The story of where these ideas come from is a hodgepodge, so let’s just talk about what this is: a circular atrium in the middle of a nine-square plan demarcated with Corbusian piloti-cum-columns, with its four corners filled with circles: two circles are set up as objects, while two others are strung together with a larger radius. All of this sits below a blank square volume, continuing the allusion to Villa Savoy, with a strong gable at the roof line.
Taking cues from the Craig Ellwood project I featured a few weeks ago, this generic office building places a large glass box off the ground, ringed at grade with reflecting pools. The drama is in the circular courtyard hidden inside, which is conical in section, flaring open to the sky above. Corner staircases echo the circular motif.
Driving through El Segundo the other week, I ran across a nice Miesian office block. A quick internet search for the name ‘Xerox’ which was left stained on a concrete wall and I stumbled across an all too familiar name – Craig Ellwood (Originally built for Scientific Data Systems, which was later bought out by Xerox). A floor plan confirmed my suspicions – a perfect square on 64 columns, raised one floor off the ground with a directional access given by two long walls on the east and west facades, and storefront gazing on the north and south, all centered on a cubic central atrium. The details are almost perfect derivatives of Mies’, but the vertical window mullions stop at the spandrel panels rather than continue full height as MVDR would have done (see Murphy’s Daley Center compared with Mies’ IBM tower). The whole project is undergoing a less than inspiring renovation by SOM, with absolutely no heed for the building module and planted ‘green’ walls. Too bad.
This is a collection of market types, with four ancient Greek stoae on the ground level, double stairs up to the second floor market halls, skylit, and further to the commodities trading levels within the tower. An atrium spans between the four levels. An enlarged plan of the entry lobby finishes the drawing set.
This church type is actually a collection of types – a Colonial American meeting house makes up the sanctuary, while flanked with the choir and apse of a more traditional Anglican church, accessed by an almost domestic-scaled atrium. The level of detail and poche changes with each individual element.