Saturday, October 23, 2010

Point Alternatives

   Bending the rules or breaking them to work for their own advantage? This question comes to mind when I ponder about what the alternative unit was about. The two stylistic periods that are bending and breaking the rules are those of the renaissance and baroque.
   The renaissance is known for the revival of the classic, making man the measurer of all things again. The only difference was that no building looked the same as any other. All the buildings have the same things in common, the unity or harmony with the architectural details through repetition, the geometric patterning and the separation of spaces that are found by boundaries, edges, and borders. The main goal was to cram everything they knew, into one building and it was mostly in the facade. It created a contradiction of the importance of the classical language that once had significance, into just something ordinary. For example Palladio’s Villa Capra, the once public sphere that was commonly visited in the Pantheon, now becomes a private sphere inside this villa. The importance of the dome has changed its meaning to fit Palladio’s design. The renaissance took the rules and pasted them like a collage.
   Baroque is basically known as a pretentious style period. It took the boundaries that were once used in the renaissance and expanded it until it broke out into the world. It was about intensifying everything they knew and creating a theatrical setting to provide some sort of experience for the viewer. Geometric shapes are now being used in a different way, changing the circle to an ellipse and a square into a diamond to create the sense of movement and making that the emphasis. The classical detailing is used to create movement and proportions and scale are forgotten to emphasis what the designer thought would be important. For example the Laurentian Library Vestibule by Michaelangelo, the steps are used to create the emphasis of the library. The detail becomes this rhythmic movement that surrounds the interior. The steps and detail become fluid throughout the space. Baroque took the classical rules and turned them into a paper ball and throwing them away.


   In class we were shown a picture of two different sculptures of the same person, David. Michaelangelo and Bernini took this person and portrayed him in different ways. They both had the concept and rule about what he was about to do to goliath. In both sculptures David has a slingshot in his hand, but both differ in how and what David is doing. Michaelangelo depicts him as this innocent boy that seems to have no care in the world, while Bernini interprets David as this warrior that is ready for victory. These two have different methods about how this person should be portrayed as, and that’s what I think the alternative unit was about, finding different ways in which a space, building and interiors can be designed. It was about taking the rules and either breaking them or bending them to best fit whatever the design was.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reading Comp. 4

[1] Just as we learned with Gothic cathedrals, in the context of each PLACE, the other scales of analysis(ARTIFACT, SPACE, and BUILDING) each demonstrate difference. For each scale on the readings rubric above, EXPLAIN at least one common design language that links them all. Use the principles and elements of design as defined for this class in your response. Explicitly tie the Roth reading to your analysis, using at least one cited quote. [10 points possible]

The new architecture was to be rationally comprehensible, formed of planes and spaces organized according to clear, numerical proportional systems, its edges and intervals delineated by the crisp elements of the ancient architectural orders. It was to be a celebration of human intellectual powers, but it was also an architecture that invited pleasurable human response, and once that door to sensory delight had been opened, there was no holding it shut. (Roth pgs. 391-393).
Classical orders remain throughout the course of time and place that have traveled along with the new settlements of the new world. It is shown through the artifacts, spaces, buildings and the places. Through out the course of time the style periods of Rococo and Early Neo-Classical have changed the styles of interiors and some exteriors, but the classical influences have been present throughout each piece of work that we have seen.
Each artifact found in different stylistic periods has the same concept of intricate design. The artifacts express a more personal position that expresses the owner’s lifestyle. They are symmetrical and balanced with repetitive ornamentation. These artifacts display the owner’s wealth and taste. The importance of these artifacts is that they are functional while being aesthetically pleasing. For example the Desk/Bookcase with Chinoiserie gives this functional yet visually pleasing piece of furniture. The Rococo influenced artifact, has the use of repetition of the flower motif that is symmetrical along both sides of the inside of the cabinet, even though it has a chaotic uncontrolled since of nature, it is still balanced within it. Another example would be the Sheraton Chair; the delicate ornamentation on the back of the chair shows the classical language of swags. Their geometric shapes are contrasted with the back’s ornamentation.

The spaces have the same intricate detail, some heavily ornamented and others simple. But there is still a classical influence in each of them; with geometric patterns, proportions and ornamentation. Each space provides its own contrast within the space; wither it be the contrast of light and dark, or delicate and mass, or even the contrast of the palette of the room with the contrast of the furniture within it. For example in Holkham hall saloon, the rosettes within the octagons create a dynamic texture that borders the top of the room through repetition. One could say that it took inspiration from the coffered ceiling from the pantheon and used the same technique of texture within its cieling. This texture adds to the contrast between the walls and ceiling.

The building themselves reflect past times. They mimic the classics by having classical ornamentation on the porticos. For example, Monticello and Chiswick have gotten inspiration from the villa rotunda, both having a dome on top of a square. The only difference is that both take risks into adding more geometric shapes. The buildings become more focused on geometric symmetry rather than decorating the exteriors. Drayton Hall is another example of the classics expressed in the exterior. The use of the Doric and Ionic orders to emphasized the entrance by the contrast of the materials.The classical orders and language were present in each place and stylistic time period.

[2] Linked to Europe, the ARTIFACTS, SPACES, BUILDINGS, and PLACES of the American colonies echo closely their design forebears. Selecting evidence from all four scales for both the American Georgian periods, TRACE the common design ancestry across the Atlantic Ocean in the Neo-Palladian and Late Georgian periods of England and the Louis XVI/French Provincial period in France. ARTICULATE the implications of copying from Europe for the American colonies. Use the principles and elements of design as defined for this class in your response. Explicitly tie the Roth reading to your analysis, using at least one cited quote. [10 points possible]

To a new world, a new set of rules? When the colonist left their homeland of England, Spain, France, Germany and Holland they brought with them what they knew, architecture, design and craft from the time in which they had left. They brought the influence in which they already grown to understand and the one that they only precedents they had. They only designed for the need of function and from that the beauty of them attached to them.
The artifacts in general were handcrafted out of wood; they used local materials that were available to them. They were very functional and the detail had the sense of boundaries. The artifacts are very symmetrical, and the ornamentation was repetitive, to create balance.
The spaces in general seemed to serve as a multifunctional room, some being more public than others. The color palette in each space had contrast and some central focus. The space was to show the wealth of the person.
The buildings themselves were influenced by the ancestry origin. This also had to deal with the local materials that were available to them. For example, adobe, which was used in Santa Fe, would not have been used in New York City, just because the material itself was not commonly found there.The colonist had trouble putting what they knew to their new environment. They had to change and modify certain things to fit their needs.
[3] From the Hersey/Freedman reading, DESIGN and POST a labeled floor plan of a possible Palladian villa inspired by Girolamo Frescobaldi’s Balletto Terzo found online at this site: select the link on the left side of the page with Frescobaldi’s name under multimedias [5 points possible]

As I was listening to the music, I noticed that there was repetition throughout it. Then in the reading it was listed that Palladio liked using ratio's in his floor plans. So I decided to use the perfect square with the ratio of 1:1 and place them side by side, them from there I Placed a rectangle with a ratio of 2:3, then to finish it the repetition of the the three 1:1 ratio square. From this concept of placing squares side by side the floor plan emerged.

[4] Using the resources at the weblink below, SPECULATE about whether you believe that the architecture and design in the Baroque period stands as a form of social performance in the theatre of the world. Support your response with examples from class and the assigned readings. [5 points possible]

“The world is a stage” a metaphor in which the baroque period embraced. The baroque interiors were filled of dramatic theatrical illusions that transported you from the world that you inhabit into the world in which is created. This world was created through the contrast of light, shade and shadow that were represented by painting, and statues and lighting in the interiors.
An example of a baroque interior with dramatic lighting is The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. The mirrors reflect the lighting of the interior across the windows, where the natural light penetrates the space. The gold gilded statues also allow the light to shimmer throughout the space. The light illuminates the vaulted ceiling bringing the paintings to life. Creating this never-ending source of light and depth in nature through the paintings.

An example of theatricality is the Trevi Fountain; this fountain provides a sense of movement in which the viewer is engaged into the stillness of the statues in contrast to the moving water. The water also provides this hearing aid along with the visual aid of movement. The statues themselves are life like almost seeming as if they were to breathe and move at any moment along with the water.

Baroque itself became the greater theatre stage that people would have to take a second glance. Its soul purpose was to engage the viewer and create this moment of awe, inspiration, and transport the mindset to a different place. Just like theatre baroque was the drama queen of the stylistic periods.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Point 2: Foundation

The foundation unit was based on the establishment of everything. Everything had its start from somewhere. From the first settlements, in Mesopotamia, China, Ohio valley, and Teotihuacán, had one common theme and that is the form of stacking. They built using natural material that surrounded them and used them to their advantage, in this case stacking; from there, walls and cities were created. They built upon what they understood, from prototypes; in this case life and death, which helped form the look of the city. One example of this was the Teotihuacan society where they had the sun and moon temple that could be described as the life and death temple. These temples are an example of how through the use of stacking monuments were formed.

Egypt took this concept of stacking and formed the pyramids on the west and the city in the east. They took their religion and theory of what they knew of life and developed a city to reflect their beliefs. Using the natural material around them they stacked up each block to form the pyramids. But before they were pyramids it was the mestaba an underground burial place for the dead. Then taking that form and stacking one on top of the other created the step pyramid; leading up to what the pyramids that we familiarize with are created. In the hypostyle hall they had stylized lotus columns that would become the prototype of future societies to view them. Their way of narrating their society’s life became the ornamentation of their time, and a history marked literally in time. Within their own society there was a since of prototype, and archetype.

Greece borrowing from Egypt took the stylized column and used it to their advantage, becoming what we know as the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. Having a different view of life changed the concept and set of architecture. They believed in living for the day and making everything perfect and aesthetically pleasing. They had the method of keeping everything proportional and symmetrical basing it off of the diameter of the columns used in the structure. Different from how Egypt had set up their city, Greece was very harmonious in having an a-symmetrical balance in their arrangement. The columns were used as a structural support and a method of keeping everything proportional, because it had its own equation to keep everything in order. Even within their first attempts to find the perfect balance of diameter and height of column was the prototypes of the Grecian temples. Compared to the previous temple columns the improved version is much slimmer and proportional. Becoming the archetype in which different methods would be tested and refined to its full potential.

Rome had the precedents of both Egypt and Greece to construct their empire. They stacked and reused what was available to them. They combined, mixed and matched the styles to add decoration to their architecture. With what they had they built upon it and came up with new structures due to what the people needed. It was the need for innovation in which they created new forms. They revisited Egypt’s use of story telling in trajan’s column. The columns themselves changed from not only being structural support but ornamentation as well. Rome was now being the hybrid because they incorporated different elements. A good example of stacking from Rome is the Roman Coliseum. This structure used the columns that were once seen in the Grecian society as architectural support, as a decorative system stacking the orders on top of one another.

It is not uncommon that stacking remained throughout the centuries and that is also being used currently. We are constantly looking back at previous societies to see what they had to offer in design. We only use what is important just like they did and morphed it to whatever our needs are in society. Each society has a major influence to one another and the same is true for modern cultures. Whether we are actually stacking the columns on top of each other or stacking and building upon the ideas and concepts once used ancient societies.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Compass: Foundation Unit

For the compass assignment I decided to to go with a word to describe the unit. The scale that I used was building, in this case the Roman Colosseum. The word that I choose was "Foundation". I personally felt that this word is the best word to describe this unit. I saw the Roman society as the foundation of this modern world in which we inhabit today. They lived with precedents and incorporated them in their structures. The columns stacked one on top of the other is a detail found in the Roman Colosseum, but I saw this as an innovative way in which the Roman's saw their society moving, just like the columns progressing in detail, so was the structure. I put the map of the Italy in the background to show that the Colosseum is a symbol of it. Then the Corinthian capital shows the natural aspect in which it was based on.

Reading Comp.3


Salisbury vs. Cologne Cathedral

Light in cathedrals have a lot to do with how the mood is set in the building. The light in both cathedrals is filtered by the stained glass, creating this mystery setting to represent the mystery of faith. When the light shines through the stained glass it illuminates the religious stories. The materials used inside the building help glisten the whole interior, helping the viewer lead their eyes towards the heavens, giving the sense of verticality. The nave in both of these buildings is where the light emphasizes the verticality of the structure. However, the way the light illuminates each nave is different. The Salisbury Cathedral has paintings on the vaulted ceiling; a person might notice this as their eyes are looking toward to the “heavens”. On the other hand, the Cologne Cathedral has no other narrative other than the stain glass windows illuminated by light. Light is such an important factor in these structures because it represents their faith, and their search for a higher being.

Salisbury vs. Amiens Cathedral

The Salisbury and Amiens Cathedral were both started in the same year 1220. The Salisbury Cathedral finished in 1266 while the Amiens finished in 1269.Both of them have about the same length as well the only difference is the width and height, Amiens being vertically taller and Salisbury spreading out horizontally. The Salisbury Cathedral was built on the outskirts of the old city of Sarum, therefore giving it more free area around it, and then a city was built around it later on. The main purpose of this Cathedral was simply for worship. Whereas the Amiens Cathedral was built within the city and had several other functions other than worship. The Amiens is a French Cathedral, which has a lot of vertical lines throughout the place creating the optical illusion that it is higher than what it really is. Salisbury being an English Cathedral, the horizontal line kept the vertical dimensions lower on the Continent. Therefore one is much wider than the other. Since the Amiens’ nave was much larger it needed to have more support, therefore creating the flying buttresses. Each Cathedral had their differences but both expressed the vertical notion in different ways.

Salisbury vs. Florence (Duomo)

Surely when you take a glimpse of both the Salisbury and Duomo Cathedral they leave quite an impression. The Salisbury Cathedral is more vertical and gothic, where as the Duomo has domes. Clearly when the Salisbury is compared to the Duomo, it has a darker palette, and gothic feel, the flying buttresses on the outside and the stained glass windows, it took religion seriously by just focusing on the structure as a place to worship. The Duomo on the other hand embraced a different architectural form and used it as a different way to express the religion; it was more playful in a way because of its light palette. The exterior as well shows no gothic influence, there are no flying buttresses on the outside but the domes replace it. The dome itself was made of brick, which has a playful tone in contrast with the stone that was mostly used in Salisbury. Both have crucifix plans, but one is more geometrical than the other.

2. In medieval ages the kitchen was a separate building until stone and brick constructions were developed because they were originally constructed out of wood. As you can tell in the picture, behind her are small rectangular slits, these were the windows used in the earlier time period. As the need for protection decreased the window form opened up and began to form bays. This kitchen could have been a part of a castle that was enclosed for protection. Since the medieval ages was also known as the dark ages, because of its violent history.