a house of opposites

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This is a simple, ‘shotgun’ home, with two porches flanking either side, and a large central room in the middle, accentuated by the ‘dutch’ gable of the roof.  The ‘opposites’ so named in the post’s title indicate that the ground floor has open porches on the ends with a solid middle, while the semi-enclosed basement has the opposite: enclosed ends and an arcaded middle.  This came about through a simple drawing, shown above, where the same parti  could easily be rendered in either formation – so why not do both?  That hybrid elevation is below, where the opposition of the two systems results in a ‘checkerboard’ pattern, not too dissimilar from Lutyens’ own, larger, experiments.

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two facade studies and a rotunda

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Facade as generator: that is, starting with a facade and working back to a floor plan instead of the opposite, more traditional, fashion.  Here, a scored plaster exterior references brick construction, with radiating joints at the circular window and jack arches over the rectangular side windows.  A tall pyramidal skylight centers the whole.

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Another facade, this time actual brick with rounded corners, simple square double-hung windows under jack arches with thin metal overhangs and stone shoulders at the inset front door.  The plan suggests a small linear courtyard at the center.

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This circular rotunda has a few things going on in plan that a section won’t illustrate.  But not to mind, for the section shows enough of its own intrigue.  The dome is cut, making it shallow at the center than the ends.  A large skylight sits above, illustrated here as a small tempietto, a room beyond a room, above which the skylight proper is positioned.

a rotunda

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This is a simple room, with a shallow dome set on squinches capping a square room.  The whole is topped with a small tempietto-cum-oculus.  A perpendicular section (top-left) is paired with a diagonal section (top-right), and a wormseye sectional axonometric on the bottom-right.

on projections

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I’m fascinated by drawing projections, that is the way that we draw or project the linework of a floor plan into elevations, sections, axonometrics, etc.  The drawings I feature here on frame clearly show that.  But I know that often the thing to be drawn is often obfuscated by the drawing itself, where the projection can overpower the building itself.  Today I present not a project per se, but a series of different projections of the same simple architectural form – a cube with a small dome and oculus.

The simple plan of the upper-left is revealed in simple section and elevation, and explored in two different axonometrics below – aerial and wormseye (upview).  Oblique axons, my special sectional wormseye oblique axon, and sectional axons flesh out the sheet.

a pavilion

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Today’s post is a small pavilion, four-square with on-center columns at each facade, radius-ed corners, each topped with a miniature turret and blended into a larger hip roof.  Bits of Richardson clash with modernist modularity, postmodern idiom, and multiple readings in the plan (a diamond? a cruciform? nine-square even?).  While I’ve drawn the exterior in brick, it could work wonderfully shingled or in clapboard, perhaps even stucco.

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another riff on gill

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Another Gill-inspired project, this time taking planometric cues from Ungers, with a large central hall that cuts through three stories to a pyramidal skylight atop, wrapped in a continuous arcaded portico all around.  Maybe this one could do with killer attic spaces, for a fourth floor.

so i drew more courtyards

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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.

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studies in architectural linguistics

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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.

a house with a veranda

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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.

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a garden home

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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.

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