My apologies for a lack of posting in recent months, between the holidays and another licensing exam, my drawing and posting output has been admittedly underwhelming.
But enough of that. This is a long, gabled hall with a large hearth dominating the principal axis and full-height windows along the middle, topped with a square pyramidal skylight set at a diagonal. Entry is by low porches at either end, flanking the hearths. Formally, this takes influence from the main dining room at Charles Whittlesey’s El Tovar hotel along the south rim of the Grand Canyon, where my wife and I enjoyed a Boxing Day brunch. My own predilection for Mies-ian staircases, the diagonally-placed skylight, and the half-round dormer windows make it worthy of a post on frame. Elevations follow.
Beginning with Mies’ chapel at IIT, this quick project extrapolates his frame-and-infill, steel-and-brick, pavilion into a basilica form, with a full apse and a hipped roof. A square skylight orients the modernist square volume, while dormer gables pierce the trabeated apse. A more exuberant roof study follows.
Today’s piece stems from an industrial building I passed by at Los Angeles’ wastewater treatment plant. The original was a blue corrugated steel box on diagonally braced stilts, with triangular recesses and frames above second story doors. I have no idea what this is used for. None. But The deliberateness of the design was evident, as the entire plant had been drawn up by Anthony Lumsden, a techno-postmodernist. So I clad it in shingles, inspired by some triangular dormers by Ike Kligerman Barkley, and set it on a chunky Tuscan colonnade (a la Graves), and called it ‘house’.
Let’s start with the detail this time, reading top to bottom: 1.) A shingled wall curves in to meet a stucco wall in a re-entrant corner. Square windows are cut from this, mullioned into the four-square, with small, beveled squares around. 2.) This shingle wall is the second story with a colonnade below, the stucco is an otherwise blank wall, with only one tall window cutting through the middle and terminating in a dormer at the roof. 3.) This tall window only hints at the circular interior volume behind, one side a stair, the other an entry. Other than that, no record of the two wall systems is traced on the interior, where only the radius of the curve exists. 4.) And just like that, we’re back at the detail again.
Lacking any particular program (that is, use), this courtyard structure plays on several ideas: the plan is neither a true double-courtyard, neither is it truly H-shaped (where the courts would be open on one side); one half of the project is more abstract modernist while the other is more expressly traditional; glass walls sit next to Classical colonnades; all the while the two side volumes are topped with that dormer I posted a few weeks back.
Two outer walls are traditionally detailed, while the porticos between them take on an abstract formalist language. The cubic volume of the villa proper is more Mies-ian, and is topped with large shingled hip roof (with the dormer I featured yesterday), while a round stair tower sits on the other side of the far wall (alla John Hejduk’s ‘Wall House’ series).
Between reading a biography on H. H. Richardson and glancing through one of Michael Graves’ volumes, I thought up this little dormer – taken from the cantilevered round dormers found throughout Richardson’s work (and the Shingle Style at large), and met it with a perfect circular window (divided into nine lites, of course) such as Graves was wont to use, and made into a lantern of sorts, having windows on two sides. My documentation of Graves’ examples follows.