putting the pieces together

MUSEUM_01

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.

something stern did

RAMS_04

Stepping back to a previous topic, I’ll share an unbuilt Robert A. M. Stern project I stumbled upon a few months past titled simply ‘House in Cold Spring Harbor’ from 1985.  The house in interesting for a few reasons: the formal entrance is off of a motor court on the secondary axis, and is below grade (the bottom sketch in the drawing above); a large square stair makes up the majority of the central volume, and is capped with an enormous north-facing monitor; there is a wonderful play between the formal portico-ed facade and the rear garden facade, which takes on a u-shape; a large chimney-piece makes up the east facade, though the flue is not centered on the entire building, rather a window.  My own circular take on the central staircase follows.

RAMS_05

STAIR_02

palladio, meet hejduk

VILLA_03Two 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).

VILLA_04

modernism in temple garb

GALLERY_04

Though taking its detailing from Greek antiquity, with a Doric portico in antis, this small structure is thoroughly modern in its four-square plan.  One enters off-center, in fact, the center is occupied by a column, and the front portico is only made of two columns, with one corner being a bearing wall (this wall is the in antis part).  An exedra flanks the main skylit volume.  Two variations follow.

GALLERY_02GALLERY_03GALLERY_01

 

gas station, classical var.

GAS-STATION_01

We all know what gas stations look like here in America – banal.  Yet, the same ‘Mid-Century’ Modernism that is so popular right now also tidied up these rather pedestrian buildings as well.  Mies van der Rohe even tried his hand at one in Montreal as part of a larger development.  However, decades of neglect and changing cultural tastes have obscured the once minimal elegance of these structures.  I drove past an example in Santa Monica that had been covered up in all the various and cheap appliques of ‘Mediterranean’ style.  If Modernism could love this typology, could good Classicism?  Behold, the fruits of such thinking – Doric porticos and pyramidal skylights.