Or rather, I drew more of the same courtyard I’ve drawn before. Particularly, I wanted to see how this plan-section combination would work with my double-axon-section projection (see above). I especially like how the section proper gets lost in the projecting planometric linework, both from the wormseye and the traditional ‘aerial’ axonometric.
Linguistics, or the study of language, is today’s topic, expressed in four buildings: On the left, traditional languages are used to express a four square plan (top), and a nine square plan (bottom), with floor plans on the left and ceiling plans on the right. On the right, modernist languages express the same four square (top) and nine (bottom), with symmetrical plans on the left and directionally symmetrical plans on the right – mainly because modernist ceiling plans are far less interesting to draw. . . A section and elevation lie beneath.
To celebrate my birthday, my wife took me to see over 20 of Irving Gill’s extant works. I’ve always appreciated this seminal figure, and his lasting impact upon Southern California’s architectural development, but had never taken it upon myself to actually seek out his work in person. Lesson learned. And as much as I appreciate precedent study, that is the representation of existing works through drawing, I believe that history must be operative – that is, we must look to how history can work for us today. Not only what we can learn from it, but what we can do with it.
And with that introduction, I give you a small house, three squares in plan, stepped in section, cubic in volume. The articulation of the volumes is typical Gill, with an arcade wrapping the a portion of the ground floor as a screen, yet open to the air above (quoting Gill’s Bishop’s School in La Jolla). The remainder of the details are taken from Ungers, with some Schindler-esque diagonal planning.
A square volume set upon two long, cyma-ed walls, enclosing one garden per side, with deep eaves at the hip roof, and hung metal balconies at the second floor. The ground floor walls bi-fold upward, to offer complete movement between the interior and the enclosed gardens. Tall cypresses and vine-covered lattices complete the garden walls at either end. I really should flesh this one out a bit more, methinks.
Three sketches, three squares, in anticipation for my 3X10 birthday tomorrow (the 3rd).
The first, an elevation, with an arcade atop two square windows in a wall – Traditional form with abstraction below.
The second, a plan, square in form, but diagonal in organization, with a nice entry rotunda on the corner. This is an homage to Schindler’s diagonal square plans (the How House and Bethlehem Baptist Church, plan), and his mentor’s detailing at the Ennis Brown House.
The third, in a three-dimensional axonometric, a modernist cube.
In penance for doing little posting of late, I present you with a little precedent study, and an archaeological one at that. Burnham & Root’s Armory Building (Chicago, 1882), was demolished in the 60’s, and Richard Nickel’s photos are little of what remains to tell the epic story of this impressive structure. Predating the Monadnock Building by 9 years, the simple masonry volume is rather unornamented, save for the excellent brickwork and rough-faced battered stone. A large skylit central drill hall anchors the form, which gives only small fortified slit windows to the street, save for the large, Richardsonian Syrian arch at the main entry. The windows pre-echo Kahn, but I’m not going to argue that he was so influenced, no matter how hard I’d like to. The structure is framed by the large load-bearing masonry walls, which are filled with long-span trussed arches, which allow for the large hall at the center. My first (failed) attempt at a truly square floor plan is at the bottom.
For a little dose of fun, I took this week’s longhouse and shortened it up, ending up with a square with half-round screened porches on either end.
Maybe today’s project is not a longhouse perse, but definitely a domestic form that is quite elongated, with long solid brick gabled walls making up the length of the volume, and a hipped apsoidal colonnaded porches on the ends. I think that the roof itself would be particularly interesting, with the intersecting gables at different pitches, and a generous Rossi-inspired conical skylight.
Oregon has a large number of covered bridges, where the wood trusses had to be protected from the persistent damp and subsequent rot and failure. These are simple, rectangular, white clapboard (or board & batten) gabled ‘houses’, concealing impressive, large-scale Howe trusses inside. I find engineered structures to have a brutal beauty, especially those of the early 20th Century, and often believe the Historic American Engineering Record to be much more fascinating than its architectural counterpart. These covered bridges offer a wonderful contrast between the utilitarian trussed interiors and the domestic exterior form. There might just be another project somewhere in there. . .
Another vernacular form taken from my Oregon drive. This one, the study of roof masses, with a four-gabled volume over a hipped porch. I’ve taken this to it’s logical extent, with square-in-square, and a continuous, cubic central ‘house’. The reality is that this is no house whatsoever, at least not at this scale. Perhaps more of an elaborate cabin. Miesian stairs offer access from all four sides.
The final drawing represents a different formal operation on the same floor plan, with a single pyramidal roof replacing the hips and gables, echoing Asplund’s Woodland Chapel.