Saturday, March 8, 2008

Studio 1B; Dialogue of the Void

I was invited to review studio 1B mid term projects alongside with Michael Rotondi, Marcos Sanchez and the studio instructors Gary Paige and David Gerber.
The spirited nature of projects with their highly intimate expressions via charcoal and pencil drawings, cast plaster and cardboard models and project booklets were enough to set an exemplary effort by the students and I was personally impressed with their focus as first year architecture students.
Keep the dialogue solid (no pun.)
Beautiful work, it is one of those projects that will stick to student's mind for a long time.

Studio statement;
“ is always the question of a space constructed or destroyed by form, animated by it, molded by it.”
Henri Focillon, The Life of Forms in Art

Space is the medium of architecture. In addition to structure, performance, form, material, and light, space (and spatial experience) is the intrinsic and defining medium of the discipline. Moreover, it’s important to note, that, in spite of the fact that geometry remains one of the central topics of architectural education, as opposed to an end in itself it’s only a tool to realize a broader set of goals that involve a comprehensive idea of space as form and experience. Materializing this idea will be the focus of our efforts.
The principal objective of this project is to develop conceptual strategies for generating spatial forms and relationships.
In this case, one that involves the formal relationship between an existing building, a new volume(s), and a movement system. Subtraction and addition, excavating and voiding will be some of the operations for materializing and studying these relationships as well as issues of performance, that is, how a building works, and spatial form, sequence and affect.
Our point of departure is the former Hollywood Terminal Storage Warehouse (Morgan, Walls and Clements, 1925 located in Hollywood. Think of this building as a “found object” that we’ll operate on, surgically removing parts, restructuring and/or reshaping others, and adding new ones in order to develop new and critical relationships between interior spaces and the exterior envelope and landscape.
Initially conceived as a storage warehouse and radio broadcast studio, the building is a hermetically sealed volume lacking any connection to the city except as an immense armature for billboards.
Morphologically, it’s a monolithic slab consisting of concrete cast-in-place column and slab construction, while spatially the building is defined by repetitive floor plates, producing a stratified set of similarly proportioned volumes that are punctuated by stair towers and elevator shafts at the front and the rear.

Random snapshots (click on picture to enlarge)
Archinect news post

Friday, March 7, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pictures of Apartment Density

As if you need to forget all and rest your eyes on stuff that are relaxing, here is some visual relief! A rear window for everyone...

Makes where I grew up look like a countryside!

Michael Wolf looks at Hong Kong density

Overall project requirements for Monday, March 10

As we are approaching to our mid-term presentations, I would like to remind the class again as a group, that our chief engine Rotondi would like to see the projects developed to the level of advancement, worthy of your senior standing among Sci Arc students. They are to offer viable resolutions in terms of conceptual and programmatic issues, circulatory conditions, local site related responses dealing with urban design issues, adjacency and hierarchical relationships within the individual and customized programs, regional and global reflections. And of course, integrated tectonic propositions.
Please keep in mind to apply the knowledge and principles thought and illustrated by April Greiman in current weeks to your boards. No pain, no gain. Step on it. My bad...
A specific public presentation date will be announced Monday.

Addenda, Thursday pm;
I have just talked to Michael, he will be in studio tomorrow around 2-3 pm, after his Sci Arc board meeting. This will be a good opportunity for you to take up with him any ongoing/outstanding questions and issues before the mid-term, which is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday or Friday next week.
So, work on your projects as if the presentation going to be on Wednesday to be on the safe side.
I have explained to Michael that most of you have a very important graduate thesis meeting and all geared up to resolve that before you can focus on the studio project. He kindly agreed to give you a break in return for some exceptional attention you'll be giving to your studio projects before the mid-term.
You are welcome.;.)

Artful Writing for Architecture Students

I am posting this to draw your attention to something that will be a major part of your projects in time of public presentation. Needlessly to say, I've had a similar experience recently as a jury in main space, Sci Arc.

"Black holes, notoriously resistant to improvement through the design proc-ess, aren't the most glamorous subjects for student architects. But one black hole in architecture education demands transformation: Too many architecture students can't write.

I recently had the opportunity to hear graduate students at the Yale School of Architecture defend their designs at a midterm studio review, a distinct pleasure marred only by a curiously repeating incident. Under vigorous grilling from professors, several students became inarticulate and left participles or sentences dangling, while nervously gesturing toward their tabletop models of urban renewal. Mere nerves? Surely understandable in any student-faculty exchange with a grade at stake, heightened by their peers looking on. But then I noted moments when their professors also seemed at a curious loss for words. More privileged than their students, they concealed their unease with grandiose arm gestures." By NORMAN WEINSTEIN

Full article | via thanks farmer.