages. During medieval times many interiors were made for communities to live in. Roth mentions that the kitchen would be located towards the back the house in his book Understanding Architecture (345). So it would be evident that the opening behind the pot would be the back door and a window allowing the smoke from whatever it was that she was cooking to escape. There would also probably be a hallway behind the woman leading to the community area where everyone would be gathered around the fireplace conversing.

Reading Comprehension 2

Hersey's belief of sacrifice is very valid, due to the fact that during this time the Greek culture was based off of polytheistic ideas, and sacrifices were a part of their traditional worship. In fact a building during this time period could be considered a ritual sacrifice to the gods based on its sole purpose. For example the Parthenon was a sacrifice to Athena because its sole purpose was to glorify her triumph over Poseidon. Hersey often notes that many architectural elements had different significances and Greek words and definitions in order to describe them. Some of the Greek terminology that Hersey describes, are the terms “trachelion and hypotrachelion” which come from the Greek word for "throat," and the volutes that are at the top of Ionic and Corinthian capitals can almost represent hair or horns that would be seen on a person or animal. In ancient Greek rituals some of these areas were very important on the body, in a sacrifice if it were a human or animal sacrifice. Hersey gives the reader several examples and details to support his theory however it is not enough to solidly conclude that he was right.
In today’s society it’s easy to find what we want and need through the Internet, however a tool like this has mentally crippled people in a way. The reason I say this is because it’s so easy to just find one source and call it a day. This often causes people to stop searching for true facts and just go with the first thing they fin, which in all fairness I too am guilty of at times. In the case of the character of Carson in McCaulays Motel of the Mysteries, Carson misinterprets the objects he encounters because he doesn't know anything about the culture of the lost civilization he has found, and only relies on the objects themselves as his only information source. I believe that this is giving us an example of what people often do today by using the Internet as their only source of research, which is how things can become confusing. I guess its still good to have books and newspapers after all.

In ancient Egypt one of the main tasks for a ruler was to build a grave before his death that was great in scale and structure. The pyramids at Giza, which were constructed for pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, are displays of power, wealth, status, and greatness. Their massiveness and soaring verticality emphasizes the pharaoh's dominant position over his subjects and the land. However it is not until the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, or the fourth dynasty that we see a shift in tomb design. The queen’s tomb speaks a more simplistic language with the use of echoes and strong centers in the multiple entrances. Built into the side of the cliff it also embraces the surrounding landscape rather than towering over it like the pyramids before it. One of the other important differences in how the structures were built were the genders of the rulers. The tomb that was built by the queen can be argued to represent the female gender because of the multiple openings, and in ancient Egypt one of the main tasks for the women were to multiply or reproduce and be the caretaker of the house while the man worked.

In examining Egyptian and Greek architecture some of the structures they contain like temples are similar. Two of these temples that could be compared are the Egyptian Hypostyle Hall and the Greek Parthenon in Athens. From what we know the differences between design ideology Greeks and Egyptians are vast. However we do see some similarities in temple design between these two cultures. One of the most noticeable similarities is the use large of columns surrounding the perimeter of the temples. While the Egyptian columns of the Hypostyle hall contained a stylized papyrus capital, the Greek columns around the Parthenon had more of a Doric order. the Egyptians and the Greeks both seemed to have a sense of axial progression in the structuring of these temples as well showing that their ideas of worship had similarities also.

Egyptian tombs were created on a large and massive scale. This was to represent the idea that the afterlife lasted forever and so would the tombs that held the body, in comparison to the furniture, which was built light for easy everyday usage. Although the furniture was built out of well crafted materials for that time, that was simply the Egyptian culture. However the furniture probably was not made to last as long because according to the Egyptians life was the beginning of the afterlife. I mean after all once a persons dead there not coming back, why not make the tomb better than the house they live in daily. (Sarcasm)

The two urns contain drawings of men who could possibly be rulers that have a dominant role over women. On both urns, the male figure is seated on a throne while female figures appear to be serving him. On the first urn, a woman is shown handing the male his sword and shield. Men in this time were seen as powerful warriors, which makes it ironic that the goddess Athena is associated with battle. These images reflect a male dominated culture. In the reading Harwood stated that, "Males possess independence, wealth, ownership, and education. Women, on the other hand, are their fathers' or husbands' property, being restricted by law, politics, custom, and family relationships. Their main duties are to bear children and tend the family household. Few women artists are known, and nothing by those acknowledged survives" (Harwood, 64). This is simply evidence of the culture during that time and I believe that these urns simply bare the record of that society.

Point Theories

During this learning unit I learned a variety of new themes and major design movements. One of the main themes that stand out to me is the idea of Commodity, Firmness, and Delight. Vitruvius first used these three terms in order to describe what he believed was good architecture. Years later Sir Henry Wotton used these exact same terms, as a means to describe well-built structures. Over the year’s commodity, firmness and delight have held several different meanings for different cultures ant time periods. Architecture concerns not only the buildings but also the people who build as well as interact with them, this is why it is important to focus those three terms when designing a building. As a commodity the building must have some sort of use after all, what’s the point in building a structure that has no purpose? An architect must also make sure that his or her creation is stable enough for someone to interact with. Even though it may not seem as important as the other two, a building also has to have some form of aesthetics so that the person using it can take delight in it. For example

I feel that the New York Public Library fits the theory of commodity, firmness, and delight perfectly. This building serves as a public area for people to read, research, and do other things that they would not be able to do in another type of building. So it does have a function to it making it a commodity. Furthermore the structure of this building has lasted from 1895 until today spanning 94 years after it was first opened. After lasting this long it is evident that the building was built with a firmness that has served people for years. Also I personally am able to find delight in the layout of this building because it is an open space that is ornamented fairly well and represents American tradition and culture. In the book Understanding Architecture, by Leland Roth he stated that “ architecture is arguably the most accurate, the most truly revealing, human cultural artifact”(Roth, pg.12). This is indeed true because architecture itself gives others insight about where people are from as well as cultural influence that ma be evident in a structure. When it comes down to it there are several aspects in architecture, which are important to know about people: their needs, their way of life, and their culture.
In today’s society because of the diverse styles and form, it is important to understand and keep in mind the fact that there will always be a difference in taste, especially between different cultures, but the best way to handle a situation like this is by bringing all ideas to the table and compromising. Furthermore, while people of different cultures may interpret things differently the same basic theory of design is applicable to all people. Sir Henry Wotton’s ideas of commodity, firmness, and delight have a large influence in the field of design. In conclusion during this first section I have learned many aspects in regards to designing and design processing. However culture as well as commodity, firmness, and delight are some of the main points that stood out to me throughout this first section of the class.

Reading Comprehension 1

1. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house fits Wotton’s definition of commodity, firmness, and delight, because it addresses each of the concepts of commodity, firmness, and delight, as a structure built in the 20th century. As a building this structure fit the category of commodity because it was a house that would be used by the Kaufmann family, and would later become a historic landmark. The house also has a sense of firmness in the fact that it has lasted form 1939 when it was completed until today; this is evidence that the structural design of this house has been well planed and constructed. It is also a structure that has been built on a waterfall, which is one of the ways that Wright used the surrounding environment to help address the concept of delight along with the unusual horizontal structuring of the house, which was a different look during that time period.

2. From the textile images that are illustrated in the Harwood text, the center design clearly reveals influences from eastern culture and design. The use of floral rose patterns as well as light colors is a key indication of the eastern influence on this particular textile. These types of designs and patterns come mostly from the Asian culture as seen in Harwood’s text.

3. If we were to take into consideration the idea that Americans need more space then, According to U.S. citizen need for personal space the room in which our Iar222 class is held is far below the American standards. However I feel that this necessity can vary based on the function of the room. For example a classroom should have more space so that a comfortable learning environment is created. On the other hand an area that would be used solely for the purpose of sleeping would not have to be as large because a person would not be as aware of their surroundings.

4. I believe that there is no such thing as an architecture of happiness because the emotion that a room or object is intended to create may not affect everyone who uses it the same way. De Botton stated in his writing “ Architecture is perplexing too, in how inconsistent is its capacity to generate the happiness on which its claim to our attention is founded. While an attractive building may on occasion flatter an ascending mood, there will be times when the most congenial of locations will be unable to dislodge our sadness or misanthropy.” I think that this supports the fact that while a building may be intended to evoke emotions of excitement and happiness, it still may not have the ability to evoke these emotions when a person is being influenced by outside factors.

For example an image like this would be considered as on that could exude happiness because many people find amusement parks and roller coasters fun and enjoyable, however if a person has had a bad experience, or they are simply afraid of them then this would not be something that enticed them. This is true for architecture, if a person can link something negative in their life to a structure then it would not matter what the architect intended a the person still would not have a happy reaction to their design.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Communicating to non designers

With this assignment I wanted to be able to communicate my ideas to non-designers through the use of interior, exterior, and building perspectives of the Pantheon. I feel that this was a more succesful atempt thant the previous assignmnet where I attempted to use diagrams in order to communicate the space.

This was my first attempt at the assingment. Since this was my first time working with this concept it didn't come out the way I really planned. However after the second attempt I began to understand the relation between the images and the layout better.

Compas Project

Form: Word
Scale: Building
For the Compass project I chose Place ans my scale and Word as my form. This project was mainly about The Great Pyramids in Egypt, I Incorporated the idea of compass in this project by placing the pyramids at the top of the image pointing upward. This was also a concept behind the creation of the Pyramids because they were intended to be stretching towards the Heavens. I also chose the word Legacy because it best describes what the pyramids were about, which was leaving behind the Pharaohs legacy. The statue in the background is an image of King kaufu who is credited for building the pyramids. Lastly the symbolism in this project is represented by the Hieroglyphs in the sand which also help to leave the legacy of the Pharaohs.

Visit to Falling Waters

Surveying of the Haw River

Designing a space

Over the past few weeks the project that I have worked on has taught me several valuable and interesting things and concepts. One thing that I have learned which is very important is placement. When designing a space it is very important to place things like walls, windows and rooms in convenient locations. For example you don’t want to create a bathroom that is isolated from your living space, this would make it inconvenient for the artist using the space. However this also addresses another important concept to keep in mind when designing a space, which is circulation of space. Things should be easily accessible from just about all areas with in the space. Again the artist should not have to walk through all of the rooms or walk upstairs just to go to the bathroom. During the process of this project I also learned a lot about what it takes to make a successful project. This includes having to redo things several times until you get it just the way that you want it. I don’t know how many times I had to redo some of my perspectives because they were not big enough, didn’t show the ceiling, or they just didn’t show enough information, but this was necessary in order to get the desired effect that I wanted in my perspectives. I also learned that research is important in designing structures. Its one thing to have a great idea, anyone can have a great idea of a dream home, but only a designer can take a structure with set physical limitations and incorporate their ideas in order to come up with a space that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. This is why I found it helpful to research some of the things to consider in a space like plumbing, safety regulations, and materials to use in that space. Plus its helpful to know what your talking about when you get up in front of people so that when they ask questions about the structure you can competently answer them. Another thing I learned that when designing a space for the moment it’s yours so you have to own it. This means that if your going to do some thing to the space that affects surrounding areas then you should own that space around it as if you were designing it as well. Lastly I learned a few things about myself and my design process along the way. I realized that when working I have to do things multiple times in order to get it right. I haven’t really gotten use to using markers because it is a new medium to me but it works well when you get the hang of using it, for this reason I had to do plenty of perspectives until I got the marker effect I wanted. Also when making models I had to keep redoing the walls until I could get them as neat as I could. Above all work smart and not hard so I have to find the methods that are most effective in getting the job done instead of just trying to get the work done.

Here were a few of my Sketch up images and drawings of the space which also helped with an understanding of light and space in the structure.

Ancient Egyptian walk way

For this assignment our group made a walkway that was able to stand in the path leading to the door of the studio arts building. Our structure was based off of the ancient Egyptian style of building more specifically around 1400 BC when the Hypostyle hall was created.

Some of the ideas that we incorporated from the Hypostyle hall were the ideas of having a clerestory in order to let the natural light filter in, As well as the idea of building on a grand scale. I feel that this project was successful because it created a space that was accessible to all, and it "worked" as well as the fact that we were able to incorporate our ideas as well as ideas based on our precedents of the Hypostyle hall.