ARCHITECTONICS: SPRING SEMESTER 2015
Associate Professor Mersiha Veledar, Instructor Adam Longenbach, and Instructor Savina Romanos
Scale is a fundamental principle of architecture and one of the most crucial challenges every young architect should begin to examine and understand through basic observations in proportions, measures, constructions, assemblies and most importantly, arche-typical conditions in space. These become key studies in creating new inventive typologies in form and structure.
WINDOWS DOORS SKYLIGHTS COLUMNS FLOORS WALLS STAIRS
The students began the first phase of the Studio by drawing FULL-SCALE fragments of a randomly selected arche-typical element. In this full scale stage, the act of “framing” becomes key. The students isolated a significant ‘part condition’ to capture the unique essence of the assembly. Each element varies based on a unique ARCHE-TYPICAL CONDITION, for example flat vs. deep window. This isolated, framed condition then becomes a conceptual ALPHABET revealing a series of autonomous figures in either plan or section. Basic understanding of assemblies and prospective PART-FIGURESof walls, columns, floors and openings at full scale within measured dimensions, proportions, and assembly procedures starts to create a lexicon of architectural foundations in TECTONICS.
This individual tectonic lexicon subsequently becomes the next significant authored act, where the type (after having been drawn as a distinct assembled system) is de-assembled. Autonomous figures are further isolated to produce a constructivist de-assembly and a set of foundational drawings providing a lexicon of figures with which to work.
This ‘kit of parts’ lexicon provides the foundations for the next phase of the work. Based on various (given) topological architectural detail fragments of elements and their prospective standards, an underlying basis for design genesis, construction methods, principles and variations is set from the start.
To promote the spirit of such experimentation, the studio briefly looked at Ray and Charles Eames’ Powers of Ten as a model experiment (filmed solely in plan) that shows a multitude of scales in a ten minute sequence. The students selected three (3) scenes at three (3) scales, and were encouraged to create a sequence of EXPERIMENTAL marks and figures though a series of overlapped notational experiments, such as acetone transfer, where the ‘result’ is new and unexpected and not pre-decided. These SCALAR marks create their own set of ‘parts.’
This sequence produced a robust set of marks, some of which were selectively incorporated in the de-assembled tectonic catalogue, encouraging the students to not be afraid to test the limits of novel experimental notational strategies in lieu of architectural form-making.
[1/2” = 1’-0”, 1/4” = 1’-0”, and 1/8” = 1’-0”]
The following phase of the Studio begins to use MAPPINGS of the previously discovered alphabet of elemental “parts and figures” to be transformed through a series of tectonic operations in order to generate an INHABITABLE OBJECT. Within the limits of a cubic space, each student identifies his element (wall, column, opening [doors, windows, skylights], etc.) and its unique condition, and uses its programmatic limitation to create a new inhabitable space through a series of applied tectonic operations in order to generate a new spatial TRANS-FORMATION.
Having a choice between 1/2” = 1’-0”, 1/4” = 1’-0”, and 1/8” = 1’-0” scale, each student starts to make a series of informed decisions to scale down and articulate a high level of detail to define human inhabitation within the limitations of a prescribed CUBIC LIMIT. Intentional tectonic acts of repetition, voiding, rotation, extension, subtraction, and addition (among many others) are used to generate a new type of spatial construct within the guidelines of creating an inhabitable space. The ability to understand principles of experimentation within a notational scalar transformation becomes key in basic development of design principles.
EXTEND EXTRUDE BUNDLE/CLUSTER
SPLIT FUNNEL INTERSECT/INTERLOCK
SUSPEND CANTILEVER DISPLACE
SHIFT VOID SHEAR EMBED
PUNCTURE INSCRIBE CUT/SUBTRACT FOLD
The following phase begins to identify and invent, at any scale, a sequence of FIELD CONDITIONS and a new SITE DOMAIN. Students scale down their unique objects, cut into their ‘TABULA RASA’ field conditions to begin to test how they could work in parallel with either the remainder of the projects generated by the entire studio or their own individual syntax. This process allows one to develop an understanding of architectural FIGURES past the boundaries of an ‘object’ assembly CROP, with a challenge of creating and projecting a new tectonic SITE. How do these elements and objects extend, repeat and position themselves on an implicit site? How do they meet one another? Should they meet? Explicit and implicit projection of grids, details, objects and vectors sets the underlying basis of construction towards a new invented site armature.
The last phase of the Studio initiates an enlarged architectural FRAGMENT in the concluding stage of each individual project. This highlights the trans-formation of each work and prospective element throughout the semester. Each student’s body of work -- or sequence of inventions -- of a typical fragment re-introduced how each project and their prospective element have trans-formed during the semester in the conceptual categorization and active engagement in the larger dialogue on the FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS of architecture.
Dear Professor Veledar,
Thank you for the pictures you sent me.
I wanted to thank you once again for an incredible semester. I assimilated that I had learned so much when I got back to my country and started seeing what I had always known as a child in new ways, and discovered new relationships I had never thought of before. Its amazing what a semester with you can do to us. Thank you for being such a great mentor, and for absolutely always being there for us. I truly valued and know how lucky we all were to have a professor who put so much time, effort, and dedication to her class.
I annexed some photos of the End of the Year show of my model in which the light is making magic plus an extra one of us :)
See you soon!
All the best,
· Healy Leah Chait(Window)
· Junmin Chung (Stair)
· Julia DiPietro (Wall)
· Stav Eilam (Wall)
· Mireya Fabregas (Skylight)
· Chad Fellon (Window)
· Luis Figallo (Stair)
· Cyrus Henry (Floor)
· Yoonsang Jo (Stair)
· Yuval Kenigsberg Bentov (Column)
· Stephen Ku (Wall)
· Vaughn Lewis (Skylight)
· Joyce Li (Door)
· Parker Limon (Skylight)
· Natalia Oliveri (Stair)
· Patrisa Pruthi (Window)
· Kevin Savillon (Window)
· Daniel Smaranda (Skylight)
· Nichil Stewart (Door)
· Arnauld Sylvain (Window)
· Chuyi Wu (Door)
· Zhenni Zhu (Floor)