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Case Studies: The Study of Typologies

Case Studies: Baker House Casa de la Marina Strathmore Apartments Apartments for the Elderly

Katina Velasquez, Amaris Mariela Katina Velazquez, Amaris,Vasquez, Mariela Cadena ARC 3020 Housing and Urban Design Cadena Irma Ramirez ARCProfessor 3020 Housing and Urban Design Professor Irma Ramirez

Plans and Elevations

Alvar Aalto

Project Architect: Alvar Aalto Date built: 1948 Location: Cambridge, United States Cost if known (Cost per sf ) Single: $5,590 Double: $4,945 Triple: $4,420 Quad: $3,905 Typology: Courtyard Number of units: 43 rooms Number of unit types: 6 Private outdoor space per dwelling unit: 0 sq ft Parking spaces per dwelling unit: Kresege parking lot, 83 parking spaces Livability: Since these are dorms, there are not many opportunitites to personalize the living space. Aalto also incorporated built in furniture, further taking away opportunities to personalize the living space.


Charles River View

The driving concept for the form of Baker House could be seen as a slithering snake that moves throughout the site. With the curving through the site, Aalto was able to maximize the view of the Charles River for every student, while also maximizing the amount of rooms that have souther exposure. One concept of this building was to create a building that would be both inhabited and studied by students in the future.


Charles River

Henry G. Steinbrenner Stadium

Baker House Dorms

The site for the Baker House is adjacent to the Charles River which is the main viewpoint of the dorms. Aalto designed the dorms around the river, giving all of the rooms views to the site. Surrounding the dorms are also other dormitories, fraternity houses, tennis courts, and a football field.


Key Circulation Rooms

Stair Circulation

Stair Circulation

Circulation in the Baker House consists of a stacked staircase that leads to all the floors of the dormitory. Along the dorms is a single loaded corridor that leads to each room alongside the wall. The circulation is also on the north facing side of the building as to not interupt Aaltos design. The reason Aalto uses a single loaded corridor is so that every room can have a view of the Charles River from their room.

Public vs. Private

Typical Floor Plan

Key Private Public 1/16” = 1’ - 0”

Public and private space is clearly divided throught the Baker House. Public areas are mainly on the north side of the building as to not interupt the dorms that are facing the Charles River. The public areas consist of circulation, the lobby, the dining hall, study areas, and everything else. The public areas consist of the dorms inhabited by the students.

Unit Analysis

Typical Unit Double Single

Double Unit

1/16” = 1’-0” Single Unit The units at Baker House vary in shape because of the buildings irregular shape. There are 22 unit types. The curves in the building shape the units into many different shapes, however they are still very similar to their unit types. Illustrated above are the typical units one would find at Baker House.

Pedestrian and Automobile Relationships

There is no site specific parking for the Baker House. The closest parking is the Kresege Parking. However, since the Baker House is surrounding by more student housing, the parking serves them as well. One of Aaltos design concepts was to protect students from surrounding noise from the busy street. This could be one reason as to why there is no on-site parking for students.


The Baker House was built to last a very long time. Some materials used to allow the density to increase are parallel blocks in echelon with fan - shaped ends that create a curve. Aalto realized early on that using single-sided slab would not create enough dormitories. The use of bricks also allows for the sweeping curve of the building while also providing contrast to the limestone material.

Natural Light and Ventilation



One of the main features of the Baker House is the dining room. Since this space is a public space, it requires more natural lighting. The dining hall features a double height space with a mezzaning that lets light illuminate the entire space. Due to the buildings orientation, the dining room recieves mainly southern, southeastern, and southwestern light. As a result, he dining room is naturally lit throughout the day.

Dining Hall

Residential Home for the Elderly Project Architect: Peter Zumthor Date built: 1989-1993 Location: Masans, Chur, Switzerland Typology: Row Project Density– Number of units: 21 Number of unit types-1

The building is designed for elderly residents who are fully able to live on their own and take care of themselves. These units face the previous and existing “old folks home” whose nursing facility is still used as required. The complex consists of twenty-one apartments, a guest room and staff room all connected with external corridors. The creation of this design had much to do with the intent of the suburban setting through use of materials By the use of rock its design, the materiality emphasized the mountain landscape making the building seem informal and relaxed. One of the schemes for this plan was that although the apartment is small, it seems larger when the door opens up into the cupboards of the walls. The design of the interior was to make the tenants feel at home by the use of timber floors, paneling on the walls, windows facing the valley towards the evening sun, and kitchens facing the their own private patios on the eastside of the courtyard. The plan of the building is also based on the idea of elements such as; “supporting masonry piers, solid sanitary blocks, non supporting wooden boxes” placed at intervals in the ground plan that creates the continuous spacing in plan.

Circulation Diagrams

Elevation of North @ 1/8” scale

Elevation of West @1/8” scale

Section @1/8” scale

Elevation of East @1/8” scale

Unit Plans @1/8� scale

Building Plans- no scale

Schematic Design Plan Drawing

The site of the project takes place in the more urban setting of Switzerland. The design was intended to mimic this idea of open natural space through its use of materiality. By the use of rock its design, the materiality emphasized the mountain landscape making the building seem informal and relaxed. One of the schemes for this plan was that although the apartment is small, it seems larger when the door opens up into the cupboards of the walls. The design of the interior was to make the tenants feel at home by the use of timber floors, paneling on the walls, windows facing the valley towards the evening sun, and kitchens facing the their own private patios on the eastside of the courtyard.

Site Plan/ Design Deign Concept

cool air

cool air The main source of light is through the use of windows in each unit. The east facade has two entrances to the building which are integrated into the row of double height windows. The space inside is always single height: the large windows are more of an 'effect' as in much of Zumthor's work. The entrance leads into a large common space that distributes the inhabitants into their personal living units. Instead of a hallway this space is more like a long living room whichleads into repetition of the apartments. The cold air is distributed from the natural ventilation of the windows and the hot hair naturally rises .


Public Space

Private Space Public Space vs. Private Space Diagram


Open Space Unit Analysis Diagram

Tufa and glass are used on the facade of the housing; larch wood is used for the framing of openings in the windows and the interior paneling of the units themsleves; exposed concrete at fewer points that introduce and remind the eye of the remaining structure. The real structure of this building is referred to from the architect as “social� which is ultimately expressed in its spatial configuration that can be seen in its plan and section.

Materiality Diagram

Strathmore Apartments Project Architect: Richard Neutra Date built: 1937 Location: Masans, Chur, Switzerland Typology: Row Number of units: 8 Number of unit types-1 Eight apartments share the ground single floor . The units are divided into four different buildings of varying size. These units are grouped around a central court, and laid out to have access to much privacy. As a result there is not much window lighting and or circulation.

Public Space

Public Space vs. Private Space Diagram

Private Space

There is not much public space in these units as they are all individual standing apartments. The only public space provided comes with the paths to the apartments and the apartments were all used as private space.

Open Space

Unit / Circulation Diagram

Furniture Space

The open space is implemented from the circulation space and flows through the units . The circulatuon space includes all of the space in between the bedrooms and or kitchen, living and dining.The furniture space takes up most portions of the bedrooms and portion of the living area.


The main concept of the Strathmore Apartments is a central garden. Another main design concept for these apartments is privacy while still having views of the surrounding landscape. For this reason, there a very few windows, only indows that provide one with views of the surrounding area. To accomplish this, Neutra used concepts of stacking and interlocking to create unique spaces that function and create necessary privacy for the dweller.


Aerial View


Topanga State Park

1/4” = 1’-0”

The site of the Strathmore Apartments is in a very busy area. Close by is UCLA, which has many college students tourists comeing and going. Neutra designed these apartmets to take in the surrounding California landscape. Some examples is Santa Monica and Topanga State Park. Apart from having views, there is a central garden within the apartment complexes. This is to distract one who lives here to be able to relax and unwind.

Materiality and Structure

Principal Exterior Materials of the Property: Foundation: reinforced concrete, wood Walls: Stucco Roof: Tar, gravel Windows: Steel, glass Doors: Wood Fascia:Aluminum

Exterior Materials and Structural Integrity:

Exterior character-defining features seen in virtually all of Neutra's later 1930's architecture, such as the VDL Research House I, 1932, and the Davis House, Bakersfield, 1937, and present at the Strathmore Apartments include: Strong sense of horizontality define by flat roof planes, parapets, and extended bands of window groupings. Vertical end wall planes slightly taller in height than the projecting horizontal fascias, so that these horizontal roof sections appear to be sliding out from a container. Roof overhangs aligned with the footprint of the dwelling unit. Their screened undersides permit cooling air circulation over well-insulated ceilings. Sand-finished stucco Silver-colored paint used for all exterior trim, metal, and wood. The silver color is maintained on the interior, seen in the window trim and four-by-four-posts. Use of crimped metal fascia on horizontal eaves in contrast to parapets and the tops of walls, balconies, and staircases, which are capped by silver-painted galvanized metal trim. Separated by a regular series of load-bearing 4x4 posts 3'-3" apart on center, fenestration in all except two cases is restricted to either a pair of steel-framed casement windows or a single-light pane of glass, fixed or operable, located between evenly spaced wood posts. The long runs of this regular sequence underscore the larger horizontality established by the volumetric massing and flat roofs. Window heights vary between 27 inches, in bathrooms, to 57 inches, almost six feet, in the living areas, which are fronted by the larger fixed panes of glass. Shorter units are used for the facades of adjoining bedrooms, but this difference is not apparent as one looks up from below because of the depth of the terrace off the living room area. The stucco wall below the bedroom windows becomes the low wall framing the terrace, and maintains a strong and consistent horizontal line. For private areas such as bathrooms, finely ribbed or obscure industrial glass known as "factrolite" was used, which has either been retained or replaced in kind or with compatible types of obscuring glass. The primary facades of the two small units facing into the core,on the south, depart from this strategy. These units each feature a single-light, five foot-wide window flanking the front door. The buildings' sharp angularity is tempered on the exterior by the slightly rounded wood "cap" applied to the face of the four-by-four posts and in the slightly rounded wood window sills. The front door unit consists of a solid silver-painted single-panel exterior wood door with a peephole. In some cases, a fixed single-light window is located above the door.

Jose Antonio Coderch

Casa De La Marina 1951–54

Barcelona, Spain Typology: Tower Total of 18 units Number of unit types: 4 2 Private outdoor space per dwelling unit (Ratio indoor to outdoor, 10:1) Floor Area: 1322 m^2

ProjectOverview+Analysis A dialogue between modernism and tradition is found in in the work of leading Spanish architect Jose Antonio Coderch. In 1952 Catalonians were instrumental in founding Grupo R, which was committed to realigning Spanish architecture with developments elsewhere. Coderch took it a step further by interpreting Catalonian architecture in a contemporary way, beginning with his much admired apartment building Casa de la Marina, Barcelona (1951-4). The building design, considering the narrow streets of Barceloneta and Barcelona's industrial port, is an introverted housing block where the exterior views are always conditioned by fixed venetian-type blinds. The elevator,stairs, and edge-wall elements seperate the scheme into closely defined parts, each cleanly jointed and sectioned off from the other. Coderch stretched the limitations of a limited budget, and learned from Neutra, Wright, and Breuer to go beyond contemporary conventions. He designed every detail, from furtniture to fittings, carpets, and even the plants. Published sketches show how Coderch’s apparently un-rational, but deeply radical plan kicks off from a perfectly logical spatial layout. He rigorously works with the benefits of push and pull, interlocking external and internal areas, and by gradual degrees the scope of a minimal plan is extended. The plan starts to work back into itself, where the room dimensions appear to widen as a consequence of Coderch's experimental play. Coderch maintained that there were functional reasons for the oblique plan arrangements. The ideas developed in this scheme, particularly the use of louvers, a variation of the traditional Mediterranean shutter, and an emphasis on aspect as a key idea in developing the plan, were used in other larger housing projects by Coderch such as Compositor Bach, Girasol, and Las Cocheras.



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Barc Balearic Sea

Casa de la Marina, built for local fishermen and their families, is located on the water's edge in the Barceloneta dock area of Barcelona. The building forms the end of a block with exposed facades on three sides.













Behind full-hieght glazing set back from the main building, it has a raised ground floor and asemi-basement, which contains commercial space, a caretakers flat, and storage spaces. At roof level, the top floor is set back beneath an oversailing roofline and contains two studio apartments and aterrace. The six intermediate floors each contain a pair of identical, handed apartments seperate by central, vertical circulation. The geometry of oblique and angled planes that creates the undulating facades is also used in plan; a kind of labyrinthine approach to make the small spaces appear larger. A series of partitions parallel to the adjoining building divide the space in each unit between the living room and the bedrooms. The partitions between them are arranged at seemingly random angles, producing an intricate arrangment of interconnected spaces. A corridor leads diagonally from the entrance to the living room at the farthest corner of the plan, and the view is from the door at the corner looking across the full-hieght glazing in the corner and beyond. A charp angle in the corridor leads to the kitchen and the a terrace, and a second corridor seperates access to the bedroom and bathroom. The bedrooms are also connected cia doors leading to loggias.

Unit types Circulation Elevator Outdoor Space Commercial

Lower Ground Floor Plan

Typical Upper Floor Plan

Upper Ground Floor Plan

Attic Floor Plan


Stairs and Elevator
















Studio/Bedsitting Room


Roof Terrace

S e c t i o n s

The spatial distribution and circulations of the building were designed in order to experience the restricted space to is optimum potential. The building contains a central form of circulation, consisting of an elevator and a staircase that allow access to the two apartments of each floor. Each unit has a central vestibule that divides the unit, distributing to one side the three bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and a front porch that gives the rooms good lighting and natural ventilation; to the other side the living and dining space, and the kitchen. The bathrooms and kitchens are turned towards the direction where light is recieved most. All of the rooms have direct access to outside air.

Vertical Circulation The vertical circulation of the building is centralized core of the residence. Ventilation The vertical circulation of the building is centralized core of the residence.



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Barc Balearic Sea








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