Thursday, April 28, 2011

St. Marys House Design

For our final project we were ask to take a local church Saint Marys House located in college hill which is one on Greensborros historical districts and research the building and history then translate that research into the design of the building as a home and a place for visiting writers. The space had to include an area for public readings as well as a living space for the visiting writers.


I started off my design with the concept of shifting and how that idea could be used to direct people through the house and focus their attention. This concept is evident from the moment you walk through the front door when i walk in and notice the 3 floor to ceiling panels that absorb sound from the door in case a reading is going on. Also on both sides of the entrance is sofas and a table that allow for informal meetings with colleagues and students. After you walk around the panel you are in the public reading area where the room is filled with book shelves and create a natural area for the reader to stand and behind this space there is a folding pained glass wall that allows for the focus to be on the reader not what is located behind them. This wall also allows for multiple things to be going on at once and them not to clash.

The section elevations are a little confusing but shoe the angled walls and the public and Private entrances.

last Blog Post of the year

Over the semester we have learned about different objects, spaces, buildings, and places that influence design and how we interpret that design into our design process. For our last blog post we were ask to pick our favorite element in each category.

I believe teacups are important to me because of the detail that is places on such a small object and the attention to that ornamentation is what makes drinking out of one feel special to me. Teacups make such a mundane everyday habit of drinking tea seam set apart and i look forward to drinking out of my teacup each and everyday.

As a child i would hide in the kitchen cabinets while my mom was cooking and that space full of  things that with a little imagination became my personal toy box. This space wasn't mine for long cause my dad would always try to find me and join in on my play time, plus it was a little space that i soon outgrew.  This space isn't so much about the design but the memories that it holds that makes it a well designed space.

The Swan Tower helps push architecture to a new and modern age where buildings an relics are not only ornate but also industrial and un-remarkably breath taking. The Swan bell tower incorporates glass to create a light and airy feeling to the design, where the use of the concrete on the base created a strong Ora. The base of the tower reflects the many design shapes utilized in Australia's architecture as well as the sails of the Opera House in Sydney. This bell tower is a startling contrast between the use of the heavy and light materials. This building is reflective of the great strength of the surrounding land scape and the harshness of the climate while also being reflective of the calm and serene ocean which is a large influence of the countries culture.
For as long as i can remember my family has took a summer vacation to Ockracoke, this trip involves aunts uncles grandparents and cousins and after the week it seams like we have grown even closer since we spend so muck time of the trip together. The island itself has no modern amenities and because of this i realize all the wonders of the world around me and how the beaches and just the island itself gives me a sense of calmness and relaxation since it is my own personal getaway from my everyday busy life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Unit Summary #3

Explorations during this time period were pushed by advances in technology and this shoved design and architecture forward. New building practices allowed for more risk and height to be added to design and The Worlds Fairs showed this off. The Buildings that were built to showcase what each country was doing were built with the newest practices to show the world that the country was one of power and importance. The purpose of the worlds fairs were to commemorate design and promote commercial products and show a collaborative design language for the time period also the fairs were held in certain locations as a celebratory event. For example when England held the Fair in the 1851, the London World Fair supported the building of the Crystal palace. The crystal palace was the longest building in the world at the time and by doing this it showed the world the power of London and how they were in the race to be the best and most forward in design and technology.
The interior of the Crystal Palace

During the times of the Worlds fairs came a debate of handmade or machine made. This debate created the Arts and Crafts movement where artisans created works of art and revolted against embracing the new building technology of the time. The Robie House in Chicago designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was on of the houses that embrace the arts and craft movement as well as taking it to a new level since Wright designed every single piece of furniture placed in this prairie style house. This way of Design to Wright was all about "shaping the experience" of those who entered the house. The arts and crafts movement was about the attention to details to make the home special and a experience.

Exterior Shot of the Robie House

After the arts and craft movement came a art movement called art nouveau and art deco which was prominent in 1880-1920. This movement showed a interest in metal and exploration of material and light. At the time all designers were on a quest to be modern and they found modernism by using inspiration from the past in the baroque period of design. The Casa Mila designed by Antonio Gaudi was made to show fluidity through its gentle curves and has strong ties to the baroque style while also having some ties to skeletal structure. Gaudi said “building should not fall over under sunlight of at all possible."

Casa Mila exterior walls showing movement

At this time in history it was a time of was and the implications of the war to design was drastic. With war came a greater need for new technology so this influenced everyone’s quest for modernism but they all choose to do it differently using the newly discovered design techniques. Otto Wagner choose to celebrate the buildings systems in the Postal Savings Bank where Josef Hoffman focused on surface material in his design of the Palais Stoclet in Vienna. The war made labor cheap so to create jobs many buildings were built to stimulate the economy like the Empire State Building by Shreve, lamb + Harmon. With the expansion of building techniques came building codes because skyscrapers were becoming more popular and in doing so created the need to allow light to the streets. The solution to this problem was proposed by William Van Allen with the design of the Chrysler Building the solution was building a structure that as it grew taller it stepped in creating a way for light to reach the streets.
Step in method

The drive for modernism became even stronger as time went on as designers pushed the limits of what modernism was and Corbusier was making an attempt at post modernism with the Notre Dame Du Haut. Out of modernism came the international style where no matter where buildings were they were identical not taking into consideration the surroundings at all. Because of this there was a conversation going on between modern architects about wither purpose was or was not necessary to make a building beautiful. While this conversation was going on there was a rise of the mega firm which made a larger gap between designers and clients. As a result of these conversations Decorators came about making a modern classical revival and reviving the past arts and crafts movement.

Scandinavian design soon came about any changed what modernism was about. Scandinavian design was all about simplistic minimal design that was functional. To the Scandinavians functionality was the basic element that all design needed and they also believed that design could solve problems in rooms instead of creating them.

Today in design we all draw inspiration from the past and still embrace new ideas and practices and as technology moves forward so will design and there is no telling what will come about for architecture in the future we can only wait and stand in amazement at the structures that are created.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blog Post # 13

  Scandinavian design is all about simplicity, minimalism, and functionality. This attention to clean lines and purpose directly inspires modern design in today's culture by allowing us to focus on reasons for furniture pieces rather than useless ornamentation and bulky pieces that take up the entire room. Design today is all about taking pieces of furniture and making them appropriate for all situations and uses as well as all times in our lives. Some examples of things that are reminiscent of Scandinavian design in our society today are...

                cribs that change and grow with your child .....



and chairs that are so simple and clean you can't help but wanting to own them.....

         to rooms that are so stream lined you never want them to get cluttered.


Reading Response # 13


- Designed by Eladio Dieste who was originally an engineer
- Dieste reputation was made by building structures with exceptional spans and beauty
- Most of the buildings he designed just like the Church of Christ the Worker used Gaussian vaults which are self supporting shells that are bent and folded so they have limited lateral thrust.
- The Church of Christ the Worker is located in Atabtida Uruguay.
- The church was built in 1958-1960

"This building is a simple rectangle, with sidewalls rising up in undulating curves to the maximum amplitude of their arcs (Ching,772). "

If you look upward in the church you notice the interplay of light which is obtained by small openings in the roof that brings light into the building. This light is symbolic of the presence of God in the church as well as the holy and pure nature of the church which is why Dieste constructed the building in this manner.

The structure of this building is representive of Uruguayan Modernism and shows how the buildings can be constructed in such a way that it is stronger than one with an avarage rectalinear form. During the 50's and 60's Eladio Dieste realized the need to minamize the cost of framework so he created movable scaffolding for the walls that were made of brick and thin-shell structures.  This allowed him to create The Church of Christ the Worker which uses folds and creases in the sides with the new Scaffolding technology to enable the walls to be thin enough to allow light to penatrate the building and make the walls glow which gives off warmth to the space. The Church of Christ the Worker is an excellent example of the power, art, and economy possible when local labor, traditional building practices, and forward thinking are combined.

Ching pg. 723-790
Roth pg. 537-565

Two Views of Design- extra credit post

In considering the differences between the design process of Charles and Ray Eames verses the process on HDTV i came to realize they were two very different approaches neither right or wrong just different. The Eames believed in having substance to design rather than just slapping stuff of the surface and they had a overall design theory behind the spaces not just placing things in a space because it looks good like they do on HDTV. However there is a aspect of the HDTV design process that surpasses just having a degree in design the designers actually do things and produce designs that clients and the general public appreciate. The overall argument between the two views of design is wither education and credentials make for a better designer or if they don't make a difference in the ability to create a holistic design that clients except.  In my option design is something outside of what school you went to or if u didn’t attend one at all it is considering the design as a whole and thinking about different ways people will view that design. Designers must consider the environment the structure will be built in, thinking about how it will integrate into the existing environment, and also about how views of the structure may change depending on angle, time of day, and other factors. In addition, the designer considers how the space will feel from the inside, and what kind of messages should be sent with the space.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Theory Reading # 5

For this we were ask to review 3 different places of design inspiration. Most of my inspiration comes from looking at the world around me and picking out details to include in my design.

The place i most commonly go for design ideas is a blog called A Schematic Life in which a interior designer post images of things she has designed and post videos on how to render spaces. This website helps me groom my rendering style and make my drawings more unique.

Another place i go to for inspiration is a online store called West Elm. In my option this store is a place that has interesting products and furniture that i love and it helps my picture my designs in my head so that i can better communicate them to everyone else.

Finally the last place that i go to for inspiration is Ikea i visit the online store as well as go to the one located near my house in Denver. This design is very Scandinavian inspired and all the lines and products show me how to use simplicity in my designs.  Also i find that in visiting the actual store i learn about how to stage a room to make it seem more inviting and through adding extra things like books and vases you can start to understand the design more and how it works with the space.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reading Response # 12


View of the Capital building that connects not only the two axes intersection but also a vertical axes on the landscape making the building stand out on the horizon which awards power to the building and the departments inside of it.

- Modern architecture served as a expression of national identity and reached its highest point with the creation of Brasillia in 1956.
- This new capital was created to create a geographically assessable capital for the whole country
- Oscar Niemeyer was chosen as the architect to design the main buildings for the capital.
- To prepare the master plan a competition was held and Lucio Coasta was chosen.
- To aid in modernization it was made to be accessible mainly by airplane.
- Costa's plan separated habitation, recreation, work, and circulation designed around the two axes intersection.


"Together the saucer and dome, lifted clear above trhe ground on a giant platform, make a memorable skyline, self-consciously designed as the icon of Brasilia"
 - Ching page 756

Senate Chamber with a traditional dome over it. 

Chamber of Deputies in the form of a upward turned bowl.

This was the first of many modern designed structures in Brasilia and after World War II the architecture of Brasilia became widely influential around the world. This architecture even made its way the the United Stated when the Foreign Ministry of Brasilia inspired the model for New York City's Lincoln Center. It is evident that through history architecture travels across all boundaries and makes its way into new buildings in other city’s and country’s. From this i have learned that all good design has some precedence in the past no matter if we meant for it to or not since all ideas come from somewhere.


Blog Post # 12


When thinking of the concept of good design for all i started to think about something that benefits multiple people and i remembered the recently built bridge that connects China to Hong Kong. See this just isn’t a normal bridge because in Hong Kong they drive on the left side of the road and in china they drive on the right so the connection between these two country’s was always confusing and dangerous. After some time of planning the Dutch firm NL Architects proposed a brilliant, simple solution, the Flipper bridge. This concept of using the figure 8 shape to lower one side of traffic and allow it to pass under the other lane bringing it up on the other side of the road was a clever solution the the problem the firm had to face with this design.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unit Summary #2


It holds your thought,
your mind is caught,
it's backward elevation.
You see reverberation,
in your latest incarnation.
You think it's a sensation,
but it's just reverberation.

Throughout time there have been many patterns one of with is the pattern of reverberations. Reverberation is the collection of reflected sounds from the surfaces in an enclosure like an auditorium. In design this is equivalent to how design styles and practices are echoed over the globe and eventually run together so that you can not tell them apart. However there have been times of distinct styles and architecture practices which are a period of making rules and following then, followed by a time of breaking those rules, and then a period of putting them back together again.

 Assume that the sound source is a design language and the listener is someone trying to identify that language. That language is broken up and echoed every where else and is mixed with others sources making a combinations of languages.

In 400 to 800 A.D the Gothic style was the main way of building large structures. This style is characterized by the steep inclines on towers and spreading out of the building horizontally and the repetition of forms. All these elements make the structures dominate the landscape and demand a sense of hierarchy to the community. Along with this era came a set of RULES OF DESIGN. These rules created a universal set of design practices in the east and west and tied the two areas together. Some of the rules are
  • Revive the past with classical language which is using precedence to influence design and celebrating the ancient styles.
  • Strive for harmony and order so that everything belongs together and presents clarity and rationality.
  • Layer groves and stacks when possible.
  • Celebrate surface through materiality.
  • Place man at the center of ALL design.
  • Representing what you see through perspective.
  • Expanding the physical world
All these rules connected the time and countries together but sadly since the rules had been written down it was now time to BREAK THEM.

The style that broke all these rules was the Baroque and Rococo movements. Both movements push the envelope of design in making things look like they could not happen. This style was one of highly decorated structure so the eye did not know where to stop and the elements ungulates in and out, up and down so you felt a sense of movement similar to flowing water. This era was one of leaping outside the design box but toward the end of the movement the styles were moved outside the home into the gardens and lawn and the homes moved back inside the box that was built according the the OLD RULES OF DESIGN.

Putting the rules back together was more about taking all the past precedence including the baroque and rococo movements and incorporating them into the pre-existing set of rules, codes, and conventions through which meanings particular to specificity social groups are made universal. These new buildings were all about symmetry, balance, and boundaries. The inside design also reflects this by matching sets of furniture and more gentile decorations.

[sources]  (used for poem about reverberation however the blog didn't have who wrote it)

Blog Post # 11

There is one motivating factor that carries throughout history and drives everyone to pursue being modern and it is simply being 


The drive for modern is fueled by the drive to always have the newest shiny toy. At the begening of the 20th century came a time of reform in design where the movement changed the OLD to NEW.

Something that is always changing and it seams like a new version come out evey other day is technology. I remember when my moms cell phone was a brick and had extreamly limited ablities and now we have iPhones that are basically small computers that can control pretty much everything we want it to.


Monticello and Falling Water


Falling Water
  After the field trip i believe that falling water is the best designed out of the two locations simply because you can tell that the floor plan and layout and overall design was more thought out and planned carefully rather than just making adaptations as it was being built like with Monticello. Falling Water also has a more interesting construction with the cantilever support system where as Monticello has a more normal Colonial Construction. However for the time period they were built in both houses were appropriate for the design movement at the time so i respect both designs but identify with falling water for Frank Lloyd Wrights modern design.

Here are some floor plans i made from memory of Falling Water