burnham does an armory

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In penance for doing little posting of late, I present you with a little precedent study, and an archaeological one at that.  Burnham & Root’s Armory Building (Chicago, 1882), was demolished in the 60’s, and Richard Nickel’s photos are little of what remains to tell the epic story of this impressive structure.  Predating the Monadnock Building by 9 years, the simple masonry volume is rather unornamented, save for the excellent brickwork and rough-faced battered stone.  A large skylit central drill hall anchors the form, which gives only small fortified slit windows to the street, save for the large, Richardsonian Syrian arch at the main entry.  The windows pre-echo Kahn, but I’m not going to argue that he was so influenced, no matter how hard I’d like to.  The structure is framed by the large load-bearing masonry walls, which are filled with long-span trussed arches, which allow for the large hall at the center.  My first (failed) attempt at a truly square floor plan is at the bottom.

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the courtyard variations

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More than just a Bach reference, that title could really be the title of this entire blog, since the vast majority of what I post here are really just different takes on courtyards.  Blame it on my being a SoCal native, blame it on my love of squares, palazzi, and any other architectural trope you can.  I love me some courtyards.  So here we go again.  At the top, a more detailed elevation of a previous project, and below, a different take on that same floor plan, this time more loudly echoing Giorgio Grassi and Louis Kahn.

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kahn, krier, and a kiosk

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Three ‘k’s.  Three drawings.  Three ideas:

Kahn – an homage to Louis I. Kahn’s Center for British Art at Yale, where one of his pyramidal concrete skylights is placed above a more classically detailed library, contrasting the stark materiality of his modernism with the richness of the English country house which inspired it.

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Krier – Starting with a plan very much like Wright’s Charnley house, but facing its street façade with a stuccoed language taken from Leon Krier’s Perez Architecture Center at the University of Miami, all for the domestic scale of the single family home.

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Kiosk – Almost an exact reduplication of a small Tokyo ‘warehouse’ featured in a book by Atelier Bow-wow, ‘Pet Architecture Guide Book’, with a triangular floor plan topped by a butterfly roof, centering the downspout on the front façade.  All I’ve done is perfect the geometry and replace a roll-up garage door with a french glass door.