Page 1

journal in progress Architecture Design Studio: AIR Di Lu 371434

The stairs leads to the kitchen, dining, and living areas. A large picture window facing the view hangs a pivoting video monitor which projects the same view as the window. A drawing that integrated the plan and the images of the view better explained how this house captures views in a sense of real and virtual. The rear facade is bracketed by the chimney, considered as a symbol of the traditional house on the left, and a pylon supporting a video camera, an indication of a more contemporary presence on the right. The camera captures the same view as the picture windows.

01 Architecture as a Discourse

Designed by Diller and Scofidio, the slow house is an residential building in Long Island, New York(unbuilt). The architects described this house as 'a door that leads to a window.' The front door is basically the entrance facade, which expands into the rear facade, a double-height picture window facing the ocean.


Since the house was never completed, it is hard to imagine the context, while there is a video trying to represent this project in both realistic manner and as a model.( In a sense, the virtual context and the drawings presented seem to be more interesting and attractive than the design itself. The designer Diller and Scofidio stated: ‘The form of the house derives from a distorted model of perspective in which the eye of the spectator is situated at the apex of the cone of vision.’

source: 1- 2- 3- 4-ARCHITECTURAL THEORY REVIEW; 2000, 5(PART 1):104-122 5-

In terms of form and representation, the slow house project is definitely a good example. With a ‘knife edge’ wall that confronts visitors upon entering(no direct visual axes), it sets such an visual ambiguous space, and the experiences various as one moving through the building. Secondly, in the early years of using digital representation, the projection of images brought new form of representation of real and virtual environment. The picture window in this case, represented the view it framed, plays an important role in the relationship between viewing subject and object viewed.

In conclusion, Diller and Scofidio’s Slow House is obviously a critical approach toward new representation of architecture. The subtle detail and cinematic change of form enriched the meaning of the whole design. At this stage, we have to admit that the new technology would bring more possibilities about presenting architecture and being architecture.

The installation is one of a series work Do Ho Suh made based on his personal memories of architectural space. ‘My work starts from reflection on ‘space’, especially ‘personal space’’, he explained. ‘The space I’m interested in is not only a physical one, but an intangible, metaphorical, and psychological one. For me, ‘space’ is that which encompass everything.’ Staircase-III can be understood as in-between space, inviting the viewer to imagine what might be at the top of the stairway.

I visited this artwork at Tate Modern Museum in London few month ago, and I still remember the strong sense of special atmosphere it created. The subtle change of light makes the space elegant and sensible. The distinctive red polyester fabric, whose flexibility, translucence and porousness contrasts with the architectural structure itself. The use of colour also makes people moving away from its original context, also creating a dream-like feeling among the space. The architecture as a discourse, in this case, could be understand as a space people could respond to, through the detailed light setting, beautiful fabric and the whole environments its reflected.

01.02 Staircase-III


01.03 Voyager

Voyager is a 1:1 making project focus on timber structure within AA SUMMERMAKE in 2011. Three team was working on the project, focusing on tower, pathway or volume depends on design interests. Mostly based on physical models, we really need to understand what the model indicates and how this transformed into the 1:1 construction.

We, the team Volume, started from the experimenting of laminating. Being both flexible and good in compression, the timber slide could be curved in nearly 90 degree, which maximise the design proposal we could generate. With the understanding of the material and the construction technics we going to use, a timber model was generated. Without any computer-aided design tools, we started to repeat the same technics, laminating, drilling and bolted. The assembly were mostly according to the physical model, while adding supporting structural system in the back and central part.

As the main seating area of the whole project, the volume were aimed to provide good view to the tower, and also special inner atmosphere generated by the geometric design proposal. Ideally, it is an enjoyable experience to seat in, toward the elegant tower, and relax with beer hanging on the structure. I could say, it is a successful design in terms of interactive atmosphere. As an/a architecture/discourse, it represents not only the initial design ideas, but also materiality, construction technics, and most importantly, the experiences.

Architecture Journal  

3rd Year Architecture Design Studio-AIR Journal Working in Progress