It’s been far too long – apologies are in order.
But today it’s back to basics: square and arches. The first project is a simple study of a simple idea, instigated by an awful homespun diy renovation in my neighborhood, where a series of plaster arches had been tacked up under a shallow roof overhang, obscuring the clapboard home beneath. I’ve ordered it a bit more, rendered in a square with access via brick steps at the corners – a four square clapboard home sheltered behind a humanist arcade.
The second project is another simple pavilion, this time with rounded corners and centralized access. A quick study to the right explores an arcuated form, with a centralized column instead, harkening back to the four square plan mentioned above.
Something interesting today – A shallow gabled house sandwiched between two oversized hemispherical porches, with large conical roofs above. The house itself is clad in clapboard, while the porches are colonnaded and shingled. A tall lantern caps the central volume to bring light into an otherwise dim space. The house itself is divided into a cubic central dining room, with a kitchen/bathing alcove to one side and a sleeping alcove to the other, while the expansive porches are intended to be the primary ‘living rooms’. Elevations and axonometrics below.
This project attempted to talk to both the vernacular-traditionalism v. minimal-modernist dichotomy and the art v. architecture dialogue, taking one of the central figures of American modern art (and himself an influential figure to many American modern architects) and running him alongside a long history of American traditional vernacular form.
I took a simple, three-square concrete sculpture of his, untitled (1991), and rendered it in the most prototypical of American vernacular architecture, clapboard. One rendition maintains the homogeneity of Judd’s concrete as a single clapboard volume (‘abstraction wrapped in ‘vernacular’ ‘), and the other rendered as a full building, with a shingled roof and brick foundation (‘abstraction become vernacular’).
Oregon has a large number of covered bridges, where the wood trusses had to be protected from the persistent damp and subsequent rot and failure. These are simple, rectangular, white clapboard (or board & batten) gabled ‘houses’, concealing impressive, large-scale Howe trusses inside. I find engineered structures to have a brutal beauty, especially those of the early 20th Century, and often believe the Historic American Engineering Record to be much more fascinating than its architectural counterpart. These covered bridges offer a wonderful contrast between the utilitarian trussed interiors and the domestic exterior form. There might just be another project somewhere in there. . .
Another vernacular form taken from my Oregon drive. This one, the study of roof masses, with a four-gabled volume over a hipped porch. I’ve taken this to it’s logical extent, with square-in-square, and a continuous, cubic central ‘house’. The reality is that this is no house whatsoever, at least not at this scale. Perhaps more of an elaborate cabin. Miesian stairs offer access from all four sides.
The final drawing represents a different formal operation on the same floor plan, with a single pyramidal roof replacing the hips and gables, echoing Asplund’s Woodland Chapel.
Or not. Maybe just a hut then. A four-square hut. With a porch on one side and a matching sleeping alcove on the other. And a single wood stove. A small kitchenette as well. And plenty of bookshelves. Or maybe a different roof altogether in place of the four gables? An inverted butterfly perhaps? I think so. Much more interesting than the bucolic nonchalance of that first drawing.
Taking cues from the myriad of agricultural and vernacular forms I spotted on my trip up Yosemite-way the other week, this small square structure features a prominent gable on two ends, with a raised, ventilated mini-gable at the center bay, and a lantern above that on the center bay. The eaved sides are treated as small colonnades, with single doors running each length.