Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Coming full circle

Massey, (2008) “Architects have become more interested in interior design, and artists are exploring the built environment as part of their creative practice…” (p.219)

In the past this was unheard of. Architects stuck to what they new: structures and support; whereas Designers focused manly on interior “fluffing.” Today, as Massey suggests, architects and designers have come together to create a super group where both ideas of decoration and factuality can come together.

Massey, (2008) “Today, interior designers are acutely aware of the need to use woods from renewable sources- materials regarded as exotic in the Art Deco era, such as ebony, are now banned in an attempt to halt deforestation in tropical and temperate rain forests.” (p.219)

In an effort to help our environment as well as the newly global GREEN kick, designers are researching new materials that can be used in our homes; materials which have little or no affect on our natural environment. One of which is bamboo- which is an invasive plant that grows rather rapidly and acts as a durable replacement to other woods like ebony.

Massey, (2008) “One extreme example, the Icehotel in Jukkadjarvi, Sweden, runs an annual competition in which entrants are invited to design ice interiors for its lobby and bedrooms.”

The Icehotel is a genuine yet rather whimsical design development which melts every spring then is commissioned to be redesigned each winter. This is quite the wonderful imaginative design which is mad of pure organic forms. The amazing thing about this space is that it’s locating is the same but its shape and structure differ from year to year. This building was built with its geographical location and local materials in mind: as all buildings should be.

Roth, (2007) “An architecture of true meaning, substance, and enduring authority arises not simply form exploiting new structural techniques or materials; nor it is created solely through the refinement of abstract form or the playful manipulation of now-fashionable details.” (p.611)

This quote is suggesting that architecture doesn’t just happen but it rather is an expressed inner spiritual from responding to the architect itself as well as the culture in which it is built. Thus, making all architecture especially genuine to its own individualized geographic location.
As if the etch sketch isn’t hard enough some overly talented individual with a lot of time on their hands decided to go ahead and recreate an image of Jackson Pollock creating one of is many master peaces. Pollock, like the etch sketch is authentically American. The etch sketch was and innovative new way of drawing which is possible thought the use of magnetic materials and knobbed gears. A many thanks to our early 19th century inventers and their stewardship to their craft has lead to not only creating a fun toy but perhaps even a new medium of art.

[Pair]ing down

Transpose/ Juxtapose:

Monday, April 13, 2009


This week we observed firsthand the effects of natural and artificial lighting on architecture. Our subjects of study were Monticello by Thomas Jefferson and Falling Water by Frank. L. Wright. Monticello, meaning little mountain, was an experimental study of what the new American architecture was going to be. In this space viewers find artifacts form Native Americans and design elements from Roam and Greece. Thomas Jefferson took advantage of natural lighting in his space with the use of Paris influenced ski lights.

In fact in the master bedroom a ceiling sky light was designed and places in its appropriate space so that light could shine in upon the floor space as well as the upper level closet space. In other areas of the home double pained glass was placed to allow the continuous flow of natural light as well as to conserve heat. It is simple, well thought out design aspects like these that make all the difference in the space.

Take Wrights design Falling Water, originally the Kauffman family planed on having the house lay at the base of the stream so that the grand view would be of the waterfall. However, Wright changed that and made an organic structure at the summit of the falls. Like many of his designs Wright incorporated a fireplace in the core of the home, thus allowing for entertainment as well as a mane heat source. Windows and doors were strategically placed throughout the home so that rooms would be well lit and fresh air could flow through the spaces.

After florescent lighting had become available renovations had been made to the Kauffman’s home to incorporate artificial lighting. I specifically remember hallways at Falling Water being more dimly lit then rooms so that the homes occupancies would be encouraged to move quickly from the halls to the living space. I appreciate this aspect of design because it shows the grander of detail that Wright put into his work. He felt that hallways were just that, a passage way and the real space to be enjoyed was the living space.

This past week’s educational trip was enlightening on the causes of extraordinary design and how those designs affect natural and artificial lighting.

Traiding Spaces

Interior space equip with fireplace and in wall aquarium.

Indoor outdoor space accented with wood walls. Four different mediums were used: pencil, marker, colored pencil, pen and inc.


Hidden outdoor stair case.

Exterior view from bridge.

Action Verbs

Roth, (2007) “In the workshop wing particularly, Gropius succeeded in suggesting a weightless, transparent architecture; the wall, entirely of glass, is hung in front of the supporting structure.” (p.525) The Bauhous was designed by Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer whose wondrous minds lead them to create the glass curtain. During the time of the Machine age was when the Bauhous was designed. Today the weightless glass curtain can be found in Modern styled buildings as well, take the Gatewood Studio Arts Building for example.

Roth, (2007) “And seventh, he wrote: Composition must be good first, but it must be beautiful as well. You must therefore compose a building with a view towards its usefulness and its beauty. You will seek character, which contributes to beauty by creating variety.” (p.447) This passage from the reading is speaking of the rules written by Julien Guadet in 1901. It is a summarization of instruction giving during the last half of the nineteenth century. This writing took place at École des Beauz-Arts. Guadet felt that without good composition the project was not worth doing.

Roth, (2007) “By exploiting the potential of computer-aided design technology to manage structural solutions and buildings cost, Gehry and his associates created a most dramatic building form that instantly put Bilbao on tourists’ maps.” (p.601) The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain was built by Frank Gehry in 1987-1997. When the Museum was opened in 1997 the publicity was almost as energetic as the curvilinear shapes of the building itself. Gehry did exactly what was asked of him in creating a new and wonderful building as well as rejuvenating the local historical culture of Bilbao.

Massey, (1990) “He designed complete interiors with organic or flowing, lava-like forms…the interiors have undulating ceilings, strangely curved window- and door- frames, and contain biomorphic furniture designed by Gaudi himself and carved in solid oak.” (p.46) It is said that Gaudi was greatly influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement as well as his own designs which he created in his studio. I really enjoy the fluidity and whimsical nature of his designs.

Roth, (2007) “At its center was to be an aerodrome set in the center of a cluster of regularly spaced office towers, with biplanes buzzing about the building. Around this core ranged five story apartment blocks set in large, grassy parks dotted with playing fields and athletic facilities…” (p.530) In the text describes Le Corbusier’s dream of what new city scopes would look like in the future. He imagined large office buildings with apartment complexes nearby. Also much like the city plans found in ancient Rome, the major areas of the city would have direct traffic routs into and out of the city. At its time this idea seemed to be quite a stretch from what populous areas were accustomed to. While I’m discussing widening the horizon of the future, architects during this time were creating buildings that seamed to stretch the vertical limits- hence, the sky scraper.

Road Trip

Roth, (2007) “Meanwhile, during the nineteenth century, philosophers and art historians such as Hegel and Jakob Burckhardt developed the interrelated views that history evolves as the result of an inner spiritual necessity, and that each perior in history is shaped by its unique zeitgeist, the spirit of the age.” (p. 459)

Roth, (2007) “Hector Guinard, Metro Station (Les Abbesses), Montnartre, Paris, 1900-1913. Using forms inspired by plants, Guinard devised a system of standardized cast-iron and ceramic parts to creat entry gates for the new electric underground mass transit system.” (p.514)

Roth, (2007) “It was from Behrens that Mies derived the concept of the artist as agent of the taste of the age, and of architecture as being an expression of technical power. He also learned form Behrens a keen appreciation of detail and precision in both design and construction…” (p.469)

Massey, (1990) “Living room, David B. Gamble House, Pasadena, 1908, by Greene and Greene. Beautifully finished woodwork and stained glass represent the California version of Arts and Crafts. Japanese influence appears in the chair-backs and jointed timbers of the inglenook.” (p.21) The arts and crafts movement came to America in the 1920’s and became most popular in California. A major design element that can easily be spotted as arts and crafts artifact is the use of the material wood; where the joints are clearly shown and the wood is left plain.

Compression: Release:
Massey, (1990) “As a result of the 1929 Wall Street Crash American manufactures found themselves compelled to stimulate new markets for their products. Design grew in importance as it was recognized as a marketing tool. Individual designers began to enjoy almost film-star status as manufacturers discovered that design sold goods.” (p.109) Designers were feeling a tighten on there ability to design and sell what was always sold, because of the economical crash, they then had to rack their brains in order to rethink old ideas as well as come up with new ones. The compression at the time was on the economy which leads to a release of new and innovative design ideas and schemes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

President Annalisis: part III

Imagine a place where both creatures of the land and sea can coexist along side one another. A space were boundaries of shape, size, and light effects are constantly tested. That place is Kaiyukan Aquarium. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, located in Minato is one of Japan’s most impressive aquariums. This complex inhabits creatures form the Pacific Rim. Its design incorporates both fascinating spaces from exhibit to exhibit as well as interesting color schemes that refer to aquatic life in the “Ring of Fire.”

I choose this structure as my area of study because I have a great appreciation for both architecture and marine biology. As I researched, I decided that this building would be interesting to learn more about because the firm that built it is an American based industry which specializes in “green building” and has projects abroad. On a more resent home front, Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. also took place in the designing of the Baltimore aquarium.

According to a web source Kaiyukan is directly translated from Japanese to English as “Playing in the Sea Pavilion.” This is perfectly fitting for what the purpose of this building is; which is to educate civilians about their near by aquatic neighbors. As one begins their journey through the space they are welcomed by a traditional Japanese forest where the warmth of the sun kisses the tops of the plant life and a fresh breeze sways lazily through the greenery. There are fifteen tanks dramatically displaying what is the beginning of the transition to the marine life exhibit. Kaiyukan is one of the worlds largest aquatic life holding areas with total tank equmulation equaling up to 2.9 million gallons. Besides the learning of volcanoes that make up the Ring of Fire one can also expect to be enlightened in the Antarctica, Monterey Bay, the Great Barrier Reef, and other ecosystems that make up the depths of the ocean floor.

One of the toughest aspects of design was creating a structure that could hold 2.9 million gallons of water as well as 35,000 fragile specimens which represent about 380 different species. All while making sure tanks don’t leak temperatures are well kept and our pedestrian viewers can safely maneuver their way through the exhibits. This was done so through the strategic use of _(materials)__.

{Move into exterior and interior space values… discuss details in design…does this structure exude both commodity: firmness: delight? }

Work Cited:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Between Silence and Light

Roth, (2007) “Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born in Aachen to a family of stonemasons, and from them inherited a strong sense of craft in building construction.” (p. 469) Likewise students in the Interior Architecture program at UNC-G have been tough through time that good craft is everything. Not only does our studio courses reinforce this idea but also our history readings. Architects like Mies van der Rohe have proven that a well thought out design and good craft can make for a profitable career.

Public/ private:
Roth, (2007) “After World War Two, when American planners began to use Le Corbusier’s ideas as the basis for actual building, they often misappropriated the high-rise tower for housing since it allowed greater population density per acre.” (p. 478) This statement refers to a design that was originally planed for private use of the space but as time progressed designers crammed several occupants into these units, hence now public spaces.

Massey, (1990) “Tassel house, Ixelles, Brussels, 1893. Horta’s first design in an entirely new style. A glazed roof with slender iron supports provides brightly lit interiors. Instead of the usual Belgian corridors, Horta uses a central hall and staircases, heralding the Modern Movement’s use of flowing spaces and ‘plan of volumes’…” (p.35) Victor Horta deliberately rejected the old way of design and used a newer more organic flowing technique; where the staircase flowed and curled into the wall then back to the floor. The space he designed was more whimsical then the traditional Belgian style of architecture.

Roth, (2007) “As with Rococo architecture, whose delicacy and irregularity in detail it resembled, this “new art”-or as the Parisian collectors called it, l’Art Nouveau—was employed largely for interiors. It appeared fully developed in the interiors of the Tassel House, Brussels, designed by Horta in 1892 [18.49].” (p.514) Again, Horta’s design spoke mostly of a new way of thinking about architecture and how it can be. His design reminds me of a dear friend of mine whom is actually from Belgium. My friend is a very talented musician who has tendencies of being a bit mysterious and peculiar. Like music and the Tassel House there are rise and falls, piano and fortes throughout the entire composition.

Roth, (2007) :As never before the forces of nature pulled on this building, for its huge wrought-iron and steel structure expanded and contracted over the course of the day as the sun passed from one side to the other… there seemed to be a denial of weight as well, for there were no massive stone or concrete buttresses to resist the lateral thrust at the bottom of the arch.” (p.490) Paxton’s Crystal Palace was an enormous glass and steel structure that was built in the 1851 for the world fair. The concept of this building was to be an interior space that made its inhabitants feel as if they were outside. Paxton was able to accomplish this great feet by using materials that virtually eliminated the mass of a typical wall structure at that time.