Thank you, Robert Venturi.
drawing and argument in architecture
Thank you, Robert Venturi.
This small home is a take on the shingled row houses of southern New England, particularly by a number of homes I visited on the Rhode Island-Massachusetts border while in graduate school. The volume is a simple cube, wrapped in shingles for three stories, reflected by a nine-square breakdown in floor plan. While the precedent is more humble in its vernacular porch, I’ve given it a more deliberately Grecian portico, with a deliberately pedimented end gable at top. A small ocular window hints at the circular central staircase inside, played against the otherwise rectangular language of the whole.
Rather, they started with a frame. Shelves, that is. I was scouring the internet and architecture books for shelves, first to house my inordinately large (and growing) library, and then just for the interest of how shelving could be used/designed in an architectural setting. So I started with a frame, three cubes stacked, but quickly found myself drawn to a two-by-four stack, with it’s squares within squares. Squares led me to think of Ungers, but placing a base and a top on it made me think Rossi. The detail below assumes a hollow metal frame with sheet metal pediment and base, prefabricated coves cut and welded to form rudimentary mouldings. A wormseye axon explores how an entire wall may be covered with these. And a final alternate places two large half-round cabinets to either side of the shelving proper, taken from a large wardrobe Lutyens designed for Viceroy’s House, Delhi.
Playing a nod to a classic Robert A. M. Stern house at Seaside, Florida, this house is three squares in plan, with one aedicule-ed, where a spiral stair occupies the center, and an upper patio is flanked with Doric columns on center, supporting a bold pediment.
A study in pure form, this project is a derivative of a previous post, with a curved pediment sits coplanar with the colonnade-cum-pergola that surrounds a circular pool, and some admittedly quirky curved glass-block walls mediating between the three bays of the facade with the smaller volume behind.
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.
Yesterday’s circular courtyard influenced this take, along with a small fountain I passed by in Beverly Hills the other day. Six columns make up a circular courtyard, filled with a pool and floating obelisk, while one side of the circular entablature rises to a pediment on one side, hidden from the entry tunnel. The focus is obviously interior, but that doesn’t mean that the exterior is devoid of a little fun and asymmetry. A wormseye axonometric above, sections and floor plan below, elevations and roof plan beneath.
A building type that was very common in the western United States in the decades before World War II, the bowtruss-roofed industrial building was a single story brick or concrete masonry shell, topped with a long-span wood truss roof that resembled a bow in section – hence the name. Many of these stand throughout the Los Angeles basin, which are the originators of this project. The brick volume is open to the short sides, pedimented on the approach, and takes hints of Hejduk’s Wall House, where bathrooms stand as separate, formally distinct, elements. A more elaborate exploration is at the bottom, where the restrooms become chimney-inglenook pieces, and the bowtruss volume is surrounded with a peristyle among other things. . .
A bay window topped with a full-width gable, leaving small triangular soffits at the eaves. I noticed this feature on my way to a site meeting in South Los Angeles, and since then have seen it recurring throughout my library – Richardson, Bruce Price, Peabody & Stearns, et al. So here’s my version: covered in shingles throughout, battered stone walls at grade, four-square windows, the gable becomes a full pediment, and the big reveal – a rounded interior wall.
Santa Maria del Naranco was not built as a church, but rather a palace, and is thus an atypical church plan. My interpretation of it is devoid of any ecclesiastical use, and reverts back to a folly. I’ve stripped it of the Romanesque ornament and overlaid a Grecian pediment, corners similar to the Monadnock Building in Chicago, and stripped modernist interiors.