Today’s post is a small pavilion, four-square with on-center columns at each facade, radius-ed corners, each topped with a miniature turret and blended into a larger hip roof. Bits of Richardson clash with modernist modularity, postmodern idiom, and multiple readings in the plan (a diamond? a cruciform? nine-square even?). While I’ve drawn the exterior in brick, it could work wonderfully shingled or in clapboard, perhaps even stucco.
Linguistics, or the study of language, is today’s topic, expressed in four buildings: On the left, traditional languages are used to express a four square plan (top), and a nine square plan (bottom), with floor plans on the left and ceiling plans on the right. On the right, modernist languages express the same four square (top) and nine (bottom), with symmetrical plans on the left and directionally symmetrical plans on the right – mainly because modernist ceiling plans are far less interesting to draw. . . A section and elevation lie beneath.
Three sketches, three squares, in anticipation for my 3X10 birthday tomorrow (the 3rd).
The first, an elevation, with an arcade atop two square windows in a wall – Traditional form with abstraction below.
The second, a plan, square in form, but diagonal in organization, with a nice entry rotunda on the corner. This is an homage to Schindler’s diagonal square plans (the How House and Bethlehem Baptist Church, plan), and his mentor’s detailing at the Ennis Brown House.
The third, in a three-dimensional axonometric, a modernist cube.
To celebrate one year of frame, I have something special for you all. That’s right, a small, un-programmable garden pavilion. A four-square frame of 4X4’s set on the diagonal, with a copper standing seam roof atop and a brick base below. There’s no way in, just a beautiful form without. Better than cake, right?
My brother is kind of infatuated with mid-century modernism, with volumes on Palm Springs and Neutra strewn about his house. So naturally, I began to tinker with what I might do with the tropes of ‘MCM’, and how I might incorporate it into my own tendencies of modular, square plans. This plan again plays on ideas of four and nine-squares, with brick walls surrounding three sides of a square, one half of which is dedicated to the interior domestic spaces and the other is given over to the exterior with a brick patio, wood deck, gravel garden, and a pool. The timber-framed living volume is flanked by a service bar in which a small entry courtyard is situated.
I’m not happy with the pool, and am tempted to try it on center rather than the side. . .
Continuing my exploration of rural agricultural form, this square cabin-like-structure plays on ideas of symmetry, complete and incomplete form, nine-square and four-square planning, all within the guise of simple vernacular architecture. The side elevation was the generator, with an overall symmetrical gable, infilled below with a colonnade on one end, a blank wall on the other, and a large picture window on center. The plan operates between the three bays of this side elevation and four running perpendicular, with a long vaulted living-sleeping room flanked by the porch-colonnade on one end and a long kitchen-toilet-service gallery opposite. A study of potentially running a barrel vaulted ceiling the length of the main living hall is at the bottom.
Continuing last week‘s Californian agricultural experiments, this small structure (which I’m titling a ‘cabin’, but really is a programless form) is square in plan with a pitched roof running in one direction, terminating in a dutch gable at the far end over a colonnaded porch and a large circular window in the gable face, and cantilevering over the entry portico, where two identical doors reference the four-square floor plan. The language owes much to Richardson, filtered through the vernacular, with a shingle roof, clapboard walls, and a flemish bond brick base.
No program here, just form, where circles and squares meet, compete, and transform into one another. Four cubic pavilions are set at the corners of a large conic square hall (the roof form echoes a very early post, a form which I’ve been interested in for some time). The whole sits under a dutch gable roof, with a central skylight, and circular turrets on top of the square pavilions.
A cube, with a barrel vault and grand cyma profiles (direct quotations of Krier) giving axial directionality, while two walls present themselves as simple four-square panels. A grand cornice tops the volume at the exterior, with a triangular skylight running the length of the vault, and reveal courses in brick reference the four-square breakdown of the interior.
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.