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.
Most of the church forms I’ve featured have been basilicas – that is, long linear rooms with clearly defined axes and a higher central nave with lower side aisles. But recently, I tried to reconcile my basilican interests with my predilection for squares. Enter two historical church types based on the nine-square motif: the German hallenkirche (hall church), where there is no clear distinction between nave and aisles, but rather a large, open ‘hall’ of columns with extensive windows on all sides, and the Greek cross-in-square, in which a cruciform church plan is contained in a square form, with a large dome over the central crossing. This project fuses the two, with an intense wood roof structure that attempts to read as both the hallenkirche and the cross-in-square in one, and goes even further to render the space as a cube.
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.
In typical fashion, a synthetic plan was due: taking the vault from yesterday’s post (my take on Lutyen’s take on Soane’s take on antiquity), I slapped a half-round colonnades on either end covered each in a large conical shingled roof. The fun part is the cornice of the cubic vaulted form, which does some funky things to accommodate modules, structure, and walls, shown in the bottom drawing (wormseye axonometric detail). The lantern is a direct quote of the lighthouse lantern at Old Point Loma in San Diego.
I got a new book on Sir Edwin Lutyens, so obviously I’ve been obsessing over his details, here presenting a take on his epic kitchen at Castle Drogo (itself a quote of Sir John Soane’s soaring occuli at the Bank of England). Lutyens is truly fascinating, especially in his seemingly infinite possibility to breathe a sense of whimsy into the often staid classical Orders. My representation is axial, with two rounded skylit bays on either end of the main axis, an asymmetry that reads in the roof eaves as well as the elevations. The main door is marked with a Mannerist curved pediment, hinting at the curved vaults hidden within. The section below cuts through both axes.
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.