It’s been a long week of Mies, Mies, and yet more Mies. So here’s a bit of a respite from the daunting Modernism his work exemplifies: Karl Friedrich Schinkel. And yet, there’s something afoot – a link between Mies and Schinkel, which I am definitely not the first to make (see Kenneth Frampton and Thomas Beeby). But whatever the reason, take a little solace in the capitals, pilasters, and peristyles – if only for the now.
Though taking its detailing from Greek antiquity, with a Doric portico in antis, this small structure is thoroughly modern in its four-square plan. One enters off-center, in fact, the center is occupied by a column, and the front portico is only made of two columns, with one corner being a bearing wall (this wall is the in antis part). An exedra flanks the main skylit volume. Two variations follow.
We all know what gas stations look like here in America – banal. Yet, the same ‘Mid-Century’ Modernism that is so popular right now also tidied up these rather pedestrian buildings as well. Mies van der Rohe even tried his hand at one in Montreal as part of a larger development. However, decades of neglect and changing cultural tastes have obscured the once minimal elegance of these structures. I drove past an example in Santa Monica that had been covered up in all the various and cheap appliques of ‘Mediterranean’ style. If Modernism could love this typology, could good Classicism? Behold, the fruits of such thinking – Doric porticos and pyramidal skylights.
I was digging through my sketchbooks and found a nice little partial wormseye axonometric drawing that should have been a part of an earlier post. This one may be a bit more difficult to understand, seeing as it’s a pretty unusual type of drawing. But effectively, what I’ve done is drawn a corner of the project looking from underneath the building, as if the ground wasn’t there.
A glass gallery surrounded by a Doric peristyle, within an Ungers-esque wrapper – in plan, elevation, wormseye, and corner details.