â€œWater, a commonplace in our lives, has one extraordinary quality: all of it everywhere. is connected symbolically and poetically with all of the water on earth, some of it near, but some of it faraway in mysterious submarine dephs... Captured in pools and reflecting light, its cooling presence connects the infinite and the intimate.â€?
- Donlyn Lyndon and Charles W. Moore. Chambers for a Memory Palace.
W A T E R HOUSTONBURNETTE 3
A detailed precedent study of structural, tectonic, and spatial techniques by Louis Kahn through the channeling of water.
A storage, access, and rendezvous location for servicing and training; allocated for the Catawba Yacht Club and associates.
A literary case study of sectional and site oriented connections between achitecture and the water in this aggressive, but intricate approach to site by Alvaro Siza.
A literary case study of sectional and site oriented connections between achitecture and the water in this elegant, but percarious intrusion of an ironic site.
A liesure and exercise based utility for public use in Frankliske Park, involving the elements of public bathing and relaxing, as well as the serene allure of water.
LAJOLLA salkinstitute ARCHITECT louis kahn 1959
Salk Institute Biological Laboratories in La Jolla California. Symetry is established to focus ones eyes onto a canal that divides both wings of the laboratory, and stmbolically connects this line with the Pacific coast in the distance. Water leads a rhythm of figure-ground relationships and material tectonics along a dramatic journey towards the sea.
INITIAL analysis & observations:
During my Research, I explored the various means of diagraming ths building, not only in sense of identifyinga a topic, but also by simply highlighitng related complonents of the architecture in search of an underlying idea. Through these iterations, I composed a series of analytical drawings that comprehensively conveyed primary ideas from the project at various scales.
BASE SET diagrams & layout: As I continued this process I outlined a basic set of sequencial diagrams that evoled from my original interpretations. From there I began to illustrate the Salkâ€™s figure-ground, combination of wood veneer and cast concrete, and relative proportion existing in both plan and section. I neamed this narrative of diagrams the base set, not only to identify their rudimentary qualities, but also to create a base for further analysis under definite topics.
During the construction of my presentation diagrams, I focused on illustrating my ideas with a strict graphic palette, refraining from the use of color, or dense tone. In my graphic strategy I tried to use only lineweight, and tone when identifying spaces or site characteristics. In addition, I layered my the footprints of the Slak Instituteâ€™s plan across the diagrams, and arranged sections so that they best related to the sequence as a whole.
In my final set of diagrams, I organized my presentation around the figure-ground of the Salk, enhanced by the presence of subtracted exterior spaces hidden within the facade. The Salk features many square geometries, including many at smaller scales, plus the planâ€™s perimeter can be easily inscribed into a square. Such discoveries established clarity in my presentation.
TOPIC CONCEPTS investigation & outline:
Small drawings, such as this sectional program diagram, outline the importance of a specific topic in a relationship to an overall idea. As a result of this method, I eliminated this representation from my collection.
In this diagram I depicted the connection between the circulation of the water and flow of walking paths in the lower courtyard space.
In the selection of my final topic diagrams, I chose to narrow my original ideas in the base set, and manifested each into a seperate titled diagram. As a result of this process I chose to explain spacial hierarchy, because of its relationship to the figure-ground in plan; structure, due to its grain that is cross-referencing that of the plan; and proportion, which before was discovered as a primary governing aspect of the design at all scales. I prepared for my review by outlining a comprehensize summary of the project. During my poresentation, I focused my audience onto these details, breaking down the plan by explaining overal structure and spaces. Next, I lead into the smaller scale diagrams, and finished by tying the those processes back to the scale of the site.
PERSPECTIVES analytical interpretations: In these exercises I focused on the effects of light in the courtyard space, and the ways in which this effect dialogued a symbolic drama that embodies Kahnâ€™s architecture - contrasting the massivenes with the delicate. In all, these perspectives marked a conclusion to my journey through the project.
CATAWBA boathouse ARCHITECT houston burnette 2009
The Catawba Yacht Club Boathouse lies on the upper portion of the Wateree River Tributary near Charlotte. This project required the involvement of lumber construction, relying on the use of peg joints. In this building, the tectonics of these connections, and the manipulation of the material were primary investigations for creating my composition.
INITIAL site considerations: After recieving the site, I established my composition next to the right-of-way leading to the water for convenient access, in addition I located two intersecting axes along the shore. These regulating lines generated two overlapping grids onto which I fixated my program and circulation clearings.
PROGRAM ELEMENTS composition:
I eagerly began designing through a series of rapid diagrams that analyzed the basic forms of the program, investigating not only geometries of the structure but in addition, interior elements such as aisles of the boatshed. After many attempts I obtained a formal geometry that is relatively shared by all of program elements.
In these first diagrams I analyzed the porgamatic functions of the Boatshed, which provides shelter for the skulling boats, the colonnade, which offeres a location for repair and maintanance, as well as the clubhouse, which gives trainers a location to rest, and administrators an office to work.
This drafted sketch of the clubhouse embodied the spatial organization I decided to use, including the lounge area, storage, a bathroom and shower in the upper wing, as well as the office, a bathroom and conference area in the lower wing. The basic symetry of the plan was inspired by the salk institute, and became my approach axis.
In this structural draft of the boatsed I reconciled the basic form I composed with the structural capabilities of the material. As a result, I successfully, rendered a simple construction on which to build a concept to fasten the various elements of the project.
MODELING ordered tectonics:
This model conveys the spacial quality of the clubhouse in addition to conveying the local context of the trees, in this case represented in a solid-void relationship.
This site model compiles all of the program elements within the carved void of the site. By simply rpresenting the buildings and trees in this abstract manner one can simply grasp the overall principles of the design.
A structural models place the conceptual structure into a more practical context, emphasizing the importance of joints and the limits of spans.
This fragment of the colonnade embodies a component of the rhythm repeated throughout the length of the structure.
DIAGRAMS developing concepts:
This first diagram embodies my site and tectonic strategy, conveying the horizontality of the layered facade, and contrasting it with the steady slope of the land. In addition, the pitch of the roof presents an openess towards the water, a focus throughout the project.
Subsequent diagrams portray circulation within the composition, as well as the two visual axes that exist in the site plan, and perspective or sectional views in these directions.
ORTHOGRAPHICS final representaions:
With each orthographic, I protrayed an appropriate amout of detail according to the relative scale of the drawing, but also I invested a sophisticated level of abstraction that complemented not only the project initiatives, but personal design attributes.
Site 1/32” = 1’ - 0”
Club House Plan 1/8" = 1' - 0"
Boatshed Plan 1/8" = 1' - 0"
Club House Elevation 1/8" = 1' - 0"
1/8" = 1' - 0"
1/8" = 1' - 0"
Colonnade Front Elevation 1/8" = 1' - 0"
LAYOUT a comprehensive chronicle: When I organized my final layout for this project, I tried to create dynamic relationships amoung the unique pieces, so that a clear transitionextited between different genres of the project. As I began to place the individual documents, I began to centralize my layout around the diagrams, but kept each group as a sequence of linear steps.
Colonnade Front Elevation
Colonnade Side Elevation
Central Column Isometric
Club House Section
Club House Section
LEĂ‡A swimmingpools ARCHITECT ĂĄlvaro siza 1966
These baths intrude into the site, harnessing the sculpture of the natural landscape to create levels and enclosure. These alternating spaces in the rocky shoreling steadily guide visitors to the sea, where the crystal-like pool water engages the crashing atlantic.
BERLIN bathingship ARCHITECT susanne lorenz 2004
The Spree River Bathing Ship simply creates a space unocuable by polutants in the river by carving away a volume within, and replacing it with the freshness of bath water. This unusual subtraction defines humanityâ€™s willingness to adapt a poisonous space into a palace of leisure.
PRECEDENT the water’s edge: Leça da Palmeira pool connects close to the ocean through the precarious placement of its container walls. Their sand colored material meshes with the rocky shoreline of the site, so that the smooth, synthetic water within makes its presence known among the crashing foam of the Atlantic. This demonstration for an assumed program of bathing that merges with the natural existence of water expands the typology of the public bath, also conveyed by the Spree River bathing ship in Berlin. This water filled cargo container serves as a place for secure leisure, away from the overly polluted river, by merely lying within it. Leça pools through the layers of its simple design manipulate a quotidian routine of walking from the car to the locker, selecting a location near the pool’s edge, and finally immersing oneself chronicle a series of experiences that result in an ironic climax. Movement to the site proceeds along a low wall following the rocky
coastline, until one reaches a transition down a flight of low-pitched stairs, and underneath an overhead above the lockers. In the following chapters, Size repeats the use of descent to imply a transition, eventually arriving upon the two aquatic counterparts. This procedure persuades one to contemplate the irony present in the architects design: the welcoming presence of transparent bathwater beside the salty, violent waves of the sea. This distinctive matching imposes the meaning of location within the typology of the bath. In a shipyard on the Spree River, a cargo container filled with warm pool water, fixed by a series of connected piers, serves as a distinct place for swimming. This design exhibits a hospitable aquatic element; the shallow, clear, warm, chlorinated water, which engages an inhospitable aquatic field; the deep, dark cold, and contaminated water. However, these opposing bodies separate only by the barrier of a simple sheet of metal. In
the investigation of a public bath’s typology: the temperature, depth, color, reflection, and chemistry of the water, as well as the organization, characteristic, and style of the program, the pool can convey a powerful drama simply matched with an unlikely site. Gently swimming by a roaring sea or safely away from industrial presence, these two projects draw one towards a deplorable outcropping where an oasis resides. Moments such as these interrogate: how does a place accentuate a commonly dismissed delight of the program? Ackerman responds, “Intimate engagement with nature is signified by a site and design that permit [a place] to nestle and to extend into it’s surroundings, by asymmetrical and open design, colors reflecting on the setting, and natural and varied textures.”1
Ackerman, James. The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. Frampton, Kenneth. Alvaro Size: Complete Works. London: Phaeton, 2000. Yoshida, Nobuyuki. Size and Architects in Portugal. Tokyo: A+U Publishing, 2007.
J a m e s A c k e r m a n , T h e V i l a : Form and Ideology of Country Houses. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), 30. 1
FRANKLISKE bathhouse ARCHITECT houston burnette 2009
During this visit to the site, upon observation of the large expanse of green, I understood that such a location would be necessary to establish a site specific public place that served the program of bathing, and relaxing, but at the same time, connect to natural elements of the site, and entertain a spacial hierarchy that complements both plan and section.
SITE OBSERVATIONS sectional / analytical: As a catalyst for my design process I seperated the interior exersize pool from a series of smaller outdoor pools, through the use of a massive wall. In this preliminary design, I applied elements of circulation such as pathways and stairs that responded to the wall, carving apertures, and manipulating its directionality.
CONCEPTUAL TRIALS what if?:
As a part of my investigation of the potential for the arrangement of program elements, I committed myself to a series of folding sections that chronical a progression through my imagined project, the sequences in which someone experiences the many encounters with liquid water.
ABSTRACT DIAGRAMS concrete concepts:
Working primarily on organizing program, I proceeded to construct site plans and site models to capture the programatic hierarchy of the composition. In addition, I invested my architectural ideas, such as axes and grain, in a collection of small diagrams at various scales.
THE PUBLIC an individual perspective:
As I moved from the scale of the site to the scale of the human body, I began to allocate further attention to the sectional quality of the body, and the ways in which those proportional traits can be translated into the geometry of my design. During this process I found that this sectional attribute could be complemented by the level of water in the pools, either above, below, or intermediating oneâ€™s total height.
STREAMLINE cohesion among concepts:
Once I could percieve the crucial concepts in my design, I decided to construct an analytique of the site, emphasizing the importance of my location near the water and collage memorable imaged from my original visit to the site.
Making quick parti models greatly benefitted this process because a parti formally identifies a a projects main idea, when all of the components of my bathhouse relate to one parti model, a convincing cohesion between program heiarchy, and solid-void relationships can easily be justified.
DIAGRAM PRESENTATION narrated interpretation:
This is my primary concept diagram outlining the intersection of two datums in my composition. A vertical datum, represented by a wall that runs continuouslky throughout my composition, and a horizontal datum signified by an equal water level shared by the lake and both pools in my composition.
First through this constructed perspective, I identified tectonic elements within the interior pool space, such as the layering of modular units within the masonry wall, and the connection between glass infill and the frame of openings in the wall. By investigating these two moments in axonometric, I discovered ways in which I could recess the connection into the wall to portray a seamless intersection. In the second study I omitted elements from the surrounding inclosure, and articulated only the surface of the wall, and surrounding topography. Through this analysis I was able to signify different components of strata relative to the wallâ€™s height.
CONTEXT structure & site: In this site model I conveyed the most primary aspects of the immediate site, including the topography, water, path, and trees. By simply adreesing these features one can quickly grasp the context in which my project is situated. In my final model, not only did I focus on identifying primary spaces, but I also committed my craft to representing various materials such as glass, masonry, or lumber, by assigning them a respective material code: plexi signifies glass, bass signifyies lumber, and mapboard and cardboard signify masonry. These steps to investigate the properties of my composition helped to easily convey the honest facades and interior of the buidling.
ORTHOGRAPHICS detailed and cumulative:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS a farewell: James S. Ackerman. Twentieth century views on architectural typology. Martin Heidegger. Etymological research and opinion on the origin of â€˜to dwellâ€™. Thomas Forget. Constant constructive critism and occasional motivation. Nora Wendl. An energetic spirit and the inspiration to learn. Thank you all so very much.