Mary Morgan Smith Bach e l or of Sci e n ce i n I n ter io r A rc h itec t u re Col l e g e of Arc h itec t u re + D es ig n Th e Un i ve r s i t y of Ten n ess ee, Kn oxv ille www.m a r y m o rg a n s m it h . n et ms m it 273 @ vo ls . u t k.ed u 61 5 . 81 2. 3 47 1
01 Interior Architecture Projects
I n ter s ec t in g S p a ces 06
Def in in g D o lly 16
S et t in g Th e Pa ce 26
System O f S u p p o r t s 36
Desig n Tact i cs
P h o to g ra p hy
Grap h i c D e s i g n 62
01 In te r s e c t in g S p a ces D ef in in g Do lly Se t t in g Th e Pa ce Syste m O f S u p p o r t s
Interior Architecture At its best, interior architecture promotes connectionâ€”connection with self, connection with others, connection with place, and connection with the global world. This connection allows the value of a design to transcend space and move toward the relationships created within the space. There is a level of humanity that is unique to interior environments, and when I create, I design with the hope of providing a space of belongingâ€”a space inherently relational and representative of the human experience. Each design leaves a mark on the experience of those who interact with the specific environment. I design with the user in mind, knowing those who enter the space have a direct connection to not only the environment or myself, but also to others who have once shared that space or will in the future.
Intersecting Spaces The Whitney Botanical Research Center Formerly an art museum, the Whitney now acts as a botanical research center. Located at 99 Gansevoort Street, in the Meat Packing District of Manhattan, the building was designed based on the nature that surrounds it. This new space includes office space for research, interior exhibition space, a library, work space, and a botanical greenhouse. Inspired by all the crossing paths and connection points in New York City, The Whitney acts to advance understanding of how this diversity in space comes about. Its design was shaped by this intention: that the laboratoryâ€™s architecture would express its integral relationship with the High Line Garden beyond. These intersecting spaces facilitate the integration of public and private space, nature and the built environment, and historical architecture and modernity.
Location | New York City, NY Course | Spring 2017 | Professor Lisa Mullikin Winner | Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship Showcased | CIDA Exhibit
Concept The very definition of New York City is diversity— diversity of people, of thought, of religions, and of nationalities. This diversity in people crossing paths in New York City is embodied by the project. It is inspired by the crossing paths and connection points throughout America’s largest city. The design of the Whitney Botanical Research Center was shaped by this phenomenon of people crossing paths, and it celebrates the integration of nature and the built environment, and of public and private spaces. The laboratory’s architecture expresses its integral relationship with the project’s inspiration: The historical and widely acclaimed High Line public park, which runs adjacent to the Whitney. The Whitney Botanical Research Center acts to advance understanding of how this diversity in space comes about. Organization New York City has cultivated space using a rectilinear organizational grid, creating pockets of man-made space into which nature fits. The Whitney mimics this configuration by integrating indoor and outdoor spaces into what could be considered a microcosm of this rectilinear pattern. The architectural model facilitates a dynamic, interactive, blended space to enable visitors to celebrate how New York uses and incorporates nature into a dense urban environment. Space This project has programmatically integrated space through the creation of two large openings in the floor, on both sides of the core in order to link the upper and lower levels. This deliberate design facilitates the integration of public and private, through this space running vertically. On one side, the public exhibit space, which is below private offices, features an aperture, enabling workers above to see people below, yet still be separate. On the opposite side of the core, the office space is below, and a public library is above. The exposed structure in the floor openings not only give the building support, but they also expose visitors to the historical structure of the building, just as the adjacent High Line exposes much of its original framework.
Summer 8:00 am
Summer 11:00 am
Summer 2:00 pm
Summer 5:00 pm
Winter 8:00 am
Winter 11:00 am
Winter 2:00 pm
Winter 5:00 pm Light Studies
7th Floor Legend 1. Core 6
2. Reception Desk 3. Exhibit Space 1
4. Public/Private Offices 5. Exterior Exhibit Space 6. Workspace
8th Floor Legend 1. Core open
2. Workspace 5
3. Open Workspace
4. Conference Room 5. Library
Defining Dolly Dolly Parton Hotel Located in the mountains of East Tennessee lies Pigeon Forge. With a population of around 6,000, it is most commonly known as a vacation spot because of the nearby Great Smokey Mountains and Dollywood. Here you will find a proposal for a Dolly Parton inspired hotel located at 504 Parkway, right at the heart of Pigeon Forge. This hotel mixes elements of her past with current trends to tell a story through architecture just as Dolly does with her songs. From the glamorous side of her career in entertainment to her iconic figure and emphasis on feminism, each space is influenced by a different stage of her life or personality. It goes without saying that there is no one else in the world quite like Dolly, making her a challenge to define. However, this space begins to uncover the essence of a small-town girl catapulted into a life of glamour.
Location | Pigeon Forge, TN Course | Fall 2017 | Professor Ryann Aoukar
Dolly Parton, owner of Dollywood, is a famous country music singer born in Sevierville, directly adjacent to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Receiving over 47 Grammy nominations, Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Associationâ€™s Entertainer of the Year Award. Topping over 100 million worldwide in sales, Dolly has successfully made a name for herself as well as put her home town on the map by founding the hit theme park, Dollywood.
1946. Dolly Parton was born January 19, 1946, in Locust Ridge; a remote area in rural Sevier County, Tennessee. She is the fourth of 12 children.
1956. Parton begins performing as a regular singer on The Cas Walker Show in Knoxville.
1959. Parton gives her first performance at the Grand Ole Opry. Introduced by Johnny Cash, she performs his “You Gotta Be My Baby” and gets three encores. 1974. “Jolene” reaches number one on the country charts, and number sixty on the pop charts. Parton’s next four singles also reach number one on the country charts.
1975. Parton wins the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award. 1978. Parton appeared on the cover of Playboy’s October 1978 issue wearing a Playboy bunny outfit, complete with ears, after turning down several offers to pose nude.
Technical Booth Seating Axon 1. Z Clip
1980. Parton’s first film, 9 to 5, is released. This earns Parton three Golden Globe nominations, as well as the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie Song (“9 to 5”) and an Oscar nomination for the title song.
(For furniture backing) 2. Maple Wood Veneer 3. Bent Plywood 4. 2 x 2 wood studs
1986. Dollywood, a theme park, opens near Parton’s hometown in Tennessee.
5. Aluminum Trim Color: Black 6. Bent Plywood 7. Walnut Wood Veneer
2004. Parton accepts the Living Legend Medal from the Library of Congress.
Spacial Formation Various floor plan iterations were designed to analyze how a concept can be strengthened by inhibiting different forms. Curvilinear, directional, orthogonal, and elliptic floor plans of the same space were designed in order to further analyze the spatial connections. These floor plans acted as study models for the final space. In the end, different ideas from each floor plan were integrated into the final version.
Orthogonal Floor Plan
Directional Floor Plan
Curvilinear Floor Plan
Elliptic Floor Plan
13. 16. 15.
5. 10. 8.
1st Floor Legend 1. Entrance
13. Locker Room
2. Reception Desk
14. Outdoor Restaurant
3. Parlor/ Lobby
15. Outdoor Garden
10. Break Room
16. Fire Pits
5. Employee Offices
11. Career Center
17. Outdoor Bar
12. Workout Studio
18. Outdoor Seating
Prandia Chan LED
Luceplan GlassGlass D31
Moroso Newtone NT05A
Andreu World Zarina BQ 1713
Day Lighting Plan
Night Lighting Plan
Setting The Pace The Pace Residence The Pace residence is a riverfront, mid-century modern rancher, located at 1300 Cherokee Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37919. This is a one story, 3 bed, 3.5 bath home, designed for Professor Ashley Pace, her husband, and 3 children. Her day to day responsibilities consist of being a mother, professor, architect, and an active member of the community. The glass house, by Philip Johnson, was used as inspiration when creating this space. The idea behind this house was to show the versatility of design based on three different concepts: connectivity, productivity, and sentimentality.
Location | Knoxville, TN Course | Spring 2016 | Professor Ryann Aoukar
5 7 8
Floor Plan Legend
6. Bedroom 2
2. Living Room
7. Powder Room
8. Laundry Room
5. Bedroom 1
10. Master Bedroom
Connection The word “connection” describes Professor Ashley Pace and her lifestyle because of her dedication to her family, work, and the community. This house portrays the ideas of “connection” through its physical connection to nature. Nestled directly in between the city of Knoxville and the Tennessee River, the Pace residence acts as a threshold uniting the two environments. This passageway serves as a bridge, 30
extending the developed community into untouched nature. While seemingly exterior windows, the house is surrounded by large glass doors that open, allowing access through the center of the home. These long concrete pavers also create a connecting environment, inviting the exterior in.
Material Scheme- Connection
Sentimental The word â€œsentimentalâ€? describes Professor Ashley Pace. She is sentimental about memories from her past, her childrenâ€™s artwork, and anything that has a special meaning. This sentimentality is emphasized in her circular office, a personal space located in the center of the house. The circular shape contrasts all of the harsh linear elements with softer curves. This space also represents the hearth of the home, with a 32
fireplace included in the circular structure. Panels were created and located at the two main entrances of the home. These panels are made of a circular pattern, with all the overlapping (connecting) elements extracted. This pattern represents the light-hearted side of Ashley and her family.
Material Scheme- Sentimental
Productive The word â€œproductiveâ€? also describes Professor Ashley Pace and her lifestyle because of her efficient work ethic. In order to integrate productivity into her house, clean straight lines are incorporated into the furniture, structure, and accessories. Materials consist of durable, low-maintenance, and minimal material, such as concrete, glass, and stainless steel. 34
Material Scheme- Productive
System Of Supports At-Risk Youth Center Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Young Mothers At-Risk Center is a public community facility dedicated to supporting young mothers. The center helps equip them with the skills and proficiency they will need to be successful role models for their children. The center aims to prepare young mothers with knowledge and skills, empowering them to provide for their children and grow into successful, contributing members of society.
Location | Knoxville, TN Course | Spring 2017 | Professor Liz Teston Winner | Crossville, Inc. Sponsored Competition Nominee | Donghia Foundation Interior Design Award Publication | iJournal: Reciprocity Showcased | CIDA Exhibit Presented | SnĂ¸hetta Visit Presentation
Mission Of Supports Structure The structure of the space is very versatile representing the different needs of each woman. The main workspace is a multipurpose space for a classroom, sewing studio, and pop-up shop. There is also a nursery and office. Classes are held in order to teach each woman how to sew and other important life lessons.
Support The interior space is representative of the structural environment by a system of metal beams used to divide space and display work. This program is run like a co-op. Each mother rotates with a duty in order to be a support system for each other.
Growth Things come full circle when the public can purchase textiles from the center to help grow the families or sign up to take a class from these young mothers to have them spread their knowledge.
Mission The Young Mothers at Risk Center endeavors to take the existing structure of a young woman, add a support system, and help them put their life in order piece by piece.
Structure Diagram System Structure Existing Structure
Acoustics Diagram High Sound Transmission Class Partitions: 56 STC Medium Sound Transmission Class Partitions: 43 STC Quilts: Hang to provide temporary noise reduction as needed
Floor Plan Legend
1. Workspace One
2. Workspace Two 3. Workspace Three 4. Office 5. Nursery 6. Corridor
7. Washroom 8. Nursing Room 9. Storage Room 10. LAN Room
-Herman Miller - Wood Veneer - White Ash A2
-Herman Miller - Hopsak - Yellow Dark 14A39
-Sherwin Williams - 7005 Pure White
-Tate Access Floors -Classic Concrete Panel -24” X 24”
-Crossville Tile -Laminam -Collection Bianco
-Metal Finish -Oil Rubbed Bronze - US10B 613
Tra n s i t i o n a l S p a c e Spatial Program This modular workspace is designed to house various activities during the week. The versatile nature of the space is displayed in a weekly calendar of the different activities occurring on each day. Activities include a sewing studio, a classroom, pop-up shops, and teaching sessions. Material The material throughout the space evokes a fresh and light feel. Neutral colors were chosen in order to keep the space simple, allowing the textiles to bring in the main color. Durable materials are used to help keep the place clean and sanitary.
Tile System Hanging above the entrance of the center is an interchanging tile system that changes position throughout the day based on the sun. With a cylinder shape, the tile acts as a perfect planter allowing sun and shade to access the plants, helping to improve the air quality within the center as well. This innovative tile charette was sponsored by Crossville, Inc.
Quilting Quilts are the outcome of sewing two or more layers together to make a thick padded material. Inspired by the Geeâ€™s Bend community, the teaching of storytelling, pattern improvisation, visual motion, and lack of rules goes beyond quilt making itself. The communal nature of the quilting process and the storytelling it represents is the foundation for bringing together women of varied situations.
Pamela Wiley Inspired Quilts
02 D es ig n Ta c t ic s Gra p h ic D es ig n
Mixed Media Mixed media explores the relationship between text, image, and building while connecting advanced technology with widely practiced methods of portrayal. Emphasis is placed on a disciplinary sequence from the technical to the cultural, executed through diverse forms of dimensionality. Infusing representational platforms creates a continuum of opportunities and assortments of original designs.
D e s i g n Ta c t i c s Modes of Representation Design Tactics investigates strategies of the highest capacities for the representational nature of architectural production. Through a series of project-based investigations, analysis was facilitated on the essence of design, creating discussions about representational limitations. A series of linked assignments acted as a continuation of one another, pushing the potential of images to reveal the hidden dimension of sensory observations. These are the attributes that give a sense of place, evoke a mood, and set the tone. The sounds of a dripping gutter or a tea pot screaming are what create a narrative, describing the inherent culture of space. These are the elements that give architecture personality. As architecture progresses, it is important to make sure the roles of design align with the roles of representation. Just as architecture is taking a progressive approach in todayâ€™s narrative, representation should also take a similar approach. Each assignment strives to illustrate an assortment of methods that can be utilized in the representational practice.
Course | Fall 2017 | Professor Brian Ambroziak Design Tactics
Call me reckless, call me irresponsible- and by no means do what I have done-but this is how I weighed 460
the pros and cons and made my decision. 638
You can only sit still for so long.
Sheâ€™s a bit like a
shark in that way- she needs to keep moving to stay 632
She sits in a plush robe in a Santa Monica hotel
, where the air smells of flowers, money, and
the negligible carbon burned thoughtfully by electric cars.
Tonight-and actually part of everything-is 346
about long-ago memories. Itâ€™s about ghosts.
After more than two years of maintaining statecraft 442
levels of secrecy,
I now live with no boundaries and
donâ€™t need to be hurt in order to create pain.
as if I am spying on her.
Experience changes all of us
and now as she
filtered through the topsy-turvey lens of imagination, those pop-culture references
cycled through more
moments than one can count,
creating a rare
moment of misty-eyed nostalgia.
She offered a convincing case
elegance to make me reconsider.
with ease and
achingly cool yet highly composed a very tentative look in my eye. 302
bundles of nerves,
The effect is and betrayed
I could never have envisioned 302
the trajectory it would set in motion
-and a deal was struck.
Vo g u e P r o s e The starting point of the Vogue prose is not drawn from memory, but is external. By identifying word fragments in the Vogue magazine with strikingly visual and auditory components, a prose is assembled generating a truly original idea and creating a plane of non-agreement. It contains textures, smells, emotions, and rhythms, while examining the infinite narrative of possibilities afforded by a process of collage applied 52
to language. First-person and third-person pronouns are highlighted, defining the rhythm and structure of the stanzas. The prose generated is both a physical object that maintains its own aesthetic existence, as well as a construct that challenges the more traditional methods of creativity. As a result, this construct questions the limits and possibilities associated with the dual acts of writing and image-making.
I I us
my I she
I I her
I ue Mon.o.log
Tr i p t yc h The triptych acts as an extension of the Vogue prose. It analyzes the text through two diverse panels that move between and combine various forms of representation. The first panel is a diagram collecting data—both micro and macro. The fragments are decoded, transforming the language into visual arguments. The diagram shows the emphasis on pronouns used from juxtaposing viewpoints—sounds
both inside and outside one’s head. The second panel considers the nature of the isolated snapshot and the narrative structure. It should not infringe upon the freedom of the prose, but rather expand the potential of the visual narration. The phone booth in the prison represents the dividing line between interior and exterior. They can communicate, but, in the end, are both prisoners confined by boundaries. 53
Ideogram The ideogram acts as a form of conceptual recycling, mapping the adjacency of territory. The words “flowers,” “money,” and “cars” were taken from the original prose, acting as visual marks. Patent drawings of each expressed word were arranged and formatted to invoke a special framework that navigates between the written word and methods of collage. 54
table of contents ďŹ‚owers  money  cars 
SAVE ME THE WALTZ
THE MELODY OF A PRISONER
ZELDA SAYER FITZGERALD was the wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Success brought them into contact with high society, but wild drinking, infidelity and bitter recriminations plagued their marriage. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, she was increasingly confined to specialist clinics.
MONTGOMERY By the time of Zelda’s birth, the Sayres were a prominent Southern family in Montgomery, Alabama. A spoiled child, Zelda was doted upon by her mother, but her father, Anthony Dickinson Sayre—a justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama and one of Alabama’s leading jurists— was a strict and remote man. Growing up, she drank, smoked and spent much of her time with boys, and she remained a leader in the local youth social scene, covered by her father’s good reputation. SCOTT Scott was not the only man courting Zelda, and the competition only drove Scott to want her more. Scott had appealed to something in Zelda, which no one before him had perceived: a romantic sense of self-importance which was kindred to his own. Many of Zelda’s friends and members of her family were wary of the relationship, as they did not approve of Scott’s excessive drinking. THAT SIDE OF PARADISE Scott was so taken by Zelda that he redrafted the character of Rosalind Connage in ‘This Side of Paradise’ to resemble her. Zelda was more than a mere muse, however—after she showed Scott her personal diary, he used verbatim excerpts from it in his novel. Zelda began to exploit a little more of herself.
TENDER IS THE NIGHT Zelda was admitted into a psychiatric hospital where she wrote her first novel, Save Me the Waltz. When Scott finally read Zelda’s book he was furious. The book was a semi-autobiographical account of their marriage. In letters, Scott berated her and fumed that the novel had drawn upon the autobiographical material that he planned to use in Tender Is the Night. Scott forced Zelda to revise the novel, removing the parts that drew on shared material he wished to use. ALABAMA BEGGS The parallels to the Fitzgerald’s were obvious. Dissatisfied with her marriage, Alabama throws herself into ballet. Thematically, the novel portrays Alabama’s (which is Zelda) struggle to rise above being “a back-seat driver about life” and to earn respect for her own accomplishments—to establish herself independently of her husband. In its time, however, the book was not well received by critics and she only earned $120.73. The failure of Save Me the Waltz, and Scott’s scathing criticism of her for having written it crushed her spirits. It was the only novel she ever saw published.
Layering Separation Layering separation is a scalar operation blurring and dividing the narrative in a spatial composition. Exploring the framework of the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, a narrative map is arranged as a form of collage. Each graphic corresponds to a phase of Zelda’s life, helping to navigate between language and montage. Zelda’s life is decomposed into a spatial geography creating space and place through layering and separation. 56
This graphic novel is derived from the representational figures of the prostitute and the flapper. It explores the idea of freedom and imprisonment. It is meant to push the question, “How far is too far for a society?” and “When does independence turn into dependence?” The story is set during the time of prohibition, the defiant culture from which the flapper emerged. The idea of the flapper was celebrated by many for their “flapper” spirit and appropriation of male privilege. The flappers prized style over substance, novelty over tradition, and pleasure over virtue. They danced provocatively, smoked cigarettes, and dated freely— perhaps indiscriminately. Many even confessed to violating their own code of ethics in order to follow the lifestyle. The word “flapper” can be used as a synonym for the word “prostitute.” How can those two types of people share the same meaning when one represents the freedom to do whatever one wants while the other represents the imprisonment of one’s body and worth? In this graphic novel, one must ask who Zelda is meant to represent. What was her purpose and who was she? Free to her decisions or imprisoned by them? Is she leaving because she has the freedom to do so or because she doesn’t have the freedom to stay? A flapper or prostitute?
Graphic Novel The graphic novel is used to illustrate the temporal aspect of a free lifestyle. Through the connection of symbols and images, the story is brought to life, creating a narrative conveying space and time. This medium is ideally suited for conveying occupied space at the human level—a form of architecture. As the narrative of Zelda continues, the value of freedom is examined, questioning the limits of a free lifestyle. 58
Short Film The screenplay focuses on the impression of time and its various implications regarding the physical and psychological ramifications of drawing type. Through filmic documentation of the tea pot over time, a fourth dimension in representation is revealed. The collection of frames activates space through exposing the “hidden dimension”— the things 2D representation cannot define like the heat, steam, and evaporation. 60
Graphic Design Compositions Design composition creates a specific relationship between image and concept. It creates a visible understanding through space, order, weight, form, and color, illustrating a clear connection and knowledge of the project. Graphic design is a valuable skill because it helps to showcase design ideas proficientlyâ€”not only describing, but also portraying the representational meaning. It establishes a foundational understanding of the integral relationship between text, image, and conceptâ€”investigating the inherent visual nature of design practice.
Course | Fall 2017 | Professor Diane Fox Presentation Design 1
Point | Line | Plane The main objectives of the composition focus on understanding the type as an image. The graphic representation of the sentence describing “line” is used as a platform for visual exploration. To establish visual balance and relationship across the spreads, type’s scale, weight, posture, and position is formatted to relate to both the sentence’s meaning and the image. 64
L i n e s c a n b e S T R A I G H T,
b , u s o r o , n u D c o n t i
C U R
k e n
Douglas House by Paul
he extent to which the geometric white houses designed by Le Corbusier in the
ern architectural form was too great to become dated in a generation.
of rigid geometric system, and in general tend to be more picturesque than their European
imitating their forms now would be only slightly more appropriate to the spirit of the time than designing a Georgian or a Tudor house.
Their pure white forms, suggesting industrial buildings reworked into a new, refined context, have become basic to Meier’s vocabulary. Yet
the Corbusian vocabulary. The recently completed James Douglas house in Harbor Springs, Mich., is the best example yet of Meier’s evolv-
nineteen‐twenties remain a relevant influence today has been the subject of much recent debate among architects. The houses are history, say some, and
But an astonishingly large number of architects continue to see Le Corbusier as a viable influence, arguing that his contribution to mod-
Double-Page Spread The objective of the double-page spread is to depict a graphic style which emphasizes a continuation of an architectural article. Through image orientation, hierarchy of text, and a continuous datum line, the spread mimics the original concepts of the Douglas House. The construction of the spreads illustrates conceptual relationships that are similar to those found in the house’s architecture. 66
Richard Meier makes no secret of the fact that Le Corbusier’s masterpieces, the Villa Savoie of 1929 and the Villa Stein of 1927. have been the prime influences on his work.
Meier has not indulged in literal interpretations of Le Corbusier—his buildings show more concern for pleasing proportion than for any sort
inspirations. His interpretations may displease academicians, but they have allowed Meier to work out his own style within the general constraints of
ing style — and it is perhaps one of the most skillfully wrought pieces of American housing design in years.
1. Waterfront Exterior (First Page) 2. Entrance 3. Rooftop Deck Aerial over Exterior Stair 4. Aerial over Exterior Stair 5. Interior Living Room 6. Interior Living Room 7. Exterior Bridges 3.
But this is more than compensated for during the day, when light washes in and the view across the lake becomes the room’s mural. chronicle every architect dreams about: the Doug-
environment as were its Corbusian predecessors;
saw Meier’s Smith House in a magazine and approached him about creating a similar design for
it is in part a polemic for modern design and, on
Smith (Continued on Page 74) House; the intricate silver chimney stacks and a “flying” outdoor stair
sold his business and the family decided to live
and is probably the most important development of Meier’s own style as opposed Le Corbusier’s.
But the frame is used more subtly here than at the window pattern combines with a pair of round
to create a splendid visual composition. Since the two‐story living room has so much glass—which is left uncovered—the window walls appear black at night, closing in the space and making it a bit tall and intimidating. But this is more than compensated for during the day, when light washes in and the view across the lake becomes the room’s mural. The frame pattern of The house is set on a high bluff overlooking Lake Michigan—a dramatic rural site that might, at first glance, seem to call more for an earthhugging Frank Lloyd Wright house than a pure esthetic object in the Corbusian sense. But Meier has handled this challenge with such sensitivity that it is difficult to imagine much of anything else in its place. The site slopes so sharply from the road down to the lake that the house is entered from the top. From the road, only the top floor is visible, and the house looks like a low white cottage. A bridge spans the ravine to the front door; once through the door, the size of the house (it has over 5,000 square feet) and scale of its rooms begin to become clear. The house opens up gradually and Meier controls the processional sequence superbly. First, a stunning, narrowly framed vista of Lake Michigan is visible as one enters the top‐floor front door. No other rooms are on this floor. An enclosed stairway leads down to the main bedroom floor, where the visitor is deposited on a balcony overlooking the two‐story living room and, for the first time, sees the wall of glass that forms the lake facade of the house—and the view opens up fully. Then, back to the stairway, deliberately narrow as a counterpoint to the openness of the main living spaces, and down to the living room itself. The dining room and kitchen are another floor down. There is a central corridor parallel to the lake that separates the bedrooms and service areas, which are all on the road or uphill side, from the major living spaces, including several outdoor
decks, which are all on the lake side. The separation, or interface, is further marked by a light well, which penetrates from the upper level, where it is topped by a skylight, all the way down to the dining‐room level, cutting through the living‐room floor in an elegant curve. The spatial experience is part of the house’s joy. Purely visual elements, like the gracefully curving opening in the living‐room floor, are another part of the house’s delight. Among other such details: the brilliant red wall on one side of the stairway, which reflects light from a nearby window to give the
entire stairwell a reddish tinge; and the pattern of the panes on the two‐story wall of glass overlooking the lake. From the shore of the lake far below, the house sits perched, delicately but solidly. The window pattern, attractive from within, is all the more important here, for it allows the house to read as a white frame, rather than a white mass, which would undoubtedly have appeared too heavy for the site. Indeed, this sense of the facade as frame, as an interplay of large voids and thin solids, derives from Meier’s Darien, Conn., Smith House of 1967,
lases, originally wanting only a vacation house,
them. During the course of design, Jim Douglas
at Harbor Springs permanently. They gave Meier an almost completely free hand in the design process, and despite the radical differences between this and their old Grand Rapids house, they are delighted with the result. Meier speaks of them as the perfect clients. The Douglas House is unquestionably as serious an attempt to create a pure, perfect esthetic
its picturesque leanings do not negate that. So that level, it is not unreasonable to say that the house is a bit dated; purism is not the freshest
But to leave it at that implies that the Douglas
House is merely a homage to Le Corbusier’s ‘genius, and it is far more than that. In his reinterpretation of Le Corbusier’s forms, Richard Meier has done far more than create a house which echoes now‐classic modern designs. He has made a building which stands strongly on its own.
the windows creates a perfect balance between and enclosure. The only significant functional problem the house has is with sunlight. Meier’s reluctance to cover any of the windows makes for a lot of glare in the living room at sunset. But the Douglases do not seem to mind—“You move with the sun, there’s never a time when more than a bit of the house is difficult to sit in,” says Jean Douglas. Similarly, the Douglases have not minded the extremely small bedrooms provided for their three children, since a small, older house on the site has been set aside as the children’s work and play area. The James Douglases left an old Victorian house in East Grand Rapids for the Meier house. The story of its building is the sort of untroubled
03 P h o to g ra p hy
Study Abroad Spending time abroad not only fulfilled my academic goals, but it also transcended my expectations in the realm of design. Studying abroad in Florence, Italy solidified my passion for human connection in diverse environments. This once-in-a-lifetime dream exemplified how important it is to understand other cultures, environments, and lifestyles. Being surrounded by high design illustrated the diverse way of approaching architecture, and I believe my experience abroad demonstrated the highest level of academic understanding. Through this experiential learning opportunity, I explored a continuation of foundational principles and how to implement them in a global settingâ€”demonstrating the power of design as a global language.
Photography Florence, Italy Being able to stop moments in time through the perception of a lens is a special art. Photography not only gives one the ability to stop time, but also allows one to shape time—a medium for creation. While studying abroad in Florence, Italy, I took a course where we were taught digital and film photography. Learning the art of photography allowed me to preserve and appreciate moments over time through harnessing the power of image. Seizing the delicacy of life as it was happening brought purpose to what I viewed as “ordinary objects.” The awareness of light, exposure, and aperture captures the nature of space and gives visual impressions of the moment— an essence that gives photos a voice. Each of the compiled images display the unique architectural and cultural aspects that grasped my attention during my exploration in Italy.
Location | Florence, Italy Course | Summer 2016 | Study Abroad Digital + Film Photography
Top | Rape of Polyxena Bottom | Palazzo Spini Feroni 72
Top | Ponte Santa Trinita Bottom | Sagrestia Nuova 73
Top Left | Via Jacopo Peri Top Right | Loggia dei Lanzi Bottom | Palazzo Pitti 74
Top Left | Venchi Cioccolato Gelato Top Right | Via delle Ghiacciaie Bottom | Forte di Belvedere 75
Left | Piazza Santa Trinita Top | Palazzo Pitti Bottom | Palazzo Pitti 77
T h a n k Yo u
2018 Mary Morgan Smith