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EUROPE


EUROPE STUDY ABROAD FALL 2011 Student: CHRISTOPHER GARDNER Professors: LARRY DOLL DANILO UDOVICKI-SELB ELIZABETH DANZE JOHN BLOOD


CROSSINGS

p. 5-13

TYPOLOGIES

p. 15-23

PROJECTIONS p. 25-61

PHOTOGRAPHY p.63-113


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Human Scale Elevation Change

CROSSINGS

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BRION-VEGA CEMETARY

One of the defining factors of Scarpa’s cemetery is it’s clear narrative. The themes of Life and Death were prevalent in symbolism an juxtaposition throughout the site. While there were plenty of more direct references to the theme I chose to analyze the circulation. I inverted the recessed ramps and paths within the base plane of grass. Here the elevation change clearly separates the site into defined and undefined circulation. Movement on the plane of grass without any change in elevation is completely open and non hierarchical while the recessed concrete paths are determined and closed. This dichotomy can be applied to the overall narrative of life and death.

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LIFE

INFINITE / OPEN / FREE WILL DISCRETE/ CLOSED / DETERMINED

DEATH

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NORDIC PAVILION The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale designed by Svere Fehn is sited on a rather large hill. The East side of the building has circulation oriented around a retaining wall. The stairs around the corner are entirely too steep to be practical the Biennale even roped off the top. In fact, these cant even be defined as stairs, while they do facilitate circulation they are much more of an object.

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VILLA SAVOYE

The elevation change between floors within the Villa Savoye is navigated by stairs and ramps, the stairs being primarily functional while the ramps prolong the experience of the elevation change. At the top of the final ramp leading to the roof garden there is a framed view of the trees beyond . After reading a bit I learned that the plants on the roof and the framed view are meant to work together to create a connection between the two horizons and alter the viewers sense of depth. I drew a simple perspective exploring this view and the way Le Corbusier guides your experience.

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VILLA SAVOYE RAMPS

While the ramps of Villa Savoye are fairly regular the experience of each one changes as you proceed to the roof. Instead of drawing a perspective of each experience I drew a section through the central wall around which the ramps navigate. Each triangular section varies either being a simple handrail or a wall of windows.

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Urban Scale Elevation Change

TYPOLOGIES

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SIENA CAMPO The main plaza of the Campo in Siena is like none other. The space is clearly defined by the buildings surrounding its edge, however the space is given specific focus by its gentle slope downward towards the Palazzo Publico. I tried to examine this relationship of walls and elevation change to discover what makes this space so intriguing.

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PITIGLIANO In towns such as Pitigliano, the urban development seems to have been lost in time. Modern urban design is typically based on the circulation grid of streets unlike here where circulation has no greater logic and the relationship between building and road is not as cause and effect as modern cities. I decided to isolate these parts to learn about their independent roles.

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After isolating the peculiar circulation of this area of Pitigliano I became curious in its application as a system. I created a SketchUp model to examine it as a vertical organization system and the resulting morphology.

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SIENA STAIRS

The stairway between the main road to the Campo and the Siena Cathedral is very interesting. The total elevation change is around 50 feet or so with no direct route upwards. If you walk in a straight line perpendicular to the stairs (as usual) there is no way to go all the way to the top, forcing each person to find their own route up. The stairs edges and nooks are almost always occupied making ascent or descent a public activity. As the connection between the two centers, this stairway narrows people closer to each other and is much more than just stairs.

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PROJECTIONS

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RONCHAMP

NOTRE DAME DU HAUT

REALM OF GOD / HEAVEN

REALM OF THE HUMAN

Very different from our latter experiences with Le Corbusier, Ronchamp is much more expressive and abstract. Light seems to have a narrative in this building taking on a symbolic role as God. The individual altars are meant for forming a connection with God while the light scoops filter light down. The thin light allowed through the cavity atop the walls makes the roof float connecting the entire interior to God or light. Within the church is the realm of the human and where light penetrates is God’s intervention.

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MFO PARK This park itself might as well be a constructed perspective wherein the plants are the subject. The central area of the park is a large open space with a canopy of vines and aluminum scaffolding above. The space is marked by several vines stretching from the floor up to the framework. While interesting on their own I wanted to get a perspective of the space from somewhere I couldn’t access. I made the perspective with a severe depth of field just to see how I could alter the space to make it seem more theatrical.

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ROLEX LEARNING CENTER I spent a while trying to figure out how to represent this place in drawing. I wanted to explore the way the undulations were accomplished with a simple grid. Drawing it eventually revealed its complexity. Integrating the cylindrical holes within the grid was even harder and required a completely separate drawing which I have combined here.

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MARIO BOTTA SCHOOL

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Mario Botta’s middle school, and most of his work, is defined by its proportions. Compared to the classical architecture of most of Europe, the simple planes and sharp corners here are much more readily perceptible, yet nonetheless interesting. Just drawing this façade made me realize why Botta is so revered. He makes something superficially simple have an ineffable sense of complexity.

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CASTELGRANDE

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The current walls of this castle are eroded away obscuring it’s form. After tracing the shadows of a some of the walls I was able to find the edges and synthesize an ideal, smooth form. Seeing this castle rendered as sculptural form makes it seem contemporary and vaguely rationalist.

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VENICE HOUSING

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The modern housing we found outside the normal tourist Venice. This one particular building emulated the typical Venitian building with style with the ground level brick and stucco above. The ground level The design has the regular interval of windows seen in the rest of Venice however with the use of sliding shutters that change the building. The ground floor cuts up and down to open for windows and lower for boat docking.

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HILL TOWNS: Velano, Pontito 38


The buildings in the hill towns are centuries old and create their own apertures to the sky. The relatively modern intervention of power and communication lines become perceptible when seen crossing these voids. I became intrigued with the way these lines navigated around the solid blocks and are set across the sky seemingly randomly while purely functional. 39


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SANTA MARIA NOVELLA

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Brunelleschi’s church facade in Florence is a living essay on proportion. After sitting in front of the building I attempted to trace the main lines of the façade and separate the façade into predictive (black) and derived (red). to synthesize a simplified representation.

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BRUNELLESCHI’S ORPHANAGE OSPEDALE DEGLI INNOCENTI

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The perfect geometric order of this early Renaissance architecture is clearly evident. I wanted to construct a perspective that emulated the perfect cubes and arches of the loggia and match it up with a photograph. I took about 20 photos so I could match it to my drawing, this one actually worked out perfectly with a little photoshopping.

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POMPEII

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In Pompeii much of the ruins were still being excavated and there were temporary structures erected to shade the workers and protect against the elements. I became very interested in the narrative involved here. The ancient buildings being excavated and supported were originally intended to serve the same function as these simple aluminum shelters but the factor of time has forever changed their purpose. The juxtaposition of these modern structures against the ancient is, in my opinion, very poetic and I attempted to capture it in a drawing.

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CHARTRES CATHEDRAL

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The regular geometry of the Gothic cathedral, existing as a somewhat singular object. In the baroque era the addition of a new organ and pulpit seem to be parasitic on the Gothic pillars and arches. I wanted to explore this relationship in drawing.

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LA TOURETTE

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Most of the stairs in La Tourette were simple and function except for the spiral staircase. The cylinder sits as an object attached to the building, however, I tried to draw it from the inside in orthographic to see if it is as perceptible from the interior. I also did a tone drawing of the side altar in the church just to try and experience the place though drawing and maybe see how the space changed.

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LA TOURETTE ROOM

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A large portion of the time spent at the monastery was spent in my room. I listened to music, finished my book and drew. I wanted to capture the sense of complete isolation and inward thinking I experienced while staying there. I unfolded the long rectangle and sketched a 360 degree representation of everything I could readily see.

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LA TOURETTE WINDOWS

The windows at the end of the dormitory hallways are blocked by a peculiar object. I began with a tone drawing and then tried to figure out the shape that caused the subtle light diffusion. The object gained a separate identity when viewed from the roof.

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PITIGLIANO ARCHES I became enamored with this area of Pitigliano and tried to capture it as best I could first in drawing then in photography. While the space is experientially beautiful it remains utterly impossible to capture that in on paper.

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PANORAMAS

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PHOTOGRAPHY

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EUROPE