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The Cornell J ournal of Architecture

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In Memoriam Ruth Thomas

1913-2001 Students often encounter an enigmatic teacher during their schooling. or someone who draws one to that school. as Colin Rowe and O. M. Ungers did at Comell with an entire generation of students and architects. Even long after their departures their impact and legacies remain. Shortly after arriving at Comell architecture students are introduced to the Presto n H. Thomas Memorial Lecture Series. Peter Eisenman was one such invited lecturer in this series who sparked much conversation and debate. not only hetween students. but also between students and faculty. l think this is what Leonard and Ruth Thomas intended when they made the endowment for the lecture series in honor of their son. Prestan Thomas. who. a student at Comell. died tragically in a car accident in 1974 before completing his studies. The joumal not only disseminates ideas and works of accomplished historians. theorists. practitioners. and students. but it is a course of leaming for students as wel!. The joumal has been a way for students during the last twenty years to enter the world of puhlications. from gathering articles and designing layout to editing and distrihuting the jouma!. When we started working on the joumal in the fall of ~ooo we found that it too was made possihle hy Mrs. Thomas' generosity. also in honor of Preston. Ruth Thomas'love for her son lives on through helping hundreds of students' educations through lectures hy intemationally known and respected people in the architecture community and by providing the support to produce a jouma!. lt is amazing that one family could aft'ect and influence to such an extent the quality of our education through their generosity.

It is to our disappointment that we are about to write what follows and why the long introduction to what will be wriUen. We were informed today that Mrs. Ruth Thomas had passed away earlier this week inAubum. New York. Last week we were cleaning out the joumal oft'ice-sifting through old SyQuest tapes. old joumal minutes scrawled on yellowing papero hundles of old layout pages-when we realized how far the joumal had come in the last twenty years. At the same time we were pouring over pages of the old journals looking at the layout schemes for ideas for this issue. lt was during this that we really understood the timeline of the joumal and how many people harl worked on it over the years. How many people had stayed up extra hours each night. or woke up a couple hours early each moming. in order to fit the joumal's duties into their daily routines. Lots of people dedicated and do dedicate their energies and time to producing this joumal because they believe in the importance of disseminating ideas within architectural discourse. Tt is through theirwork that this exists. but not only their work. lt is also the trust and faith in these same ideas that Mrs. Ruth Thomas set up an endowment for these activities as a form 01' education and experience. Jt is a trust that everyone who has worked on The CornelJ ยกourna} ofArchitecture. students and faculty alike. has tumed into a devotion of time and energy in expression of our gratitude. Although we had never met her. we immediately felt the need to pay our respects and respects on behalf of the previous joumal staft's. During the memorial service we leamed the extent to which Mrs. Ruth Thomas' humanitarian and philanthropic concems and activities reached. She will he truly missed by a great numher ofpeople who have benefited and will hendit from her kindness and generosity. We Express on behalf of the journal staft' and advisors pasto presento and future our condolences to her family and friends. James Way and Prima Davidson




The two 2000-year old Buddha statues. including the world's tallest, are destroyed.

New York City

The two World Trade CenterTowers, once the world's tallest, are destroyed.


1 am asked to write a preface to this journal. titled. I am told, ~The Future of Permanence ~ ... In the shadow of the twin events aboye, there is nothing really to be said ...

Introduction THE EOITORS

The title of this issue. The Future oi Permanence. could just as easily have been Time. Architecture and built works have always been constructed with a sense 01' permanence. durability and duration. which requires consideration 01' time and temporality. Even whe n focusi ng di rectly u pon someth i ng' s permanence or impermanence. "time" always lurks in the background. Consequently. the following discussions 01' permanence and impermanence all engage time. Sorne connect centuries old architectural ideals with a modernist master. others explore the implications of recent developments in residential housing materials and methods. Regardless 01' their specific interest, the authors define. explicitly or implicitly. a relative range 01' time in which to present their view of permanence. Three articles explore ideas 01' permanence through installation. Inscribe by Torben Berns. Dan Maxfield. and Tsz Yan Ng explores spatiality as constructed through perception and memory. By investigating perspective the authors reveal representation's dependence on time and memory to be a means 01' constructing the world. not merely pictorially mimicking the world. Shadi Nazarian's article. The Future oiPermanence: Re- Learning from Las Vegas. examines Las Vegas as a condition where the physical and virtual coexist as a production of the spectacle. This reading informs her installation work as she constructs virtual environments for bodily occupation that examine time and matter as primary sites of intervention. In Parasite Praxis: Investigating a Spatial Organism James Way and Dwayne Bohuslav examine new strategies 01' architectural intervention that employ biological and technological readings of the threshold between the physical, human or building. and the ephemeraL performance or media. The authors investigate the relations between these

systems in temporary installations that employ parasitic maneuvers.

transformation of architectural principies in Japan as it encounters western ideas of architecture.

In Suburbia (1983). one 01' director Penelope Spheeris' earlier films. a character reads 01' the etymology 01' "suburbia. a combination of the words suburb and utopia." To which there is a cynical retort. "Little did they know it would be a slum to the future." While many have criticized the nature of suburban living. few have proposed in how to work within the existing suburban fabrico Paul Lewis. Marc Tsurumaki. and David Lewis examine the transformation of single family dwellings and suburban contexts in their article Suburbanism oi Mass Customization. From this the authors propose an alternative for suburban Iivingthat takes advantage 01' contemporary suburban conditions. In The Future oi Permanence. Lo- Tek (Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano) examines the urban condition through a photo essay 01' scrolling images and text. Both image and text work together as a fragments of the city that. when reassembled through a speed - reading. provide a discontinuous whole. This examination and representation of the city calls to attention the transient nature ofvarious metropolitan contingencies and networks.

With the immanent construction 01' a new school 01' Architecture for Cornell University the competition entries accompany this issue. POI'US Olpadwala. Dean of Architecture. Art & Planning introduces this section containing the entries of PeterZumthor. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Thom Mayne. and Steven Holl. Following Dean Olpadwala's introduction we include an essay by In Kim who explores the history 01' the Department of Architecture and its changing positions Cornell University.

Hajime Yatsuka examines permanence historically in two articles. A timely article following the Mies in America and Mies in Berlin exhibitions. Mies and Japan ex poses the constructed nature of history in Japanese architecture and how it carne to inf1uence Modern architecture. 1nvestigating of the similarity many have seen between Mies van der Rohe's architecture and traditional Japanese architecture. Yatsuka reveals a deeper understanding in terms of aesthetic and structural changes. and cultural contexts. An Introduction: The Genealogy oi Architectural Style in Modem Japan examines the

Concluding this issue. as we traditionally do. we present selections from sorne 01' our recent undergraduate theses that best summarize the work being done in the department of architecture. Additionally. the issue of permanence has hit close to home on several fronts. As one may have read in the memoriam precedingthis introduction. our most supportive patron from the journal's beginning. Mrs. Ruth Thomas. has passed away. A great loss to all involved with the journal. The Comell Journal al' Architecture returns to its black cover. as were the first four issues. for its final farewell to this format as it will be undergoing a complete renovation; the foremost change is students' works will be presented in a separate publication. Work. The most close hitting were the events of September 11. 2001. Over ayear later the memory resides with uso It is with great sympathy that we remember this tragic event and those lost. and it is with great respect that we applaud those who aided in the rescue efforts. rel ieL and support in the following months.

Contents T 8

F u



o F







The Future of Permanence: Re-Learning from Las Vegas SHAOI NA1ARIAN


Parasite Praxis: Investigating a Spatial Organism JAMES WAY ANO DWAYNE BOHusLAv


Suburbanism of Mass Customization DAVID lEWIS, MARC TSURUMAKI, ANO PAUL lEWIS


The Future of Permanence lO- TEK (ADA TOLLA ANO GIUSSEPE lOGNANO)




The Genealogy of Architectural Style in Modern Jopan: An Introduction HAJIME VATSUKA






The Department of Architecture and Its Buildings: A Brief History IN












120 122 123



NG The following is a reflection on an installation presented in the Hartell Gallery before the gallery's renovation. The work was installed for five days. during which time the gallery remained bathed only in a television blue light. An explanation of the work. offered in 12pt text on a sheet of 8.5 XII papero hung on the wall adjacentto the Dean's office and consisted of the following two paragraphs: The gallery. with its symmetricallayouta loaded passage connecting two disciplines-hinged about the strategic position of the Dean's office. lends itself most appropriately to an investigation of perspective and the ground which precedes perspective's authority. To inscribe is to mark permanently-a writing in-of a presence or order. The inscribing is an act predicated upon the continuity of time located in memory. The project itself is a cube inscribed upon a virtual plane created by the mirroring of two views. The views. specific to the element of passage and perspective. are provided by the windows of the gallery. The pie ces in the gallery are purely sections through the cone of visiono The cube belongs to memory and its inscription within the imaginative-Le. actual- realm.

INSCRIBE 4.17.00 - 4.22.00









What follows. then. is a recounting of the installation in which photographs. words. and reflections are constructed so as to allow an absent spectatorto enter a very specific ground of objectivity: the ground presented by a work. The reader will grant that the voice of the narrator. which is not to be confused with an omniscient view. the ground of objectivity itself.



1 -

Kite Construetion


Kile Conslruclion

or even that of the authors of the original work, serves only as an advocate of a position offered for consensus. To inscribe, we are told, is to write permanently. What is inscribed is one system of representation that points plainly to another-so much so that one is permitted to forget the presence of the first. Nonetheless. both are merely systems: the first, that of writing: the second, that of naming. Nowhere is the "thing" alluded to present without mediation. What. then. is actually inscribed as being permanent? How should we approach such integral qualities of"actual objects" such as "embodied experience." objectivity, actuality (and its corollary, virtuality), if the very "thing" slips like a hologram before our eyes? We are reminded of Magritte's Ceci n 'est pas une pipe: two systems of representation. neither one a pipe. So


This is not just metaphorical. The royal couple are reflected in the painted device of the "mirror," an object identifiable as such-as opposed to a painted painting-because of the light (divine) entering from the side and from which the mirror shines in contrast to the other paintings around it.

in the hands of the most ordinary mortals. This would follow from the fact that we, too, can occupy the sovereign's position simply by understanding the privilege of the station point that mirrors the vanishing point. But if that is the case, by the same logic, all of us are subjugated together. The "subject" of the painting-i.e., the "free, modern predicating subject which acts into the future"-is not you. me, orthe king. but in fact is returned to being the "ruler's subject," where now the ruler is the technique rather than the king. The sovereign human. too. is summarily subjugated. Why, then. would Velรกzquez have been knighted for his loyalty as well as his genius?

Of course it is possible, in principie, by virtue of the technique of perspective, for all viewers ofthe painting to "occupy" the positions of the king and queen. In that case. we might be led to believe that perspective, or technique. wrests power from the divine and places it

The painting. and Velรกzquez's problematization of the subject, are not so simple. For as one meditates on the perspective itself, one realizes that the picture planein this case an additional mirror used to construct the scene-of the painter's view lies between the painter

what is the painting about, except "not-pipes"? We can similarly consider Las Maninas in which Velรกzquez doubly problematizes the "proper subject of the painting." Mter alL is it not about the king and queen for whom the scene exists and from whose existence all meaning and order emanate?


and the position occupied in principie by the king and queen. In other words, the painting, to inelude the reflected royal couple, is itself an impossible situation. So what, then, is the actual subject of the painting? Foucault answers that it becomes self-referential as a system of representation. In other words, at the moment one realizes the constructed nature of the painting, it is not about the world alluded to by the painting. but the means of constructing that world itself. Perspective, oro more accurately. "artificial perspective" is a means of constructing the world by conceiving it in terms of a geometric representation. The image. then. is a section through the cone of visiono Understanding this alone. we grasp the constructed nature of the system. but are we satisfied with the subject of Las Maninas? We are stillleft with an impossible representation that makes perfect sense. Granting that we are aware of the artifice, the painting introduces another mechanism that is not reducible to the nature of perspective but reveals the nature of something else. Perspective works precisely because it allows us to occupy a position "in principle"-i.e.. virtually. We understand it because the space presented is easily accommodated within the view of the world that we occupy at that momento That these two moments are in fact contradictory-i.e., that each denies the specificity or privilege of the otherand that this is not a problem. is best evidenced in our willingness to accept the interchangeability of things in one system for things in another. We are as willing to flip between an understanding of words for things, pictures for things, and even objects as "things" as much as we are willingto flip between our "particular" view and the view of"another," and still not encounter a crisis. This is a process of being which, when confronted, inevitably results in deferral: the representation of one system in terms of another in order to create the possibility of a moment -"time." To put this anotherwaywith respectto a human being, in order for being-or duration-to appear, being / duration must be located within time itself. Hence "duration," or objectivity, is a function of time; or again: objectivity is a function of multiple points of view. Without the possibility of such "virtual" maneuvering, we could not posit a future in which to 10


Kite Construrtion- back view FIGURE 5

Kite Construrtion- side view


Hartell Gallerv plan with installation diagram and views




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objecl 2 as viewed lhrough window outside of gallery object 1 as viewed through wíndow oulside of gallery (west entrance) (east entrance) 1,






acto By the same token, one is endlessly deferring an implicit reckoning: understanding all moments simultaneously. In otherwords, implicit in all human beings is an atemporal perspective from which all points are visible simultaneously. We can logically conceive of this point, but obviously never "bodily" occupy it. It is. as Kant remarked, a scandal of reason.


Kite Construction

Qne has to note that integral to this entire description is "time." VelĂĄzquez's contemporaries were not so convinced of the connection between time and representation, yet we can never seem to escape it. VelĂĄzquez (and this is what makes him so modern) represents "time." yet does so by constructing the concept rather than attempting to represent it in discrete (spatial) moments (even iĂ­. la "cubism" or Nude descending stair). Further, he does it precisely through perspective, which by definition (as a section through the cone of vision) is nothing but one of many discrete moments. We see in this, then, the very issue that would lead Duchamp to abandon retinal art (and turn away from Nude descending stair), and concern himself entirely with the a I temporal presentation of "given being." Let us return to the project installed in Hartell. Given the prelude so far, we can see that the project is an attempt to investigate perspective. and, more important, with an eye to understanding the role of memory (time) that is prior to both the authority of perspective and the authority of the object. Perspective assumes one has one's eye nailed to the end of a pointed stick-at least if one is granting a particular moment a status different, or even superior to, any other moment. This occurs either by "representing" that moment (negating it permanentiy in space) or using that moment towards sorne future end (representing it within a process of continuing negation). Qne may draw attention to this fact of differentiy accorded status by succinctiy constructing one view as meaningful and all others as "meaningless." Qne need only imagine a Baroque use of perspectival illusion to understand this concepto As we have already pointed out, this would understand perspective only in terms of position or space, and not confront its temporal aspect (if only because human history is still irrelevant for the Baroque woridview). 12

The Baroque invests its emphasis in perspective' s spatial authority in revealing a geometric worid that is seen to prevail over the transient vicissitudes of human time. We, of course, with our belief in history, assume precisely the opposite. That belief notwithstanding. one cannot pretend to engage art merely as illusion, since it would barely rise aboye technical wizardry and in the final analysis appear inauthentic if not inconsequential. Wbat we wished to accomplish, then, was to provide a clarity of differentiation. the point of which was not perspective as illusion but the very temporal conditions for the appearance of meaning that precede perspective. As can be seen in the accompanying images, the construction of the installation consists of three objects placed within the gallery. The relation of each ofthese objects to the others is given by the gallery itself with

its inside and its outside-halls delineating the respective wings of Planning and Architecture-and then the traversing view which connects inside and out as afforded by the large windows. The latter are mirrored symmetrically next to the entrances that are also similariy mirrored. The existence of the objects themselves would bear no relation to one another by virtue of simply being inside the same space. No part reflects any other as the symmetry of the gallery might suggest. Rather, precisely in the same way that one might experience the passage in time through the gallery from the outside to the inside and back out, does the independence of these objects yield to dependent relations among them and give credence to the authority ofthe perspective of their appearance. Given the two views into the gallery permitted by the large windows, we can identify a planner' s "view" and

FIGURES 8, 9, 10 (TOP)


1 -

Kite Construetion


Ohjeet 2


Frame Construetion

FIGURES 14, 15, 16 (BOTTOM)

Ohjt'ct 3 - Wire Construction

an architect' S "view" from their position outside of the respective gallery windows. We could just as well identify the views as West and East respectively. but the minute one realizes that the third "view" belongs to an "insider"~an inside view: Dean. planner. architect. spectator-the ground of terms is immediately loaded in terms of "whose view." Each view is hidden from the other by virtue of where they are placed within the gallery. So if one were to look inside the gallery through the window from the architecture wing. then one would see a view with an object intended forthatview. and the object intended for the view from the other window is indeed hidden. Of course. the setup of the installation does privilege a specific point from which a particular perspective is to make sense-the proverbial pointed stick- but the isolation of that view. understood from that position alone. reinforces the object's apparent autonomy and leaves each perspective and its consequent spatial experience split. The onlyway to make the connection between the objects is to now see these objects from the inside. Of course. by simply leavingthat privileged position outside the gallery. the object ceases to be what we had originally perceived it to be. Or does it? To repeat. the views are tableaus. in that the picture windows frame the view in such a way as to emphasize the recognition of the perspective of the object in question. This indeed leads to surmisingthe privileged station point. Sure enough. the object on view appears to be a proper cube. Furthermore. the architects and the planners indeed see identical cubes. However. they see only their cube since the cube visible to the opposing view is hidden by virtue of the limiting function of the framed view. What. then. is the series of events inside the gallery that will necessitate the recall of that view from that privileged position. be it the architect's side orthe planner's side? And how do we recall this view? Perhaps by memory. But a memory of which view? A cube in axonometric view? A cube that exists nowhere once we are out of that privileged position? And what of that cube in axonometric view? Where does it exist? And does the object for that privileged position have six sides that measure equally from any direction-x.y. or z? To answer that question requires one to enter the gallery. and in doing so discover the third object.




Perhaps it went unnoticed from the view outside the window (curiously, regardless from which side, the planners' or the architects'), since it aligns perfectly with the object seen from that special privileged point. One may need even to confirm that alignment by exiting the gallery where one entered and seeing with one 's own eyes that particular view again from the window. Closer investigation reveals this third object to bisect the gallery along its line of symmetry. And since it does align with the original object, perhaps this plane, perfectly bisectingthe gallery, is in fact a picture plane of the original perspective-an actualized picture plane that is indeed the cube in axonometric formo But is it? If one is perpendicular to this picture plane, the object that is supposed to be the cube in axonometric seems skewed or deformed. And then looking at it from the doorto the Dean's office-incidentally, along the axis of symmetry of the gallery-this object is no more than a line in space, a verticalline that is the object itself.' It is with an understanding that this

object is indeed the picture plane that one can now focus on all the objects now in view within the gallery, including the one intended for the other window at the other side of the gallery but that was hidden when we first encountered a "privileged" position.

It occurs to one to wonder whether this object that we call a picture plane aligns with the object for the other window. And indeed, if one were to exit the gallery at the other side and look back through the window, the picture plane would align with the object in the corresponding far comer, with the first object completely out ofview from this position. We now know that this second privileged position on the opposite side from the original position also affords a view of a cube in axonometric without our exiting to confirm this. That this cube is the same as the one on the other side is guaranteed bythe picture plane, It is indeed the element that allows one to make the connection between all the objects in this space inside and out.

The variations on how a spectator may arrive at this line of questioning and understanding are infinite. There are as many possible characteristics to the gallery, the departmental hierarchy, or the installation itself to begin the process of ascribing meaning as there are spectators to the project. Similar variations of lines of speculation may arise. For instance, if one were to notice the picture plane with the object aligned and be able to consider the symmetry of the gallery, one could make an educated guess as to what the view from the other window might be. Or one might see from inside the gallery two disparate objects at the far corners opposite each other (without noticing the picture plane), and see that one object is intended for one framed window view and the other for its opposite framed window view. But inevitably a circular process is initiated and we are eventually caught in the act of recalling by virtue of what we remember from a moment before: in this case, the appearance of a cube in axonometric.

FIGURES 17,18,19

Interior details ol" Kite Construction

FIGURES 20, 21, 22

Connection details of Kite Construction

While there are no cubes in the gal!ery. we are made to recal! that the cube exists at privileged position(s). The question. then. that we would wish to pose is the precise nature of the object. If we recal! the process of deferral al!uded to aboye by which an object normal!y gains its authority. it would be through the agreement of the nature of the object presented by anyviewpoint. Whatwe cal!"objective" (anotherword for "lens") is a function of consensus: a political characteristic ascribed to that which can be agreed upon and stand for multiple points of view. or multiple perspectives. The possibility of duration. or being. is that which withstands time. yet is granted that status by time itself. What we cal! objects. and what we cal! objective (that which can be measured and therefore stand in agreement). is not prior to sorne subjective view but in fact the very multiplicity of views with which the object gains solidity as a locus in time. Whenever we encounter an object. what grants it its duration is the fact that we can virtual!y maneuver around it and arrive at an understanding that endures. At no time do we ever occupy that Archimedian view that would grant al! views. Nor do we need too It is sufficient to initiate the process of deferral whereby "this view" may not equal"that view." but this object is that object. (The cube 1 see is the cube you see. although 1 have never seen a cube in every side of its entirety at the same time.) The cubes in the gal!ery offer no less an objective ground. Only the terms shift. Ratherthan saying "this is that." where there is no identity but identity is assumed in order to establish possibility. the constructed cubes are saying "this is this." where the identity is a logical construct oftwo views and a shared picture planeo As the spectator. 1am as acutely aware of the lack of the named object as 1am of the process of time and imagination required to lend that name authority. ApparentIy the authority of the "object" does stem from perception. but perception is itself a political constructo It entertains multiple points of view and this. in itself. takes time.




The Future of Permanence

Re-learning from las Vegas


Las Vegas. a temporal mirage shimmering on the surface oI the desert Irom dusk to dawn. oscillating. wavering between the purity oI the desert and the extreme life oI abundance and dissipation. appears to have a continuous presence inside. independent oIreal time. The city is merely an operational matrix. Each oI the nodes in the matrix. governed by different themes. process time at different speeds. It is neither reality nor time that links these nodes. In the streets oI "Paris" it is always early evening; Iarther down the strip. people experience Iour day/night cycles in the duration oIa calendar day. Each node becomes an oasis nourishing different temporal. cultural. and spatial possibilities. Inside the matrix. the continuous flow oIsensoI)' input goes on uninterruptedly. challenging the stability oI the real. Nothing interrupts the simulated Iocus except an occasional shower oI coins. Time stands still. Eyes wide open. this world never sleeps. It never blinks. Outside the matrix. daylight reappears eveI)' day. stabilizing us in a physical and temporal reality. until the virtual and optical illusions take over the dark hours. joining the outside to the inside. foining these otherwise disparate worlds until again this temporal link breaks at dawn ...

The illustrations provide views of sorne of the author's experiments as well as selected experiments from her interdisciplinary design studios and seminars at Comell University. FIGURE 1

Electrobricollage. a section study by Shadi Nazarian for "Thresholds, The Arcades Project." a multimedia. interactive and site specific installation for the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (CEPA). 1999.

The only constant is the machineI)' at work. its rhythms. and its rules. It devours money to survive. It numbs the conscious mind and holds it hostage in units oIaltered time. L

42.00' 11.50'




5. /

Las Vegas simulates icons and symptoms ofpermanence: sky. eartb. cities. buildings, wateIWays, and bridges. Its buildings simula te materials ofpermanence: sandstone, marble. andgranite. Structures, spaces. even people from "Paris. .. "Venice. "and "New York" are reconstituted. ACCEPTNOOTHER lMITATlON. a sign says. ofthe impersonators who appear there each evening at a casino. They. too, are reconstructed personaJities who be1ieve they are who they imitate, not unlike the parking valet, the cashiers. and the maids who speak French in "Paris. "al' the gondoJiers who speak with an ltalian accent in "Venice. "Las Vegas even simulates simulations ofpower (palaces), simulations of death and entombment ((he Pyramids), icons oftechnological advancement ((he EiffeJ Tower), and ofthe entertainment industry (Disneyland). Las Vegas uses tools ofsimulation to create its excessive reaJity-a hyperreality. On the one hand it uses tools ofsimulation like projection, reflection, and mirroring to create reaJities that are constructed here without reference to an exterior condition, reaJities that do not represent al' exist outside ofthis simulated world, On the other hand. it uses processes and techniques of construction to simula te stone buildings in which the structural and material properties ofstone are not used, but simulated to create an JJJusion ofpermanence. One is an extension of the other: they are both about iJJusions. Everything is a fabricated reality and a production ofsensory input devices.

42.00' .75'








The meaning of the word "permanence" hinges upon a linear. uninterrupted notion of time. It is. for example. only in relation to this notion of extended time that it beco mes possible to conceptualize and measure the "durability" of substantive matter. Similarly. one could argue that our notion of continuous.linear time is itself only made possible in and through its relation to substantive matter. that matter is itselfwhat lends the abstract concept oflinear time its apparently objective measure. Temporal permanence and substantive permanence here are seen in a mutually dependent relationship. Embedded in the word permanence. and lending it its conceptual coherence. is an understanding of both "time" and "matter" whose own comprehensibility are.likewise. mutually dependent and affected by cultural and scientific insights. And it is. therefore. inevitable that changes in our definitions of "time" and "matter" will

also compel us to "permanence.'"

rethink the concept of

1 propose that we stand at a threshold where the convergence of new information media and built form make possible new sensibilities with respect to "permanence." 1also propose a more constructive role for the digital and information technologies that does not assign them a purely representational function. Through experiments that occupy the intersection of material and virtual> construction. and of architecture and media studies. 1 research the implications of multiple readings oftime and matter. Las Vegas. seen through this lens. is viewed as a spatial and temporal montage. constructed by a collection of fragmented events. severed from their respective spatial and temporal contexts. and inserted into a unique environment. This process transplants the simulated

events into their new environment in such a way that sets into motion transformations and mutations of both the fragment and the contexto 1 suggest that Las Vegas is a paradigm forthis process wherein the basic vocabulary of architecture itself undergoes a reconstruction. By this means. the conceptual foundations of the notion of permanence are themselves transformed. Matter. noted Virilio in an interview with Andreas Ruby. was centuries ago" defined by two dimensions: mass and energy. Today there comes a third one to it: information. But while the mass is still linked to gravity and materiality. information tends to be fugitive. The mass of a mountain for example is something invariable. it is immobile. its information. however. changes constantly. ":J What once was merely mass takes other meanings in the context of our

1. Permanence. n.: continuing indefinitely without change lfrom Oxford English Dirtionary-On-line: http://www.oed.roml. In terms of architecture is particularly linked to ilS synonyms. durability. and endurance. Both of these synonyms contain the word Dur. adj .. ';'hich' in Frrnch means tough: also the word DurĂŠe. n .. that means duration. time: and the word Durer. v.. which means to endure. to las!. and to continue IL!rouss'~ DjJ:tiQIJary. New York: Pocket Books. 21st printing. ITI) l.

Virtual. a. (and n.): In ComputersNot physically cxisting as such but made by software to appear to do so from the point ofview ofthe program or lhe user: spec. applied to memory that appears to be internal althouf(h most of it is externa!. transfer between the two being made automatically as required [from Oxford English Dictionary-On - line:]. 2.

3. Andreas Rubv ... '\rrhiterture in the Age of lts Virt~al Disappearance: An Inteniew with Paul Virilio'" in John Berkmann. ed .. The Virtual DimellSLQn. Princeton Architertural Press. '99S, p. ISO.


AH static surfares transformed to assist in the registration of the audience against lhe virtual transient spaces and ofthe bodies in movement.


4· ¡bid .. p. 180.

s· ¡bid .. p.


6. "Thresholds, The Arcades Project." a multimedia. interactive and sile-specific installation for lhe Center for Exploralory and Perceptual Arl. was funded in part by lhe Arls Council in Buffalo and Erie Counlv. the Countv Inilialive Progra~-Sponsored Individual Artist. in 1999. ,. Ruby. "Architecture in the Age of Its Virtual Disappearance." p. I'l).

current technologies. "Today information counts more than mass and energy. The third dimension of matter takes the place of the thing itself."" We use information about the matter to undermine it as an obstacle. Virilio argues that architecture "will continue to existo but in the state of disappearance." "To me." he says. "to disappear does not mean to become eliminated. Just like the Atlantic. which continues to be there even though you can no longer feel it as you fly over it. Or like the body that continues to exist without actually being needed-since we just switch the channel. "5 In a recent project for the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (CEPA)." I examined the literal and perceptual thresholds of the physical construct (matter). the movement of the audience as well as their engagement with. and operation oÍ, the tectonic

elements (energy). My focus was the impact of media technologies (information) upon these hybrid constructs. The architectural intervention became a device that brought into question the transformation and mutation of basic architectural elements (walls. openings. doors. etc.) in a situation where hybrid conditions and technologies coexisto Walls and in fact all static surfaces transformed to assist in the registration of the audience against the virtual transient spaces and/ofthe bodies in movement. The rotating panels / doors that negotiated the passage of the audience from one space to another became optical devices. These devices functioned much like apertures in cameras empowering the audience to control. adjust, and refract images and projections of the digitally prepared constructions and / or of their own image. activating the spaces on either side of the threshold. Using these mutated and informative

architectural elements. one was able to project oneself or others into impossible but perceived spaces only to gain a clear understanding of the reality of the architectural intervention. The virtual "realities" conceived in Las Vegas serve a similar function. Here the mutation of the familiar as a result of hybrid conditions of time and space is a paradigm for a new construct that brings together the virtual and the substantive events. It uses media and tools of simulation as the means to construct new hybrid structures that consist of matter, energy, and information. As with the CEPA project. Las Vegas is a place where the reality ofthe material architecture and the virtuality of the "continuous flow of optical appearances" make it "difficult to still believe in the stability of the real." 7 This is a place where "that which happens is much more important than that which lasts

FIGURES 3,4, 5

The rotating panels/doors that negotialed the passage of the audience from one space lo anolhn became oplical deviccs.




8. Ruby. "Archileclure in Ihe Age of Its Virlual Disappearance. ". p. 180, 9. ¡bid.. p. 18<.

(ce qui dure)-and also than that which is solid (ce qui est dur). "8 This is a place where a juxtaposition of electronic media and traditional buildingtechnologies begins to inform architectural form and space. This is a place where architecture "takes place in the literal sense of the word, in both domains: in real space (the materiality of architecture) and virtual space (the transmission of electromagnetic signs)," where "the real space of the architecture takes into account the real time of the transmission. "') The interiorworld of Las Vegas, where the continuous flow of sensory input produces a hyperreality (made possible by the space- and time-altering effects of digital technology), creates its own mesmerizing realities and rhythms. Its exterior world, however, reestablishes the link to the familiar physical and temporal reality. Virtual and optical illusions join

these otherwise disparate worlds in the dark hours until the light at dawn breaks this temporal link. What happens where they meet? What kind of architecture occupies such a site that is perpetually in flux spatially and temporally? What unique programs could it house? What kinds of materials could it employ? The image of the Las Vegas structures may signify something other but the continued efforts to become what they signify and establish the means to authenticate themselves, qualifies them as simulations rather than mere imitations or representation of their subjects.' o At times Las Vegas has tried to simulate a more authentic reality than the original. "Venice," Las Vegas, carefully and painstakingly simulates hundreds ofyears of weathering and aging in the construction of its surface materials. The ancient texture, colors, and ambience are recreated as closely as possible. A virtual

Venice is built to scale and continues to grow in this new environment of simulation six thousand miles away. Even a cultural advisor is hired to validate this Venice against the real one. The simulated gondolas had to be powered to make the job manageable for the serenading gondoliers, actors whose employer prioritized their performing abilities during their auditions over their ability to operate the boats. The new Rialto Bridge, too, is informed by its new home, It no longer crosses the canal. hut a stream of shimmering taxicabs and automobiles. What is important, however, is that the Las Vegas "Venice" is not simply an imitation but a simulation. An imitation is conceived through a fixed relation between the real and its signifier, hut a simulation sets into motion a dynamic relation between the two, which effectively disrupts the hierarchy of the former.

10. "The Iransilion from signs which dissimulate somelhing lo signs which dissimulale Ihat Ihere is nolhing. mark Ihe decisive lurning point. The firsl implies a theology of lrulh and secrecy (to which the nolion of ideology slill belongs). The second inaugurates an age of simulacra and simulalion. in which Ihere is no longer anv Cod lo recognize his own. nor anv lasl judgemenl lo separale true from false. the real from its artificial resurrectÍon. since everylhing is already dead and risen in advance."' "'To dissimulale is lo feign nol lo have what une has. To simulale is lo feign lo have whal one hasn·t. One implies a presence. Ihe olher an absence. Bul the matter is more complicaled. since lo simulale is nol simply to feign: "'Someone who feigns an illness can simply go lo bed and make believe he is ¡ll. Some(one) who simulales an illness produces in himself sorne of the symploms."' (Littre) Thus. feigning or dissimulaling leaves the reality principIe inlact: the difference is always clear. il is only masked: whereas sim~lalion Ihreate~s the difference belween "true"' and "false"'. belween "real"' and "'imaginary'·."' For more informalion please see: lean

FIGURES 6 , 7 , 8

A sequence of views through Ihe installalion at Ccnter for Exploratory and Perceplual Arl (CEPA). 1999.


Baudrillard. Simulations. translated bv Paul Foss. Paul Patton and Philip Beitchman. New York, Semiotextlel. '9 83 . p. 12 and p.,).

As noted earlier, a traditional notion of permanence is conceived in relation to a conventional notion of matter, and relies on measuring its duration against a constant and linear understanding of time. The added dimension of information may unfold simultaneous and multiple readings of the matter, which conceptually undermine the linearity of experience in/and time. One can now see the object from various perspectives that contribute to the development of new understandings in relation and in addition to its most obvious reading. In turno the introduction ofhybrid technologies in the makingof spatial constructs could materialize such multiple readings, rupturing our prevailing concept of temporality as a homogeneous and linear structure, and replace it with a more subjective and fragmented notion of time. This is bound not only to effect our creative constructs. but also to change our

understanding oftime, perception, and permanence. If time is conceptually perceived as multiples of intervals, ratherthan a constant linear dimension, and therefore measurable against a multidimensional coordinate system, permanence, too, becomes measurable in multiple ways.

Time has not always been understood as linear. Various cultures and people have explored the possibility of a dimension of depth that allows parallel and simultaneous realities to be recognized. Our relationship to the world around us is conceived through multiple and simultaneous rhythmic and cyclic experiences of renewal and retiring, birth and death, sleep and awake, menses. blinking, breathing, etc. We intuitively understand our world and synchronize our life with its cycles. seasons, days, and nights. These rhythmic cycles allow us a perception of

time by signaling, recording, and displaying their effects on us and the physical world in which we live. The concept of cyclical time even extends the possibility of return to the same coordinates in time and place where hierarchies of real and referent no longer emerge. The comforting reconstitution of at least certain aspects of life is made possible by combining the two models of the linear and the cyclical. where we do not return to the same coordinates but move along a spatial path. This seems perhaps closer to our contemporary experience of time. As soon as we are removed from these cycles of renewal we are in a different relationship to the world. Las Vegas attempts to remove us from the rhythms that linkus to the world by alteringthe experience oftime, by problematizing perception and our contemporary experience oftime and space.


Electrobricollage . a study by Fabian Bedolla t'or the "Building/Machines" studio.






11. Gene Youngblood. EX¡;;lmled Cinema. New York E. P. Dutton & Co .. "ro. p. 81. 1<. John \leHale. Ib_e Futur~the Future. New York, Georg" Braziller. 1969. opening of the book.



News. January

Public Radio.

6'00 1'.\1.

18. 2001.

'4. Robert Venturi. Denise Seott brown. and Steven lzt'llour. LearningJrQ.m Las

"Time," said S1. Augustine. "is a threefold presento the present as we experience it; the past as present memory; the future as present expectation." Hopi Indians used only the present tense in their language: past was indicated as "present manifested," and the future was signified by "present manifesting." Until approximately 800 B.C .• few cultures thought in terms of past or future: all experience was synthesized in the present. It seems that practically everyone but contemporary man has intuitively understood the space-time continuum."" "The future ofthe past is in the future The future of the present is in the past The future of the future is in the present"'2 John McHale's words may suggest a multidimensional and nonlinear interrelationship between the tenses.


making possible a reading of time constantly flowing and slipping from one tense to the other. Pasto presento and future simultaneously existo informing one another and constructing yet another spatial relationship between future. pasto and present-in no sequentialorder. Science just made the announcement that we now have been able to reduce the speed of light to almost zero when trapped inside a cold atom. Although we knew that we could slow the speed oflight inside water, glass. and similar matter-and the new discovery does not exactly mean that it can be brought to a halt-this has tangible consequences such as the transfer of "information" from light to atom.,J Although here "information" is literally carried by light and transferred to atom. this is indeed one more example of information that challenges our traditional notions

of matter and suggests a more fluid relationship between material facts and conceptual ideas. New modes of understanding time and matter can alter the ways in which we conceptualize and use these elements in technology. visual arts. and architecture.

Ve¡(as. Cambridge. \lassaehusetts, the M11' Press. "r<. The author would like to extend her g'ratitude lO Susan Varney for her careful

read ing and editi ng of this article and to her student, for their ,upport and hard work.

1 am interested in reading and decoding Las Vegas through the mechanism and procedures that assemble it. Rather than reading- the "sign" in Las Vegas. as do Venturi. Scott Brown, and Izenour,'4 as an ornament that occasionally rises to serve an architectural function like a fa~ade. 1am proposing a more dynamic realism that undermines the hierarchy between the real and the signo The city has thriving gambling and entertainment industries that are no doubt designed to hold one captive. Las Vegas. however. is much more important as a paradigm for the convergence of conventional architecture with

FIGURES 10,11,12

"Building/Machine,"studio investigations examine a critical/spatial

situation of details of a ,tudio projeel inform oi' multi-media Installations

within an apparatos de'igned and negotiated by Shadi '<azarian and James Ravburg. "Building/M aehi ne" stud io entries inelude ¡he work oL Staei Beek. Fabían Bedolla. Casev Cadwallader. Andrew Fisher. Ellie' Carnurg. Brie Goldberg. April Gruber. Tana Horton. Gloria Kim. Sahaja \1alone-Aram. -\ndrei Pogam. Erika Tapp. Jihoon Yim. These experiments wert' exhibited al liartell Galler... in an exhibít títled .. interVIEWS···. organized by Shadi !\;II.arian and funded hy a grant froll1 Cornell Couneil for the\rt, In support of her interdisciplinary studio.

new media and information technologies, 1t provokes us to think about the future of architecture, lt is liberating, Las Vegas allows us to leave behind our traditional Kantian notions of time and space. and to explore it instead as a succession of events and vistas that produce a web of discontinuous spaces. a multidimensional montage. an assortment of spatial and temporal simultaneity, This new and ambitious place can certainly benefit from such readings that would elevate it to the Cubist tradition. as it continues to capture simultaneous perception of opposite impulses and optical counterpoints,

FIGURES 13, 14, 1S, 16

The project "The Space of Public Art! Architecture" for the seminar "Building !Metropolis," funded by the Council for the Arts, Faculty Fellows in Service grant for Cornmunity Outreach Projects, Cornell University. Images of the students' projects include "Matrix" by Joshua S. Slater and Daniel Fabrick, "Restricted Area" by Charles Fadem. and "Hysteresis, NetlWork" by James Way & Claire Fox. May ~ooo,

We stand at a transitional point in the practice of architecture where a constructive dialogue between the reality of built form and the simulations fostered


bythe various and newtools of the digital media makes possible newways to conceive of architectural formand space. When a new tool or medium of communication is invented. most often a period of examination of the tool follows in order to understand how it can represent or reconstruct "the familiar" in a more productive or perhaps more seductive way, Duringthis time. the tool's capabilities are explored and enhanced. "The familiar." too. now seen from a different perspective. begins to be understood in new ways and undergoes a transformation. And then gradually the fascination with the tool begins to wear off, lt simply becomes a matter of technique, Experiments that follow this period allow us to question the ways in which we can modify and use the tool to address unprecedented questions and produce new kinds of realities, Through the examples explored in this article 1 propose that within the context where

the products of digital media and built form converge. we are already entering the next phaseexperimentation. What interests me is the transitional space wherein the relation between media. representation. and architecture is put into question; where rather than simply representing or (re)constructing a given "reality." the media reflects back upon that reality. jolting them both out of the inertia that slows them.





+Parasite Praxis: Investigating a Spatial Organism JAMES WAY AND DWAYNE BOHUSLAV

1. Any discussion of "parasite" is deeply indebted to Lawrence Schehr's translation of \lichel Serres' The P-ªIilJ,Ü\,. Baltimore, The Johm Hopkins Universitv Press. 1982. p. vii.

2. The work of Diller,Scofidio employs

the eoncept of the parasitc and is discussed in their artiele "PARA.-SITE. 1989" in the ¡ournal ofPhilosophr and the Visual Arts Architecture. Space. Pain ti n¡( with coordinating editor Andrew Benjamin. :\ew York, St Martin's Press. 1992. p. 59. 3. Serres, The Parasite. 16. 4· The Cornell Uniyersit\ \Iaster of ..\ rchitecture thesis titl~d Paradice Para.!iÜ\'Ji by Austrian architect \\'olf¡(ang J. Tsehapeller (lthaca, Cornell University, 1987) investi¡(al"S parasitical strate¡(ies and was developed in a recent lecture at the Universitv of Houston. 5· Diller+Scofidio. "P·\It\SITE." 59· 6. Serres. Ihe pª.rasit\" vii.


Screen Memory


auto-chan¡(er FIGURE 3 (RIGHT MIDDlE)

Space through which Invisible Objects Are Flowin¡(, The Sublime, The Liminal & The Everydav-:\ew Experiments in Art & Technolog\ installation. Projeetion provided by Janette Morales FIGURE 4 (RIGHT BOTTOM)

Chrvsalis Bridge performance by Easy Credil Theater

In the translator's preface to Michel Serres' T...bJ~ Parasi.t..e., Lawrence Schehr notes that in French, "parasite" has three meanings: a biological parasite: a social parasite: and static. Defying the overwhelmingly negative connotations of the popular, rhetorical misreading of" parasite," Serres later goes on to support that the parasite is "the primordiaL one-way. and irreversible relation that is at the base of human institutions and disciplines: society, economy, and work: human sciences and hard sciences: religion and history. ", In biology, a parasite is a plant or an animal that lives on or within another organism, from which it derives sustenance or protection without making compensation. The biological parasite as a microbe can be a potentially insidious infection that takes without giving and weakens without killing. Conversely, the symbiotic parasite lives togetherwith a dissimilar organism in close association or union, especially where this is advantageous to both. "The parasite changes hostility into hospitality, exchanges outside for inside. ", As a social relation taken from ancient Greece, parasite (from para, beside + sitos, grain) is a professional dinner guest, a guest who exchanges his talk. praise, and flattery for food from his host. Hosts and parasites are always in the process of passing by, being sent away, touring around, walking alone. They exchange places in a space soon to be defined. The social parasite invents something new. He obtains energy and pays for it in information.' The parasite as static is the noise in a system or the interference in a channeL The technological parasite creates static-like interference in an information circuito The guest structures, through physical and optical interventions. and interrupts direct circuits


in the host to torque it. Austrian architect Wolfgang J. Tschapeller investigates parasitical strategies with his "shadows of architecture" and applied them in his recent theoretical project for 5% for homeless services in -sited noisily within an existing multistoried office building in Vienna. 4 Diller+Scofidio concur: "The system is canceled when the parasited one makes noise in feedback. "" According to Serres, these seemingly dissimilar activities are intrinsically related and, in fact, have the same basic function in a system. Whether it produces a fever or just hot air, the parasite is a thermal exciter. And as such. it is both the atom of a relation and the production of a change in this relation between humans and their institutions. ú Diller+Scofidio asked, with their 1986 installation titled Para-Site, if it was possible forwork to assume a critical position towards its host while consenting to occupy it. Can the target and weapon be the same thing? Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite looks to explore the constructed implications of its biologicaL societaL and noise-inducing origins through collaborative and increasingly site-specific installation/projectionl performances. Probing examinations of the parasite opens up strategies for exploringthe ambiguous space at the conjunction of flesh and skeleton. of the internal and externaL of art and architecture. Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite's detachable, lightweight, low-technology operative strategies favorthe features of the host most immediate for physical and electrical sustenance. The guest structures select from a taxonomy of physical relations to their host, which include suspending from, wedging between, cantilevering off, compressing against, and suctioning onto to "draw out" its own sustenance while, simultaneously, activating the space of its host. The WAY, BOHUSLAV / PARASlTE PRAXIS


prefix para- in the word parasite means on the side. next too shifted: it is not on the thing. but on its relation. It is always mediate and never immediate.7 Seeing themselves as mosquitoes to the city's body. Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite is an active. constantly evolving collaboration 01' actionlinstallationl architecture that calls out to students. artists. architects. engineers. dancers. and host sites to collectively birth its work. This interdisciplinary collaboration evolved out of the desire to explore architectural ideas at a small scale. which resulted in installation. lnstallation art incorporates different disciplines. historically rising 1'1'0 m the hybridization of architecture and performance. in order to "question their individual autonomy. authority ando ultimately. their history and relevance to the contemporary context. "H lnstallation also relates the idea of an exhibition to an activity within a specific contexto calling attention to the readingofthe installation visa-vis the hosting institution 01' site. Biological parasitic works are inherently contextual-the architecture being the contexto For the parasitic work to existo the installation becomes architecture itself, creating a new porosity 01' permeability in the very skin 01' architecture. Formulated by Dwayne Bohuslav while earning a Master 01' Architecture at Cornell University and later while living/working in Tokyo, Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite was formed in 199~ while he was an adjunct professor of architecture at the University 01' Texas at San Antonio. As a potentially productive direction 1'01' research and innovative teaching. Bohuslav brought parasitic counter-strategies to the studio in order to focus students on inherent deep structures 01' site/host conditions. Bohuslav would invite students who excelled in these explorations and expressed an interest in furthering these through praxes (emphasizing practice. as distinct 1'1'0 m theory) to parasite a constructed actionlinstallation. Over twenty such collaborative +parasite works have been constructed to date. and out ofthose explorations. two collaborators. lose Torres and lames Way. have emerged as the base 01' operations I'or Bohuslav+parasite.

This type of work is the nature of the social parasite. to attract and utilize available human. natural. and technological resources to solve the problems encountered while fulfilling a concept. lt is within this collaboration with other disciplines that the installations achieve a sense 01' gesamtkunstwerk. Gesamtkunstwerk establishes its position within installation. incorporatingseveral disciplines in order to explore the intersection of different practices into a concerted hybrid that calls into question the arts from which it sprang.') Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite's actionl proj ection/performance in terdisci plina ry collaborators have included: Marcos Novak. cyberspace designer: lannette Morales. San Antonio video artist: Penny Boyer. San Antonio neighborhood activist: Easy Credit Dance Theater. self-proclaimed post-nuclear dance company on Main Street in Houston: and False Alarm. a modern dance group guided by Kevin and Barbara Magee. The "noise" that these action/projection/performances instigate confronts the space of the installation and attempts to articulate the culturally loaded relations present in the architecture. It is concerned with neither past nor future. only the hyper-present. '0 ... The graffiti followed us up. gradually thinning until a single name was repeated at intervals. LüTEK. In dripping black capitals. "Who·s Lo Tek?" "Not uso boss." She climbed a shivcring aluminum ladder and vanished through a hole in a sheet 01' corrugated plastic. " 'Low technique. low technology.·" (14) The Lo- Teks leech their webs and huddling places to the city's fabric with thick gobs of epoxy and sleep aboye the abyss in mesh hammocks. Their country is so attenuated that in places it consists 01' little more than holds for hands and feet. sawed into geodesic struts. (,6) By hook 01' crook. WilIiam Gibson's Lo-Teks" have inspired Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite from their earliest installations. Their primary kit - of- parts include hardware: bamboo. recycled copper. brass and

aluminum window screen. all-thread. galvanized gate clamps. cotton scrim: as well as salvaged software and injections 01' technology: LCD video and slide projection. inl'rared and light sensors. cannibalized motors. lights. and metronomes. Exploring simultaneously the space of the material and the electronic. Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite sees itself as a translational medium capable 01' evolving a symbiosis between two bodies that are at war with each otherthe primitive body that the human being has always possessed. and the virtual body that has come into being with the spread 01' the electronic envi ronment. As detachable assemblages employing sensor and projection technology. the works cumulatively engage existing structures lightly in ways that attempt to reveal conflicting elements in our daily Iives between the natural and the increasing presence 01' the virtual. technological world.

~. Se ...·es.

Thj' Par<lliill. 38-39'

8. Nicolas DeOli\·eira. NicolaO,levand Michael Petrv. Installation Art.· Ne" York, Smilhs~nian lnstilution Preso.



9. De Oliveira. Installalion Art . 14· 10.

Diller- Scnfidio. "PAR..'y-SITE." S9.

11. This term was t'irst introdurrd in Williarn Cibson's short stor), ".Inhnny Mnemnnic" in his colleclion Burnin¡r Chrome. New York, Ace Books. 1986. p.

14-16 .

lnitially formulated around a concept 01' .. elevated nature." the installation would always set natural materials used in the works. most often bamboo. in sorne suspended state of (in)animation. The sites 01' buildings were engaged lightly with rubber- gasketed custom tripods. clamps. 01' compression chocks modeled hom eco-sensitive rock-climbing technology. which in turn held flying bamboo scaffolding. culms. 01' screens. This suspended state heightened the viewer's awareness 01' the constructed nature 01' the installation to its host site. Increasingly. Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite has beco me focused on developing a series 01' chrysalis works exploring an electronic insect in stages of development between larval and adult forms. Biologically determined. the chrysalis is the form that butterf1ies and most other insects assume between the larval state. 01' caterpillar, and the winged 01' adult stage. Continuing the "elevated nature preoccupation of hanging in a suspended sta te of (in)animation. the vaguely familiar pupa -1 ike screenmesh-wrapped bamboo forms react internally to movement and light. The total effect intended is a haunting disorientation: giant. insect-like shapes caught between the animate and inanimate. the natural and the technologicaL the real and the viriua1.


Bamboo foresl wilh suspended steel framr oH'r rock pile FIGURE 6

False Al'll'm pcrforrning durin¡.( clnsin¡r pe rforma nCt'. FIGURE 7

Installation plan and sections FIGURE 8

Bambon. SlTeen. and projeclinn



TOPOS Art Space. Austin. TX (996) Representational of earlier "elevated nature" works. this 50'w x 60'1 x II'h installation internalized within a gallery space the actions produced in previous installation/projection/performances in the Resurrection Project: 4 Stations in Guerrero Viejo. Mexico. and the EJectronic Windbamboo scaffold and copper mesh wrapping at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. Texas. earlier in 1995. Inspired by and named after the Japanese-named comet in flight overhead at the time of the work. hyakutake (or one hundred bamboo stalks). the installation was organized on a uniform grid within the dimensions of the gallery. and the bamboo stalks were set vertically in compression between two pieces of threaded rod between the floor and metal z-purlins. Culms ofbamboo were attached horizontally between the vertical stalks in askew tines to provide an armature for copper scrim. which divided and


mapped space with various data and impeded direct movement. The scrim became a screen for LCD video and slide projection. which resulted in layers ofvarying density depending on the amount of scrim being projected through and the projectors' distances from them. Two audio tapes defined the space as well. One. underneath the concrete second floor. of a babbling brook. and the other. overhead in the steel z-purlins. of border transit eighteen-wheelers crossing an overpass. placing an additional overlay of "transborder" within the space. The audience/participant had to consciously navigate a path through the physical space and the virtual spaces of projections and sounds. This heightened the tension between the primitive. physical body. and the virtuaL immaterial body emerging in electronic environments. The gallery space became a space for exploring this relation and the relation of physical space to virtual spaces.

The installation was activated by a closing performance by FalseAlarm (a dance troupe from San Antonio) with slide projections. and LCD video projection of the Resurrection Project Performance. False Alarm's projection/performance consisted of extremely slow and controlled movements that engaged the striated nature ofthe space. exemplifyingthe reduced capacity of the body to passively engage such a space; they were primitive bodies at the edge of the virtual forest of the displaced bamboo and technological projections. Thus the static space of the gallery was marked and made dynamic by the installation and activated by the accompanying multi-sensory experience of the moving video projections, sound. and display of human interaction with the work.





[ArtPacel Hudson Show Room, San Antonio, TX (99 6 )


& THE &


Studio Gallo, San Antonio, IX (1998)


A multi-media retrospective installation, it revealed and concealed elements of previous +parasite installations. Edited projection/performance video images, soundtracks, and floating physical fragments from earlier works were installed behind a 32 - feet long suspended bamboo screen constructed for this installation. The fragments could be viewed through milled aluminum peepholes set into the screen. The vertical bamboo with limestone "feef' supported an overhead horizontal bamboo and screen mesh"forest" with light-sensitive electronic metronome insects. This constructed forest arced out of the second -story gallery space' s window and recollected the living bamboo screen found on the peripheral grounds of the Foundation for Contemporary Art. This installation concealed and revealed elements in an attempt to heighten the awareness of the conflict between the natural and increasing technological and virtual aspects of our daily lives.

Austin, IX (997) A resultant projection/performance space activated by a delicate bamboo armature lightly clamped to the overhanging eaves of a studio/gallery space. The armature received a "skin" of cotton and copper scrim that became a screen for slide and video projection by Jannette Morales, a video artist from San Antonio, Texas. The installation created an interstitial space between the building, a hard physical surface, and the screen, a soft flowing surface. The video was then projected on successive layers of screen, scrim, building, and bodies passingthrough the installation. This space became a new space for experiencing the physical spaces in our environments as well as the virtual spaces created by technology.

An electronic multimedia installation combining Electronic Puparium (997), puparium.3 (997). and puparium.head (998) together in an interactive assemblage. In Electronic Puparium, a pupa, which occurs between the larval and adult stages in certain insects within a protective cocoon or hard casing, was set within two metal diamond - plate truck runners that provided a rigid frame casing for the softer, more malleable "cocoon" of bamboo structure wrapped with metal screen. Within this cocoon were a salvaged cathode tube monitor and a windshield wiper motor. both of which are connected to motion sensors. The observer or passerby's motion triggered a ten-second static pattern in the monitor and a probing motion in a piece ofbamboo. The electro-mechanical organism sensed and reacted to outside stimuli by attempting to break free from the protective mesh casing. When collaboratively combined with smaller-scaled pupa studies as "organs" for planned larger- scaled installations, the full potential of an interactive biologicalltechnologicallnoise parasite began to emerge.


Bamboo screen. copper mesh forest overhead supprted by bamboo armatufe. FIGURE 10 (MIDDLE)

Bamboo armature supporting screen and serim with video projeetion by Janet Morales FIGURE 11(RIGHT)

Puparium detail showinÂĄÂĄ; screen and motion sensing motor.



Buffalo Bayou Art Park, Houston, TX (1999) 12. University of Houston College of Architecture Professor Bruce Webb has reviewed our Qwn parasite counterstrategv in his review. "Chrysalis Bridge" (ยก999). to be published in The University of Texas Center for American Architecture and Design journal OffCenter On - Line.

The largest and most engaging site - specific chrysalis installation. it was attached to the underside of Sabine Street Bridge along Allen Parkway. a linear park winding parallel to Buffalo Bayou adjacent to Houston's downtown. The 33-feet long chrysalis was parasited by c-clamps and half-inch all-thread from two concrete cantilever beams that support the bridge. Chrysalis Bridge was designed to respond from overhead to unsuspecting hikers and bikers below. The bamboo and galvanized gate clamp structure was wrapped in copper screen with fiberglass "organs" placed within the cocoon to protect the interior mechanized components from adverse weather. The "organs" of the chrysalis included a fiberglass-coated brain ofbamboo. metal screen. and steel angle; a nervous system in the form of a light spine; cannibalized windshield wiper driven probe-like. protruding bamboo arms; and a radiator fan as an excretory/cooling system. These "organs" were synchronized to a bank of motion sensors that triggered reactions from passersby. By day or night. the chrysalis was a mute. inanimate object that awakened and activated an outdoor space through its motion sensor fields whenever human contact was made. As Bruce Webb noted in his review of Chrysalis Bridge. "The anomalous presence ofthe chrysalis onlocation demonstrates the way that parasitic grafting

can serve to activate and reinterpret underachieving urban situations by teasing the implacable urban infrastructure into playfulness." Achieving the graft was a problem in urban logistics and negotiations. testing the elasticity of the city. '" Self-proclaimed post-nuclear dance troupe Easy Credit Theater scripted and choreographed a threehour Butoh-esque performance and soundscape that used the chrysalis as its concept and focus for an opening evento The result was an interaction between eight primitive. plastic-wrapped. human cocoons and underscape tribal drumming that evolved into an interaction with the chrysalis and following birthing, a near- orgiastic technologically evolutionary frenzied dance as synthesizers joined with the tribal drums. The chrysalis stirred as the cocoons approached and encouraged the transformation as motion increased. The dancers' movements extended into the crowd and increased in physical control and difficulty. much like an emerging butterfly adapts to its new body. The whole ensemble acted as a chrysalis becoming aware. reactingto its environment. and fulfillingthe life cycle. It is this use ofperformance in +parasite installations that attempts to show audiences the possibilities of interactingwith such objects and spaces and to inform audiences to become more aware of the spaces that surround and create one 's environment.


Easy Crcdit Theater performing during durinยก( openinยก( rcception. FIGURE 13 (BOTTOM LEFT)

Chrvsalis Bridยก(e installation showing Connection. bamboo structure. anclliยก(ht spline. FIGURE 14 (BOTTOM RIGHT)

View showing installation connected to underside of bridge







Studio Gallo, San Antonio, TX (1999) An increasingly evolved coalescence of the chrysalis installations, it is suspended inside of a linear gallery space in the graphic and Web page design firm space designed by Dwayne Bohuslav. The installation measured over 60 feet in length and 5 feet at its widest. The head, thorax. and abdomen that made up the autochanger were constructed as three fiberglass shells (reinforced by bamboo strip s and metal screen) supported between an oshibuchi (the horizontal supports in traditional Japanese fence construction) ceiling- hung box frame. The diode - imbedded fiberglass and copper/aluminum/brass skin was wrapped tautly around a woven bamboo skeletal armature and activated by the presence of viewers within the space. Monitors and sounds as organs within the body were activated by incoming and outgoing Internet information.


These elements once again were informed by organ metaphors in relation to the body that supports them, which was, in turn, informed by an insect's carapace tripartite form of head, thorax. and abdomen. Upon entry into the space, the motion detectors activated the series of LED lights into a nonlinear pulsing syncopated rhythm. a sign of the auto-changer's becoming aware. The thorax contained a windshield wiper motor, which agitated a piece of bamboo through a gap in the carapace and produced a drumming sound. The abdomen contained a cannibalized vibrating massager. which shook violently and loudly when a spectator carne within range of its sensor. With the intensity level of the reaction increasing as users moved through the space. the auto - changer introduced a parasitic approach fully integrative of the biological/ social/noise-inspired implications of its origino


University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, TX (~ooo)


Bamhoo connection detad FIGURE 16 (MIDDLE)

Suspended monitor detad FIGURE 17 (RIGHT)

Oshihuchi installation in suspended in the main corridor



organ ยก;rindersuspened in the atrium of Philip Johnson's Geral D. Hines College of Architecture. Photo c0l'vright, Paul Hester Photography. ~ooo.


organ grinderwas the largest and most engaging of this series of works exploring emerging interactive forms caught between the organic and technological. The installation took its namesake organ grinder from the automatic instruments and composition machines initiated in the fifteenth century that explored mechanically driven interactions with sound and space. The assemblage additionally investigated its relationship with the void of the Phillip Johnson designed atrium; a hollow shell that desired activation by the insertion of ..organs." Biologically determined, the ..organs" were hung in suspended states on Cin)animation and reacted internally with movement, sound, and light exploring respiratory, circulatory and reproductive natures. The total intended effect, as out of a laboratory, presented an exaggerated vision of skeletal structure, circulatory and nemal networks and responsive organs working out their identity in a growinglyprosthetic world. The organs themselves, pieces appropriated from past instal!ations being adapted or integrated wholesale into new configurations gleaned from previous incarnations, are caught up in their own evolutionaryweb. The organs were literally suspended between thirty and fifty feet in the air from thin metal"ribs" that arced into the central void of the atrium from their moorings on the sUITounding columns, now given a reason otherthan decorative for their being. The columnar periphery of the void provided the ground for skeletal structure that held the organs as floating volumes. The organs, as expressions of circulation, respiration, and reproduction, responded to movement through and around the atrium by motion sensors hidden within the organs, as a nervous system. Bruce Webb described the reactions as, ..rickety, almost painfullydesperate. Lights flashed on and off. It wasn't exactly out of control," but they were reminiscent of Jean Tinguely's machinic sculptural performances.' 3 The visceral nature of Tinguely's sculptures was inherent in organ grinder in its materials as well as reactions. The rough translucent fibreglass stretched over frames ofscreen, bamboo, and steel gave the impression of skin. When the sensors triggered interior lighting a soft amber and green glow seeped out and diminished across the undulating surfaces increasing the fleshy character of the organs, while cannibalized motors clankingly push and pul! rocker arms to life and audibly animate the surrounding body. WAY, BOHUSlAV




As with previous installations, performance became an integral aspect in the presentation of the work. The performative aspect overlaid with the genealogical origin of organ grinder as a semi -automatic sound machine used to entertain street crowds called to mind the temporary inhabitation of a public space as a theatrical evento In further exploring the mixing of the organic and the mechanical as a theatrical production Webb commented that it "creates a new character whose role is to perform a semantic ritual. It becomes dramatis persona within the atrium stage, a progeny of the antimechanical dadaist theatrical machine." '4 organ grinder reached its culmination for the closing reception for the International Sculpture Conference ~ooo in May and June ~OOO. Light, sound, sculpture, and performance combined to create a total spatial transformation of the emptyvolume of the atrium into a charged theatrical, if not carnivalistic, space. Cameron Armstrong, in his review for Sculpture, identified the possibility of installations to create liminal spaces when he wrote that the space and

installation "came to life as an armature for a theater! dance performance by Richie Hubscher's Easy Credit Theater. organ grinder and the space of the building were transformed into a surrealist dream of associations and emotions, with dancers climbingup, down, and through the moving, suspended objects." '5 Returning to the idea of installation as gesamtkunstwerk, Armstrong described the installation as a "piece that really connects all the elements together, a juncture of performance, installation, construction, and specificity to site." ,6 This reference to site specificity plays a twofold role. One is the relation of the installation to its physical site, the atrium, which has already been outlined. The second, more important and relevant, is the relation to its discursive site, the architecture school or Architecture. The obvious mechanical aspect of +parasite' s work within architecture recalls Le Corbusier's pronouncement that a house is a "machine for living." Tracing this line of thought through the

work of Archigram and the writings of Reyner Banham, Webb noted that architecture "has become a robotic environment, breathing in and breathing out, circulating electrons and fluids, sending, receiving, and responding to sensory stimuli. Having its own nervous breakdowns. Within the precincts of contemporary architecture, the relationship between human life and the machine beco mes ever more symbiotic." '7 It is this symbiotic relationship that +parasite investigates and draws out in its practice of interfacing the physical human biological and the increasingly technological and ephemeral aspects of space.

13. Webb. Bruce. Unpublished manuscript. Houston, ~ooo. Unpaginated. 14. Ibid. 15. Armstrong. Cameron. "Site!WorklS A Public Forum." Sculpture Magazine JulylAug200I. 46. 16. Ibid. 17. Webb. Unpublished manuscript.

In his review of Chrysalis Bridge, Bruce Webb observed that "Bohuslav considers his installations to be explorations of nascent architectural ideas at a small and frugal scale. With a few well- known examples to the contrary, architecture in the latter part of the twentieth century has become a difficult medium for experimentation. Increasingly the


organ grinder performance with Easy Credit Theater performer wrapped in eeIlophane. suspended. and Iowered into the atrium and for the International Sculpture Conference 4000.


organ grinder performance for the InternationaI ScuIpture Conference 2000.


organ grinder performance with Easy Credit Theater performer suspended and emerging from cellophane for the International Sculpture Conference ~ooo


18. Webb. "Chl'salis Brid¡;e'"

'9· Hecber! ~1uschamp npiores this innova!;"e design cone"pt of the "parabuilding" and introduct's tht' term in his '-'by .6. '999. rhe N,. ... York Times revi,.w uf Skidmorc. Owings and \lerril!"s Roger Duffy addition titled "One W"v lo Cel Taller in a Cit" of Cían!s'" . 20. Thís p"rasite as prac!íce is sel f· titled ana rJeveloped through comments by James Crose in his revíew of Richard Coodwin. who graduated from architec!ure bu! his work has largel)" been sculpture in lhe public realm. and his project "Parasite" published in the \1arch/April'999 issue of Architecture Australia. 64--66.


Webb. "Chrysalis Bridge."

product 01' a ruthless calculus 01' budgets. profit mol ives. and superficial styling. it fails to mediate the idiosyncrasies of place-making in the modern world."'s In a similar vein. Herbert Muschamp recentlyobserved in the Sunday NelV York Times: ooIt's lime to admit how bankrupt the idea 01' appropriateness has beeome as a measure 01' architectural value." In discussing how Roger Duffy. with Skidmore. Owings and Merrill. designed a new lobby and office space inserted into a 2S -foot gap between two buildings in downtown Manhattan. he observed how the projeet deserves to be seen not only as anaddition lo an older building. but also asa "new embryonic building type: an innovative approach to building vertically in an already over- built-up city." He calls this type parabuilding. from the Greekderived prefix for alongside. or alteration too and also from the concept of the parasite as an organism that feeds off a host. Here. the host is an older building. the parasite a new piece 01' design that interacts with it organically.'9

Architecture-trained sculptor Richard Goodwin has seen a great opportunity to explore theories relating to the" parasite" in architecture. Forthe parasitic work to existo the site for public art beeomes architecture itself. As a formo it bites into structure and c1ings to the ground-growing from this position. Unlike minimalist modernismo it shows the struggle 01' structure through space. James Grose further discussed Goodwin's work as an exploration to reach beyond the brief. beyond the programo beyond the neat and obsessional relationship with the street-to eonfront the place. Goodwin calls this porosity. where the architect and sculptor begin to merge.>o Cities are languishing in a simplistic intellectual mire that claims the past has always been better than the future. Most arehiteets have lost sight 01' the megaurban environment-the ghettos. erumbling walls. baek alleys. makeshift residenees under expressway overpasses. Seminar courses such as Ephemeral Arehitecture. Parasites. and Other Counter-Strategies.

reeently offered at the University 01' Houston by Dwayne Bohuslav and Bruce Webb. examined eollaborative parasitic investigations sueh as those outlined aboye. and demonstrate strategies to diseover fitting artistic/arehitectural expressions for new spatial organisms and new dimensions 01' space. This work c1early endorses the notion 01' arehiteeture as arto and that architeeture must ehallenge our preeoneeptions to allow us to see beyond the past. A "parasite" exposes the real goings-on ofthe place: the real importanee is that it c1early and unambiguously loeates itself in the realm 01' now.

..As a counter- strategy the ChrysaJis resto res a poetie dimension by building a little house 01' eontemplation into the eraeks and grooves and marginalized territory that permeates the modern city. Like an artless treasure box it protects this knowledge al' the uncanny, eonserving it for the architecture al' the future. ""


Reproductive organ. Photo copyright, Paul Hesler Photography. 2000. FIGURE 23 (MIDDLE)

Circulatory organ. Photo copyright, Paul Hesler Pholography. 2000. FIGURE 2. (RIGHT)

Respiralory organ. Photo copyright, Paul Hesl er Pholography. 2000.




Suburbanism of Mass Customization PAUL lEWIS, MARC TSURUMAKI, DAVID



1. For a clear presentation of industrialized home-building systems that demonstrated to the arehiteetural profession the way to transform military production into domestic constructio¿. see, "The Industrialized House.'· The ·1rchitectlJral FORUM February 1947' 115" and Greg Hise. "The Airplane and the Garden Citv, Regional Transformations During World War 11." \'('orldWar 1I a!1_dJheAmeriean Dream. ed. Dona Id Albreeht. Cambridge, The \IIT Press. 1995' 14-+183.

Today's Suburbanism Today. the compact houses of postwar mas s production have given way to the mini - mansions of information - age mass customization. Nearly fifty years since Bill Levitt built his iconic housing tract out of the potato fields of Long Island. and Kaiser Corporation shifted from wartime shipbuilding into home fabrication. the image they helped create of the single-family home-simple. compact. and efficient in designo sitting like islands on generously proportioned lawns-remains the architectural stereotype.' (Figure ~) This suburban image is vastly out of date. The formerly ubiquitous side yard has been hunted to the point of extinction by 3.000 square-feet homes featuring: three bedrooms and three-and-one-half baths. master bedroom suites

complete with walk-in closets and jacuzzi-filled bathrooms; double - height foyers and family rooms with home entertainment centers; home offices and breakfast nooks off enormous eat-in gourmet kitchens attached to three-car garages all vying for space on narrow strips ofIand. (Figure 3) A close look through contemporary home plan magazines reveals a series of unanticipated oddities and curious conditions. For one. a new room has been added to the traditional set of options. In addition to the media room. living room. family room. dining room. and master bedroom suite. today's suburban home comes complete with a "bonus" room. (Figure 4) If one is supposed to cook in the kitchen. and sleep in the bedroom. of what nature are the activities in


the bonus room? Or having exhausted all possible functions and names. have developers and home designers resorted to a catch -all term for undisclosed supplementary gifts to fill their new designer homes? Furthermore. in contrast to highly formalized street far;ades. conveying the traces of a particular style. the side elevations of these new homes are bizarreo surrational compositions of mismatched windowsthe direct result of interior room configurations. driven by packing as many commodity feature - rooms into allowable footprints. (Figure 5 ) Like the surrealist game of exquisite corpse, the modern - day suburban home combines contradictory architectural methodologies: formal far;ade composition with Raum -plan dictates, paying unintentional homage to Lutyens and Loos, simultaneously.


.....Iyo roo...


b low


.\'('a" Suburbanisrn: models views THI5 PAGE

(Top LEFT) Levittown. \Y 1950 (Photo, Ben \Iartin. Time) FIGURE 2


Suburban Home. ühio. 1998 (Photo, David J. Lewis)

BONUS RM. 14 4 • 17-0


D"veloper Home Complete with "Bonus Room." Cllstoln J-!(JIne Phlns. Winter 1999 FIGURE 5 (RIGHT)

Byan Horne Developrnent. Alexandria. VA. 2000. (Photo, David J. Lewis)




Still, many suburban development strategies have remained unchanged in the postwar years. Home packages are still sold like new cars, with a list of standard features and options at additional costs. Yet the relationship of the spatial assemblage has changed. Options in the 1950s were limited to appliances, color choices, and special features within a preset architectural plan based on quasi - military efficiencies.' The original Levitt homes offered only 800 square feet of living space, with two bedrooms, one small bathroom, kitchen, a utility closet tucked under the staircase, and a living room that doubled as the entry foyer and television room. (Figure 6) The attic was sold as expansion space for growing families, easily finished off to add two more rooms to the house, thus playing into the burgeoning do- it-yourselfhome improvement economy.3 Current developments commodify and objectify individual rooms, creating houses through an assemblage of features and options. Facilitated by

computer-driven shipping and production systems~ critical to international manufacturing, storage, and delivery systems-developers and builders can now offer a plethora of options, additions, and decorative palettes to each prospective homebuyer from a variety of plans. The spatial arrangement is a byproduct of the selection of rooms as commodities-in short, organs without a body. Fac;:ades are the visible massing of interior choices, held tentatively together through stylistic appliqué. The same base-plan can thus yield two different houses-a condition celebrated by many developers. (Figure 7) In contrast, individualization in midcentury suburban developments come over time, through the customization of standard unit homes by their owners to fit changes in lifestyle and family size. Today, with Americans moving many times during their life, homes are no longer purchased to be reconfigured or handed down to future generations, but rather for their resale value. The contemporary mini - mansions

are not intended to be expanded, thus enabling developers to sell homes built to set-backs lines, shrink yards, and maximize profit per square acre of a development. (Figure 8) So long as it looks durable, and in the image of what the next buyer might likeas dictated by real estate markets-cheapness of construction is favored over traditionaL permanent materials. With the exterior surface in contemporary construction divorced from the structural performance of the wall, a wide variety of veneers have become interchangeable in suburban construction. 4 Individual houses are sheathed in a diverse-and previously inconceivable-combination of materials and texture. Seemingly bizarre juxtapositions of vinyl shingles and brick walls, or sculpted stone corners made of reinforced foam capped with fiber- cement boards pressed to look like aged wood are now made commonplace. The end result is suburban developments of instantaneous superficial diversity.

See Clark. Clifford E. Clark. "RanchHOllse Subllrbia, Ideals and Realities."· Rec¡JstinK Anu-'rieJ: Culture and PoJitics in the A¡;e 01" Cold War. ed. Lary Mav (Chiea¡(o, The Universitv of Chica¡(o Press. 1989)' 17'-191' and Mark Jarzombek.·· 'Good-Life \lodernism'" and Bevond, The American HOllse in the !li50S and 1960s, A Commenlarv."· CornelJ ¡ournal of Architecture (199 1), 76 -9:1. 2.


:1. Carolyn M. Goldstein. Do It Yourself Home Improvement in 2oth··Centurv America. New York, Princeton Architectural Press. 1998. 4. Trade magazines. Iike Prol"essional Builderor Walls and Ceilin¡;s. published for the construction industry. provide information ea eh month on nt'w products and materials. In addilion. these resollrces provide striking images of standard homes and development trends that are ignored by most professional architecture publications.

.. ,


Levittown Home Plan. 1950 FIGURE 7 (MIDDlE)

House Variations from Sample Plan. 1999 U.S. Home Corporation FIGURE 8 (RIGHT)

Tiny Yards in Suburban Development. Ohio. 1998 (Photo, David J. Lewis) FIGURE 9 (BDTTOM)

Princelon Suburban Development


S. "Smart Growth Report, Building Better Places to Live. Work and Play." National Association of Home Builders. 2000,


The clear- cut distinctions between living and working. public and private life that defined the suburban life of the postwar era are increasingly difficult to maintain with the proliferation of cell phones, PDAs, laptop computers. and cable-modem connections. With a significant percentage of commuters traveling not into cities, but rather to other suburban locations, the new suburban condition is no longer framed by the urban/suburban binary.\ As a resulto contemporary suburban developments have beco me polycentric and autonomous from urban centers. Moreover, the typical amenities of urban life have been fully reproduced in dispersed and mutated form to support the contemporary suburban condition, resulting in: mega - bookstores, hyper-cappuccino bars, superplex cinemas, outlet malls: the now ubiquitous market-specific big- box storehouse stores such as Lowes, Toys- R- Us, Staples, Office Max, PepBoys, Circuit City, and Home Depot; and the

category killers of COSCO, Walmart, Sam's Club, Target, and BigK. (Figures 10-13) Critics of today's suburban conditions no longer focus their attention on presumed homogeneity, but rally against sprawl. If growth continues unchecked, the argument goes, untold acres of fertile farmland will be destroyed. paved under by the horizontal expanse of developer homes, commuter roads, drive-through restaurants, and big- box stores. Critical responses to suburbia tend to fall into predicable categories: nostalgic returns to fictionalized nineteenth -century small-town settlement patterns (still connected, of course, byvast roads and highways to the employment locations and consumer needs of the early twenty- first century); calls for limiting growth through zoning or legislation; or in the case of the National Association of Home Builders, extensive and expensive lobbying and public relation efforts to carry on as before. In each of these responses, little serious attention is paid

to the architectural desires contained within the contemporary suburban landscape and to the creative possibilities of working through the conventions of suburban sprawl.

New Suhurbanism What ifthe popular desires fuelingthe contemporary suburban culture of mini - mansions and big- box stores were creatively reconfigured? (Figure 14 and Figure 15) If the mega -store exists to service and supply the expanding landscape of mini-mansions, then why not combine the two, producing new efficiencies of land -use. shared infrastructure, and reduced transportation. while maintaining the desires that feed the popularity of the quotidian suburb? Could the reintroduction of the section to suburbia sponsor new vertical matings, creatively mitigating the redundant horizontal surfaces of suburban sprawl?

FIGURES 10,11, 12 (LEFT)

Big- Box Variations FIGURE 13 (TOP RIGHT)

Big- Box Variation FIGURE 14 (BOTTOM RIGHT)

Big Box Store Diagram FIGURE lS (BOTTOM lEFT)

Suburban Plan Diagram






In this speculative proposa!' entitled New Suburbanism, dwellings migrate to occupy the vast horizontal roofscape of the big boxes. The repetitive system of open -span structure with aisles and storage racks in the big- box store below establishes a linear designation of houses aboye. Storage structures extrude through the inhabitable roof plane of the big box, delineating property divisions within the alternating pattern of houses and yards aboye and providing a container for the equipment and commodities of domestic life. In this hybrid of the logic of house and store, the identities of both are maintained, but in an altered form-now cross-wired to produce unanticipated social and spatial relationships through their mutual influence. Thus, while this speculative project is physically realizable, playing off the ordinary elements and desires that fuel suburban growth, it simultaneously challenges what is taken for granted in daily suburban life.

Commodity Homes Today's developer houses are conceived and sold as an accumulation of figural commodity rooms and open public areas. The commodity rooms-formal living and dining rooms, master bedroom suites, media rooms, bathrooms-are demarcated like


consumer objects within the house plan. (Figure 16) The more continuous public spaces-kitchen, foyer, breakfast, family-are loosely treated as free plan, a hangover of a modern spatial sensibility. (Figure 17) In the New Suburbanism proposa!, the house arrangements are made through exploiting the reciprocal relationship between the figural commodity rooms and the free space of the public programs, initiating a spatial play not achieved in the stilted plans of typical homes. Thus, the object rooms reclaim a spatial imperative, without relinquishing their commodity or figural qualities. (Figure 18) The interiors of each can be decorated in any manner desired-Louis XVI, Wallpaper*-moderne, or Martha Stewart Anglo-chic-independent of an overall decorating scheme. In one speculative version, on the ground leve!, the free-plan public spaces-living room, kitchen, foyer-are defined in direct relationship to the location of the commodity rooms and objects-dining room, grand staircase, television cabinet, and fireplace. (Figure 19) This dialectic relationship allows for multiple versions of the New Suburban house within the given structural system, setting the stage for unprecedented mass customization.

FIGURE 16 Ă&#x153;op) Diagram 01' Commodity-Object Rooms FIGURE 17 (MIODLE)

Diagram 01' Open Plan Rooms FIGURE 18 (BOTTOM)

\'"" Suburbanism, Projeetion


New Suburbanism, Plan



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The massive and overarticulated roof is the icon of suburban mini - mansions, allowing double - height cathedral spaces and residual storage, while giving an umbrella of visual coherence after the fact to the commodity rooms assembled below. (Figure ~o and Figure ~l) In New Suburbanism, the dominant roof mass is conceived from the start as a solid insulating zone, hungfrom the structural column grid, and cocooningthe private commodified bedrooms and suites on the second floor. Punches up into the roof mass from below produce the requisite double- height spaces for cathedral ceilings and grand foyers, while stalactite -like forms drop from the underside to accommodate storage, fireplaces. and staircases on the first floor. (Figure ~~) A void pushed down through the roof from the top creates an involuted pool-an interiorized exterior aquarium-consistently filled with rainwater, and thus ideal forsupportingsmall aquatic life. (Figure ~3) Viewing through the aquarium means looking through the outside from the inside to the inside. Within the rooms of the typical suburban house, commodity equipment and objects determine occupation. In New Suburbanism, the modular big- box storage racks are modified to become infrastructural walls containing all necessary equipment for domestic life-appliances, cabinetry, fixtures-as well as serving as points of connection to utilities. Additionally, the racks provide a training ground for hedges and trees, establishing property divisions and avoiding potential turf wars over territory waged through lawn-care techniques. The racks are thus double -sided, serving on one side the needs ofthe house, and on the other housing the necessary accessories of the neighboring suburban lawn: barbecue grills, water spigots, hose bibs, garden sheds, and playground equipment.


Diagram of Suburban Roof FIGURE 21 (BOTTOM RIGHT)

Suburban Roofs. ühio. David J. Lewis)




In the exchange between free space and object rooms, the boundary between house and yard fluctuates. (Figure ~4) Analogous to the various decks, porches, and breezeways of the conventional house, these spaces introduce the outside into the house as contained and encapsulated fragments of commodified nature. Furthermore, the linear organizing system of the bigbox reorients the conventional relationship between the house and yards. (Figure ~S) The typically minimized noman's zone of the side yard is here expanded to become the primary exterior space. The conventional 40


New Subllrbanism, Section FIGURE 23 (TOP)

New Subllrbanism, SectionPerspective at Interior Fish Tank FIGURE 24 (FACING PAGE LEFT)

New Sllbllrbanism, SectionPerspective at Interíorízed Carden FIGURE 25 (FACING PAGE RIGHT)

New Sllbllrbanism, Sectíonal Perspective of Entrance to Suburban Home and Big Box Loading Dock


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distinction between the ornamental front yard and the private rear yard is mitigated in favor of a continuous functional space, paralleling the long side of the house. At the back, beyond the extruded structure, this yard joins neighboring properties, creating the ideal zone for typical suburban recreations like tennis, shuffleboard, volleyball, and other community-oriented sports. (Figure ~6) Private pools for each house are connected through a continuous lap pool, allowing ahorne owner on a sunny day to swim around the block. The big- box sto re' s falsefront parapet and signage doubles as the high garden wall at the end ofthe lawn, providingthe structure for a continuous running track and series of basketball hoops. (Figure ~7) The pool-doubling as the skylight for the big- box space below-is one of a series of sectional matings. (Figure ~8) The yard is maintained by its proximity to the store. Fire sprinklers double as lawn sprinklers, fertilizer is fed directly through the water supply, and the perpetual waste heat from the superstore ensures that the lawn stays perfectly green year- round, winter or summer. Houses tap into the extensive airconditioning and heating systems, cutting down on redundant heat- exchange units. The roof membrane of the big- box store folds to create natural grasscovered lawn furniture for pool-side sunbathing. (Figure ~9)

(Top) New Suburbanism, Aerial Perspective



-- '-. -------


New Suburbanism, Section

Big Box Towns The multifunctional aspect of the big- box construction system-once used only for warehouses and factories. but now adapted to build public libraries. schools. community centers. and gas stations-combined with the vast demand for housing means that the potential for the New Suburbanist coupling is enormous. Following the already existing trend in big box construction. different commercial interests and public services are lined up in long rows. (Figure 30) The excessive parking that typically surrounds big- box sto res is now just another space underthe vast ground/roofscape. Without the parking moats. the scale of downtown USA is reclaimed-the signage of the big- box stores recreating in mutated form the image of Main Street. In New Suburbanism. latent desires of suburbia are exploited.lamentable redundancies are absolved. and new sectional matings are established in continued pursuit of the American Dream.


Suhurbanism: Section


Se" Sllbllrbanism, Section - Perspcctivc at Pool (Top) Nc" SlllJllrbanism, Big Box Main Slrcct





absorb accumulate add addition adhere adhesive aged ageless agelessness ages alive analogous analogy ancient annex antique balance balanced banal banality bedrock bind binding boom

imperturbable impregnable inactive increase increasing increment indefinite indestructibility indestructible inertia inescapable inevitable inexhaustible infinity inflexible insured intact

solidity spread stability stabilize stable stagnate stamina (stand up) stasis state static stationary status staying steadfast steadiness steady sterilized stillness stone stonewall straight

disconnect discontinue discontinuity discontinuous disfigure disintegrate disintegrated disintegration disorder disorient displace displaeement disposable disposal dissolve distort distortion

nonexistence nonexistent nonmaterial nonuniformity nothingness now null oblivion obsolescence obsolete occasion (optical illusion) oscillation passing pending period periodic periodically THE CORNELl JOURNRl Of RRCHlTECTURE 7; THE fUTURE Of PERMRNENCE



bound boundary brick built bullt-in built-up bulk burden bureaucracy calcify callus ceaseless cement childproof chronic classic common commonness completed completion concrete

integrity intensification interminable invariable invulnerable landed landfill lasting legacy lifelong lifetime long-lasting long-lived long- standing long-term maintain maintenance mass

straightness structure structured stubborn stuck stud substance substantial supported sure survive surviving symmetrical symmetry synonymy timeless tĂ­melessness tough toughness

disturb disunite diverse diversity dream dreamlike drift drifting drop dynamic earthquake eject elastic electric electronic elusive emergency emptiness empty ephemeral erase eraser erode

peripatetic permutation peripatetic portability portable precarious precariousness present prompt protean provisional provisionally quick rapid rare rarefied rarity reduce reduction removal 46

concreteness condense consecutiveness conservatism conserve constancy constant construct continue continuity continuos convalescence dateless deathless definite definitive density

material materiality matter mend monotony motionles8 multiplication multiply mummification mummify never-ending nonconvertible nonfading nonperishable nonstop nontoxic obstinate

tradition traditional traditionalism unbreakable unbroken unchangeable unchanged unchanging (underwarranty) undying unharmed unify union unity unproved unwavering unyielding wall

erosion errant ethereal

evanescence evanescent evaporate event expire explode extinct extinction extinguish fad fade fake fall (fall apart) fantastic fantasy fast few fiction fictional fictitious

restless revolutionary rootless rundown scarce seasonal shadow shattered shift shifting short-lived short-term shrink 8hrinkage simulacrum simultaneous smash sometimes sparse THE CORNELL JOURNRl OF RRCHlTECTURE 7: THE FUTURE OF PERMRNENCE





develop development dilate duplicate duplication durability durable duration emblem endless endurance endure enduring enlarge enlargement equal equilibrium equivalence escalating

ongoing open-ended outlast outlive outstay overhaul overweight parallel parallelism paraIyzed perennial permanence permanent perpetual perpetuity persist persistence physical placement

weight whole wholeness abandon abandoned abort abrupt absence absent abstract accelerated accident accidental activity airiness alter ambulant amnesia annihilate annihilation askew

fickle fire flare flash fleeting flicker flimsiness flood flow fluctuation fluffiness fluid flush flux fracture fragile fragility fragment fragmentary fragmented frail frailty free fresh future

sparseness speed speedy split spontaneous squeeze stunt substitution subtract subtraction sudden suspend swift switch temporal temporarily temporary thin throwaway transfer 48

esealat ion eternal eternity evergreen everlasting everlastingness existenee expand expan8ion extension faeade familiar familiarity filled finished finishing firmness fix fixed fixity fixture

poise predietability predictable presenee present preservation preserve prevalent proliferate proliferation proportion proportional proteetion proteeted reality realization reetity reeuperation

asymmetrieal asymmetry (at times) bent blank blankness blink (blowout) (blow up) blur bounee bouneing break (break down) (break up) brief briefly broken bubble burn (burn down)

futuristie gap half-done half-finished hallueination hallueinatory hazy heterogeneity illusion illusory imaginary imbalanee immediate immigrant immigrate imminent impair impalpable

transfiguration transformation transienee transient transit transition tran8itional transitory translueent tran8parency transport transposition traveling uneommon uneompleted underweight THE CORNEll JOURNRl Of RRCHITECTURE 7: THE fUTURE Of PERMRNENCE





force fort fortify fortress foundation frequency frequent freeze frozen full fulfilled gentrification gentrify gravity growth guaranteed habit harrnonious harrnony heaviness horne hygienic

recurrence recurrent recycling refit refurbish refurbishment regularity reinforce reinforced reinforcement relentless remain remedy renew renovate renovation repair repeat repetition

burst byproduct castaway cast-off chance change changeability changeable cinematographic circulate circulation collapse contemporary contract contraction conversion convert corrosion

imperfect imperfection impermanence impermanent implode improvise impulse impulsive incomplete inconsistency inconsistent incorporeal infect infrequency infrequent instability

unequal uneven unfinished unpredictable unpremeditated unreal unrealized unrest unsettled unstable unusual vacant vacuum vagabond vagrant vague vanish variability variable variation 50

identical idle immobile immobility immortal immortality immovable immune immunity immunize im.mutability immutable impediment impenetrable imperishability imperishable

repetitiveness replica replicate reproduce reproduction resemblance resist resistance resistant rest restoration rhythm rigid roof root routine ruin running safe safety samene88 seamless

crack cracked crash cripple crooked crumble crumple current cut (cut back) (cut off) damage dead decay decline decompose decrease defect defective deform degenerate degrade delete

instant Ă­nstantaneous intangible interim intermittence intennittent irregular irregularity itinerant kinetic lightness lightweight lose makeshift melt metamorphosis meteoric migratol)'

variety version versatility vibration vis ion void volatile wandering weightless weightlessness THE CORNELL JOURNRL OF ARCHlTECTURE 7: THE FUTURE OF PERMANENCE






1- 1

Throughout the history of the modern movements in art and architecture. comparing modern works with counterparts from foreign cultures and disparate ages had been a I'avorite source of inspiration for both creators and critics. Orientalism was one oI' the most prominent subjects ofthe arts in Europe. as the focus gradually shifted to the Far East in the latter half ofthe nineteenth century. culminating in the movement loosely referred to as Japanonisme (Japanmania). a mania generated by connoisseurs who traveled abroad and brought home to Europe many Japanese art pieces and handicrafts. After discovery oI' the nation's artworks. its architecture came into I'ocus. Popular critical references inelude Frank Lloyd Wright's encounterwith the Ho-o-den (Phoenix Hall). builtfor the Chicago Exposition in 1893. or the fact that Wright was a collector of Japanese printings. Another leading Modernist architect deeply involved with this mania was Bruno Taut; he actually resided inJapan from 1933 to 1936. where he found the precedents for modern design aesthetics in such buildings as [se Shrine and Katsura Villa. introducing them to the West through his books. These episodes became almost a cliché. showing Japanese architecture as a source of justification for modern architecture in general. After the enormous success of Taut's position among the popular masses in Japan. Japanese modernist architects and critics also produced many observations related to this paradigm in order to reinforce the legitimacy of their contemporary work.

work to any imputed lesson of the Ho-o-den" and "Possibly we shall never know more of Frank Lloyd Wright's exposure to anytangible examples ofJapanese architecture up until his initial visit to Japan in 19°5. ", 1


Architecture. being less portable and autonomous. could not follow the precedent set by art collections. The few exceptional occasions were expositions (ineluding the one in Chicago) in which the Japanese government built national pavilions in traditional styles. However. the builders were forced to accept significant modifications for practical reasons. resulting in pavilions that were far from accurate in representing the authentic beauty of Japanese classical buildings. The Ho-o-den Pavilion 1 mentioned earlier was a smaller copy ofthe Ho-o-do Pavilion built in Uji.

near Kyoto. in the eleventh century. However. it was far from a precise copy. not only in terms of its size or its appearance (especially ¡he roof shape). but also in its basic spatial conception (a point [ will investigate more elosely later). The Ho-o-do represented a typical classical building type with a single central space. called the moya. surrounded by lower peripheral spaces called hisashi. (Fig. 1) These were at the core of spatial composition in elassical buildings ofthe periodo conditioned by the structural system. However. in Chicago. the interior space ofthe Ho-o-den was subdivided to provide for exhibition rooms for fine art works representing different periods. (Fig. ~) This subdivision never occurred in elassical buildings. It is unlikely that this tight pavilion. lacking the transparency common to Japanese architecture. provided a source of

1. David B. Stewarl. The Makin¡i of a Modem lapanese Architecture. Tobo and New York, Kodansha Intemaliana!.




However. Taut's discovery obviously carne later than the heroic activities of the European avant-garde. including Taut's himself. and even the Japanese lessons Wright was said to ha ve learned earlier are doubtful. David B. Stewart stated. "It remains virtually unthinkable to assign stylistic changes in Wrighí's 52

• •



Ho-o-do. plan. Drawing bv Maria Corodetskava.

inspiration for Wright's flowing spaces. And it is also unlikely that this plan was simply a compro mise due to the intended programo even the Japanese did not note the difference at that time. 1-4 The 189o's were a period in which the scientific survey and c1assification of historical buildings had just emerged in Japan. Before that. the Japanese people did not hold historical buildings dear. a1lowing them to fall to ruin. Western scholars and engineers employed by the Meiji government offered observations on Japanese buildings. but to these Westerners the buildings were mostly seen either as containers for and expressions of a strange way of life or as products of alien techniques. Changes in how these buildings were evaluated. accepting them as

architecture in the strict sense ofthe word. carne later. The first writings on the c1assical building. Horyuji 1 Kenchiku Ron (Dissertation on the Horyuji Temple). by Ito Chuta (1867-1954). the first Japanese architectural historian. appeared in the very same year as the Chicago Exposition. A few years later Ito's classmate Sekino Tadashi wrote the first dissertation on the original Ho-o-do Pavilion. as a graduate thesis. Before that. there was very little documentation regarding this c1assical building. either historical or measured information on its physical state. Itwas after these scholars' endeavors that c1assical buildings became a concern for the Japanese people. Yet the underIying meaning of the moya and hisashi system. its central dogma. had been lost and carne to be understood only after the 1930s. As will beco me evident later. I will not rely in my discussion on the

notion of Japanese architecture in general, because there was a definite difference between c1assical buildings and later buildings such as Katsura Villa (which Taut so enthusiastically admired). 1-5 1 believe that. because there was a vast shortage of information and discernment related to Japanese architecture at the time-not only abroad. but even at home-it is unlikely that Western architects shortly before and around the turn of the century were directly influenced by Japan's c1assical architectures. Thus. the similarity between Modernist architecture and Japanese traditional design seems to be coincidental. Yet even today. people continue to rely on these early comparisons: Mies van der Rohe's buildings are among the most cited in this regard.














Ho-o-den. plan. Drawing by Vanessa Moon.





In ~est.Meets East: Mies van der Rohe (BaseL Boston & Berlin: Birkhaeuser Verlag, 1996), Werner Blaser tried to demonstrate how Mies' s works share common qualities with Japanese and Chinese architecture: component simplicity, edge (or phenomenal) transparency, overlapping and flowing spaces, interpenetration of landscape and architectural spaces, asymmetry of composition, etc. This list is typical of comparative norms. The Japanese architect Ishii Kazuhiro, in his lecture at Yale, also worked in this tradition when he gave a presentation comparing the works of two architects, Mies and Yoshida Isoya, who modernized sukiya building technics and aesthetics from the 1930s onwards. (Fig. 3) The result was a persuasive demonstration that the seemingly traditional parts of Yoshida's buildings, which were mostly private houses andJapanese-style restaurants, were informed by the same kind of sophisticated aesthetic compositional intentions found in the works ofthe German master.



These two examples were based on the use of images of architectural works, making them dependent on subjective impressions and leaving open the possibility that these could be refuted as being the result of superficial observations. However, we may continue the comparison through the use of plans, juxtaposing Mies's zigzag plans, as seen in the Brick Country House project (19~3; Fig. 4) a corner of the Mrikanische Strasse Housing (19~6), and the Wolf House (19~7)' with plans of Katsura Villa (from the early seventeenth century: Fig. 5) and ofthe Yamaguchi House byYoshida (1940: Fig. 6). In the West, thezigzag pattern well illustrates the idea of liberation from the traditional state of confined rooms connected in a linear fashion, resulting in a series of almost identical boxes. Taut and others believed that Japan had already accomplished this sort of spatial liberation much earlier. There seems to be a great deal to be learned hom these comparisons that cannot be refuted. However, to take a deeper look at the differences and similarities between traditional Japanese architecture and the work of Mies van der Rohe offers sorne provocative insights. It seems to me that it is indispensable to see both the works of Mies and Japanese architecture in their own historical context S4

and in the stage of development of each, not as a too generalized whole. That this question should be analyzed further is the object of the present study. To begin, we should start by noting not the similarity, but the differences between Japanese traditions and Mies. 3-1 The first thing we should observe is the relation between structure and spatial organization that was argued as essential for understanding Mies 's work. Load - bearing structures permitted Mies the free distribution of walls. The nature of this structure, especially in f1at- roofed buildings, brought a f1exibility to the planimetric order. It was Mies's invention-or Wright' s, before him-that made the traditional series of closed boxes open -ended. But as the wall structure essentially enables relatively free plans-even if it


Ishii's table uf eomparison nf thf' two architecls. \1 ยกes and Yoshida. FIGURE 4


Brick Countrv Hou,e. plan. Drawing- bv Lauren Ba's. FIGURE S (MIDDLE RIGHT)

Kalsura Villa. plan. Drawing- bv Cilra Soedarsono. FIGURE 6 (RIGHT BOTTOM)

Yamaguchi House. plan.

constrains the disposition of the elevations-their invention was compositionaL not a structural issue. In this respect. both Wright and Mies remained in the traditional paradigm. 3-~

To the contrary. this kind of freedom was quite difficult to achieve in wooden buildings. because frame structures require regularity. Up through the medieval period. buildings in Japan basicallyfollowed the spatial schemes learned from the Chinese continent and the Korean Peninsula. It was a simple system composed of paired spaces: the maya and hisashi. (Fig. 7) The m~ya-central and tallest space could be extended laterally with additional repetitive columns. girders. and beams: it was basically two spans (and their spaces) in depth. based on what seemed structurally possible at the time (with few minor exceptions). Around this central space were peripheral bands of single-span service areas. hisashi. These spaces could be built on additively. on as many as four sides of the building and further extended by another span. externally wrapping the hisashi. which was called the maga-bisashi. Hisashi spaces were lower than maya. and the maga -bisashi were even lower than the hisashi to accommodate the roof pitch. In these buildings. the roof was a single


whole. thus limiting spatial dimensions. especially depth: standard maya-hisashi buildings were as a result generally four spans deep. The spatial dimensions of the system were conventionally described as X- ken / Y- men buildings: X- ken (ken means in - between) gives the number of lateral maya spans (X). while Y- men gives the number of hisashi. In terms of function. in Buddhist temples. the maya was a space housing important sculptures. (Fig. 8)

3-3 This dual spatial system was not limited to Buddhist temples. however. Rather. it was originally adopted fram Chinese secular structures that were themselves conversions of religious facilities. transplanted from India. In Japan. the system was in turn adopted for secular buildings. such as paJaces and residences for noblemen. Thus. the system provided a universal space for significant buildings: almost al! the masterpieces ofJapanese classical architecture. except for the Shinto shrines that maintained a more primitive scheme. can be categorized as this type. Japan preserved this archetype in a more genuine form than in China and Korea. where there were masonry buildings as well and where few ancient wooden buildings survived; the oldest existing Chinese wooden structure is newer than its Japanese counterpart. Horyuji Temple in Nara. by

more than a hundred years. X- ken / Y- men was a scheme that tightly corresponded with the technologicallimitations of the time. To acquire nexibility in plan. as in later buildings like Katsura Villa. significant structural inventiveness first had to be achieved.

3-4 In terms of planning. this invention emerged to address the fact that the inner functions of both religious and secular (residentiaI) buildings became more complex than it was possible to accommodate with the simple maya-hisashi system. In the dual system. the maya was generally occupied by a single subject. whether Buddhist sculptures (hanzan. often a triadic set) or a single dominant inhabitant. When inclusion of an additional subject was necessary. these should have required additional spatial units subordinated to the same system and connected by loggias. However. in time. temples that offered only space for holy sculptures were no longer complete. Additional spaces for monks and. more important. spaces for visitors to pray to the hanzan or Buddhas were required-visitor spaces clearly could not be separated from the hanzan. yet narrow hisashi were not spacious enough for large groups to engage in prayer.

7 (LEFT)

Diag-ram to mo}路a hisashi systf'm by Kawakami \lilSU'gu. [)rawin~ bv Vanessa \loon. FIGURE 8 (RIGHT)

Kondo. Toshodai-ji. f\:ara Shows the 7- ken I 4- men seheme. Ofthe four hisash. lhree are inside. while the fourth une is desi~ned lo he outside. Drawin~ bv Lauren Bass.




····· O

. ...... .



: ::1

1. . . ~---""'-



3-5 This change in the temple plans. brought about by the popularity of Buddhism. was exemplified by the Taima-dera Temple in Nara: the original structure followed the classical moya -hisashi system. but was drastically modified in 1161 with another deep. high space built in front of the original moya. which was itself then converted into a nai -jin (inner camp). The new space. referred to as ge-jin (outer camp) was generated by removing the existing hisashi and mago-bisashi to the south and replacing them with another structure having a two-span depth. A new hisashi was also added in front. to the south. The original roofwas completely replaced by an enormous roof. taller and deeper. (Fig. 9) The birth of a newtype of space called the hondo. made up oftwo large. unified spaces (Fig. 10) instead of classical single space. was made possible by the invention of a more complicated roof structure. called no-yane. which 1 will discuss below.

4- 1 In residential buildings. the change was even more drastic because the need for variations in the use of interiors was much more complicated. The shindenzukuri buildings that established the basic style of noblemen's residences in the late ancient period were essentially one room (one room one building) followingthe classical system. The separation between o


outside and inside. between moya and hisashi spaces. was achieved by movable partitions of various types. (Fig. ll) The shinden -zukuri structures were never complete as a single building. but generally as a complex of several buildings. There were no rooms that could be considered enclosed spaces except for small booths called nurigome. used as a temporal)' bedroom or storage. No sense of privacy. a rather modern conception. was needed. 4-~

The main function of these houses was not necessarily the daily act of living. but rather providing a place for various kinds of public events. whether politicaL religious. or cultural. To cope with these requirements. an immense number of different spatial equipment. furniture. and partitions were used. according to the specific requirements of an event. Instead of a permanent arrangement of rooms. temporary installations. or shitsurae. were made. leaving the basic. universal moya space unchanged. However. in the late medieval periodo duringwhich the warrior class (samurai) took command. the inner articulation of space became more and more subdivided. fixed as a series of rooms (zashiki). Exactly as with Taima -dera. and unlike the shinden-zukuri buildings. the rooms were housed in a new style called shoin-zukuri and its deviation. sukiya-zukuri. (Fig. I~)


(Top LEFT)

Change ofthe Taima-dera Temple. Nara. Section, before and after 116!. Plans left to right, 1) original plan of seventh centun', 2) addition of moya-hisashi eighth century, 3)after 1161: 4)later addition. Drawing by Arthur Liu and Vanessa Moon. FIGURE 10


Lef¡, moya -hisashi scheme. Right: h~ndo scheme. Drawing by Lauren Bass. I



. . . .l!I polo 01001001


= 6· .. ---,L---==-----.==r-----_...Jr--~

Plan of Higashi -Sanjo-dono (shilldellzukuri) twelfth century. Drawing by Maria Go~odetskaya. FIGURE 12 (BOTTOM RIGHT)

Plan of Higashiyama-dono (shoillzukllri) fifteenth century. Drawing by )illg Wang. .


4- 3


Change of the roof system of .Japanese a rch j t ect u re.

The most essential problem, to allow changes in the spatial scheme, was how to move or remove the regularly placed columns found on all points of a structural grid: unless this could be achieved, the deconstruction of the moya - bisasbi system was impossible. Using a pitched roof was inevitable, but with a deep building, the roof became either too high at the ridge ortoo low in the eaves. Maga-bisasbimade the periphery even lower. The characteristic roof curve in the traditional buildings ofChina, Korea, andJapan was not only aesthetic but also a practical device for copingwith this problem. To produce this curve, it was necessary to have inflected rafter lines, achieved by connecting smaller rafters in the middle (and mud set on battens smoothed the Iines). Together with this inflected rafter system, which was called na-yane (or no-gaya) as mentioned aboye, another device called banegi, having oblique support structures modeled on levers, was introduced. These inventions contributed to make buildings deeper than ever, as we saw in the example ofthe Tamima-dera.

In residential buildings, the high roof that might be justified in monumental temples was inconvenient, especially as Japanese buildings were mostly a single story. A third invention, the wagaya system, was a sort of space frame roof structure with multilayered beams and horizontal rails. The rails originallywere used only to tie the tops and bottoms of columns, but later were used in the middle, following transplantation of the new technology from China during the beginning of Japan's medieval periodo The technique was also applied in temples, but generated more drastic change in residential buildings, where spans were significantly smaller. The roofs were supported by grids of columns and beams and later by newly introduced rails on a smaller module. (Fig. 13) In this new system, the roof could be an integrated accumulation of small roofs that branched off based on interior requirements, rather than the single large roof seen in earlier buildings. (Fig. 14) In other words, the roof became the summation oflocalized solutions, where the height of each part could be kept reasonably


Dempo-in. Horyuji. early eighth century arehetype, Kondo. Toshodai-ji . late eighth eentury, addition of the eeiling, Drawings by Arthur Liu. MIDDLE:

Hondo. Taima-dera. twelfth eentury, introduetion of the no-goy" system and hanegj, Drawing by Arthur Liu. Hondo. Saigo-ji. fourteenth century, shift to the w,woya system. Drawing by Maria Gorodetskaya. RIGHT:

Egawa House. nineteenth eentury, eompleted w"goya system. W"gova system of the typieal houses of present day. Drawings by Maria Gorodetskaya. FIGURE 14 (BOTTOM LEFT)

Possible model of the new roof plan. Drawing by Maria Gorodetskaya.






low, while the building expanded planimetrically. Plans could be more flexible, in that isolated problems would not affect the whole; they acquired flexibility in the relationship between interior, structure, and roof. Columns could be moved or removed to accommodate local circumstances. (Fig. 15) This was a critical difference introduced to Japanese residential architecture in the late medieval and early modern periods.

4-5 The zigzag plan seen in Katsura Villa, based on additions with no predetermined plan, was possible only through these inventions, both aesthetic and structural. In the ancient moya -hisashi system, removal of a single column would have caused the collapse of the whole building. After this critical change, the significance and spatial character of the moya -hisahi system was gradually lost. In the early modern period (the Edo period, especially the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries), people no longer understood the ancient descriptions of buildings based on ken and men. This situation did not change even after the Meiji periodo Itwas not until the 1930s that a scholar rediscovered the original meaning of the ken and men system.

5- 1 These changes were critical in the development of a Japanese wooden architecture with a column and beam structure and a pitched roof, but they were certainly not central to Mies, at least in his early period when he was working in the tradition of masonry buildings. The flowing spaces that became paradigmatic of early modern architecture, seen in Wright or in Mies' s early work, were not related to structural invention but were rather purely aesthetic inventions. Forthis reason, the resemblance between Katsura Villa's plan and something like the Brick Country House project is merelya matter of appearance.

rather an ad - hoc invention that carne late in the pavilion's designo In his earlier perspective sketches. where walls were in a different position than the final plan, Mies did not draw columns. Even after the wall positions were fixed, there is a plan with no columns or with only six of them, instead of the eventual eight. Unlike the successive Tugendhat House (1930) and his model house for the Berlin Building Exhibition Ú 931), the walls of the Barcelona Pavilion stood close to the columns, in positions that appear quite convenient to support the roof. This suggests that Mies's original idea was to support the roof with the walls, and he changed his mind after he fixed the location of the walls. Far from being coherent and rational. this was rather a tour de force. For instance, the working drawings done and signed by his chief assistant Sergius Ruegenberg, a copied set of which is now preserved in Tokyo University, recorded the indication of supporting steel structure in the walls that must have worked as supplementary structures to compensate for the insufficiency of the abruptly introduced column system. Further, whetherthe steel structure in the roof slab was originally designed as it was eventually built or not is uncertain. The aforementioned working drawings showed different dimensions for the beams, as we can see in construction photos of the time. But in either case, the roof was not so thin, as we see from photos taken at the ground leve!. The beams were taller in the center and were shorter toward the periphery. (Fig. 16) Together with reported practical shortcomings related to the transformation of the roof and the eventualleaks, it seems certain that Mies dared to take on this tour-de-force in spite of a lot of problems generated by a lack of preparation.

FIGURE 15 5-~

However, after Mies introduced freestanding columns in the Barcelona Pavilion, the situation changed drastically. Although most of Mies's biographers describe this introduction as the result of the architect's coherent development of an integrated and rational approach to structure, 1 assume that it was 58


Detailed plan of Kalsura Villa chan¡;e from Ko-shoin (o the addition of Chu shoin showin¡; the omission of the column in lhe indicated cirele. Drawing by Vanessa Moon. FIGURE 16 (BOTTOM)

\'íorking drawing of lhe Barcelona Pavilion by Sngius Rue¡;enberg. Drawin¡; by Vanessa Moon.

5- 3

masonry buildings. the choice ofwalls or columns does not make a critical difference in that both can work as bearingstructures. And yet, if my hypothesis is correcto the basic structural conception of the Barcelona Pavilion was fundamentally changed after the introduction of steel columns. Along the same lines. the walls were not masonry either. but sliced veneers put over a hidden supporting structure. The building ceased tobe masonry. There is no documentation regarding how the architect saw this problem. Frank Lloyd Wright might have grasped the potential in this problem when he stated that he found the pavilion fascinating but that only these columns irritated him.

J. P.

Bonta. in his Mies van der Rohe Barcelon'!.I9--~9 (Barcelona. Editorial Gustavo Gil!. S.A. 1975), mentioned that the success of the pavilion carne later than the Exposition. depending on the publication. In photos. the building looks perfect: Mies seems to have succeeded in dealing with the idea of freestanding columns as if they were intended from the beginning. However. Mies was certainly faced with what was to him a totally new problem, but one that is routine in wooden -frame structures: regularity and structural purity. The post-and-lintel structure is. of course. also traditional in the West. but in

. o' .CIJ . I:c..;.~~ ,. >-




. i






:1 ;1




¡¡"use for the Berlll) Exhilliti"n. plan. Drall ing by Andy Snyder.






Farn,worth Hause. plan. Dra\ling In Arthur Liu.





5-4For sorne time. walls and columns coexisted in the two realized houses mentioned aboye and in a series of exploratory courthouse projects that Mies produced from the end of his time in Germany through his early NorthAmerican work. Even ifhe solved the practical problems ofthe pavilion. the dialectics oftwo elements remained: columns represented a basic systematic regularity. while walls represented spatial freedom. (Fig. 17) One may argue that this dialectic was what made these buildings exciting, but from the pure viewpoint of critics considering structurallogic, the ambiguity of the walls was never solved: for instance, the walls of the upper floor of the slightly later Tugendhat House contained steel structure at the request of the Tugendhats. In Mies's later North American works, furthermore, this dialectic was replaced by the dominance of columns. The flowing space that was preserved in the courthouse projects, if within the limit of the rectangular contours, was abandoned in later projects such as the Resor House (especially its idealized version used in publications) . where the interiors were reduced to a single rectangular space and the walls did not extend to the ceiling. A flowing (irregular) space gave way to a rectangular (regular) space. The logic ofthe structural system and its correspondence with spatiallimits (the envelope) reached their culmination in the Farnsworth House (1951). In this masterpiece. everything exists only for the epiphany of the single. simplest order. (Fig. 18)

6-1 It would appear that in Mies's flat-roofed North American works, there was no hierarchical articulation, such as is offered by the central moya and peripheral hisashi. However, the character of this new dominant space, called "universal space," is quite close to the spatial qualities found in the moya. Not only are both functionally adaptable (Mies 's main concern was never function, but space), but both also establish the dominant character of the building. The space was not designed for people who live and work in it-in Mies's work, itwas space forthe sake of space. One of the quite singular characteristics of Mies's residential architecture was that it was essentially designed for a single person-Mme. Hubbe or Mme. Farnsworth, for instance-or at most a couple: or best, YRTSUKR / MIES RND JRPRN


for none. His exhibition projects for the Berlin Building Exposition (1931) were a house and an apartment for a bachelor. On this basis. 1wouId argue that Mies's ideal house was a pavilion: these had scarcely any rooms for others (such as family members) in them. In the Tugendhat House. he was annoyed at being asked to accommodate future children in the house. and he eventually did so in the less significant upper floor. concentrating the lower floor. the piano nobile. as one large space. The emphasis on individuals holds even for apartment buildings: Mies wanted to design at least one tower of the building called 860-880 Lakeshore Drive for bachelors. with no interior partitions in individual apartments. It is noteworthy that the ancient moya was a space intended for a single subject as well. as we saw aboye. These two building approaches share basic spatial concerns. (un)related to human use: architecture was crystallized as an order of structure and space. 6-2, In Mies's later works. service facilities such as the bathroom and kitchen were reduced and subordinated to the larger architectural order. The walls 01' the Barcelona Pavilion challenged the dominance 01' the columns by reaching the ceiling. but were made lower in later North American works to maintain a focus on the main space. The inner elements represented a sort 01' installed secondary order. This is also seen in the interiortreatment of shinden -zukuribuildings in the moya -hisashi system. In the later shoin -zukuri style. service areas became more integrated into the building system. creating an essential architectural order that spoiled the transparency of the main space. Mies's service booths are highIy reminiscent of the nurigome booth in shinden -zukuri buildings. the only engaged space responding to the natural needs 01' inhabitants. 6-3 Another significant similarity is the treatment 01' the exterior wall. Mies's characteristic preI'erence for large. floor-to-ceiling glass planes was fairly Japanese in sensibility. unlike Le Corbusier's inclination towards freely organized openings (which mostly resulted in long horizontal windows). This preference was already dominant in Mies's early buildings. especially two skyscraper projects (1919-192,0) and the 60

Brick Country House project. In his later buildings in the United States. the contrast between the solid walls and large glass surfaces of his European works was abolished in favor of a glass box. The outline of the building. the glass walL is now completely integrated with the structure. (Fig. 19) A box asserts more than the form of the building. It presents the ultimate condition 01' the structure-space. In this reduced condition. you see only these and nothing else. The openness oI' the building is one oI' the requisites of this approach. negating the notion of substantial confinement.

6-4 This is also similar to the absence of exterior enclosure in shinden-zukuribuildings. which had only movable fittings. shitomi -do. that fixed the dimension of spans between columns as well as the distance between floor and ceiling. Franz Schulze suggests that the Farnsworth House reminded sorne observers 01' a Shinto shrine. presumably I'ollowing the tradition of Bruno Taut. However. Japanese shrines were never open. Except for quite limited occasions. no one was allowed to come inside the shrine. For this disposition. the exterior wall of the shrine building is completely closed. far from phenomenal transparency. Sometimes the builders used very thick lumber panels for the wall. which even worked as structure (a wooden variant similar to masonry). In terms oI' the significance and rigorous conditions ofthe exterior enclosure. shinden-zukuri buildings. not Shinto shrines. are more suitable to compare to the Fa rnsworth House. (It was the invention 01' new types oI' fittings with more tlexible relationships to columns that gave freedom to-and eventual deconstruction of-the moya-hisashi system seen in the shinden -zu"-'llri buildings.)

6-5 Except for the elegant but sometimes too elaborated roofs and I'or temporary installations. the majority of shinden-zukuri buildings followed Mies's principIe oI' Beinahenichits. Both Mies's residential buildings and shinden -zuĂ .'llri buildings follow the strategy of a hierarchically articulated structural system (with spatial results) and installed sub-areas (serving functional needs). This critical development in Mies's North American works sets them apart I'rom the earlier European works with a dual (and equivalent) scheme oI' columns (establishing an organizational system) and walls (installed within this system). It is a progress ironically opposite to the development oI' Japanese residential buildings. which moved from the simpler shinden-zukuri to the more complex and freer shoin- and sukiya -zukuri. The pairing oI' the Barcelona Pavilion and Katsura Villa proves only superficial resemblance. while pairing the Farnsworth House and shinden-zukuri buildings does offer more fundamental similarities. Mies dared to accomplish this inverted progress by reducing his spatial and structural freedom.

6-6 Between the Barcelona Pavilion and the Farnsworth House. there is another difI'erence that corresponds with the essential modes of treating structural members in Japanese architecture: no Chidden") and kesho Cexposed"). This is also a critical mode I'or nonmasonry buildings where structure alone cannot complete the building envelope. and the relation between structure and finish always posits a question. Kesho parts are finished exquisitely. while no parts could remain relatively rough. The approach relates not only to finishes. but also represents differing attitudes towards essential structural principIes: in


Detad of the exterior wall of the Farnsworth House. Drawing by Andy Snyder

ancient buildings. parts were customarily exposed (kesho). but were rather roughly surfaced. since carpentry tools were at the time relatively primitive. But this never harmed the building's artfulness. In Mies's buildings. this difference appears again. In the Barcelona Pavilion. the iconic cross-shaped columns are a no device. in that a chrome cover conceals the four structural angles. (Fig. 20) Beams were also assembled from angles that were hidden (no) in the slab. Usingsets of angles to make up a structural shape was a convention at the time. as there was little variety in available standard steel sections. Nonetheless. the steel structures that Mies so enthusiastically insisted on exposing in his texts accompanying his skyscraper projects were never exposed in this masterpiece. In the United States. Mies found the domestic steel industry much more advanced. and he enjoyed access to a variety of steel shapes. He was also relying on the development of the weld to make things like the plate girders at Crown Hall and allowthe connections at the Farnsworth House. In the Farnsworth House. Mies used wide flange columns and channel girders. both exposed (kesho) and smoothly finished. In the Barcelona Pavilion. pairing metal pillars with horizontal slabs of concrete were spatial devices,

while in the Farnsworth House. the pair of physical devices are fundamentally themselves.

residential works for the ruling classes as I did aboye, but to houses for the lower classes, for craft workers in the towns and for peasants in the countryside. Ito Teiji, in his epoch-making 1958 thesis, Chu-Sei ]ukyo-Shi (The History oE Medieval Houses) , made a distinction between palaces or mansions for the imperial family, nobles, high-ranking monks, and warriors-buildings called ya or tono-ya-and the vernacular houses of lower classes, called minka. Ito's analysis is too brilliant to abstract easily, covering not only the typology of status and styles, but the fundamentally different techniques used in them, so my effort to summarize it here will be superficial. The order adopted in larger and nobler houses was essentially the same as that used in other public buildings, later called kiwari or kikudaki, literally signifying the method of cutting lumber (a system stretching back to ancient times when carpenters did not have saws, and one that was obviously elaborated overtime).

6-7 Apart from the conceptual problem of structural elements, Mies's decision to expose the steel frames and sandblast them. requiring enormous hand labor and expense. was highly illuminatingofhis conception of technology. Did Mies utilize the possibilities of American modern technology to its limit? The answer is yes-and no. Apparently. Mies was concerned with the prototype, either as a physical element or as a spatial element. However, it is unlikely that he was interested in standardization for its own ends, along the lines of prefabrication methods that were central to the modern movement's ideology in Europe. That he had the welds ground down in his later exposed steel structures illustrates this point. It reflects differences in a basic vision of building technology: Mies represented one, while the doctrine of the modern movement embraced another.

7- 2 The most essential issue in kiwari was that it was basically a proportioning system similar to Western classical orders. (Fig. 21) It neverprovided an absolute

7- 1 Let's examine this point, returning again to Japan's traditional architecture. Here I will refer not to

1 1










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Column of Barcelona Pavilion by Ruegenberg. Drawing by Arthur Liu. FIGURE 21 (RIGHT)

Kiyari system in Shomei <architectural treatis~ in early '7th.c.) recent redrawing. Drawing by Vanessa Moon.




o ~








dimension for parts, fixing all dimensions by means 01' a basic module used for the building's structural grid. This module also determined the moya-hisashi scheme, fixed according to program and site conditions. The system, as it finally evolved in the early Edo period (the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries), was highly systematic and compositional. generating buildings with elaborate mathematical relationships throughout. down to the smallest details. perhaps to an even greater level than seen in the neoplatonic architecture 01' the European Renaissance (though lacking its philosoph ical backgrou nd). However, it was never a standardized system of building; kiwari reflects the fact that these buildings had ample budgets, sites, and labor. (Most laborers were not paid. beca use participation was a public service obligation.) The system was, using contemporary terminology. site-specific in its tectonics. Ito further insisted that this method was permitted only for the ruling classes.

7- 3 On the other hand. Ito noted, the minka, whose typology was formulated in medieval times and used through the early modern period (from the eleventh through the fifteenth centuries). were based on a fundamentally different system. Minka were deeply tied to the notion 01' standardization in tumber and other parts, based on a system of absolute dimensions. The universality 01' the parts was assumed instead of the site-specificity of the kiwari system. The minka system was based on a more modero buildingindustry, including modero approaches to distribution. In the minka. the buildings were more pragmatically composed, simpler and more primitive in appearance. Once a transparent system of the moya -hisashi system based on the structural grid system was compromised for complexity, aristocratic kiwari buildings had greater f1exibility based on the progress and applications 01' individual technology. But in minka, it was difficult to move or remove columns. except for the odd columns possible at the end of the building to deal with irregular (and smaller) sites. Obviously. planning was quite restricted. The exteriors were mostly mud walls with small openings and were far from being transparent and open. While the sukiyazukuri made aesthetic references to the rustic appearance 01' minka. the sukiya-zukuri buildings 62

offered a wide opportunity to make additions in every direction, yet minka themselves could basically only be subdivided within the framework 01' established contours. The possibility 01' an addition was very limited. Thus, Ito concluded that these two types 01' .Japanese residential architecture belonged to opposing classes of tech nology.

specific, far from the normative moderoist doctrine in Europe. Furtber. in the exciting but ambivalent dialectics 01' columns and walls. Mies could not be so much of a fundamentalist ("purist"') as he later beca me in the United States. inasmuch as be focused exclusively on aesthetics and the free disposition of space.


1have no intention to evaluate which 01' Mies's works are more fascinating. the European or North American, nor which stage 01' .Japanese architecture is more significant. whether the more free modero works (like suk~ya-zukuri) 01' the more transparent classical works Oike shinden-zukurj). However. we should make an effort to discriminate amongst these. rather than combining them together in doubtful brackets. Despite the fact that each is concerned with the notion oftechnological progress. it is by no means easy to tell if this ensures the superiority 01' later achievements. The technological aspect is too complicated. especially when we relate it to cultural issues to be evaluated from one point ofview. Mies's case is one 01' the most singular examples 01' this. When comparing his work with the progression 01' .Japanese architecture, we can see that he was actually following a reverse course. This is how Mies might be called a classicist-i f he really was.

In Mies's North American works. the possibility 01' additions or growth was also scarcely taken into account, not for technical reasons, but 1'01' aesthetic reasons. lt was an inconvenience deliberately chosen by the architect. In terms 01' structuralmembers. the standardized steel sections he used were never specific to a project in the way kiwari parts were (and in the way that the assembled cross-shaped columns in the Barcelona Pavilion and the Tugendhat House were speci fic to the bu ilding). but these standard ized components were also far from the spirit 01' the technology used 1'01' minka. Utilizing standardized elements, Mies was attempting to achieve a classical and transparent order.ln this respect, Mies was closer in spirit to the aristocratic kiwari architecture. Conclusion I began this essay by rejectingsimilarities between the Barcelona Pavilion and Katsura Villa and finished it by showing the common essence of both Mies's North American works and .Japanese classical architecture. Of the first comparison, it seems to me that the onesided derivation has meant that. to date. sorne 01' the things architects can learn from such comparisons have not emerged. To take a deeper look at the differences and similarities between traditional .Japanese architecture and the work of Mies van der Rohe offers some provocative insights. In this respect, the second comparison is, for me. much more significant. even ifthe two are independendy achieved. The tide 01' my essay, "M ies and .Japan"' should be more carefully articulated. distinguishing each in different stages of development. My uneasiness with the former (" conventional"') comparison lies with the fact that the pair do not share a technological background-a n area that was so crucial 1'01' Mies's development. even more than for other members ofthe modernist avant-garde. But Mies's attitude towards technology was quite

The Genealogy of Architectural Style in Modern Japan: An Introduction HFUIME YATSUKA

The Meiji Restoration oí 1867 was substantially a revolution. one that turned everything upside down in Japan. restructuring and recodifying many of society's norms-not only political. economic. and physical. but also cultural. This cultural transformation introduced many Western notions and corresponding new words. Fundamental words (and the character or nuances they implied) were inaugurated into the Japanese language: words like "society," ··beauty." "love." "being." "nature." and "liberty." for instance. The work of modifying ancient

Amongthese new concepts. obviously. were "fine art" (bijutsu). the noun for "building" (tatemono). and ..architecture" (zoka or kenchiku. although today zoka has become obsolete). How surprising-and also perplexing-it is to note that Japan has its own tradition of art and architecture-but without the words to designate them!

idioms. both Chinese and Japanese. to create these new words was almost like bricolage (in the sense that Claude Levi-Strauss formalized). Today. a scarce few Japanese are conscious of the fact that these words and the specific nature of the concepts they represent had not existed in Japanese thought before Meiji. By now. these form the basis of our daily thinking-without them we would find it impossible to communicate our thoughts. In other words. even for the Japanese. it is quite difficult to imagine how Japanese people in earlier times thought and expressed their ideas without these new words based on Western concepts.

Ito Chuta (¡867-1954). amongthe first historians of Japanese architecture and a professor at Tokyo Imperial University, wrote a graduate thesis. Kenchiku Tetsugaku (Philosophy oiArchitecture) in 189~. in which he attempted to introduce basic notions oí Western art and architecture (like proportion, history. and style) that were so far alien, and also to codify Japanese ancient structures as architecture. From the beginning, he had to make it clear what architecture was. The next year, he wrote Horyuji Kenchiku Ron (Dissertation on the Horyuji Temple), analyzing the temple using these new notions. and thus establishing them within the discourse related to national treasures. At the time. it was not even known that Horyuji was by far the oIdest wooden structure in the world and the building had been al!owed to fal! to ruin-to a degree hard to imagine today. For his study, Ito dared to compare Horyuji and its art works with works in North India (along the Silk Road) and ancient Greek works, with an intention to emulate Sir Banister Fletcher, whose A History oi Architecture was at the time the only source presenting Western architecture to the Japanese. Ito tried to modify Fletcher's historical framework for architecture fram around the world, using his own ideas. because this chauvinist. like many oí his contemporaries. was offended to see that Fletcher c!assified Asian architecture as nonhistorical. Using the same Western language to discuss architecture, Ito was able to act as a protagonist within the Japanese architectural


View from main gate of Kaiehi Primary School (dl;(,) bv Seiju Tateishi in Matsumoto. "agano Prefeeture.






academy. to promote a shift in its main concerns. from engineeri ng to artistic aspects. However. the subject of my present concerns is not to follow the movement that eventually led to Westernization and the consolidation of art and architecture in Japan. Rather my I'ocus hes on the earliertransitional phase. the IS70sand 'Sos. which still held deep links to the period before the Meiji Restoration. The subject I will draw upon is a series 01' buildings that came to be categorized as gi-.yo-fu (pseudo- Western) ... Fu" was one ofthe old words and was fairly close to the Western notion ofthe style. (We also have other words hke yob, mostly associated with the styles of late medieval temples af'ter the twelfth century: zu/...llri. associated with Shinto shrines and residences of the ruling c1asses: and hinagata. meaning models. both abstract ideas. the style. and physical mock- ups.) Horiguchi Sutemi. a pioneer in Japanese modern architecture and an authority on traditionalJapanese residential architecture. noted that whether these notions represent the formal essence 01' works or denote specific physical states is not clear. Thus the ambiguity. from a modern point 01' view. is that none 01' these words precisely corresponds with the Western notion 01' style. In this respect, it is interesting to consider what the architectural historian Watanabe Hochu proposed: that Japan. before Meiji. never had a fundamental change 01' style such as we can see in the transition I'rom the Gothic to Renaissance in the West. This ambiguity. the question of whether gi-yo-fu was a style or not. 1 shall discuss latero Before entering a detailed discussion. I should remark brief1y on the gi-yo-I'u buildings. These are buildings built by Japanese carpenters who had not received a Western (or modern) architectural education. but had been trained in the traditional way: on building sites. Apparently. they were never instructed on the essence of Western architecture: they were shown imperfect models (or drawings) by Western cl ients or engineers and were asked to build something similarly Western. They managed to produce new build ing types-government buildings. schools. hospitals. and even private residencesmostly using the conventional tectonics of wooden carpentry. which had achieved a highly elaborated

standard by the end of Japan's feudal periodo These buildings (many public buildings) were a type Japan had never befo re seen. Obviously. in a culture that had no concept 01' architecture. the builders failed to grasp the authenticity or essence of Western architecture. even when they followed the less demanding free colonial styles rather than the architecture of nineteenth-century historicism. The result was a strange mixture of Western features and Japanese details and techniques. In particular. the builders interjected abundant sculptural woodwork. which is now se en as characterizing these works: the carvings we re i nheri ted fro mEdo - pe riod architecture. However. within the norms of official architectural historiography after Ito (which definitely foreshadowed modernist aesthetics). Edo architecture was regarded as debased by overdecoration. In this view. historians conformed to Bruno Taut's position. in that he admired Ise Shrine or Katsura Villa and condemned the Toshogu Mausoleum in Nikko. Because of their deviation. gi-yo-I'u buildings have never been considered significant artistic achievements by academic architectural historians. except as documents offering historical insight. ~

It was duringthe 1970S that these works were recalled and given new readings by scholars like the late Professor Muramatsu Teijhiro and his (still active) disciple Professor Fujimori Terunobu of Tokyo University. They reevaluated the decorative character of these buildings as representing a popular expressive will (Kunstwollen) outside the academic system. advocating these buildings as alternatives to everything that represented the official face of Japanese architecture. either nineteenth-century historicism or twentieth-century modernismo Muramatsu's wanted to oppose min (nonofficial 01' grassroots) spontaneity to kan (ÂĄhe officials') ideology. In terms of historical facts, this interpretation is rather doubtful. because most of the gi-yo-f'u buildings were commissioned by national or local governments and so me ofthe carpenter- builders also belonged to the bureaucracy. followi ng the d issolution of the feudal building industry. However. the

argument was indispensable to Muramatsu's position. offering an alternat ive to the contemporary modernist movcment (from the avant-garde represented by Tange Kenzo and the Metabolists to large commercial corporate I'irms). Thus. the role of the premodern gi-yo-f'u buildings was a product of postmodern culture in Japan and Muramatsu represented the same position as that occupied by Vincent Scully when he used the North American vernacular ofthe East Coast to provide precedents for American postmodern architecture. Eventually. in the 1970S and 'Sos. buildings of the earlier Edo period and the wa - I'u (Japanese style) buildings ofthe Meiji periodo together with their decorative details. beca me a subject of research. (For more on the kan/ min controversy during the Meiji periodo see Carol Gluck. .@pan's Modern Myths. Pri nceton University Press. 19S5'> You may ask whether buildings of the Edo were also wa - tĂş buildings. Here lies the essential ambiguity of the problem we are raising. This notion is parallel to the notion of Nihon-ga (.Japanese paintings). Nihon-ga was a genuine invention from the Meiji periodo i ntroduced by Ernest Fenollosa. an American art critic who rescued and reestablished the significance of Japanese traditional paintings that were in danger of disappearing during early Meiji. after the introduction ol'Western works. This early fever for the West was soon to be confounded by a nationalistic reaction. but initially when they were introduced. most traditional works consequently looked obsolete and insignificant to the Japanese people. Most artists lost their jobs. and their works were sold for almost nothing. The same was true for old and c1assical works-there was no difference. Among a few Westerners who discovered the beauty and significance 01' these works and who encouraged the artists was Fenollosa. He argued that Japanese paintings. Nihon-ga. were even superior to the degenerated Western paintings found after the Renaissance. Befo re him. there was no notion like Nihon-ga. There were names and la beis for the schools. such as Tosa-ha. Kano-ha. Rin-pa. associated with specific families (as I shall discuss later). But there was no word used to designate Japanese paint ings as a whole.

There was the word yamato-ye. which seems to correspond with japanese paintings. beca use it coupledye. paintings. withyamato. an old name 1'01' Nihon (.Japan). However. the word was mostly used 1'01' Tosa-ha painters connected with aristocratic culture in Kyoto. to discriminate between them and Kan -ga (Chinese paintings). But as Kano-ha painters (painters 01' the Kano School). sponsored by the Shogun from the Muromachi to the Edo periodo incorporated the techniques and aesthetics 01' the Chinese-style Kan-ga into a more native tradition. their works went beyond the category 01' Yamato-ye. Fenollosa's idea 01' Nihon-ga was broader. because he also gave enthusiastic support to Kano-ha paintings. Thus. Nihon-ga includes the Chinese elements lo sorne extent and was invented as a designation in Opposilion to a Western counterpart. As a counterpoint. wa-fu (01' wa-yo) was not an invention 01' the Meiji periodo the term was used earlier to discriminate the style from Kara-yo (Chinese style) and Tenjiku-yo (lndian style) architecture. However. the concept was far from being stylistically strict. because Kara-yo only indicated the Zen style and Tenjiku -yo referred to another new style. introduced not only from India. but also from China; these names as such only designated that which was not Zen style. Such ambiguity in the notion 01' style was quite particular in japan. eventually testilying to the absence 01' any notion 01' style. For this reason. what we call wa-fu buildings from Meiji were not related to this old idea 01' wa-fu. but 10 japan's traditional-style buildings. to differentiate them from Western-style buildings. Generally speaking. even though the word wa-fu was introduced. there was no significant change in the stylistic features 01' japanese work. at least 1'01' a short while-except 1'01' the aboye mentioned gi-yo-fu buildings. Instead. the new word denotes the notion 01' a different context 1'01' these buildings al'ter Westernization. Readers might find this argument too trivial. a matter 01' language. But it is not. The ambiguity 01' naming and categorization is the same ambiguity Michel Foucault found in the genealogy (01' archaeology) 01' the word savoir used in the French classical era: we cannot grasp the meaning 01' change THE CORNEll JOURNRl Of RRCHITECTURE 7: THE fUTURE Of PERMRNENCE

ayer time correctly without following such an epistemological maze.

3 Getting back to the topis 01' the gi-yo-fu buildings. however. it is not my intent to give attention to this now-outmoded fever 1'01' a populist. postmodern decorativism: whether decorative details are 01' interest 01' not belongs itself to the historical-and ultimately to personal tastes. My concern lies in deeper aspects 01' this phenomenon. For this. l need to make a brief detour into more contemporary European thought. Reyner Banham. in his Theory and Design in the First Machine Age. made a highly illuminating analysis 01' French academic traditions in both architecture and arto representing the premodern conception 01' these fields that had previously been understood to offer a sharp contrast with modernist avant-garde philosophy. He insisted that julien Guadet instead represented the latter position. being" divorced from stylistic consideration." In Elements et Theories de l' Architecture (Paris. 190:'Ă&#x153;. Guadet followed the point ofview established by Charles Blancs. an art critic and the librarian 01' the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. who emphasized that methods 01' expression (brushwork. color. composition. etc.) and ordinance are superior to subject- matter. and who had no interest in style. Guadet's main concern was composition. "the assembly 01' a building 1'1'0 m its component volumes." As 1'01' the style. this was left to the free choice 01' individual architects. and as "the c10thing 01' the buildings forms" was almost mundaneo they could easily follow "a number 01' recognized cataJogued styles." This illustrates that the use 01' style in academic architecture (and art) was already in crisis. being separated into readings based on the whole (composition/ordonnance) and parts (clothingl subject-matter). even before overt attacks from the avant-garde. Rather. the avant-garde attack was only the lasto finishing blow. not the first one.

4 From the seventeenth to the ni neteenth century. the same process was happening in japanese architecture. only we had no counterpart to Guadet. simply because we had no notion 01' style. Uni ike the Western and

modern sense 01' art, japanese traditional notions 01' its counterpart were much closer to the classical notion 01' art found in ancient Greece, which was related more to individual skills than to selfexpression. Both japan and ancient Greece did not give prominence to fine arto as it was only one branch ofthe arts. In Japan, the arts included. 1'01' instance. fine art (paintings. sculpture. and handicraft), sado (the tea ceremony), ikebana (I1ower arrangement). court manners in general. the art 01' building. drama and dance. kendo. jujutsu. kyujutsu (Japanese archery). and bajutsu (horse- riding). as well as other similar disciplines. Around 1600. the Tokugawa family took command 01' feudal politics. They tried to stabilize the political and social order through the strict control 01' a family system that operated as an indispensable unit 01' a feudal political system based on the notion 01' royalty. In this system. a particular family inherited a particular role in individual political organizations. This structure had a correspondence in cultural fields; these arts were monopolized by specialist families and control passed from the master to his progeny. However talented disciples and outsiders may have been. they were never permitted to be honored through inheritance (becoming the supreme master) unless theywere sons 01'. at least. sons-in-Iaw. Even the significant names 01' Noh 01' Kabuki actors never belonged to an individual actor. but to privileged families. This corresponded with the political system. where a particular family inherited a particular role in individual political organizations. And the same sense 01' inherited privilege applied to builders. Before discussing builders. I need to explain how the system 01' architectural practice (01' whatever one might call it. since there was no word 1'01' architecture yet) was beingformalized in japan's early pre- modern period (from the sixteenth to seventeenth century), especially in the area 01' residential buildings 1'01' the rulingclasses. Called shoin-zukuri. these residences consisted 01' a series 01' rooms. each functioni ng as a microcosm 01' society. reflecting subtle but apparent indications 01' status, corresponding to expected events 1'01' the particular room and/or the status 01' anticipated occupants. The relative height 01' t1oors; the style 01' ceilings; the level 01' interior decoration related to pre-established architectural components



like the tokonoma (display niches), kazari-dana (decorative shelves): and paintings on screens, partitions, and walls all varied to indicate status. Each of these elements was highly codified, based on precedent, and never used in free arrangement. For example, the subject of interior paintings was fixed, not by the painters, but by clients working with their advisers and looking to established precedents. The Kano family held a monopoly on these interior paintings. related buildings. and significant renovations for the Shogunal government and sent relatives and disciples to complete work for other feudal lords' families: the master painter, the designated son, undertook work on the most important room with the most respected subject matter. Also ret1ecting the hierarchy of the spaces, other rooms were undertaken by lower-ranking family members and highly regarded disciples. Payment was even determined according to the painters' status and the predetermined subjectmatter, exactly as payments for carpenters and other crafts workers on the same site were set for the production quality of each room and similarly preestablished building materials. Sometimes, clients with appropriate knowledge and specific preferences established the paintings' composition and the ancient models (usually works by a Chinese master) that should be followed. Painters never simply painted as they wanted. Spontaneity in artistic expression is a modern conception and was alien to them. Each disciple learned by making numerous copies of model paintings by their masters. and copies of ancient masterpieces. Even after painters were allowed to enter independent practice, they never drew without restriction, but always referred to series of mode!s called hun-bon. (Hunbon were introduced from China and initially developed by Buddhist monks: they were related to religious iconography and later applied more generally.) Each interior decoration or installation offered up a dense iconographical universe. There was also an iconographical tradition in the West, and the [talian Renaissance artists worked similarly, as Erwin Panofsky demonstrated. However. the collective code's strictness of was much tighter inJapan, because the artist worked under conditions far different from Western humanist culture. 66

S The connoisseur-clients responsible for integrating the individual universes of each of the arts acted as architects, if we were to apply the termo Builders were mostly technicians following instructions: occasionally. some. having extensive skill and knowledge. also acted as designers. In the early Edo periodo families were designated to undertake important building activities: initially their position was based on skil\, but later the system became nominal and bureaucratic. During the transitional periodo numerous architectural treatises (again. ifwe wish to call them such) were written. These were secret books used to pass information from the master to his descendants. generally called hinagatasho (stylebooks). texts parallel to the hlln-bon. Several hand-copied variants were made and distributed to extend the int1uence of many families. The contents of these hinagatasho varied in descriptions of mythical and ancient origins of their profession, the rituals to accompany building activities. or the detailed speciI'ication of individual building tasks (related to temples. shrines. gates. residences. etc.). The central point of these early documents was a detailed description of individual building components and how these components' dimensions were integrated into a highly organized proportional system based originally on structural modules. They were the crystallization ofthe accumulated knowledge of building activities from throughout Japanese architectural history. As such. they were c10se to Beaux-Arts treatises. from.l. N. L. Durand to .Iulien Guadet. However. in this .Iapanese encyclopedia of architecture. an understanding of the essence of the elemental spatial composition of classical architecture (architecture imported from China) was already lost. At the core of classical architecture was a dual system of central and peripheral spaces. each called moya and hisashi. based on an archetypal structural grid of rows of columns and beams with a deep, pitched roof. Later. this basic scheme was modiI'ied to accommodate changes in building functions and supporting developments in structural technology. The descri ptions of build ing types byearly Edo master-builders illustrated that they had I'orgotten the initial significance of these systems. After new requirements caused the modification and

transformation of these architectural systems and brought about new systems such as shoin-zukllri to perfection. Japanese architecture was no longer based on a traditional coupled spatial system: it beca me more flexible but less fundamental. In the period that followed. there was no longer any apparent need forfurther architectural invention. in terms of either spatial or structural types. Only the hermetic operation oI' mathematical elaboration. with sorne innovation in decorative details. became increasingly sophisticated-together with an increasingly fine leve! of craftsmanship. In the mid-Edo period and late-Edo periodo the context for architectural treatises drastically changed. Wood-block printing techniques greatly improved. enabling the distribution of larger numbers of books. Among these were textbooks on architecture. also called hinagatasho. However. these later hinagatasho were-unl ike the earlier. handcopied ones-widely publicized among carpenters and other crafts workers concerned with building for ordinary citizens. Some secrets that were earl ier held only by appointed families beca me popularized. while others remained limited. perhaps because they were seen as not necessary for common readers. The central subject ofthese documents shifted from the system of composition for a whole building to interiors and decorative details: from do-kYll hinagata (stylebooks for temples and palaces) or .yashikj hinagata (residential stylebooks) to zashikj 01' eyo hinagat<1 (stylebooks of interiors and ornament). The history of Edo- period architecture can be summarized as a process of popularization of detail-oriented decorativism. such as represented by the mausoleums for the Tokugawa families in Nikko. While builders of renown were privileged and their families incorporated in the bureaucratic system of government. the pragmatic and superficial aspects oftheir knowledge were distributed amongst a wider range of craftsmen through these publications. Every detail. from the interior arrangement of the tokonoma and tana (shelves) to exterior and interior ornament. was mode!ed in pattern books. Ornament. exactly like the codified subjects of paintings. followed popular themes familiar to people through older religious and artistic media. The original

symbolic meanings 01' this iconography were gradually being lost. with only a vulgar sense of fortune or more widely popular teachings remaining. This shift from the whole to details was similar to contemporary European historical eclecticism, for which pattern books were al so quite elaborate. [t may not be by chance that Stewart Durant included one 01' these Japanese hinagatasho in his Ornament: A SurveyofDecoration Since 1830. The difference layo as [ noted earlier. in that Japan never produced a person such as Julien Guadet. and thus was not conscious of a shift. While European architecture began to see style as a means to grasp the meaning 01' architecture as a whole, the Japanese understanding of its counterpart. the hinagata, fell short 01' being one 01' style. and thus remained somehow different from architecture in the Western sense. This became understood as architecture only after the early Meiji interjection 01' a sense 01' the aesthetic (not merely the technicaD was applied to building. This was an act 01' recodifying, but not an attempt at stylistic definitions nor based 017 an earlier understanding 01' structures.

6 [17 the beginning 01' Meiji. one 01' the major revisions in Japanese building was a rise in new building types corresponding to Western institutions. [17 addition to programmatic changes, people adopted the habit ofworking at tables and sitting 017 chairs. instead 01' the traditional mode 01' sitting directly 017 tatami mats. This brought about a d rastic revision in spatial arrangements: not only the adoption 01' Western building technology and materials was required, but al so a new mode 01' planning was necessarily transplanted. There are numerous reports from the time. written by Western engineers and c1ients who collaborated with Japanese carpenters and other crafts workers. They were unanimously surprised to see the Japanese quickly adopt Western models, in spite 01' their apparent unfamiliarity with Western principies. This was done without significant resistance. partly because .Iapanese people at the time accepted proposed changes whatsoever they were and partly because traditional building techniques were mature enough to adapt to the new "style." This adoption 01' foreign principies, in the THE CORNEll JOURNRl OF RRCHlTECTURE 7: THE FUTURE OF PERMRNENCE

end, was done in a way familiar to the Japanese since ancient times.

often changed to the lotus. for instance, a plant that was familiar in the Buddhist tradition. Proportion in details was also ignored and builders never hesitated to include traditional ornamental patterns (eyo hinagata). This mixture of Western and .Iapanese ornamental elements was thus the basis for the name gi-yo-fu (pseudo-Western) style. After the disappearance of an awareness of the universe of iconography, the use of ornament inevitably beca me somethingthat could be freely adopted. That there was no longer a correspondence ofwhole to ornament was not even acknowledged. In this respect. gi -yo- fu was never a style, but rather testified to the absence of the notion of style.

Adaptation was rapid in the first two decades 01' Meiji. Central and local governments built many public buildings: sorne of them adopted traditional styles, while others were Western-some rendered in brick, and so me in wood. This Western style. especially as adopted in the government office buildings. is 01'ten caBed the "Home Ministry Style," since many buildings were based 017 a design for the Home Ministry in Tokyo by Hayashi Tadahiro, who was trained in the traditional system for carpenters. Hayashi's design seems to be nothing innovative, only a second-hand example 01' the Western style. However. it was in actuality a drastically new invention. in that it showed the .Iapanese building industry as a whole how to adopt these new paradigms. It was a revolution that. however. lacked drama.

This illustrated why Japan has never produced such a person as Julien Guadet: Guadet worked in the midst of a tradition aware of style and was conscious that he was witnessing the undoing 01' the notion. Japanese builders only exploited the surface character 01' style. This was natural. because they did not have even the slightest idea ofthe practical demands and the notion of a stylistic whole as corresponding with each other. The Japanese builders unconsciously chose the decision Guadet had assigned to individual architects: the .. clothing."

In addition to the general acceptance 01' Western things by Japanese people, Japanese builders had already lost their basic sense 01' architectural principies, and this must have contributed to quick acceptance 01' new principies. The framework for architectural composition was, in one sense, automatic; in the terminology 01' Russian formalist circles, it provided no sense 01' psychological resistance towards the new paradigm. except in the case of residential buildings.

8 We can see the free juxtaposition 01' Japanese and Western ornament in the main porch of the Kaichi Gakko School in Matsumoto. one 01' the most wellknowngi-yo-fu buildings. Beneath the main balcony. the master carpenter. Tateishi Kiyoshige, cal\'ed a relief of a Chinese dragon. together with a stylized relief 01' c1ouds. both popular subjects in .Iapanese tradition. But beneath the upper canopy (in the traditional Chinese-style gable called kara-hafll. which in reality had no relation to real Chinese architecture), Tateishi used a motif borrowed from the front page of the Tokyo Nichi-nichi Shinblln (Tokyo Daily Newspaper), creating a banner with the name of the school. supported by two (Western) angels. It is said that Tateishi saw the newspaper in Tokyo when he made an inspection tour of recently built western -style buildings and that he wanted to represent hope for schoolchildren and the future through the use of angels. This was obviously al ยกen to traditional iconography (in either architectural

7 However. one area remained: details. Since builders accepted only the practical aspects 01' these new paradigms, they had no idea how the general composition of the original buildings corresponded with details, establishing a notion 01' style. This understanding happens also to be one that Westerners would soon lose, the Vi truvian conception 01' decor was related to appropriateness and character. together with an iconographical cosmos that was also lost. and which carne to be replaced by ornament simply for the sake of ornament. Japanese builders actually tried to incorporate Western ornament such as orders, cornerstones, and balustrades, but these were purely ornamental. that is, elements evoking exotic sentiment. The builders never hesitated to modify them: the acanthus found in a Corinthian capital was YRTSUKR




tradition). but was a free adoption from newly acquired popular icons. It was an appropriate icon for the gi -yo - fu building. because the word fu can be most literally translated as "a la something." suggesting architecture as a simulacrum. The gi -yo - fu style did not last long. It was replaced by more authentically styled buildings. designed by architects who had received formal architectural training in universities. It is symptomatic that the labeling of gi -yo - fu buildings was never contemporary; as the label itself might suggest. the term is far from definitive in that it has the highly ambiguous prefix gi (pseudo) and the also ambiguous suffix fu. If this was understood as a mixture of Western and Japanese features. it could equaIly have also been caBed gi-wa- fu (pseudo- Japanese). But it was never seen as such. The Japanese of the time might have considered eclecticismo s rather foreign features as dominant. though this was far from the truth. Rather. gi-yo-fu was treated as a less significant deviation of the yo - fu (Western) buildings. The label gi-yo-fu gave it an independent position from other yo-fu buildings. but appeared in use as late as the 1920S, and it was even then an exceptional termo It was the postmodernist reevaluation of stylistic ornamentalism in the 1970S (which 1 noted earlier) that was decisive in establishingthe termo naming the style. It is not unfair to argue that these postmodernists were substantially the godfathers of gi-yo-fu. While there was surely justification for postmodern historians to reevaluate these works as a criticism of authentic styles. whether historicist or moderno they failed to understand two things. First. the use of ornament in gi -yo - fu architecture did not emerge from a notionofstyle that had everexisted inJapan. but from the absence of it. Fujiomori certainly admitted that the notion was an afterthought and never a contemporary conscious invention. But he never attempted to set the style against its historical background as 1 have done here. Secondly. this use of ornament required first the destruction of a sense of the wholeness of buildings. and the debased soil that nurtured its growth was no longer sufficient for its revitalization. As such, ornament was destined not to remain in use for long. however much the postmodernists Iikedgi-yo-fu. 68


Poreh delail of Kaiehi Priman' 5chool(1876) hv 5eiju Tateishi i~ \iatsumoto. :'><aยก(ano Prefecture. 1876.

Postscript The breakdown 01' style-actually the absence 01' it in the context I discuss here-can obviously be observed in the successive history 01' Japanese architecture. That is now a further subject 01' study by the author. Given the limitations 01' the present essay. I will be content to outline the later stages 01' this story only very briefiy. A second shift occurred in the Taisho era (191~足 19~5). due to the work 01' a professor at Tokyo Imperial University. Sano Toshikata. an authority on structural engineering and a leading drafter 01' seismic structural theory. While Ito (the architeclural historian I referred to in the beginning 01' this essay) represented Meiji. Sano represented the successive era. Sano reduced structure to rahmen (frame) construction. based on the assumption that walls do not undertake a role in resisting both vertical and horizontal loads: to assume the burden 01' earthquake stresses horizontally was Sano's idea. This assumption. in which walls were hypothetically treated as structurally non - bearing (as columns were considered sufficient). was later refuted based on economic terms. leading to a theory 01' a structural frame reinforced by bearing walls. But Sano's achievement was that he reduced the structural scheme lo the simplest three-dimensional grid. separating it from the surface 01' the building. In reality. this created by far a greater influence on the townscape than the Miesian reduction 01' architecture to mini mal cubes. for example. Again. contrary to a modernistic view 01' history. it was not an anti-stylistic. rationalist approach that brought about the downfall 01' style. Sano was never interesled in style. leaving this less essential issue (for him) to architects. exactly as Julien Guadet did in a different contexto Most ofthe buildings forwhich Sano undertook structural analysis were covered by historicist and ornamental details. This was not a contradiction to this rigorous pragmatist. because the surface played only a secondary role. Further. Sano. through his enormous influence on the Japanese bureaucracy. was the advocate 01' a modern building code in Japan. This reduced all urban structures into a series 01' boxes consisting 01' frames to be manipulated statistically. It was a decisive THE CORNEll JOURNAl Of ARCHITECTURE 7: THE fUTURE Of PERMANENCE

concrete Cthe Yoshikawa House 01' 1930). he wrote that this work finally abandons the idea 01' style. This proposition was further elaborated in his more well- known article written on completion 01' his Weather Station in Ohshima 01' 1938. an example of what Hitchcock and Johnson formalized as the International Style. This designation might have seemed a matter of course to Westerners. However. for the Japanese. to design both private and public buildings in the same style was a real revolution. It proved that the Vitruvian idea 01' decor relating to a certain style (or decoration). with its own legitimacy based on building type. was finally over. For the Japanese early avant-garde. this was more than the mere adoption of a foreign style. To achieve this transformation. the Japanese lifestyle should achieve a new paradigm that was more than the vision 01' a single architect. Al'ter studying both Japanese traditional architecture as well as its Western modern counterpart. Horiguchi's essay made manifest the point that a Japanese architect eventually achieved insight into the notion of style. if only by negating style.

momen!. in that ornament and style was allocated only marginal meaning. allowing it to fade away at the next stage 01' development. (This poi nt was extensively analyzed in myessay. Youshiki ga hagareochiru toki. aruiha Kozogourishugi to iu Keijijou-gaku (When Styles Come Oll: or the Metaphysics of Structural Rationalism) 10+1 vol. ~O. INAX. ~ooo.) The third shift emerged in the early Showa eraintroduced. at last. by a modernist architect. Ironically. this final revolution carne from the domain 01' private residences. which had played only a marginal role before. The most symbolically important building for architecture in Meiji was the National Assembly Building. intended to represent the new national state. Being an unprecedented building type in Japan. but representing the state. it demonstrated the fundamental difficulty 01' whether such a buildingshould be built in yo- fu or wa-fu style. although the latter choice could apparently be rejected for such practical reasons as fire resistance and seismic performance. This argument culminated in the well-known discussion 01' national style in the architectural academy during the end 01' Meiji. to which both Ito and Sano contributed. However. this proved to be ineffective in the context 01' the moment. In the Taisho era. architectural concerns shifted to improving environments for daily life: many proposals were made. mostly on how to Westernize houses and even ways 01' living. However. these remained a superficial introduction. as the Western (especially American) approaches did not fit neatly with the existing Japanese context and customs. Against this background. a new generation 01' the avant-garde emerged at the end 01' Taisho. These individuals-such as Horiguchi Sutemi. whom I mentioned aboye. and Yoshida Isoya-reevaluated the significance 01' Japanese tradition. attempting to modernize it. Until this point. wa-fu buildings were not taken seriously by architects as a subject 01' consideration. Both Horiguchi and Yoshida made architectural tours 01' Europe at the end 01' Taisho. feeling a desperale difference in the two cultures. Through their research. the domestic study and design 01' residential architecture beca me a serious task. not only socially but also architecturally-forthe first time in the history 01' Japanese architecture. When Horiguchi completed his first modern house in YAT5UKA




Cornell University Architecture Building Design Competition Introduction PORUS OLPADWALA, OEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF ARCHITECURE, ART


This issue 01' the CornelJ ÂĄournal oFArchitecture highlights the submissions ol' four prominent architects for a competition to design a new architecture l'acility l'or Cornell University's College ol' Architecture. Art and Planning. Finalists Steven Holl. Thom Mayne (Morphosis). Billie Tsien and Todd Williams. and Peter Zumthor made their presentations in public to an as stellar jury composed ol' Jim Polshek (chair). Kenneth Frampton. Toshiko Mori. Carme Pinos. Terrance Riley. and Heinz Tessar. In the audience through that April day in ~OOl were several hundred Comell students. l'aculty and staff. many regional practitioners. and an impressive number of architecture students and l'aculty l'rom other institutions. Even though the official deliberations were limited to the designers and the jury. all attendees had occasion through the day to interact with the competitors. and view the drawings and models in close proximity. lt was indeed. as I have stated elsewhere. a veritable archil'est. This was not the only occasion that the College and Comell communities had the privilege of associatingcloselywith our fourdistinguished guests. They carne to the campus a total offourtimes. the deliberations duringthree ofwhich were public. The first visit was 1'01' interviews. at which point the group was larger by three l'irms. MVRDV. Ten-W (Enrique Norten). and Raphael ViĂąoly. The second public visit was l'or the formal start ol' the competition. It was only the third time. when they presented preliminary concepts of their proposed designs. that discussions naturally were held in camera. These multiple open deliberations about issues at the l'orel'ront of architecture by leading edge architects clearly energized students and faculty in the college. As important. they served to raise very el'l'ectively on the general campus a much - needed awareness 01' the importance ol' good design and the crucial role ol' the built environment in our lives. Many current and future consumers 01' architecture benet'ited 1'1'0 m and enjoyed the high -level public discussions by its producers. They were educated on questions of design excellence. functional and site relevance. quality of materials and cycle operating costs. sustainable design strategies and other important issues that go into creating a truly high quality building. This can only be a good thing in a world where so many other forces seem to militate steadily against fine architecture. The introduction that follows tracks the itinerant wandering of the department on the Comell campus over the hund red and thirtyyears ofthe depaliment's existence. While located always in historic premises. it often lacked the functional basics that were needed to sUPPOli properly the professional work ol' its inhabitants. Despite that. Comell's department of architecture thrived over the years and went on to achieve a legendary status. Now the department finally will have ahorne ol' its own. one that ideally will embody its best virtues and traditions 01' that past and project into the future the professional aspirations of its faculty and students. Goethe is reputed to have maintained that three things need lo be looked to in a building: that it stand on the right spot. that it be securely l'ounded. and that it be successl'ully executed. Gur spot by one ofComell's idyllic gorges could not be more right. The department and college are securely l'ounded in their history and our new building will surely reflect that. Finally. this competition is a huge step towards ensuring that lhe third 01' the poet's attributes also is met. [hope that you enjoy the analysis and artistry in these pages.



The Department of Architecture and Its Buildings: A Brief History IN l. Mary N. Woods. From Craft to Profession, The Practice of Architecture in Nineteenth Century America. Berkeley and Los Angeles. California, University of California Press. '999. p. 68.

2. The Cornell University Register 188586. p. 27. 3. The Cornell University Register 188990. p. 35, 4路 The Cornell University Register 18991900. p. 269. 5路 The Cornell University Register 190607路 p. 373.


Comell University's Department of Architecture was established in 1871, three years after Cornell University opened. This was the second such program established in the United States, second to that of M.LT. 's established in 1868.' The Department of Architecture started in Morrill Hall, which was designed by Henry Wilcox & Porter in 1866. The building housed facilities such as the offices of the President, the Treasurer, the Dean, and the Register of the University. Morrill Hall contained the faculty room, agricultural museum, and the office of the Agricultural Experiment Station, in addition to the Department of Architecture." In 1889 the Department of Architecture began its migration across the campus through the years by moving to Lincoln HalL Designed by Charles Babcock in 1888, Lincoln Hall contained sixty-one rooms on its five floors and had been specially designed for use by the department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Architecture. 3 The College of Architecture was formed in 1896 and at that time included the Fine Arts programo The College of Architecture occupied the second and third floors of Lincoln Hall, and consisted of offices, the library, lecture rooms, draftingrooms, and rooms forfreehand drawing, water color painting, and modeling. 4


Arts Quadrangle 1872 FIGURE 2 (BOTTOM)

When Lincoln Hall became too small, the department moved to slightly larger spaces inWhite Hall (designed by Wilcox & Portee 1867) and Franklin Hall in 1906. The College occupied the third and fourth floors of White Hall and the third floor of Franklin HalL The third floor of White Hall housed the offices, library, lecture room, and exhibition rooms. The fourth floor, thoroughly lit by large skylights, contained the drafting rooms where all design students worked together. The rooms in Franklin Hall were devoted to freehand drawing studios. 5 In 1915, the College of Architecture expanded into the basement of Franklin Hall, while another expansion took place in 1919 when the

Lincoln Hall Drafting Room




department claimed part of the second floor of Franklin Hall. 1, Simultaneous with this physical expansion, the department expanded its curriculum to a five-year programo Comell was the first university to enact the five-year programo The expansion came under Francke Huntington Bosworth, 1r., who came to Comell in 1919 as a professor of design and as dean of the College of Architecture. 7 The Department of Art was organized within the college in 1921, and in 1922landscape architecturewas transferred to the College ofAgriculture. B In 1923, the College of Architecture expanded to use a portion of the basement ofWhite Hal1. 9 Because it has been the aim of the college to bring to all students of the university the benefits of contact with the work of eminent artists, architects, and artisans, studio space and an art gallery were added in Morse Hall in 1928.>0 In the mid-1930s Comell University extended its degree options to inelude the Master of Architecture. Master of Landscape Architecture, and Master of Fine Arts, which were offered through the Graduate School." The Department of City and Regional Planning was established in 1935 and expanded to inelude a Master in Regional Planning in 1944. " In 1959, the college moved into remodeled spaces in Sibley Hall and Franklin Hall. which is now Tjaden Hall. The facilities for Architecture and City and Regional Planning, as well as the administrative offices and the Library of Architecture and Fine Arts, were located in Sibley Hall while the Department ofArt was housed in Franklin Hall. ,1 Originally, Sibley Hall as we know it today was not built at once. The original buildingwas onlythe west section ofthe present Sibley Hall. The Sibley building, designed by Archimedes N. Russell and given by Hiram Sibley of Rochester in 1870, was originally for the Sibley College of Mechanic Arts. '4 It contained the print shop of the University Press and the educational machine shops. 'SWest Sibley Hall was extended by Russell in 1884. In 1894 East Sibley Hall was built by Charles F. Osbome and was occupied by the College of Mechanical Engineering. ,e, In 1902. the West and East Sibley buildings were connected by Sibley Dome, designed by Arthur N. Gibb.

6. Announcement of the College of Architecture. Vol. VI. No. 1.1. 1915-16. p. 15. . Announcement of The College of Architecture. Vol. 10. :\0. 1". '919"'20. p. 3. 8. Announcement of The College of Architeclure. Vol. 31. :'oío. 8. 194-0-4-1. p. S' 9. Announcement of The CoJlege of Architecture. Vol. 14-. No. 8. 1923-24-. p. 4-.

10. Announcement of The College of Architecture. Vol. 29. No. ,. 1928-29, p. S' 11. Announcement of The ColJege of Architecture. Vol. 26. No. 11. 1935-36 . p. 9. 12. Announcement of The College of Architccture. Vol. 35, No. 11. 194-4--4-5. p. 6. 13. Announcement of The College of Architeclure. Vol. S0. No .• 6. 1959-60. p. 3. ~_liistory of Cornell. Ilhaca. \iew York, Corncll l' ni'versÍI\ Press. 1962. p. ()6. .

'4. \lorris Bishop.

15. lbid. 16. lbid .. p. 328.

FIGURE 3 (Top) \\cllite Hall Drafting Room FIGURE 4 (MIDDLE)

SiblevHall Studio

To reflect the independent strength of its three programs. the College of Architecture changed its




East and \Xcst Sib[n lIall


Comell University Announcements.

V~l. 59. The College oI Architecture. Art. and Planning 1968 . p. 5.

18. Comell University Announcements. Vol. 66. No. 15. 'The College of Architecture. Art. and Planning 1974-

75. p.


19路 Morris Bishop. A Hi;;~ofComell. Ithaca. New York, Cornell Universitv Press. 196~. p. 361. .

name in 1967 to the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.'7 Shortly thereafter, in 1974, the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning moved to occupy additional space in part of Rand Hall. ,8 Given by Mrs. Henry Langin memoriam ofherfather, herunc1e, and her brother Jasper Raymond Rand, Jr., Rand Hall was designed by Gibb and Waltz in 1911. Originally for the College of Mechanical Engineering. Rand Hall contained the Sibley machine shop, pattern shop, and electricallaboratories.'9 Rand Hall, now used mainly for undergraduate studio space, has been renovated numerous times. In 1955, the third floor was altered for the Speech, Drama and Education Department. From 1958 through 1963 there were several changes for the Cornell Computer Center. In 1964, the third floor was remodeled for the Comparative Studies ofCultural Change. The first floor was renovated and the second floorwas repartitioned for the Center for Research in Education in 1968. The east stairtowerwas added in the same year. An elevator had existed in Rand Hall until its removal in 1970 to accommodate new office space. The second and third floors were repartitioned for the Department of Modern Language in 1972. In 1973, the second floor was rearranged for Management Systems & Analysis, the Division of Unc1assified Students, the vice provost, and dining space. When the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning moved into Rand Hall in 1974, each floor was renovated. Partitions were removed from the second and third floors to accommodate studio space. In 1976, the first floor became office space, and critique rooms were added on the second and third floors. Space on the first floorwas given for Computer Graphics in 1981.

FIGURE 6 (Top) Sibley Hall Drafting Room FIGURE 7 (MIOOLE)

Sibley Dome after 190~

Rand Hall has existed for over ninety years as the threshold to north campus. Its imminent disappearance willleave only a memory to Cornell University's and the Department of Architecture's history. The Department of Architecture has moved from building to building through the years to fit its growing functional demands. The nomadic condition of the department during the past hundred years will enter a new era with the completion of the new architecture building. The new architecture building will provide a long-term home for the Department of Architecture, as well as providing a new architectural and educational environment for manyyears to come.


Rand Hall





Peter Zumthor Architekturburo




.'..,, L. ,

'. .'

, r







A BuildingAbout Building The new facility for the Department of Architecture is a building for 430 students and their instructors. It is designed to offer ideal working situations in an unassuming. functional, and straightforward manner.


Site model FIGURE 2 (LEFT)

Model site plan FIGURE 3 (RIGHT)

Sketch studies of plans and sections

The new buildingforthe Department ofArchitecture. not unlike a factory. is tailored for its purpose. namely. to be a place of learning the discipline of generating architectural concepts and the art of making real buildings. The proposed project is therefore conceived as a building about building. It takes pride and pleasure in its body. in the physical presence of its structure and construction. its materials. installations, mechanics. its roofs, and elevations. These elements are to have an unadulterated and direct appearance. Everything is practical and well made. robust and solido When you


study the architecture. you should see what you get and should get what you see-and maybe a little bit more.

The Building as aWorkingTool Ifthe building successfully implements its basic ideas. it will have the quality of a beautifully functioningtool. A perfect instrument for studying and experiencingthe profession taught within its walls. An instrument that sounds right, that feels right. Space and light. Materiality. Order and rhythm. Working situations. Places to work. places to learn-potential to be exploited. When 1 think of an architecture geared towards meaning and attraction with its skin or inner surfaces like images on a screen, 1 realize that the building proposed here seems to be at the other end of the spectrum. No imagery. no personal signature. no branding of any sort, but a great deal of practical

consideration given to use. structure, construction. materials. to inner space. to shadow and light. The building speaks of itself and its place; its anatomical structure produces solids and voids. provides room and freedom ofuse.

A Construction Made to Last The building should be able to take life's blows and accept the traces of use with humor. That means: No delicate parts. but the beauty of large swinging doors on sturdy and perfectly working pivots. Or concrete that weathers with the grace of stone. wooden panels. appropriately molded sheet-metallouvers topped off by elegantly sparkling members of stainless steel on windows, railings, and stairs. No delicate trimmings, but loose settings designed with casual precision. Technical fixtures. interior finishes, ledges or doorframes generously dimensioned, made to last and capable of agingwith dignity.



Studios: Window Seats Only The structure of the building, its anatomy, is driven by two main ideas: the veranda studios and an elevated main deck, the Piazza.

The studios offer a veranda workplace for each student, ideal daylight conditions for a desk, a personal pinup wall, and personal space allowingforthe concentration of individual work. Students enjoya pleasant degree of intimacy in the small veranda group, which houses six to nine working stations. Two veranda compartments and an open area for flexible use form a studio unit. Access to the studio unit is provided through the verandas so open areas can be free of circulation. In addition, the open areas of two studio units, one facing north, the other south, are situated adjacent to each other. They can be combined: by revolving the large pivoting wall partitions, they become one big room extending from faยก;ade to faยก;ade, allowing different configurations of mutual use.


Studio Floor Patteros for Flexible Use The pattern of the studio floors with alternating access landings and flexible use areas allows forvariations of studio assignments that make it possible to accommodate larger or smaller units. There are also two sizes for the compartments, which increases the flexibility of space assignments. The Piazza: Where People Congregate The raised platform, the Piazza, is shaped like a spine and forms the heart of the building. Here activities come together, people congregate. This main level attracts and hosts the professional and social activities that take place in the building: the studio life from aboye, the gatherings in the auditorium, and the review spaces situated on the flanks, as well as the work in the laboratories and the high bay model finishing room risingup from the shop area below.

In practice, students and professors bring their work from the studio floors down to the Piazza level for



Flexible space in studio FIGURE S (BOTTOM)


THIS PRGE FIGURE 6 (Top LEFT) Section sketch FIGURE 7 (Top RIGHT) Studio window seats FIGURE 8 (BOTTOM)





review and debate, where they can also put it on display. Exhibitions from outside the school are brought in. Interaction takes place. We imagine an inspiring air of professionalism; this centrallevel will foster and enhance a focused ambiance of intriguing ideas and fruitful discourse. The energy of the school and the input of visiting professionals produce a stimulating and exciting atmosphere.

Air and Ught Above the Piazza: The Thin Void The needs of a building with distinct spaces for individual work, for working in groups. for public reviews, lectures, and social interaction have shaped the principies of circulation within the new structure. Eight elevator towers and eight staircase compartments. the structural supports ofthe building. connect the studio floors down to the Piazza and on down to ground level. Horizontal and vertical movement within the building is clearly articulated and experiential. A central void, long. thin, and tall, shows that the studio levels hovering over the deck of the Piazza are


laid out with a north si de and a south side. It is transected only by the closed volumes holding the flexible use areas of the studios. In the void they appear as "solids" and are used as walk-on platforms between the stair and the elevator landings that access the studios. From the landings. one sees throughout the whole building-down to the Piazza, up to the sky. all the way to the east and all the way to the west end of the building. There is a sense of orientation and a feeling for the whole. The building as a structure~an anatomic organismo The building in use-a community.

Neighbors and Relatives The appearance of the building as seen from outsideslender, muscular. and flooded with daylight in the upper parts-speaks clearly of its particular use: a new type of architecture school. A "type - building"~ definitely. But the building also communicates with its contexto The taller part of the building responds to the gateway position at the entrance to the arts quadrangle at the northeastern cornero Open passages under the elevated platform of the Piazza and the bridge -like appearance of the lower parts of the building provide


open space on the ground f1oor-friendly gestures reaching out to the backyard of Sibley and to the historic foundry building across the street at the edge of the gorge. The reduced footprint of the building and the single volumes of the auditorium. the computer laboratories. and review spaces projecting out sideways are direct reactions and answers to the staggered back ofSibley Hall and the gateway situation at the eastern end of the lot where the auditorium marks its presence to the public.


Model view from East Avenue FIGURE 10 (RIGHT)

Mude! view from Arts Quadrangle


Section mode! FIGURE 12 (TOP RIGHT)

Studio window sea!s FIGURE 13 (BOTTOM)

In an urban sense. the newvolume is composed as part of a second building alignment behind the historic main buildings. and along the arts quadrangle. an attitude much in line with the position of the Johnson Art Museum by 1. M. Pei. The opening between Sibley Hall and Tjaden Hall remains. The height of the building marks presence and conveys a sense of belonging to the arts quadrangle in the center. a gesture it shares with the Johnson Art Museum.

South and East elevations




Thom Mayne Morphosis





This proposal for the new Architecture Building at Cornell University purposefully creates dynamic intersections, which provide opportunities to explore and unify disparate ideas of external/internaL public/ private. straightforward/complex, and old/new. The building itself is a manifestation of crossing points. The integration of the contextual and programmatic ideas in this proposa! explore the seams that resolve the tension that exists at the intersection between Sibley Hall and our proposed new building. between faculty and student environments. and between the architecture department and the larger university population.

Site plan FIGURE 3 (RIGHT)

Rendering of south elevation/section

Extroversion / Introversion The proposed building comprises two disparate parts.


the studio/classroom and the faculty. The studio volume occupies the territory between Sibley Hall and the dramatic plunge of the adjacent gorge. The articulated roof planes act as a visual terminus to the arts quadrangle. The design studios. which are meant to evoke the cavernous, open. and free spaces of Rand Hall. are extroverted and dramatic on the exterior while remaining neutral and flexible inside. This space. like an enormous industrial building. is open. free. and amorphous. providing a highly flexible armature for the activities of the design studios. Students are invited to activate the space as they produce their work. engaging the architecture as they pursue their studies. The studio volume. containing 4:4-400 square feet. has been conceived as a territory highly conducive to social interaction. promoting

opportunities for accidental learning and increased engagement between faculty and student. between student and student. Jury rooms are suspended within the space in such a way that activity taking place inside them can be readily observed from elsewhere in the studio. In juxtaposition to this communal sensibility is the faculty bar- building. which pierces through this large fluid studio space to create the primary place of architectural intersection in the complexo The massing of the bar- building was designed to define the entry to the new building and to provide a strong gesture toward the gorge to the north. In contrast to the nonhermetic, social nature of the design space, the faculty zone is represented by a simple lineal bar that remains neutral on the outside but develops a morphology of private, unique, and specific spaces for



each faculty member. This zone was designed to provide quieto private spaces for faculty while functioning dually as a connective device to the student workspaces in the nearby studio.

Lightness /Weight The entire studio building noats aboye a foundation created by the ~5o-seat auditorium and an underground parking structure. The majority of the structure is submerged below grade. allowing just enough height to support the entire building in such a waythat it seems to noat ~ feet aboye ground leve!. This noating structure is anchored. not by the ground. but


by the faculty bar- building. which penetrates through the studio to extend its reach out onto the campus, cantilevering over both the main pedestrian walkway and University Avenue. A formalized gateway is thus created. asserting a fundamental sense of connection to the larger outside world. Whether people intend to come into the new architecture building or are merely driving or walking by. this building asserts itself. beckoning those who pass by to be aware of the activities of its occupants. The four-story- high studio space is entirely ciad in glass at the west end. offering the primaryvoyeuristic opportunity for the passerby.


Public / Private Cornell University's approach to the education of young architects is unique in its commitment to the determinate physical context within which our art operates: the process of making is not subordinated to the philosophical. Students are exposed to situations that create opportunities for them to learn about architecture. The building that houses them in this pursuit should be didactic in nature and should offer, in its essence ,Iessons both for the students who study there and for those who pass by. To that end. we quite deliberately chose to site the shop at the front of the building. The intersection at which the faculty


Plans and model \'icw

FIGURE 5 (Top LEFT) \X'est elevation and serlion through Sihley Hall FIGURE TOP 6 (RIGHT)

Seetion through studio building FIGURE BOTTOM 7 (LEFT)

Seetion through farultv bar-building FIGURE BOTTOM 8 (RIGHT)

'<orlh elevalion

bar crosses the studio space to cantilever over the main pedestrian access-way to the arts quadrangle defines the location of the new primary entry for the schooL the gallery, exhibition space, the auditorium, and the shop with its indoor and outdoorwork spaces. Students walking past the new main entrance to the buildi ng pass a large picture window at the comer that gives views of the workshop below. Lit untillate at night, this workshop space will be on display yearround with the output and progress of student work continuously on display to the outside world. The outdoor workshop area is designed specifically for Comell's "dragon-making" requirements. It is


located below ground level but open to public view and is connected via a sinuous ramp to the main pedestrian walkwaythrough campus. The ritual oftheArchitecture School's drago n - making endeavor is canonized in this space.

foreground and background, neutrality and specificity. AH ambiguity drops away at the point of intersection between the studio space, the bar- building, and the new entry space created along the major pedestrian walkway into campus.

This project is about differentiation, oppositions, and connections. We have sought to produce an active, didactic. and environmentally sensitive building for the larger university campus while simultaneously offering a socially conducive yet sensory-neutral space to encourage the creativity of the students who use it. Ambiguities exist between inside and outside,

The studio/dassroom building has been designed for maximum performance and durability, The fa,<ades will consist of a combination of metal- dad walls and high -performance glazing. The glass waHs will be covered in an operable sun -shading system of perforated aluminum panels. serving to remove the

Primary Exterior Finish Materials




majority ofthe solar heat gain from the glass surface. The matte-finished standing seam metal roof will reflect the constantly shifting light of the 1thaca sky. The faculty building will similarly be cIad in a mattefinish material, beautiful, durable, and maintenancefree. The faculty offices will feature punched openings covered with the same perforated sunscreen material that is used in the studio building, as well as a series of skylights that run down the center of the open circulation coreo North and south elevations will be fully glazed, to maximize views toward the arts quadrangle and the forested area adjacent to the gorge.

Primary Interior Finish Materials The studio interior has been designed to be an open "10ft" environment. Exposed steel roof framing will define the overall spatial quality. Smooth finished concrete floors will provide a durable and usable working surface in all of the studios. A series of open steel catwalks aboye provide another element that produces texture, visual interest, and access. The faculty buildingwill be finished in a more subdued palette: interior gypsum board walls, wood doors, and carpet throughout. Circulation space will be top-lit through a ribbon of skylights that permit light to filter deep into the space. Acoustics are a primary consideration in the selection of the interior finish materials. The material choices and color palette reflect the more contemplative aspect of the work of the faculty.

Building Systems The primary structural system of the studios and classrooms is a concrete frame, rising from the underground parking and auditorium components. At the fourth floor, two large steel trusses carry the roof. The structural system of the faculty building will be steel framing. Walls adjacent to stairs will be developed as shear wall elements. The narrow floor plate allows opportunities for cross ventilation of the office spaces through operable windows and a continuous vent at the ribbon skylight.




Model view from northeast gorge of faculty bar- building and studio building behind


Model view of north elevation FIGURE 11 (Top RIGHT) Rendering of east clevation and faculty bar- build ing FIGURE 12 (BELOW)

Rendering of north elevation




Tod Williams and Billie Tsien TWBTA




Design Statement This new building is a low clear bar parallel to Sibley. a simple form with a complex section. The base building and parking garage below are castin -place concrete clad in bluestone. The top level is an elegantly detailed steel and glass structure. There is a large roof terrace overlooking Fall Creek Gorge.

Studios Construction Studio FRCING PRGE FIGURE 1


Site plan FIGURE 3 (RIGHT)

Sketch of south elevation from East Avenue

This is a space where one -to - one large - scale building projects can occur. Lit by large north -facing skylights. the studio will be washed by continuous unshadowed light. At 50 feet wide and a 100 feet long. it is a space of generous proportion and strong presence. With a clear space more than 30 feet high. there is the ability to install a ceiling-mounted gantry to move heavy objects. A large platform elevator brings in supplies and equipment from the loading area one f100r aboye.


Spaces for seminars or juries are defined by movable heavy felt curtains. Amezzanine with additional studio space and informaljury rooms overlooks this space.

order to modulate the light. these boxes are primarily solid with windows on the sides. On the interior. these become small alcoves where students and faculty can meet to talk.

Central Studio This space. similar to the great spaces of early industrial buildings. is the most normative. The painted concrete f100r is 60 feet wide and 400 feet long. With a bay spacing of 30 feet by 30 feet. a row of concrete columns runs down the center of the space. Two banks of faculty and graduate student offices modulate and divide the great length into two areas. Pinup walls f10at as planes on exposed concrete walls. The north and east faces of the building have a continuous "window box" that protrudes three feet from the face of the building. which. located at seat height. is a deep ledge where students can sit and architectural models can be displayed. Larger scale boxes protrude from the south face of the space. In

Glass Studio This is an elegantly detailed steel and glass structure cantilevered over the north and east faces of the base building. It is a combination of clear and milk glass and has a character less rugged than the concrete studio. making it a more contemplative space. Banks of faculty and graduate student offices modulate the space. which provide sun-shielding on the south face ando as in the two lower studios. promote the integration of faculty with students. The studio opens on to the roof court where a series ofwalls create a quiet space out of the wind but open to the sky. Sun protection would be provided by a combination oflowe glass and interior shades.



Special Spaces Auditorium This space is located at the west end of the building at the opening between Sibley and Tjaden Halls where it can serve the entire arts community. It can be entered directly from the arts quadrangle by an inclined walk leadingto a small terrace. The auditorium sits between the parking garage level and the concrete studio, taking advantage of additional sectional space caused by the change in the topography from west to east.

Entry Gallery The architecture gallery, located at the eastern end of the building, opens to a large terrace that creates a



promontory overlooking Fall Creek. It will provide a welcoming lit presence to those crossing the Thurston Street Bridge.

Sibley Connector At the entry-Ievel lobby of Sibley, this skylit space extends the existing art gallery and makes a direct connection to the most public level of the new building where the auditorium and jury rooms are located. The floor level is slightly higher in elevation so the visitor has a view of open jury rooms. At its lower level, the connector creates a direct path from Sibley to the Dragon CafĂŠ.



Gorge Lookout There is a pedestrian entrance to the parking garage adjacent to the auditorium. People descend by a series of generous steps, inclined walk, or elevator. Along the way at an intermediate level, there is the opportunity to continue through a passage to a terrace overlooking Fall Creek Gorge. A pathway at grade connects this terrace to the suspension bridge.


Pedestrian There are three primary entrances. One entrance occurs at the entry level of Sibley through the Sibley connector. An alternate entrance addresses the north

FIGURE 4 (Top LEFT) Sketch of entrv gallery FIGURE 5 (TOP MIOOLE)

Section of Sibley connector FIGURE 6 (TOP RIGHT)

Sketch of gorge lookout FIGURE 7 (BOTTOM)



Section through Sibley Hall and the Three Studios FIGURE 9 (BOTTOM)

Lateral section

end of the campus and marks the architecture gallery on the east end of the building. The third entrance. marked by a talllit tower. addresses the south and west sections ofthe campus and is sited between Tjaden and Sibley at the entrance to the auditorium.

entrance court with a skylight to the space below. To the west. the court steps down 2 -lh feetto a lower floor leve!, affording egress and light to the offices that face onto the court. The new building has been kept deliberately low to allow as much light as possible to enter Sibley from the north side.

Vertical Inclined walks are used throughout the building to reduce the need for elevators and to encourage walking. There are three elevator and stair cores. Although these are fire stairs. they are generous, lightfilled spaces for students and faculty to gather. The top of the west stair core rises higher to give students a place to sit and look at Beebe Lake.

SibleyHall Two garden spaces are created on either side of the new Sibley connector. To the east. the space is planted with grass and paved with stone. and slopes up 3 feet to an


The library is restored to the great space it was once envisioned to be. A monumental window cut into the north wall overlooks the roof court of the new building. Two new elevators. each with two doors, are installed to make the building accessible. The one to the east provides access within the library only. The elevator to the west stops at all floors in the building and is keyed for library hours. The north section of the floor is cut back, which simultaneously creates a mezzanine overlooking the college exhibition space and a double height space.



Relationship to the Comell Campus Although it is basically low and quiet, the new building will act as a welcoming gateway to the north end of campus. In the evening the glass studio, which cantilevers more than 40 feet beyond its base, will be the great lamp at the end of the arts quadrangle. From the ThurstonAvenue Bridge, itwill be seen as a floating bar of light over a strong and quiet base. At an intermediate level, the lights ofthe architecture gallery will mark the east entrance to the building. An illuminated cube, shimmering with water during warmer weather and glowing beneath the snow in the winter, will be sited at the intersection of University and Thurston. Tiers of light will mark this entry to Cornell.

Materi.a1s and Finishes As an illustration of structural methods, the new building is designed with two structural systems: a

three-story cast-in -place concrete frame below and a single-story structural steel frame aboye. The lower floors of the new School ofArchitecture will be cIad in two - inch thick - panel s of New York Bluestone. The cast- in-place concrete will be exposed in certain areas. such as the walls and parapets of the parking structure, as well as the terrace bridges and walls. Local stone aggregate will be integrated into the concrete. AH exposed concrete wiH be given a sandblasted finish. Glazing will be low-e insulated glass set within a slender aluminum window-wall system or steelframed continuous bay window assemblies. Certain zones near public entrances and studio windows will be cIad in terne. The roof garden aboye the Central Studio and the gallery terrace at the eastern end of the buildingwill be surfaced with concrete terrace pavers.

Courtyards and exterior spaces at grade will generally be surfaced with water-washed sawcut concrete and with mud -set stone paving near public entries.


Model view from northwest FIGURE 11 (RIGHT)

Sectioll sketch

Interior floors and walls will be built with durable materials. The floors of the construction studio, workshops, and central studio will be made of painted concrete. The floor of the public level will be of terrazzo-ground concrete. The glass studio will have a poured -epoxy floor finish. On each of these levels. zones of mud -set stone flooring will define areas of public circulation. Walls will be sandblasted cast - inplace concrete in the lower floors with sanded homasote pinup zones in each of the studios. Pivoting steel and homasote panels will provide flexibility within jury rooms and allow for informal reviews within studios. Low partitions delineatingfaculty and graduate student studio offices will be made of wood and sandblasted glass.









Skeeth of southeast eorner from Ihe arts qlladranยก.de FIGURE 13 (TOP RIGHT)

Model vi,-" from northw,',' FIGURE 14 (BOTTOM)

\fodel vi,-" of north eleval;on




Steven Holl Steven Holl Architects



01 )1 .. I

Planning Concept The site' s prominent location flanking the northeast comer of the arts quadrangle is in a gateway position due to pedestrian traffic passing north over the Gorge Bridge onto campus.



2 (LEFT)

Site plan FIGURE 3 (RIGHT)

Watercolor 01" site strategv

The new building offers a new campus passage at its ground planeo This covered passage is open to all and makes a new connection to the architecture school that is currently only accessible at the front doorwith a key code lock. The fact that the studio spaces are often lit up with students working at night reinforces a lantern I gateway aspect ofthe new architecture school on this site. This glowingview is spectacularvia automobiles


travelingnorth on EastAvenue orwest on Forest Home Orive. Rather than being symmetrical to the space of the arts quadrangle, Sibley Hall's center is shifted over one hundred feet to the east. This plan displacement enhances the movement toward the new building whose proportions are similar to the displacement. As the 1973 Johnson Museum of Art occupies a site flankingthe northwest ofthe arts quadrangle, its cubic massing stands in relation to the new architecture schoo!.

the distant views of Lake Cayuga. This view connects to the Finger Lakes region's amazing topography. A School of Architecture would benefit from this "overview" and reflecting aspect available from the "high -zone" ofthe site potentia!. The feeling that the planning of Cornell has "turned its back" on the natural beauty of Fall Creek Gorge is especially felt in Sibley Hall. The new building has four "fronts" with the North fa~ade giving special views to the gorge from the upper floors. The stackability of the basic studio space in the program further suggests a vertical massing. A second phase tunnel connecting to Sibley would flank a future parking garage leve!.

The upper levels of the Johnson Museum create a special view connection to the gorge, the campus, and CORNELL UNIVERSITY RRCHITECTURE BUILDING DESIGN COMPETITION


Te88eract (an open bracket) Scientifically, a Tesseract is the four-dimensional analogue to a cube (a square is to a cube as a cube is to a Tesseract). This cube aims at non - Euclidean properties developed internally in subtle ways more experientially evident in overlapping and internal perspectives. The review rooms, the heart ofthe studio experience, are in the central overlapping cubes. The "Open Bracket" ofloft-like studio spaces is made operative by the infrastructural "Tesseract Zone," which is pulled inside out, forming the west fa<;ade. Here the large service elevator, a 9x9 cube, and passenger elevator (6x6) are found with stairs connecting all floors with views to the lake and gorge. Seminar rooms, rest rooms, and utility sink rooms are

collected here. Compared with the softly molded light from the white translucent insulation in planks around the studio, rooms here are darker and digitally interactive. The Tesseract Zone is embedded in the open -air bracket as a shifting intermittent section whose alignments are outside the cube in the landscape of the site: the bottom of Fall Creek Gorge, the distant view ofLake Cayuga. the angle ofthe sun (47.5 at Equinox). Connection of the new Hyper Cube to the original central cube of Sibley Hall occurs phenomenally along the west fa<;ade 's Tesseract wall and literally through a tunnel passage connectingto a new elevator (phase 10 on the north fa<;ade of Sibley' s Central Cube.





• 94




l._ ...•.



Seetion through the Tesseracl zone !ooking wesl FIGURE


S"('tion through the Tesseracl zone looking south

The proportions of the building from the 3' x 3' cube of the "shadow box" windows to the 13.5' interior studio volumes to the 34' x 34' review rooms are analogous to the Fibonacci series 3·5·8.13.~1.34·55·89·

Exterior construction is structural channel glass planks on three fa¡;ades (with translucent insulation) and aluminum in different states for the Tesseract wall (foamed aluminum. sheet - bead blasted. direct digital cut. etc.).

Materi.als and Finishes


The construction of precast concrete planks in three simple spans provides channels for ducts. al! electrical and computer wiring. This floor construction gives easy access to a flexible system servicing all desks. Pull-up panels are covered in the same durable vinyl tile as the floor. while the ceilings are the exposed light gray of the concrete plank undersides.

The Creen aspects include a ventilated cavity between the channel glass along the east and south fa¡;ades. Closed in winter. these wal!s bring in solar heat. Natural cross ventilation is via 3' x 3' operable windows in shadow boxes that let in the winter sun and exclude summer sun. PV cel!s on the roof are directly connected to ceiling fans in the studios for summer cooling.


Water efficient landscaping and storm water management is achieved through minimal impervious paving on site and through the re-use of the existing parking behind Sibley. Paving for paths and walks are gapped stone on sand bed to minimize storm water run-off. Recycled materials include recycled -glass material and oxygen-fired fumaces for the U-Plank. AlI cast-inplace concrete will utilize recycled fly ash. Rapidly renewable resources include cork and linoleum for flooring material where suitable. and certified woods. low-emitting or YaC-free products. and regional materials where possible.



Air-conditioning HCFC's are eliminated by the natural ventilation scheme. The university mechanical engineering department as a case study can monitor indoor air and CO路 levels. Construction Strategies-Ufe Cycle Costs The simplicity of construction and the exposure of all construction materials add to the didactic qualities of the teaching spaces and reduce the cost and necessity of interior finishes. Precast I prestressed concrete planks reduce costs, increase quality, and precision, and provide chases for all mechanical trades, which maximize ceiling heights and eliminate most plenum spaces. Concrete construction will also increase the life span of the building. Open - space studios provide future adaptability.


The Tesseract wall's folding geometry would be directly translated from disk to engineered composite panel in the shop and bolted together on the site.

in the south tromb wall in the winter cycle and cool night air in the summer cycle. The concrete provides the thermal storage in each case.


Model view of north elevation FIGURE 7 (RIGHT)

Collage view north from East Avenue

The tromb wall heating scheme and natural ventilation cooling reduce initial and replacement equipment costs and reduce power consumption. Ample daylight in the studios also reduces the need for artificiallight and power loads. Computer Analysis Model The frame structure of the proposed School of Architecture is a combination of precast and cast- inplace concrete. The columns and walls are cast-inplace and the floor girders and hollow joists are precast elements with a cast- in - place concrete topping. There is no false ceiling so that all concrete surfaces are exposed. The hollow joists and perforated girders provide a cavity for the passage of warm air collected


The construction of the western Tesseract wall will be constructed of steel and metal panels. lt is not loadbearing but will contribute to the floor stiffness. The panels will be of a variety of types: steel, foam aluminum. and marine plate aluminum are being considered. The overall geometry of the frame is a 3 x 3 x 3 cubic grid deformed by the Tesseract geometry of the western wall and review space volumes, and the gallery passage at the ground. The consequence is a rather rich geometry of Vierendeels and slight but notable frame adjustments that will provide a complex and challenging spatial and geometric experience to the students.


Model views: souththwest from arts quadrangle. northeast. north northeast FIGURE 9 (BOTTOM LEFT)

Study models FIGURE 10 (BOTTOM RIGHT)

Model view of western Tesseract wall




Undergraduate Student Theses











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Investigating the seemingly ordinary. this thesis begins on a ~oo-acre farm in southern Pennsylvania. The farmland. bound to the north by a meandering tributary. is an integral component for the collection of water runoff for its neighboring lands. From these activities. a swale has carved its presence into the site. The physical and perceptual mapping of this depression and its transformation through time became the departure point for the project. Perceptual data was layered through photographic media with geological and historical site information. Significant moments were identified. each of which located natural phenomenon on the site. A series of landscape walls mark these moments along the path of the water. creating a composite landscape of its own and revealing the embedded memory and natural attributes through a process of erasure. The amplification of the site's ephemeral components (Le. sound. wind. wildlife) is discovered during one's experience at each of the walls, which contain a programmatic element of a nature spa. The movement of the body against the waIls activates the landscape similar to how the runoff ofwater engages the existing site. In the end. the dialogue that is created between the body and its experience of the landscape and the architecture stages an extra -ordinary experience.









Plan -Axonom~lric RIGHT:

Plan -A"'nom~tric









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Irony is selfknowledge. Irony discriminates the classical concept ofhistory as progress from the modern view of history as process. In the latter case, things are revealed ironically. Inherently everything one does is ironic: it allows us to reconcile with the world in which we live. Irony is knowingthe whole, but also understandingthe whole as a finite condition. When irony can be sustained, it sets a circle of understanding. It follows that one cannotworkwithout dialectic, but that irony relies on dialectic. Irony looks back from a forward point, it posits us in the presento Inherent in action is freedom: if one works from history, is one still free? Irony suggests that one is responsible for one's history, and that one is already at the end of history. The paradox of irony is that it works only for the initiated in a particular universal. Otherness removes the human subject in a dialectical process, but also forces a need for creativity. To be modern is to be other, to destroy what one is. Thus inherent in dialectic is creativity; and in creativity, dialectic. One creates history, knowing history is creative.






Section Series lEFT BOTTOM:

Site Collalie RIGHT TOP:

Lateral Section Series RIGHT MIDDLE:

Plan Section Series RIGHT BOTTOM:




Site Plan MIDDLE:









~~~-=---~~_I The Displacement of Pilgr[imagel




Sยกte Plan RIGHT:

Serlions THIS PRGE:






1 Abi ku Phe nome non

If a woman has several children in succession who die at an early age ...they may not be different ancestral souls. but one soul being repeatedly reborn ....

Yoruba perception of history is that of a recurring inhabitance of three particular realms: unborn. living. and ancestral dominion. There is the powerful belief that every living being's normal destiny is to live out the fulllife cycle from birth to death (joiningthe ranks of the ancestors). The Ahiku myth, which deals with the death of children, is especially harrowing because of this attitude towards human life. The Ahiku is the child who dies at an early and is reborn only to die again. This repeated cycle of birth and death brutally negates the purpose of existence ....


The notion of Ahiku is occasionally re-appropriated in terms of being a metaphor for Nigeria's postcolonial social and political evolution and is symbolic of the paradoxical feelings of resilience in the face of endless adversity. This thesis examines this idea of purposeful mis- interpretation or re-appropriation of that which is emblematic of traditional belief in order to address contemporary circumstances. The Oba's [king] palace compound in Lagos, Nigeria operates as the conceptual vehicle for the thesis. Fragmented mis-readings from a computer mode! of the compound are generated via Form-z's "QuickPaint" programo In "QuickPaint" the rendered attributes of an image are always inaccurate alongthe z-axis. After a series ofthese fragments are produced, in succession, from "aborted" renderings. they are then projected from perspective back into plan and reconstructed as determined by space/time and spiritual/political variables. The process articulates the idea of a narrative of nation building through a sequence of imaginative architectural reconstructions. Architecture is inseparably bound to social and political conditions ....







Preliminary Compositions RIGHT BOTTOM:

Perspective and Plan Series



Perspeetive and Plan MIDDLE:

Final Plan - eonfiguration "A" RIGHT:

Plan- eonfiguration ""A""






Dis-lodgeoFashionable Prosthetics of the Ski Slope

A symbol of physical aptitude and fashionable proficiency. an orange Technica ski boot serves as initial catalyst for investigations. Its program is dictated by necessity to protect the foot/ankle. provide security, adjustability and negotiation between body and mountain. Beyond obvious pragmatics. design of the boot is driven by an elusive notion of vogue and the fashionable aesthetic of technology. Exaggerated piston -like buckIes. aberrant color and hyper-scientific terms ofbrandinggenerate a production of desire for the exquisite object; the commodity fetish. In the planar space of a lodge, perversion of the boot's primary role is clear. Sensual gliding movement down the slope is transformed into proud mechanical struts of display. Through a series of analytical drawings and models. the project identifies and questions this idea of "boot-fetish" as it relates to contemporary architecture and its representation; the genre of image-drawing and material use which transcend function and have become fetishized by architects and their audiences. The proposal consists of a base lodge container and six satellite mountain pods that consider unique conditions of threshold, sequence. movement. prosthetic programming and materiality of the nostalgic Swiss lodge type. The thesis examines possibilities for an architecture that is affected and infected by the transpiring relationship between fashion, technology and building.


Ski Lift Model RIGHT:

Ski Boo! Oblique



Lodge PNspecti\(' LEFT BOTTOM:

Rental Area Persl',"cti\e RIGHT:

Materials Construct






YANNI lOUKISSAS TURN THE CITY INSIDE OUT IN THE WAY THAT TURNINGA RIGHT-HANDED CLOVE INSIDE OUT MAKES IT LEFf - HANDED. Located at the geographic center of New York. Utica was host to one of the largest mental health facilities in the state until the late 1970' s. The turning out of its patients into the city, zo years ago. allows for an examination of Utica that positions a city of the sane against a city of the insane and proposes the logic of psychiatric treatment as a means to understand the organization of the city. TO PRODUCEAMODE OFCONTAMINATION FROM WITHIN. A RIFT OR DlSCONTINUITY IN THE FABRIC OF THE CITYWHEREIN THE STRUCTURE OFTHE CITYFOLOS BACKON ITSELF. This thesis proposes a tangible database of Utica, which is sited within the history of the city but constructed outside of its literal boundaries and therefore distinct from it. The categorization of insanity in Utica establishes the mode by which the database is organized. Historical associations and local identities are tools for psychiatric classification. They take precedence in the database oyer the accurate representation of the city's spatial characteristics. THIS SILENT EXPLOSION OF THE CITY MAY OPEN FISSURES THAT SUCGEST A NEW STRUCTURE, WHICH IS SIMULTANEOUSLY MORE EXPANSIVE AND SMALLER THAN ITS FORMER SELF. The mode! is an extension of the city in that it rehes on yarious representations ofUtica as the outlines for its production. The Utica map and city directory, plans of the Hotel Utica. at one time an important halfway house for mental patients. and the organizational mechanisms and machines for testing sanity in the Utica Psychiatric Center. are aH relocated in the model. These sources are Iinked to one another in the form of mechanical connections. The effect is a corporeal construction that can be understood as city. building. Yiewing deyice. and psychological diagram.









One way to enter this project would be from a stand point of a child. Rememher? 1, too wanted to be a fire fighter. Didn't you Iike the big, rubber boots. shiny couplings. red cars. and sliding poles in the firestation? Oh, the fire station! That mysterious. often antique, doll house: fireman's home and yourplaysite and and toy storage ... but that's a dream never materialized. Wel!, it wasn't supposed to be - it was just one ofthe many. Old toys rust away in a closet. And instead, one beco mes. sayo somebody professional and very serious - for example. an architect. This is the second possiblility. An architect. who investigates an urban problem - a proposal for a fire academy campus. It is five miles away from the city which will become the subject of protection of today's students of that academy. How are they trained? Cities are .. perishable goods," one cannot burn them over and over to mus ter probationary firemen on real examples. Thus, it has been in the nature of firemen's training, since the very beginning. to simulate. represento establish conventions. fake, assume. imagine - play!!! Here. the architect rememhered that he. too played firefighter. So the project became a toy (a reality in itself) with pretensions to suggest real architecture - an urban proposa!. Mter al!. toys are reflections of Jife. but simpler and more fun.

1 314路


Modular men BOTTOM LEFT:



Plan / rabie FACING PAGE


Unfolding fire station model BOTTOM LEFT :

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Perspeetive of fire station






United Stotes Emboss

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I.. .



The identity ofAngel Island can be understood as one with a very promiscuous pasto It was once home to a quarantine station. war battery. lighthouse. military campus. and an immigrant station. The traces of the island's past are left abandoned. distanced and silent to the contemporary visitor. The only testimonials relinquished by its caretakers are descriptive plaques or text on a map. which are eventually lapsed from consciousness. Thus. the island remains an abandoned stage draped by a tarp intending to preserve it but instead cloaks its past from present day visitors.

Secret Affinities of the Recreationalist


The thesis proposes a recreationalist circuito which attempts to interject .. memorial" into the daily cycle of the tourist/recreationalist. By playing with assumptions of their higWy ritualized acts. a hidden dialogue is surfaced between occupant and place. The investigative tactics speculated upon the deployment of overtly familiar conditions whose recognition is immediately subverted through unfamiliar linkages of new and old. Architectural intervention provides the crevice for a site's latent potencies to slip into conversation -provoking awareness.

-..ITAno.. ~



Detail Site Plan Perspective RIGHT BOTTOM:






Delail Sile Pland Perspective LEFT BOTTOM:

Sections RIGHT:

\lodel Views







Torben Bems received his PhD. I"rom McGill University, Montreal in 2002. From 1996 to 1998 he was the Monbusho Fellow at Kyoto University. His previous publications inelude artieles on Sei'ichi Shirai I"or Kenchiku Bunka and the Metabolists I"or Architecture and Idea. He is currently teaching at Cornell University.

Dwayne Bohuslav is a graduate of the University 01" Texas at Austin (B.Arch.) and Cornell University (MArch). Born in Texas in 1956. he moved back to Texas after being away I"or 13 years working and exhibiting in San Francisco. New York. and Tokyo. Over the past 12 years Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite have been exploring through taught courses and artistic practice an ongoing series 01" installations with collaborating student and professional performance artists.

In Kim received a Master of Architecture from Cornell University in 2002 and a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from Dong- A University in 1998. He has participated in international competitions. His current research continues his graduate thesis analysis 01" architectural pedagogy and investigations of media applications in architecture. He is currently working in Syracuse, NY. David J. Lewis received a Master of Architecture from Princeton University in 1995, a Master in Arts in the History of Architecture and Urbanism from Cornell University in 1992. and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College in 1988. He has taught at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Cornell University. University of Pennsylvania. and Ohio State University. Paul Lewis received a Master of Architecture I"rom Princeton University in 1992 and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University in 1988. He has taught at the Cooper Union Chanin School of Architecture and Parsons School 01" Design. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at Columbia and Barnard Colleges and a Visiting Assistant Professor 01" Architecture at Princeton University School of Architecture. Lewis Tsurumaki.Lewis is an architectural design and research partnership comprised of Paul Lewis. Marc Tsurumaki. and David .J. Lewis and located in New York City. The partnership was initiated in 1992. Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis is dedicated to exploring the inventive possibilities 01" architecture through a elose examination 01" the conventional and ordinary. The I"irm actively pursues a diverse range of work. maintaining a creative dialogue between built projects and speculative investigations. Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis were selected in 2002 by the Architectural League of New York as part 01" the "Emerging Voices" lecture series that recognizes architects achieving prominence in the profession. Their work is also represented in the Permanent Design Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. AlI three partners have received the Young Architects Award from the Architectural League of NewYork.

LOT-EK (Ada Tolla. Giuseppe Lignano) LOT - EK is an architecture studio based in New York City founded in 1993 by Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano. who ha ve a Master Degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the Universita' di Napoli, ItalY(1989) and have completed post-graduate studies at Columbia University (1990-1991). They also lecture and participate in symposia in major universities and cultural institutions internationally. inelud-


ing Columbia University, Yale University, Rice University, E.T.H. in Zurich, E.T.S.A.B. in Barcalona, LU.A.V. in Venice, Bartlett and Royal College of Art in London. the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum. Besides heading their professional practice. they are currently teaching at Parsons School of Design. Graduate School of Architecture, in New York. L端T - EK has been involved in residential projects, exhibition design, and site-specific installations for major cultural institutions and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art. the Guggenheim, and the New Museum. L端T - EK's projects have been published in: The New York Times Magazine (cover story, 端ctober ~ooo). WalJ Paper, Domus, A+U Interior Design, Wired, Suface. and Metropolis, Mixer (Edizioni Press. ~ooo) and the recently published monograph L端T/EK: Urban Scan (Princeton Architectural Press).

Dan Maxfield received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell in ~ooo and is currently working in New York City. Shadi Nazarian received a Master of Architecture from Cornell University in 1989, and a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Minnesota inl983. She has taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She teaches courses focusing on new media constructs and their parallels and thresholds with the constructed world of architecture. She has received numerous awards for her architectural design competition entries and has exhibited her collaborative and solo work internationally.

Tsz Yan Ng received her first Master of Architecture from State University of New York Buffalo inl998 and her second Master of Architecture from Cornell University 1999-~OOI. She was recently the Banham Fellow and lecturer at from State University of New York, Buffalo.

Marc Tsurnmaki received a Master of Architecture from Princeton University in 1991 and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University ofVirginia in 1987, He has taught at the New Jersey lnstitute ofTechnology and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor 01' Architecture at Columbia and Barnard Colleges and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design.

Hajime Yatsuka graduated from Tokyo University in 1973. He worked extensively with Arata Isozaki before establishing his own firm, UPM, in 1984. His built works include a folly in the Echigo Hillside National Government Park in Nagaoka, the Center for MultiMedia in Shiroishi. and last year he built the Cultural Center in Tomochi. His publications include ooArchitecture of the Russian Avant-garde," .. Internationalism vs. Regionalism" in 1998 for At the End af the CentUIY: One Hundred Years al' Architecture, and .. Mies van der Rohe" in ~OOO.

James Way graduated with a Master 01' Architecture from Cornell University in


and a Bachelor of Architecture from University

01' Houston in 1998. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Texas at San Antonio in 1995 and 1996. respectively. He has been a core participant with Dwayne Bohuslav+parasite since








Charles Fadem Kevin Oliver James Way

Jacob Werner Chris Clayton Ivor Ip

Mark Cruvellier Medina Lasansky Christian Otto Andrea Simitch Val Warke Jerry Wells



Prima Davidson

John Miserendino Aron Himmelfarb Kevin Oliver Prima Davidson James Way


Breanna Staller Anna Corpron


Wah-Ming Chang

2000 2001



Layth Mahdi Prima Davidson

David J. Lewis Lily chi





Mrs. Ruth Thomas for her continuing support and belief in the journal Jerry Wells for the great stories about Mrs. Ruth Thomas.

David lewis for his insight, guidance, and support even after his term of duty lily chi for her perseverance and guidance beyond her call of duty Joseph cho and Binocular for helping get this issue to press Tim Fast and Ralph Hamm at Friesens for enduring our barrage of revisions and printing questions Nasrine Seraji for the new equipment and helping to see this project completed lillian Isacks, our patron saint of technological hook-ups Jonathan Ochshorn for his assistance and guidance with various questions Wah-Ming Chan for agreeing to copyedit this issue on such short notice Vanessa Moon, Maria Gorodetskaya, Citra Soedarsono, Arthur liu, Jing Wang, lauren Bass, and Andrew Snyder for doing drawings during crunch time Po rus Olpadwala for taking time out of his ever busy schedule to write an intro Gary Huddle for 011 his help in answering our questions about printing and getting it printed Donna Stevens, Andrea Talmadge, Dianne Whitmore, and Ann Hoover for their patience and help Our contributors for their participation, assistance, and patience during the production of Journal 7 AII imoges ore copyrighted by the outhors unless otherwise noted within imoge credits. Although every effort wos mode to contoct copyright holders for eoch illustrotion, it wos not possible find this informotion for eoch illustrotion. Interested porties ore requested to contoct the Cornell Journol of Architecture. THE CORNELL JOURNRL OF RRCHlTECTURE 7; THE FUTURE OF PERMRNENCE



Cornell Journal of Architecture 1

Cornell Journal of Architecture 2 Urban Design

Cornell Journal of Architecture 3 The Vertical Surface


Viennese Facades

The Present Urban Predicament COLIN ROWE

Formal Gardens LEE HOOGEN

Architecture and the Post-Modern City MICHAEL OENNIS

Architecture as an Integral Part of the City WERNER GOEHNER

Transformation: An Exercise in the Third-Year Oesign Studio JOHN MILLER

Mannerism, Form. and Content at Cornell University KENNETH SCHWARTl ANO STEVEN FONG


Five Lessons from Schinkel's Work O. M. UNGERS



Program vs. Paradigm COLIN ROWE

The Street in the Twentieth Century GRAHAME SHANE

The Figure I Grounds WAYNE



Conjectures on Urban Form I Studio Projects STEVEN HURT


The Interior Fa~ade LEE HOOGEN

Voluminous Walls SPENCER KASS


The SkulI and the Mask THOMAS SCHUMACHER

The Plight of the Object VAL WARKE

Cornell Journal of Architecture 4 Paidia

Cornell Journal of Architecture 5 Media of Representation

Cornell Journal of Architecture 6 Graduated Practices

Grid/Frame/Lattice/Web: Giulio Romano 's Palozzo Moccorani ond the Sixteenth Century COUN ROWE Giulio Romono ond Andreo Polladio on Common Ground KURT FORESTER Andrea Palladio's Vicenza: Urban Architecture and the Continuity of Chonge MARTIN KUBELĂ?K Rhetorical Uses of the Object SHAYNE O'NEIL Sigurd's Resistonce: and Other Stories PER OLAF FJELD .. Good Life Modernism" ond Beyond MARK JARZOMBEK Substructure ond the Voice of Authority JERZY ROZENBERG A-Locations/Pre- Occupati ons JOHN ZISSOVICI States of Emergence: Place in a Post-Guru Context ARTHUR OVASKA Exploring the Periphery: Porollel Perceptions in the Design Studio ANDREA SIMITCH Theater for Commedia dell'Arte JOHN P. SHAW Theater Stage, Cornival Square VAL K. WARKE Drowing on Rome JOHN MILLER ANO EDMOND BAKOS Urbanism, Londscope and the City MATTHEW J. BELL

Prolegomeno to Rethinking of "Context" in Architecture VAL WARKE Jantar Montar: Architecture, Astronomy, ond Solar Kingship in Princely Indio BONNIE MACDOUGALL Infidelic Geographies: lessons in Mapping SHAYNE O'NEIL The Victim ond the Hongmon: The Enigma of Alberti's winged Eye MARK JARZOMBEK The Provocotive Vade Mecum ANDREA SIMITCH ANO FRANK BARKOW Luigi Moretti; The Irony of Rhetoric ond the Rhetoric of Irony JEFFREY KLUG Paper on Architecture ond Representation, on Paper Architecture and Representation MEHRDAD HADIGHI Computer - Biosed Representation Roy HALL Drawing Towords Neresheim CHRISTIAN F. OTTO Re-Visitotions ANTHONY CARADONNA Berlin Holocaust Memorial: Probing the Limits of Architectural Representation WERNER GOEHNER

Conflict Anolysis: Con Traditionol Liberal Educotion Emerge from o Professional Degree TERRY MEYER BOAKE Interview with M. Arthur Gensler, Jr., FAIA Why We Work ot the Big Toble DAVID HEYMANN Channeling Horing, Mediating Scharoun DAVID J. lEWIS A Criticar Yadda CHARLES A. MACBRIDE Four Higher Worlds HERBERT MUSCHAMP Technology f, Educotion - Technology in the Design Studio JONATHAN OCHSHORN Who 's Afraid of Architecturol Theory? MAR K PASNIK Teom Think / Think Teom MARIO SCHACK, FAIA




Cornell Journal of Architecture, vol. 7