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dora felekou

portfolio 2013 - 2014 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


To Maria, Giorgos and Pedro.The first official GSAPP portfolio review team! To Mum, Dad, Zois & Nikos.

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contents

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learning from rio das pedras critics: Hilary Sample & Vishaan Chakrabarti

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architexx lecture by Dora Felekou & Maria Lozano

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The Comedy of Divine Art critic: Bernard Tschumi

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the philly shake critic: Keith Kaseman

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multiple perspective instructors: Michael Rock & Oana Stanescu

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reflections instructors: Joshua Uhl & Danil Nagy

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concrete in-tensions instructor: Keith Kaseman

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on frames & limits instructor: Bernard Tschumi

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reflections & recollections instructor: Enrique Walker


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advanced studios

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

learning from rio DAS pedras

part a des i gn gu ide li nes Studying the urban conditions and programmatic typologies of the Rio das Pedras favela, an adjacent site is populated. Rio das Pedras is homogeneous in its built elements but heterogeneous in its open spaces, the spaces that constantly shrink due to the augmented occupation. The use of decorative elements, especially ceramic tiles, is prevalent. Tiles are a guiding element of the analysis and the design process. Tiles imply elevation differentiation but also different densities when they are scaled up to a neighborhood and treated as programmatic plan elements. Different tiles are created, each according to design guidelines developed specific for Rio das Pedras. Their interweaving according to multiple scales and orientations creates a fabric that incorporates the heterogeneous and open qualities of the Brazilian favela.

spring 2014 STUDIO CRITICs - hilary sample, vishaan chakrabarti

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PART B: dora felekou, maria lozano PART A: dora felekou, maria lozano, georgios kyriazis, danny hou COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


O. FRIAS da oliveeira school

spring 2014

ambev factory site

favela + commerce favela residential block education sport fun industry commerce gas station

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favela residential block education sport fun indust industry commerce gas station

rio das pedras design guidelines

rio das pedras

CIEP

CAIC 11

COMPUTING school

municipal school

rio das pedras

J. AMADO school

CASTELO das PEDRAS

c. besserman school

f un & educatio n


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

rio das pedras ana lys is o f the curr ent c onditio n

research book layouts

Urban and unit typologies found within Rio das Pedras. The existing condition reflects a super dense, super programmed condition. Retail, residential, religious, educational, office, crafting space and service cores are clustered in the most unexpected ways. The sections across the streets of the favela reveal different layers of coverage and mass density. The whole analysis was framed in a book, submitted in Columbia University’s Studio-X in Rio de Janeiro, to forward further research on Rio das Pedras.

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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spring 2014

15x wires & electric poles

7x outdoor terraces

32x antennas

7x water deposits

23x air conditioning units

74x advertising posters

20x sunshades

9x garage doors

12x tile patterns

7x outdoor showcases

5x clothing dryers

8x cobogos

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GD

CD

AP

OS

OT

S

WI

T

S

WI

AP

S

GD

WA

A

S

AP

S

AP

WI

A

AP

WA

OT

T WI

WI S S OS WI WA OS S

GD WA GD S S AP

WI

AP CD GD S WA S

OT OS

S

S T WI

GD S AP WI

S A WA

S

GD

AP

WI

T

S

WA

AP

WI

GD

OS

AP

WA

S

WI

OS

A

CD

OT

S

OT

S

OT

WI

CD

rio das pedras design guidelines

aesthetic inventory and rythm of a typical street elevation.


spring 2014

11.45 12.11 7.90 7.43 8.31 8.20 150m

7.32 7.55 7.81 8.24 7.59 8.55

repetitive construction system | facade variation 2 - 4 Stackings | Time based design (t) | Not Function based | Consistent Material | Sign = Use | Objects = Use No Sign = House | Color Pattern | Structure = Commercial Use | Wall = Housing

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rio das pedras design guidelines

rio das pedras h om o gene it y House?

House Psychologist

House

House

Bar

House

Clothes

House House

Materials

Furniture House

Hair Salon Kiosk

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House

Optics Garage

Aluminio

Church

Church

Clothes

Garage


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

rio das pedras s tr ee t sec tio n tr ansfo rmatio n

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

urban & tectonic tiles

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spring 2014

01 The massive points nodes of importance possible program: administration, education, health, recreation

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The wave

02 The diagonal

flow and continuity possible program: administration, health

05 The microchip

playfulness possible program: education, residential, recreation, retail

complementariness possible program: residential, recreation, retail, craftmanship, lifelong learning

07 The curve

08 The mosaic

inside and outside possible program: administration, education, residential, recreation, retail

incremental growth possible program: residence, health facility, open air recreation, retail, office

03 The rigid array

service grid possible program: small health, retail spaces, offices

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The toaster enclosure possible program: residence, health, offices

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The singular bulk aggregation possible program: health, open air recreation

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rio das pedras design guidelines

ambev factory site prog r ammatic til e mo sai c 25


spring 2014

01 the street

06 the market

02

07 water

the house

03 the work

08 recreation

04 the school 09 the health 05 culture

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rio das pedras design guidelines

04

02

02 03

05 06 01

06

the child’s path

03 09 08 01

the purifier

02 05 07

09

ambev factory site pro posed mas t erpl an

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04


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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spring 2014

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THE GREEN STREET SCAPE Coverage % number of stories 1–3 shape Orthagonal connection Multiple orientation N –W number of buildings Phasing (Expected Population) / (4people per. appartment) floor height 4M – Work 3M – Living+Growth area – built area –

housing

street scape

sports existent factory

market

hyb ri d pro g r am gui de li nes

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THE WORKING HOUSE Coverage 5% – 40% number of stories 1 shape Poliedro connection — orientation — number of buildings 1 floor height 4 M – 6M area ≈2.300M 2 built area 80 – 500M 2

the working house the working house

offices

housing

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hyb ri d pro g r am gu ide li nes

housing

rio das pedras design guidelines


spring 2014

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THE OTHER SCHOOL Coverage 10% – 20% number of stories 2–3 shape Kidengarden/Circle, High Sc./Triangle, Middle Sc./Rectangle connection — orientation N–S number of buildings 1 floor height 4M area ≈14.000M 2 built area 1.800M 2

the other school

existent school

sport school

mountain

hyb ri d pro g r am gui de li nes

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rio das pedras design guidelines

COOLTURAL Coverage 5% – 15% number of stories 5–8 shape Chain connection Scattered orientation Multiple number of buildings 1–3 floor height 4 M – 6M area 20M 2 – 46,000M 2 built area 4,000M 2 – 6,000M 2

cooltural market

cooltural cultural space

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hyb ri d pro g r am gu ide li nes


spring 2014

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THE PIXEL MARKET Coverage 25% – 100% number of stories 1–3 shape Pixel connection — orientation — number of buildings 1–4 floor height 4M area 144M 2 built area 36M 2– 144M 2

sports in the existent factory

pixel market

market

housing

hyb ri d pro g r am gui de li nes

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THE BUBBLE GAME Coverage 2% – 10% number of stories 1–2 shape Pircle connection — orientation — number of buildings 0–5 floor height 3M – 4M area Research Center – Changing Room – built area –M 2

cultural center

purifier water center

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hyb ri d pro g r am gu ide li nes

rio das pedras design guidelines


spring 2014

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JUST FUN! Coverage 6% – 15% number of stories 1–2 shape Playful connection — orientation — number of buildings Unlimited floor height 4M area 3,000M 2 – 30,000M 2 built area –M 2

offices

just fun!

part of the existent factory

hyb ri d pro g r am gui de li nes

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rio das pedras design guidelines

PURIFIER Coverage 25% – 50% number of stories 2–4 shape Amoeba connection — orientation N–S number of buildings 1 floor height 3.5M area 5,000M 2 built area 1,800M 2

cultural center purifier

health facilities

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hyb ri d pro g r am gu ide li nes


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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spring 2014

time bank

mini swimming pool

sky observatory

romantic walk

open air school

fields

exhibition

central program

fountains

24/7 school

coolture

sports

climbing wall

bubble game

gym

program overlap

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rio das pedras design guidelines

hanging gardens

pocket parking

projection

vegetable gardens

purifier

fitting rooms

pocket cafe

bike rack

skeletal space

workshops

skate-bike circuit

storage

HYBRID SUB-TYPES

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open air cinema

pixel market

water park


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

learning from rio DAS pedras

part B til es + tec to ni cs Steps for a programmatic mosaic! Conserve the existing buildings, remixing their use between private and public. Introduce a walkable distance grid, interrupted by pre-existing elements and axes. Introduce heavily programmed node tiles in the grid intersections. The majority will be gradually removed due to unavoidable overlapse. Pay attention to the borders of the grid with the nature, introducing the border tiles, continuous bands that will serve as transitional elements between the nature and the urban. Create a pole of centrality. Then, break and alter the grid in the selected pole as a special moment in the urban fabric Disrupt the homogeneous moments of the grid by introducing the decorative tiles. Those tiles will be located only where they have no touching condition with any other previously located program. Culture and production tiles are set! Allow growth to happen!

spring 2014 STUDIO CRITICs - hilary sample, vishaan chakrabarti

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PART B: dora felekou, maria lozano COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


spring 2014

program aimed for the young HYBRID

Cultural space

Production space

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rio das pedras design guidelines

adult

child

young 53.85%

2.2%

9.5%

390

1647

7.6%

7.1%

Baby

Infancy

Childhood

Pre-adolescent

0-1 years

1353

1-5 years

1255

6-10 years

10-15 years

child

7.9%

15.2%

30.75%

15.75%

4%

Teenager

Young

Adult

Middle-age

Senior

1393

16-19 years

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2695

20-24 years

young

5330

25-38 years

2622

543

38-60 years

>65 years

adult


spring 2014

tiles stimulate growth

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rio das pedras design guidelines

informality follows

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spring 2014

youth cultural center

newspaper/magazine library

mediatheque

learning hall

workshop spaces

production spaces

time bank

youth cultural center

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rio das pedras design guidelines

n ode til e: pro g r am

NODE tile L EA R N ING HA LL MEDIAT HEQ U E

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

n ode til e : pl ans

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spring 2014

Ceramic panel attachment & moving details

facadecomposition composition facade Ceramic panel facade variations

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rio das pedras design guidelines

n ode til e: facade

facade composition 55

TILE 01 Node


n

io at ev

El

El

ev at io

n

1

spring 2014

E

lev

io at

n

4

2

El ev at io n 3

Pavings & respective elevations

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rio das pedras design guidelines

n ode til e: paving

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The tile patterns spread to the paving.


spring 2014

voyeur park

tiles trial place

species market

floral market

multipurpose working spaces

carnival production costumes

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rio das pedras design guidelines

dec o til e: prog r am

decoration TIL ES TRI AL PL AC E VOYEU R PARK S PEC IES MARK ET C ARNIVAL PRODU CTION

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spring 2014

Ground Floor

Floor +3

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rio das pedras design guidelines

dec o til e: plans

Floor +2

Floor +5

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Tile

spring 2014

Mortar Bricks

tile unit variations

plan, elevation & section of generic tile unit

big opening

decorative

small opening

gardening

facade tile variations

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rio das pedras design guidelines

dec o til e: facade

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TILE 02 Decoration


spring 2014

Pavings & respective elevations

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rio das pedras design guidelines

dec o til e: pav ing

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The tile patterns spread to the paving.


spring 2014

public vegetable gardens

pocket cafe

water investigation center water investigation center

open plaza

sport field

open air cinema

hanging gardens

artificial urban skate park

sports center

storage space

sports center

fitting rooms

gym

climbing wall

artificial urban skate park

start up exhibitions

start up exhibitions

experimental green houses

open plaza

public vegetable gardens

open swimming pool

public vegetable gardens

hanging gardens

open gym

fitting rooms

pocket cafe

multiauditorium

multipurpose space

fitting rooms

hanging gardens

gym

non defined space

open swimming pool

non defined space

start up exhibitions

start up exhibitions

artificial urban skate park

storage space

pocket cafe

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rio das pedras design guidelines

b or de r til e : prog r am

border S TART U P EX HI B ITIONS P UBLI C VEGE TABL E GAR DENS EXP ERI MENTAL G REEN HO U S ES

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spring 2014

audi

sports center

storage space

sports center

start up exhibition outdoors start up exhibition

pocket cafe terrace 68


rio das pedras design guidelines

storage space

b or de r til e : pl ans

open multipurpose space

outodoors sports center

itorium

open plaza

multipurpose space

public vegetable garden

pocket restaurant pocket cafe

shop 69


spring 2014

Tile Connector Concrete

piece

special piece

roof tile variations

section

elevation

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rio das pedras design guidelines

b or de r til e : roof

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Elevation 1

spring 2014

Elevation 2

Pavings & respective elevations

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rio das pedras design guidelines

b or de r til e : paving

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The tile patterns spread to the paving.


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

tales of tiles & tiles of tales The little book shows only a fraction of the heterogeneous urban possibilities of Rio das Pedras. The proposal is broken to tiles, each dedicated to a personal story. The reverse side contains tales of tiles, a catalogue of tiles from Rio.

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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n o de til e


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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dec o r atio n til e


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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b o r de r til e


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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v i e w fram i ng vari atio ns


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

“What we want is precisely to maintain

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

and amplify what we’ve found here,

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

nothing more...� Lina Bo Bardi

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spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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ambev facto ry & hybri d til es


spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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spring 2014

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architeXX lecture

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spring 2014

organized by Felekou Dora & Lozano Maria with: Galia Solomonoff 100


architeXX lecture

archite-xx

l ec t u re se t u p During April 2014, we were asked to set up the first GSAPP core of the group ArchiteXX. ARCHITEXX, founded by Lori Brown and Nina Freedman, is an independent, unaffiliated organization for women in architecture that seeks to transform the profession of architecture by bridging the academy and practice. The kick starter lecture at GSAPP brought together Mary McLeod and Hilary Sample, adressing the way academia and practice have changed from the 60s until today. The lecture, titled “Generations”, was only the first of many to follow. The following article describing the lecture and the discussion it spurred is published on architexx.com.

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spring 2014 dora felekou & Maria lozano COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


spring 2014

by Dora Felekou The ArchiteXX Brown Bag Lecture Series at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, brought together professors Mary McLeod and Hilary Sample, two American women architects and academics firmly established in the field, under the title “Generations.” The room reverberated with multiple storylines, all focused on the advancement of women’s roles within both the discipline and profession of architecture since the mid-20thcentury. Not surprisingly, gender remains an open-ended subject for discussion. Mary McLeod entered the Princeton School of Architecture in the early 1970s, being at the beginning the only woman in her class with two other female students transferring later on. By the time of her graduation, almost half of the new students were women, echoing a fast cultural shift at the time, a period heavily influenced politically and socially by the Civil Rights Movement and the protests related to the Vietnam war. Upon graduation, she was employed at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners but assigned to arranging interiors and stair detailing, despite her background in architecture. Interior work was mostly entrusted to female architects in firms, owing to the branding of interior design as a feminine pursuit brought about by Christine Frederick and Catherine Beecher in the late 19th century. The 60s were also the period were the shift from domestic to anonymous, corporate architects solidified. Corporate offices were run mostly by

men and female architects were pushed to the sidelines. Later in her career, McLeod was offered a tenure-track position at Columbia, a school much more open to employing female architects than other educational institutions at the time. A brief period teaching at Harvard highlighted differences between the two schools for McLeod; the faculty in Cambridge was short on female architects. She later returned at Columbia, a school that has more often than not led in the hiring of women faculty. As McLeod outlined an emerging second wave of feminism, Hilary Sample, undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Architecture program under the leadership of Dean Werner Seligman at Syracuse University, undertook a rigorous postmodern education heavily influenced by Le Corbusier and Colin Rowe, while independently studyingRem Koolhaas. Although the role of women in architecture had been strengthened compared to the late ‘60s, Sample’s thesis was a controversial project tackling the subject of women, housing, and work as a new model within New York City. Interested in models of housing and working, researched projects like the Barbizon Hotel, felt that her work was tolerated, but with skepticism, and something other than her male colleagues. Her thesis built upon the work of Mary McLeod,Gwendolyn Wright and Richard Plunz, among others, who helped formulate her ideas and personality. Sample is currently researching the life and work of GSAPP alumnus Natalie de Blois ‘43, the first designer at the the New York office of SOM. Her career reflects the complexities of practice at the beginning of American mod-

ernism. Sample presented original research into the history of deBlois’s career reflecting on her significant architectural works from the Lever House, Union Carbide, and Pepsi-Co, all corporate headquarters, projects which she completed under the direction of Gordon Bunshaft, even though she would be publically acknowledged at the time as a senior designer. Sample’s goal in her research is to present not only the complexities of an emerging large scale office like SOM, but to present another narrative of a talented American architect as a counter-point to the recently hotly debated legacy of Denise Scott Brown whose Pritzker snub rekindled some of the debate about gender in architecture. Sample offers up a thoughtful alternative and asks that this new generation probes deeper into practice and asks new questions about what it means today to study in programs where more than 50% are women students, and what this means for both women and men in practice today. Her full research will be presented in the essay Natalie de Blois 1944-88, as part of the catalog accompanying the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Following the presentations by the two guest speakers, the discussion lead us to trace two feminist “waves”, or periods of heightened feminist awareness in architecture, which paved the way for a possible third wave happening now. The first wave in the early 20th century aimed at bringing women into the workforce, slowly changing the preconceptions of male and female architecture students and practitioners (prominent thinkers in this wave included Leslie Weisman, Denise Scott Brown). The

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architeXX lecture

second wave focused more on challenging gender definitions and the rhetoric concerning the role of women in architecture (articulated by Beatriz Colomina, Deborah Fausch, Catherine Ingraham, Jennifer Bloomer). The two waves overlapped in the 1994 Any Conference Mop-Up by Cynthia Davidson and the 1995 conference The Sex of Architecture, held at the University of Pennsylvania which also resulted in the publication of a book in 1996. The call for a third generational “wave� was brought up; if the third generation is being formed right now, what should its role and goals be? While much of the conversation related to the history of feminism and personal experience of the speakers, important advice was given on how female architects should firmly engage in financial conversations. Mary McLeod pointed out that she was raised to believe that conversations regarding salary are impolite for women. GSAPP faculty member Galia Solomonoff pointed out that many of her female employees never ask for a raise unless she brings up the topic. Talking about remuneration should not be a taboo for female architects, but a right. Another important side story revolved around numerous books that Mary McLeod brought with her to the lecture; books about feminism and the importance of the female presence in architecture. A few of these titles are listed below: The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir, The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan, Sexual Politics, Kate Millett, Heresies magazine, The Grand Domestic Revolution, Dolores Hayden, Women in American Architecture; A historic and contemporary perspective, edited by Suzanna Torre, Sexuality and Space, Edited by Beatriz Colomina, Architecture; in Fashion, Deborah Fausch.

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spring 2014

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architeXX lecture

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excerpt from act II | purgatory

fall 2013

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comedy of divine art

THE COMEDY OF DIVINE ART

FIRST

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EDITION

FALL 2013 STUDIO CRITIC - BERNARD TSCHUMI dora felekou, mengfan fu COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


fall 2013

deletion

amplification

loss of heterozygosity

deletion

deletion

missence

deletion insertion norm

mutation

norm

a r chi tec tu r al t rait s i n ch ro m oso mes

mutation

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comedy of divine art

The mutation notation...

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fall 2013

the movement trigger

the environmental trigger

the intentionality trigger

the materiality trigger

the contact trigger

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comedy of divine art

triggers change

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fall 2013

The transgressional space

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comedy of divine art

is the space of and for mutation

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fall 2013

confine

confuse

break the ice

amass

break

divide and conquer

delineate

deform

hat trick

open

close

double standard

norm

mutation

balance

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comedy of divine art

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solid

void

hocus pocus

rigid

fluid

make ends meet

confine

explode

carpe diem

array

scatter

pass the buck

norm

mutation

balance


fall 2013

the art critique generator... t he cu rr en t s it uatio n o f vi ewing art needs to be de - co mm oditiz ed, r eversed, mu tated New York is the center of all arts, a national and global culture hub. within the city, art has been defined with very specific terms, having distinct ambassadors and branding. The generator is a physical critique of the current commercialized art state, starting by identifying the defects of the New York art scene. These are gentrification around art spaces, limited spatial experience inside the gallery and window shopping of art. The conventional art space is disturbed. The familiar shopping and storage spaces are moved to the front, hiding true art from display. Art is gradually discovered and purified. The flat slab of art space turns into a fragmented sequence, into long paths, enclosures and movement. The user is challenged, entering familiar spaces in the beginning and then subjected to unfamiliar rooms and uneven levels of experience.

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comedy of divine art

mutates the art space...

shopping | familiar

exhibit | unfamiliar

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exhibit | unfamiliar

shopping | familiar


fall 2013

mutates the flat art...

norm | the flat slab

the slab as partition

the slab as fracture

the slab as path

the slab as enclosure

the slab as movement

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art piece

need for market art public

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art collector

need for stimulation artist

need for art

comedy of divine art

mutates the art public.


fall 2013

the building will appear

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comedy of divine art

only after the play has ended the parts are dissociated, intuitevely connected by the user

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fall 2013

heroes

units

devices

art

light

distant

vulgar

ep.01 art is boring the blase art viewer environment trigger

art gallery container

repetitive

material trigger

ep.02 an exit! the art obsessed

bottomless spiral

grid distortion

extreme

saturated

art is everywhere

intention trigger

ep.03 a test awaits the fugitive back again

exposed arcade

exposure

distorted

misleading

not yet! contact trigger ep.04

only the worthy the observant

keyhole

cone of vision

gradually revealed

inviting

catharsis!!! ep.05 movement trigger the top & bottom the redeemed

purifying downfall there are no limits

frame removal

liberating

natural

ep.05+1? a vicious circle the condemned

shadows

split

projected

diffused

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comedy of divine art

notes on the script The gradual mutations of space, light, art and users are intertwined stories. Through each step of the mutation, they are all part of a symbiotic system, a story with heroes, traps and spectres. For the illustration of each step, a different mode of representation is selected; axonometric for the norm collage for the confusing part perspective for the longitudinal part montage for the revelation part photorrealism for the light

mutation

the materiality trigger art obsession and choice overload

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er gg n i r t o ty sti ali ugge n tio it s en t ex t n h e i aig th str e th

t er en igg m tr etach ct ta s d on nt v ec e th achm att

the environmental trigger current art experience is magnified

shadows for the ambiguous end.

r ge

g tri

t en m e t, ov rt, en e e m is a vem spac h t ace o is sp t is m ent ar vem mo


fall 2013

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comedy of divine art

THE COMEDY OF DIVINE ART

FIRST

125

EDITION


fall 2013

E

ntering the market, the hero was bored. The art scene was surprisingly similar to everywhere else. Emptiness, he said. Suddenly a bright, inviting faรงade lured him inside a gallery. More galleries were stacked, similar in every way. The hero started getting used to art, wanting more. An opening led further inside.

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comedy of divine art

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fall 2013

T

he hero found himself in a paradise. Art was abundant, art was everywhere. The hero felt privileged to be inside the building’s spiral and never-ending mechanism. Art was worshipped inside the speakeasy galleries. The spiral continued downwards, to the unconscious purgatory. Art, the true light, was leading the way.

This is how everyday life should be. This is how everyday life became.

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comedy of divine art

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fall 2013

A

glimpse of a small light atop the spiral stairs appeared. He ran upwards, hoping for a change. How lucky he felt when the exit appeared clear, just at the end of the long magnificent corridor. The exit is there, just a little bit further! He is deceived – the exit is just a window, higher than the street level. Following a keyhole, he hopes to find a downward path.

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comedy of divine art

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fall 2013

I

nside the observatory, large spaces and realities are revealed through the keyholes. Only vision can offer stimulation. The openings start becoming tiresome; he has to stretch in order to reach them. Art disappears gradually, filling the hero with sadness. Color appears. Light. Emotions. Only now does he realize that he was bending all along.

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comedy of divine art

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fall 2013

T

he exit is near. There is no obvious and tangible art beyond this threshold. Everything dissolves under the natural light. Strangely, there is no urge to rush – the ramps offer vision, movement, lightness and catharsis. The hero moves freely, becoming part of the building that has no art but turns into art its very existence.

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comedy of divine art

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fall 2013

W

hen the hero left the space, the neighborhood seemed inviting. Besides the exit there is a hidden space, a sad mirror of the interior. People were caressing the walls, staring at blank material. They were not yet ready to leave. Disappearing in the distant threshold, secretly sneaking in, only to start anew.

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behind the scenes the building appears

artistic activity can open obstructed passages, levels of reality kept apart The art critique generator inverses the art experience by challenging the notion of familiar and unfamiliar art. Familiar in the front is perceived as projection, transparency, attractiveness, marketing. Unfamiliar is perceived as loss of materiality, delicate exposure. The space choreography is mandated by the mutating path. The scene of the market episode is a repetition of the normative gallery condition. The purgatory scene is constructed as a collage of fragmented spaces. The false escape scene takes place in a long corridor that transverses grids, spaces and volumes, ending in the picture window, the urban reflection to the inside. The keyhole space is entirely dedicated to distorted projections and exhibitions. The final catharsis space is a direct mutation of the double helix staircases in the second part of the building. The spiraling move is connected with purification and a mild, regenerating movement towards the exit. The exit is hidden underneath the ramp, personal and intimate.

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catha rs is facade | abs o rb o ut side to ins ide


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mapping the art generator notation

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A mutation can be silent or violent. the ruptures are the cause of change, the triggers of mutation. The process is transgressional, perpetual, vivid.

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philly shake

the philly shake

on stimulations and urban stirring-ups Philly Shake focuses on projecting urban futures through multiple operations. An arsenal of strategies was developed through model making and site observations. The strategies were implemented in the urban fabric of Philadelphia. The multifaceted character of Philly led to specific observations. Its history is not linear. Its multiple stimulation points are variable. Urban shaking usually occurs through demolition and restructuring of the urban front. It is on the grid that the shake is more radical and stimulating.

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step 1: urban stimulation network

scent stimuli vision stimuli sound stimuli areas of influence

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The g r i d i s S ha k en . multiple Orientations, scales and levels are introduced. The urban block is not an enclosed and solidified entity. There are visual, olefactory, audible, gustatory and tangible stimulation points scattered around the block. The points deform the normative grid, revealing openings and enclosures that were previously unseen. Philadelphia is the ground where the remixing and deformative strategy is applied. The existing urban elements are sorted out according to use. Through the shake, programmatic and volumetric scoops occur. The void is amplified by the insertion of volumes into the ground, gaining purpose. The results of the shake are new urban typologies that create new experimental ways of understanding the urban fabric through scoops of space and time.

the grid shakes and causes relocations

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step 2: material stimulation gene r at e a ne w o r de r by sc o o p i ng s pace and t i me

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The armory of strategies contains distortions and relocations at multiple scales and depths. The scoops of space and time create an everchanging and perpetual urban renewal. The scale of the city is challenged, strengthened and weakened at the same time.

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start!

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step 3: apply process in philly t he p h i l ly sha k e The grid is changed, addressing a new way of understanding Philly. The shake succeeds through the relationships between the variably scaled operations. Neighborhoods and larger areas are rethought under a new scope.The shake becomes reenergizing and perpetual. Urban futures now occur constantly, giving their place to their successors. The typologies are inserted and may or may not remain in place after a new shake, leaving behind either volume or program. T h e grid is inte rru pte d, t h e continu ity is chall e nge d or e nhance d, t h e fam iliar is re s tru ctu re d, the b lock is t u rne d ins ide ou t. P hilly is re f u e le d.

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THE INVERTED TOPOLOGY

THE ENCLOSED COURT

THE VERTICAL WAREHOUSE

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THE ROTATING CONUNDRUM

THE PERFORATING WEDGE

THE SCATTERED UNIT

THE AMPLIFIED SHED

THE HIDDEN VORTEX

THE REMNANT CONNECTION


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the history fabricator

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the kahn memory

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the mega market

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*shake generator!

*remnant connection! *outdoor storage! *mega market! *amplified shed! *enclosed court!

*imposed cluster!

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*inverted topology!

*bulking program!

*scattered unit! *perforating wedge!

*memory amplifier!

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the “other” design

fixation on the multiple perspective a s p i r a l l i ng i mme r s i o n i n t o t he f u t u r e c i t y The guiding goal of the design process was sectionality. Revealing unexpected views and spaces, literally piercing through solid material. A metaphor of the Jetsons landing in central park is used. The Jetsons leave their spaceship to explore New York and the bulb becomes the trigger of a new pavilion. Passengers approach the hemispherical object curiously. As they go inside, a lowering platform guides them underground, through a sectional journey inside a futuristic city, the Jetsons’ environment. The pavilion consists of a double envelope in the shape of the hemispherical cap of the metaphorical spacecraft. The hemispherical roof and the cylindrical chamber create panoramic and panopticon views. The pavilion is an alien object landed in Central Park, mysterious and inviting. The inside is a negative of the outside, a city of augmented speed, views and experiences.

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FALL 2013 INSTRUCTORS -MICHAEL ROCK, OANA STANESCU COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


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01. sectional views inside the pavillion, 02. content unfolding of the screens, 03. floor plans and viewpoint calculations, 04. arrangement and dimensions of the screens


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drawing with data

passive and active reflections

a shad o w p l ay o n sh i ge r u ban ’ s me ta l shu t t e r h o uses

The intense relationship between the 19th street architectural triad, formed by Frank Gehry’s, Jean Nouvel’s and Shigeru Ban’s oeuvres in New York City was the starting point of the drawing. The IAC building has characterized the area formally through its iconic shape and specialty glazing. The Condominium residences cast continuous reflections to all directions. Where the IAC and Condominium invite the eye, the Shutter House averts it—a move conventionally read as anti-public. However, when the shutters remain closed, the public domain remains unhindered and returned to the actual public users. The drawing captures the fight and clash of shadows and reflections onto the shutters, a daily ritual. The shutters receive the aggressive reflections but develop a strong architectural character at the same time.

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summer 2013 INSTRUCTORS - JOSH UHL & dANIL NAGY COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


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concrete procedures

concrete in-tensions g r av i t y enc l o su r e t ens i o n The research was focused on the tensions developped on concrete. Built examples of significant architectural value were studied, building up the argument of creating a concrete shell receiving different tensions from the outside and the inside at the same time. An armature was constructed to host the shell and the tensile mechanics. Two different balloons created the boundaries of the shell; the outside beign pinched and pulled by the armature, the inside blown after concrete has been poured thus inducing pressure from the inside. top to bottom: Sergio Musmeci, Basento bridge (1963) Joao B.Vilanova Artigas, Jau Bus Station (1974) Auguste Perrault, Atelier Esders (1923) Frank Lloyd Wright, Johnson Wax headquarters (1936)

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spring 2014 INSTRUCTOR -keith kaseman dora felekou & Pedro camara COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


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enclosure

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7. SMALL BALOON TIME!

8. TIE UP AND PINCH!

9. DRYING TIME!

10. DISASSEMBLE THE ARMATURE!

11. RIP THE LATEX!

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12. DRILL A HOLE AND... BOOM!


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on frames and limits

spring 2014 the contemporary; architecture as concept instructor - BERNARD TSCHUMI COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION

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architecture as concept

Frame is perceived as a set of standards, beliefs, or assumptions governing perceptual or logical evaluation. Frame and its materiality organize meaning and involvement1 within the architectural space. The individual’s interaction with frames is an intrinsic part of the architectural process. Frames shift and manipulate the focus of attention, differentiate enclosures and vaguely define what constitutes sufficient or insufficient involvement. Tracing the origins of the use of frame in architecture, it proves hard to identify a specific starting point or place. Cave drawings and hieroglyphs spread within the entire span of walls and corridors, defined only by the limits of architecture – a built frame or a necessity? Intense framing manifestations appear when the social and tectonic structures become complex. The pyramids hide an intrinsic above and below-ground section and the Greek temples a repetitive plan. Frames within frames enhance the significance of the core, the eternal resting place or the divine abode. The origin of the meaning of frame implies that frame has a meaning and that the origin of this particular meaning can, indeed, be particularly identified and traced. The meaning might be approached through first understanding the frame as necessity. Frames were deemed necessary in order to facilitate the approach of an object or notion. When set within limits, the object becomes easier to define and grasp. After the initial familiarization, the content seemingly supersedes the frame, leaving its own interpretation open to the viewer, revealing the frame’s introductory role. The

1 Goffman, Erving,

Frame Analysis, (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), p. 345

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origin exists in order to be transversed, nullified, violated. Does this opposition diminish its role? Is the frame a necessary starting point? Is the content subject to a different interpretation according to the frame used to delimit it? Does the original framework reveal or hide manifold concepts since it has the power to protect and expose2? If the frame does not disappear and persists, will its presence hinder the evolution of the context as the main point of interest? Accepting a system’s inherent ability to challenge itself from the inside, is the frame an extraneous element, remaining sadly untouched by the dynamic dislocations?

2 Heller-Andrist, Simone, The Friction of the Frame; Derrida’s Parergon in Literarurem, (Zurich: Francke Verlag, 2012), p.1-18


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Michael Tawa in his book Agencies of the Frame: Tectonic Strategies in Cinema and Architecture points out similarities and differences in the way frames are constructed and used in cinema and architecture. He traces five common themes; frames are defined by a place or setting, they interpret this place in a spatial and not in a linear manner; they deal with time, materiality and the concept of assemblage before the final outcome. However, there is a fair amount of duplicity in each of these similarities that constitutes the architectural frame – or rather the breaking of it – more powerful than the cinematic one. Architecture is intrinsically linked to space, dealing with the construction and implementation of forms within it as well as with the way individuals will experience these forms afterwards. Therein lays the major difference with film. The cinematic experience also uses space and form but the experience within it is always thought for beforehand, scripted and prescribed. Within the actual built space, the amount of possible scripts and narratives is unknown and left to chance. Therefore, time in architecture manifests itself in ways that are dependent on reciprocity between the relative stasis of architecture and the flow of nature across time1. Time interprets two Greek words in the same way; καιρός (keros) and χρόνος (chronos). Chronos is temporal, a state of condition or exception, a contraction and abbreviation of time, a scission within the fabric of time. This state is what is captured by film and

then reproduced at the same state every time the frames of the film are repeated. Keros on the other hand, is the abstract, quantitative time in which we exist. It cannot be framed or rather any frame that is imposed on it only serves as to intensify its multiplicity. Within the built environment, keros flows and allows the creation of multiple frames that may or may not be repeated, along with the possibilities of multiple movements within spaces and endless possibilities of human interactions. Within the cinematic world, chronos always unfolds at a 32frames per second rate. Architecture lays the ground for more intense interaction with its framing being in absolute proimity with the unpredictable reality.

1 Tawa, Michael, Agencies of the Frame: Tectonic Strategies in Cinema and Architecture, (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010)

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frame comparisons the frame as a set and unified limit The archetypal image of a wooden rectangle that delimits a work of art is the first thing that comes to mind when attempting to describe a frame. At the exact moment when architecture manifests itself, it is defined and assigned with traits. These characteristics allow the assortment and arrangement of architectural characteristics into historic, formal and conceptual ensembles. The act of framing allows the imposition of a needed level of association with the work of architecture. Each aspect serves a different purpose; plans are aimed to specialists engaged with the project or editors that reproduce them within book frames, realistic or hyper-realistic representations make the project understood by the general public and receive multiple interpretations according to the creators’ intention. The framing of the imagery entails different levels of immersion into the work of architecture, either as a viewer or as a participator in its environment. In any case, the rigid and defined frame allows the project to have a specific beginning, middle and end, as well as highlighted points of interest that are singled out and guide attention towards the most captivating and scripted moments of the work. Frames have agency and hide or reveal agendas. Upon looking at The Continuous Monument by Superstudio, the agenda reveals itself in multiple aspects. The Monument is represented as a pure white form, a

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mass that travels along with the landscape but maintains a certain distance from it. The points of contact with the earth are but a necessity and are themselves used to define the environment in an immaculate manner. The Monument is bulky but innocuous, it is after all white and white is not perilous. Upon zooming in the framing through the eyes of someone experiencing the Monument, it becomes transparent in places. Its very own grid is maintained but on the other hand is destroyed by being inhabited. By cultivating the grid or walking on it, it becomes foggy and without rough edges.Whenever the monument is reflected on water, the grid disappears on the reflections. The framing agenda showcases the Monument’s generic character from afar and another character in the close-up, more ethereal and colorful. The 21st century Museum of Contemporary Art is a project that will be used as a transition from the use of the rough frame as an architectural element to the breaking of the frame within the system’s evolving structure. It is situated in the historic center of Kanazawa, an area characterized by open spaces and green gardens. SANAA make a direct reference to the 21st century city by cutting a part of its gridded form and overlaying it over the landscape. The circular frame contains multiple frames; the exhibition rooms, all arranged in a rectilinear way. There are no


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continuous axes, every vanishing points ends in another room. There is no center; a circular room only hints at a center, being slightly dislocated from it. The interaction of public and private space, in plan, resembles the form of the city; public streets and private blocks. The twists and turns of the alleys reveal different views, always within the defined by the architect’s rigid original frame that seems to overpower any other reading. However, the museum raises an interesting question; how does the visitor perceive public and private space? The use of transparent material blurs the rigid frameworks, allowing for glimpses from the one inside the other. By rendering the boundary continuous but diaphanous, it negates the very function it is set out to perform.The frame is physical but not visual. Permeating the frame with vision allows for the creation of a space between the two alienated aspects of public and private. Moments of clarity, moments of blurriness, moments where the distinct limits of the frames are broken. Rather than weakening, this permeability is the one that enhances the concepts of public and private. Frames can indeed be rigid in shape and broken through their materiality. The frame of the museum invites and then appears and disappears, reminding its force while also distracting from it.

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the Frame as antithetical and binary limit An interesting characteristic of the fleeting frame comes to pass – the setting of an antithetical system of reference. Through establishing the power of antithesis as the way being and essence should be defined, Heidegger points out unconcealment as the accurate definition of truth. Definitions that stem from antithetical terms contain power by enabling the simultaneous apprehension of the two poles of a word. Uncolcealment is powerful because it comes after or at the same time with concealment. It contains hiding and revealing, truth and lie. Heidegger introduces enframing as that setting-upon gathered into itself which entraps the truth of its coming to presence with oblivion1. Enframing changes, deceives, disguises. Enframing aims at the truth but also contains the danger of hiding – is the visible the truth or rather that which is deceitfully outshined by the visible? Questions about the role of the limit in the definition of the frame come into Derrida’s concept of the parergon (πάρεργον). Parergon is intrinsic to the existence of the ergon (έργον), the main focus in the same way that ergon is intrinsic to the existence of parergon. Parerga touch upon the cognitive operation from a certain lieu, never simply outside, never simply inside. It is not a mixture or a half measure; it is an outside called to the inside in order to constitute it as inside2 –

1 Heidegger, Martin, The Question concerning Technology and other essays, Translated by William Lovitt. (Philadelphia: Harper and Rowe, 1977), p.36

2 Derrida, Jacques, The Truth in Painting.

Translated by Geoff and McLeod, Ian Bennington, (Chicago: The University of

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an inside pushed to the outside in order to define the outside as an outer realm. The framing in architecture will be approached through these binary relations that juxtapose, unite, disperse, define or negate the systems they are intended to describe. Interestingly enough, Derrida, in setting the layout of his Truth in Painting leaves intentionally blank spaces in the pages. There is no full stop at the end of the paragraph, no capital letter at the beginning of the next. It is only natural since the absence of both implies the continuation of the text in lowercase. The lines appear to be framing the void but on closer observation, they are continuous to the previous and following lines. Are the paragraphs, contents, concepts and continuities interrupted? Continued? Denied? Framed? Is the white in-between space the framed context or does it frame its beginning and end? In the midst of beings an open place comes to presence. A clearing. Thought from out of the beings, it is more being than is the being. Thanks to this clearing, beings are unconcealed in certain and changing degrees3. Curtain wall house demonstrates how the existence of a frame or rather a framework for it can create variable levels of visibility, permeability and monumentality. The house creates a multiple amount of scenarios concerning the visibility and inChicago Press, 1987) p.63

3 Heidegger, Martin, Off the Beaten Track. Translated by Julian and Haynes, Kenneth Young, (Cambridge University PRess, 2002), p.30


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visibility of exterior and interior spaces. A curtain is soft, warm, light but at the same time heavy and cryptic. Curtains carry their inherent correlation to theater; able to conceal the real action behind the scene and part of the theatrical action of the screenplay. The different positions that the curtains occupy signify different frames; from the inside to the outside and vice versa.When completely closed, the inside is clustered, when completely open, it is exposed, still carrying though the memory of its previous condition. The strength of the curtain wall does not lie in some hidden and complex meaning but rather to the clarity with which it encounters its immediate surroundings. Filtering of reality and not abstraction, obscurity and interest in some hidden and arcane meaning renders the possibility of Being real. In this way, Being manifests itself continually anew, never being a closed system4. La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même, demonstrates the intrinsic relation of two frames within a single frame that result in the negation of all frames present in the work. The bottom and top parts are connected; none could exist and have purpose without the other. By enframing the work, Duchamp works with the innate ability of the frame to conceal itself. Indeed, the glass panel is perceived as an objet trouvé, with the frame being an accepted truth and the focus being transferred to the content without giving the frame credit for the shift in our focus. Enframing has, after all, the ability of disguising the

4 Heidegger, Martin, The Question concerning Technology and other essays, Translated by William Lovitt. (Philadelphia: Harper and Rowe, 1977), p.XV, introduction

world that is in the near. It even disguises its disguising5. In supersed ing the frames, the line between the worlds of the bride and the bachelors gains added significance. It is a line that at the same time defines their respective realms and dictates the mode of their interaction. The frames are figuratively broken, reduced to a line. There is action and movement around the line; the two realms influence one another. Even in its current broken state, the Great Glass demonstrates through the breaks its previous state of action. The visible in the work of art in not a repose but a happening; the rest is just the opposite of movement6.The Great Glass is more static now only because the traces of its previous movement are visible. The reduction of the frames to a line only enhances the viewers’ apprehension of a possible state of motion around it.

5 Heidegger, Martin, The Question concerning Technology and other essays, Translated by William Lovitt. (Philadelphia: Harper and Rowe, 1977), p.36 6 Heidegger, Martin, Off the Beaten Track. Translated by Julian and Haynes, Kenneth Young, (Cambridge University PRess, 2002), p.26

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The condition of no frame As has been developed, frames are created in order to be broken. The more complex the framework, the more opportunities it creates for its undoing, the more stimulation and invitation it entails. At this point, frame seems like a necessity, in order for the system to be approached and better understood. Is there, however, a condition of a non-frame? Is this condition an absence of frame or a concealment of it? Is architecture with no frame more liberating or more confined? The Yokohama terminal appears like an artificial extension of land, a freeform landscape that invites interaction. The wooden deck has a big enough scale to allow for multiple possible movements and opportunities for interaction. The way this particular interaction with the architectural space will take place seems free, spontaneous and non-framed. However, the original impression of a frame absence gives its place to the realization of the multiple frames that are used to construct the landscape. Famous for being worked in section, the terminal is comprised of multiple carefully designed frames that are placed in order. The sequences of the frames create a continuous landscape above and a hollow cavern below. The frames are multiple and existing, concealed through repetition and their participation in a larger picture. An example that further embraces the notion of no-frame is the Glass Video Pavillion in Groningen. During the first level of understanding, the pavilion is comprised of a series of glass frames that define a passageway between the video installations. However, the pavilion differs significantly

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from the Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson glass houses in that the glass frame is not an envelope wrought around a more solid interior or between solid roofs and floors. If the elements of the glass pavilion are removed, nothing is revealed inside, for the pavilion encloses possibilities and not materialities. Is it a case of no frame or indifference towards it? On the contrary, it is rather a case of deep understanding of the mechanics of enframing, of seeing and veiling. As Heiddeger questions when describing the unveiling of the Being, allowing something to exist disguises a procedure of examining every aspect of the Being before allowing it to be1. The Glass Pavillion does not disregard materiality and framing but encloses an appreciation of both before letting them take over.

1 Heidegger, Martin, Off the Beaten Track. Translated by Julian and Haynes, Kenneth Young, (Cambridge University PRess, 2002), p.53


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Bibliography Derrida, Jacques. The Truth in Painting. Translated by Geoff and McLeod, Ian Bennington. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987. Derrida, Jacques, Writing and Difference. Translated by Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978. Goffman, Erving. Frame Analysis. New York: Harper & Row, 1974. Heidegger, Martin. Off the Beaten Track. Translated by Julian and Haynes, Kenneth Young. Cambridge University PRess, 2002. —. The Question concerning Technology and other essays. Translated by William Lovitt. Philadelphia: Harper and Rowe, 1977. Heller-Andrist, Siimone. The Friction of the Frame; Derrida’s Parergon in Literarure. Zurich: Francke Verlag, 2012. Tawa, Michael. Agencies of the Frame: Tectonic Strategies in Cinema and Architecture. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010. Tschumi, Bernard. Red Is Not A Color; Architecture Concepts. New York: Rizzoli, 2012. Wigley, Mark. Deconstructivist Architecture. Boston: Liitle, Brown and Company, 1988.

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conclusion Frame has indeed an agency and a content. It exists in order to invite attention, only to be superseded. Returning to the starting point, the archetypal form of the heavily defined wooden frame, it must be added that wood cracks, creaks, breaks down and dislocates. Its own heavy nature is the one that undoes itself, thus defining the material as wood. Likewise, the frame in architecture is indeed a heavy memory. It is constantly seeked, used and brought to the forefront, seemingly depriving time within the built space of its flow and continuity. However, frame is above and foremost a construct of the mind. The more complex the frame, the more prone it is to osmosis and flows from one pole to the other. Frame is made up by the very elements that are used for its dismantling and dismemberment. Framing always supports and contains that which by itself collapses forthwith1. It needs to be set and transcended in order to reach the core. The constant setting up of complex frameworks only to be broken afterwards sets up a self-sustaining system of survival. The frame does violence inside the system and twists its proper articulations out of shape2.

1 Derrida, Jacques, The Truth in Painting,

Translated by Geoff and McLeod, Ian Bennington, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987) p.79

2 Derrida, Jacques, The Truth in Painting,

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Starting with the premise of approaching frames from a materiality and photography perspective, the role of the frame was expected to be a hindrance, a still object, following an evolving system. However, the examples in each category prove that dealing with frames is a beguiling aspect of the concept. Constrains are part of a project and can be turned into concepts3. When Derrida references Levi Strauss’ intentions, he mentions that Strauss remains faithful to his double intention; preserving as an instrument something whose truth value he criticizes4. Frame is an instrument in the architectural process that contains part of the architectural agenda and at the same time remains with the building, mandating the possibilities its space can create. The frame as a restrictive element provides initial friction with the framed elements, resulting in the beginning of the system’s disruption, dislocation, deflection,

deviation and distortion. Through dissociation, the frame becomes part of the process, physically or figuratively, serving as an initial reference point, a middle ground, a hidden end. Maybe the frame hindered the process at some point, but it was only until it was broken and overpowered again. The frame has to exist in order to be challenged. The human body is one of those things that can disrupt the organization of activity and break the frame5. Bodies carve all sorts of new and unexpected spaces, […] rushing against the carefully established rules of architectural thought6. Frames can never wholly exist within the architectural space. Human body will always be the limit that will dictate the extent of the frame’s breaking; rather, an eternal frame that makes architecture relevant, relatable, everlasting and concealed in its own unconcealment.

Translated by Geoff and McLeod, Ian Bennington, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987) p.69

3 Tschumi, Bernard, Red Is Not A Color; Architecture Concepts, (New York: Rizzoli, 2012), p.495 4 Derrida, Jacques,

Writing and Difference. Translated by Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978, p. 284

5 Goffman, Erving. Frame Analysis. (New York: Harper & Row), 1974, p.347

6 Tschumi, Bernard, Red Is Not A Color; Architecture Concepts, (New York: Rizzoli, 2012), p75

spring 2014 the contemporary; architecture as concept instructor - BERNARD TSCHUMI COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


summer 2013

reflections Shigeru Ban’s Metal Shutter Houses are characterized by their massive metal cladding, covering in a retractable or permanent manner the most exposed façades of the building. The extended and unified presence of the shutters poses an interesting question:

of a real estate asset. It is true that the shutters can move according to the inhabitants’ will, but their usual position is shut and defensive, fully open only for advertising photo purposes. The shutters become an impermeable envelope upon which urban reflections clash.

are the shutters an impermeable barrier, protecting the inhabitants’ privacy, or is their role better conceived of as the filtering and gradual transition from the private to the public? What exactly is their part in this ambiguous relationship between the private and public spheres?

On the other hand, the word shutter has a double meaning. A shutter is also a filter that can be controlled and can react to its surroundings in a sensitive way. The Metal Shutter Houses may close down, but can that action really be interpreted only as an act of protection? The façade can react to the users’ preferences as already mentioned. In addition, the complicated façade is comprised of an additional glazing that can also recede completely in the fashion of garage doors. This operating fashion is a direct reference to the area’s underlying and now reenacted industrial character, with metal being the ideal material to intensify this reconnection to the past. Conventionally, luxury units can open completely to the public. However, is that condition truly ideal? The massive opening of a window measuring 5x6m is an act that one might interpret as aggressive—a powerful assertion to and imposition upon the public sphere, being a sheer demonstration of architectural construction, obliging rather than inviting the eye to look upon it,

Shutters can be linked with two distinct connotations. On the one hand, shutters are a barrier that obscure the inside functions from the prying eye of the neighbors or passers-by. Regarding the Shutter House’s proximity to the IAC and Condominium Residences mega structures, the barrier’s role demonstrates this protective function. The shutters can completely shut down, protecting the building from the aggressive reflections it constantly receives from its neighbors. The continuous reflection interplay is perfectly canvassed on the side façade of the housing, constantly and rigidly clad in non-retracting shutters. The provocative rejection of the outside space and view is in complete contrast with the typical “rules” of luxury housing: openness and glazing that usually demonstrate to the public the coveted aspects

A reference must be made at this point to the intense relationship between the 19th street architectural triad, formed by

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on metal shutter houses Frank Gehry’s, Jean Nouvel’s and Shigeru Ban’s oeuvres in New York City. In comparison to the IAC building and the Condominium residences, Shutter Houses can hardly be spotted, neither from the street nor from the High Line—the usual path for Chelsea sightseeing. When actually approached though, the building holds its own and offers significant contrasts— even, to a degree, regarding issues of public space. The IAC building has characterized the area formally through its iconic shape and specialty glazing. The Condominium residences offer massive views of the river, conveying an open character that is in fact addressed only to a privileged minority. Furthermore, the building projects itself upon the public sphere in a panopticon-like manner through continuous reflections and the ubiquitous possibility of being watched from any number of the elevated private views, where private residents, particularly from higher angles, can see but not be seen. Where the IAC and Condominium invite the eye, the Shutter House averts it—a move conventionally read as anti-public. However, when the shutters remain closed, the public domain remains unhindered and returned to the actual public users, undisturbed by the unnecessary and privatizing glimpses of privileged residents, though this foregoes a view to the luxurious inside—a desire only assumed as being significant to the public.

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The ambiguity regarding the private/public nature of the Shutter House emerges from the difficulty of assessing what is public and private without identifying who is specifically the subject in question. The Shutter House is at the same time private from the public and open to the public, private to the residents and open to an audience beyond the residents. Here, shutters are elevated and take full ownership of their double meaning: a barrier and a filter at the same time, protective and yet open and inviting. When opened, the framing of the view is captivating for the residents while referencing the area’s industrial character through elevated and complex mechanics, engaging the public view in this subtle manner. When closed, the luxury units’ residents regain their right to privacy, freed from the obligation of constantly being part of an advertisement. The passers-by regain something even more important: the right to the city, unobstructed by unnecessary and insincere invitations to, what is for an overwhelming many, an unreachable place.


summer 2013

recollections Since their introduction, Shigeru Ban’s Metal Shutter Houses have created a series of expectations. Quotes concerning the new luxury residential building have appeared in forums and article commentaries, either praising or heavily criticizing Ban’s first New York endeavor. The extensive use of shutters is a bold gesture, and their exact benefits or handicaps have received many interpretations. On the one hand, the complete cladding of the building with shutters and the second skin of floor to ceiling glazing was a much criticized decision for a city that is subject to bad weather for approximately six months a year. The extensive glazing has been characterized “California – like”, providing unnecessary exposure to the unpredictable climate conditions. Despite the appreciated double height living areas, the openness expands in bedrooms and bathrooms as well, creating spaces that are much exposed to views from the high line and the neighboring IAC building. In addition, the shutters mainly cover the north façade, providing additional shade to an already shaded part of the building. The façade openness clashes with many building regulations, with the developers having actually being warned for water leaks and wind blasts during winter. The use of shutters has been praised as bearing the distinct mark of Ban’s commitment to the use of common materials in innovative ways. Ban has been hailed as

the master of material manipulation, often working with usual materials such as fabric and paper and succeeding in using them as awe inspiring architectural and structural elements. Curtain Wall House demonstrated in the most poetic way how Ban can turn curtains into windows and make walls penetrable. Shutters are also a non common elevation element in New York, in fact active external shading is almost absent from residential buildings. Inhabitants have shading options that are self-installed, never being provided with a wholesome and constructed shading option. The shutters are active shading that keeps sun glare and reflections from neighboring buildings at bay, providing a sustainable alternative to the unquestioned use of the air-condition. In addition, the shutters make a strong locus specific statement. Contrary to the collection of buildings on West 19th street, they are an interpretation of the security rolls used in Chelsea galleries and delis. The shutters make a direct connection to the area’s past and reenact Chelsea’s latent industrial character. Ban refers to the shutters as elements of a retractable skin, constantly changing according to the residents’ needs and preferences. The luxury housing condominium is thus regarded as clusters inside a cluster.

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on metal shutter houses This characterization calls for a deeper understanding of the careful and meticulous manner in which Ban arranges the elements at hand. The shutters can be criticized or praised but their acknowledged modernist value echoes to the quest for the universal space, as interpreted by Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, taking the form of a thoroughly calculated, invisible spatial domain. Throughout Ban’s work, a constant reference to geometrical manipulations in the style of the “New York Five” and especially John Hedjuk’s space can be traced. Even in Metal Shutter Houses, the grid is distinct and powerful in the plan and elevation, the beams and structure remain hidden and uncertain. The internal compartmentalization relies on sliding panels, strongly evoking the search for the “universal space”. Since the 1920s there has been a close relationship between Japanese and German architecture – for example between German classic modernism and traditional Japanese timber architecture. A circle of influence and interaction begins through the work of early modernists. In the following years, Japanese architects are inspired by the modern movement, bypassing the fact that their own tradition sparked it. Indeed, when looking at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fall-

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ingwater, the universal space seems to be achieved. As in a traditional Japanese space, the size, continuity and quality of the space is omnipresent and can constantly be changed depending on the season or occasion. A key element of the universal space as interpreted by Wright is the fourth dimension – the depth. “With this concept of depth interpenetrating depths comes flowering a freedom in design which architects have never known before. Space outside becomes a natural part of space within the building. All building design thus actually becomes four-dimensional.” The essential depth of the universal space is achieved in Metal Shutter Houses through the use of sliding white panels that can change the interior according to the residents’ needs. The space created by a building is always a presence, but it is one that continually changes in use and in form, in the sense that the boundaries of interior and exterior may be negotiated. The universal space is indeed changeable, it is a reality and not a static matter. Ban follows the dialectic of the destroyed box that was established by Wright and was forwarded and abstracted even more in its white form by the “New York Five”. Metal Shutter Houses are boxes within destructed boxes, within a larger box that can also be destructed. This chain of reaction is achieved by the implementation of the shutters and their crucial role in enveloping the building.


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Bibliography Eisenman, Peter. Inside Out: Selected Writings, 19631988. New Haven:Yale University Press, 2004. Emilio Ambasz, Shigeru Ban. Shigeru Ban. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001. Freeman, Michael. Space : Japanese design solutions for compact living. New York: Universe, 2004. McQuaid, Matilda. Shigeru Ban. London: Phaidon, 2003. Pollock, Naomi R. “A Shut and Open Case.” Architectural Record, September 2011: 90-90. Satler, Gail. Frank Lloyd Wright’s living space : architecture’s fourth dimension. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1999.

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A critical moment in the shutters’ position is the subtle change between being open to the world and creating a personal shelter. The boundaries are subtly blurred and the act of openness or aperture is incorporated in an innovative design that does not seek attention in the nowadays gallery-like West 19th street view. The strategy of the Japanese “borrowed view” is implemented. The space is arranged according to exterior elements that are drawn to the inside by means of careful framing and juxtaposition. In the conceptual space of Peter Eisenman, the edge is very important for the framing outcome. The edge stress can be understood through the use of a known object as the limit, with the limit changing according to the position of the edge. In Metal Shutter Houses, interior and exterior edges are blurred. The inside boxes - rooms are framed but their edges can change according to the inhabitants’ needs. The rooms are enclosed in bigger boxes apartments that showcase this first level of relationship intensely through the use of double height ceilings.The whole structure is enveloped in a metal box that can also be destructed by manipulating the shutters. The box then opens up to its fourth dimension – the intricate façade that is comprised of the shutters, the beams, the glazed balconies and the garage – like glass doors that open up completely to the inside, revealing the interior space. The

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viewpoint can be controlled and receive multiple positions according to the manipulation of the exterior views. The moving edges constantly blur the limits, rendering the distinction between indoors and outdoors uncertain and ambiguous. The shutters themselves can be perceived as having many dimensions. They demonstrate Ban’s ability to metamorphasize banal materials into proud architectural elements. They convey the circumstances and industrial context of the Chelsea area, being a distinct geometry that Ban singles out and extracts. Finally, they are the means by which the quest for the universal space is explored. Their position gradually blurs the relation between inside and outside, changes the viewpoint and deconstructs a volume that at first glance seems impenetrable. The non static nature of the shutters constantly changes the impression of the building in the neighborhood. Metal Shutter Houses can be seen as a solid metal box, strongly clad and fully closed to the surroundings. Gradually, they open up, being a filter of the environment, a moving edge that can perpetually change its position. If in Fallingwater the universal space was interpreted by walls and static glass panels that offer views to the outside, the shutters offer something more – the outside as a constantly changing barrier that is truly synthesized through continuous interaction and ever changeability rather than through a linear notion of borders. The visual depth is achieved and gradually revealed - the fourth dimension is explored.


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