Page 1

Behind the Wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

m i l da va i t i e k u n a i t e


contents (Book 1)

03

Behind the Wall

04

Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

12 Presence or Absence of the Wall 16 Light and Shadow on the Wall 20 Colored Wall 26 Textured Wall 31 Continuous wall 38 The Wall as a Sculpture 44

endnotes

46

bibliography

47 Picture credits

Behind the Wall


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sensitivity and spirituality in architecture  5

Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture Architecture can be a reflection of a person’s spiritual position within his/her own time. Surroundings influence man’s mood, behavior and habits. In everyday life, man feels “crushed by so much ‘functionalism’, so much logic and utility within modern architecture.”1,2, 3 My goal is to explore the creation of an emotive architecture that emphasizes the senses of the human and the spiritual upliftment in experiencing the architecture. According to Steven Holl, “Architecture, more fully than other art forms, engages the immediacy of our sensory perception. The passage of time; light, shadow and transparency; color phenomena, texture, material and detail all participate in the complete experience of architecture”2 I plan to investigate these issues by looking at strong presence or absence of the wall: through texture and color, the relationship with a human scale, the relationship with light and shadow, the ability to reflect or absorb the light and cast shadows, to create a different sense of the space and to mark out the spatial boundaries.

Illlustration 1_ Western (Wailing) Wall in Israel. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amanderson/2421066714/in/photostream/

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sensitivity and spirituality in architecture  7

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The driving force of my project will be the examination of the wall that not only defines the relationship between inside and outside, but describes the sensitivity and the spirituality in the created spaces. According to Wikipedia the definition of the wall is that “a wall is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air.”4, 5 I’m going to argue that a wall have much more aspects to it, than just these basic functions. I want to explore the wall that evokes senses, gives meaning to the space or becomes an essential object in the space. Like in these images, the wall brings out emotions and encourages one to think.

Illlustration 2_ Men at a Wailing Wall, Jerusalem. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/croma/419894258/ Illlustration 3_ Man at a Wailing Wall, Jerusalem. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amanderson/2420252617/ Illlustration 4_ Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC, 1982. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31774865@N00/987201250/in/photostream/ Illlustration 5_ The reflections of sky on Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31774865@N00/987201204/

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I’m looking at the wall which becomes part of its surrounding and has history and story behind it. For example The Great Wall of China which is “ built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 6th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from Xiongnu attacks during the rule of successive dynasties.”6 Built in a period of about a thousand years, the Great Wall demonstrates the great will of the Chinese nation to protect its peaceful life. This wall attracts and inspires people from all over the world. It became a part of the landscape.

Illlustration 6_ The Great Wall of China. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31774865@N00/987201204/

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Walls give character and define spaces. The wall not only serves as a supportive element of the structure, blocks the noise or the view, separates and disconnects spaces, but it also, depending on its form, plasticity, solidness, transparency, and thickness, engages “the turn and twist of the body…, an up- and –down movement, an open-and-closed or dark-and-light rhythm of geometries”7,8,9,10. The wall shaped by materials, colors and lighting is an essential feature of the architecture. It marks special boundaries, offer protection and enclosure, provides proportion and scale, and helps to form sensitive and spiritual spaces.

Illlustration 7_ Narrow street in the Tongli, Japan. Photograph: John Fu. In: http://leicachinatrip2004.com/j_fu.htm Illlustration 8_ Stone wall. In:http://picasaweb.google.com/ekiyoko/VisitToOldCityAkka#5173237435964383314 Illlustration 9_ ???? Illlustration 10_ The wall in Glaphyros House in Paris, France, 2000-02 by Decoi Architects. Photograph: Robert Such. In: Jodidio, Philip, Architecture Now 3, Germany: Taschen, 2004. Pg. 158

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presence or Absence of the wall  13

Presence or Absence of the Wall The way one feels in a space depends on strong presence or absence of the wall. The wall, depending on its openness or enclosure and the ability to control the amount of light and view, can create a sensitive and spiritual place. Architect Tadao Ando in some of his buildings uses a thick concrete wall as a barrier and enclosure from the surroundings. He plays with the openings in the walls and spaces between them to create a changing condition depending on the sun and time of the day. He is interested in “a unique relationship between the given piece of the earth’s surface and the sun”11,12 and also in the quality of space behind the walls he designs.

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Illlustration 11_ Tadao Ando: Kidosaki House, Tokio, 1986. Photograph: Kevin Nute. In: Nute, Kevin, Place, Time and Being in Japanese Architecture, New York, NY: Routledge, 2004, Pg. 53. Illlustration 12_ Tadao Ando: Koshina House, Hyogo, 1981. Photograph: Tomio Ohashi. In: Nute, Kevin, Place, Time and Being in Japanese Architecture, New York, NY: Routledge, 2004, Pg. 53.

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Different uses of the wall are demonstrated in Emilio Ambasz’s house, a spiritual retreat, where the only thing that stands is a facade. The house is constructed almost of nothing, except two joined out-of-scale tall rough stucco walls that protect the space from northern wind. This house is “a volume in space” and “as a space for life”. The absence of any other walls represents openness and “reconciliation between man and world.”14,15 Emilio Amass describes this house by saying: “It is an architecture that is both here and not here. With it I hope to place the user in a new state of existence, a celebration of human majesty, thought, and sensation.”13

Illlustration 13_ Emilio Ambasz: House of Spiritual Retreat, Spain, 1973 – 2003. Diagram by Emilio Ambasz. In: Jodidio, Philip, Architecture Now 5, Germany: Taschen, 2007, Pg. 68. Illlustration 14 &15 _ Emilio Ambasz: House of Spiritual Retreat, Sevile, Spain, 1973 – 2003. Photograph: Fernando Alda. In: Jodidio, Philip, Architecture Now 5, Germany: Taschen, 2007, Pg. 65.

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Light and shadow on the wALL  17

Light and Shadow on the Wall In my project, I want to create spaces, where the wall becomes like a moving piece of art. I will try to achieve that by experimenting with the light and shadow. “The perceptual spirit and metaphysical strength of architecture are driven by the quality of light and shadow shaped by solids and voids, by opacities, transparencies, and translucencies.”16 Light and shadow sculpt the wall and bring them to life and also help to define different types of ambience and spatial arrangements. The control of different light sources (both natural and artificial) can create different effects, spaces and mood. Interplay of light and shadow and falling light on the wall expresses movement “dramatically calling out to the senses… light initiates and guides movements.” 17 To explore such possibilities, I reference architect Luis Barragan’s work, where he uses wall as a theme and an element. He illuminates his walls with different variations of the lighting: different brightnesses, from dazzling luminosity to controlled lighting and black shadow, and different light sources, such as natural and artificial, from wide and open to narrow. He creates “a palette of lighting solutions that offer up different tones of shadowy depths depending on the course of the light.”18 In his studio house, a thin colored ribbon of light enters the narrow access corridor through painted glass above the door. This shaft of light is at times extremely bright and at other times soft and muted. It bounces from wall to wall bringing materials and textures to life depending on the time of the day.

16 Illlustration 16_ Barragan: Studio House for Artist Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934 – 35. Photograph: Jerome Haberse Tzer. In: Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser., Pg. 175. Illlustration 17 & 18_ Barragan: Studio House for Artist Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934 – 35. Photograph: Jerome HaberseTzer. In: Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser., Pg. 176.

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An architect Steven Hall is a master of chapping spaces with shadow and light. While designing the museum of the City in Cassino, Italy, architect Steven Hall attempts to design the light by building physical models. “Light should be modeled full size as it falls off the wall at the square of its distance to the source.” 19 Each exhibition space is neutral space defined by plain walls and characterized through its particular quality of light. The light depends on the openings (the size and form) in the walls or ceilings and spaces between them. Light changes and describes form; it also has “essences that transcend specific meanings and purposes. Language becomes a form of light while light becomes language.”13 It slides through the walls eliminating and shaping them. Space surrounded with such a wall becomes dreamlike. Also, the dim lighting and dark shadows in the corners and around the edges stimulates one’s imagination and daydreaming

Illlustration 19_ Museum of the City in Cassino, Italy. Photograph by Steven Holl. In: Holl, Steven, Parallax, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg. 118, 119) Museo Cassino, Key to the score: C – curve shaped light I - linear light Cl – curved and linear light clS – curved and linear light with superimposed slides sl.dr – curved and linear light with dropped ceilings cl.md – curved and linear light with round sli


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colored wall  21

Colored Wall To emphasize the concept of sensitivity through the design of a wall, I want to introduce color - a visual play on the senses. Modern painter Wassily Kandinsky was fascinated by color symbolism and psychology and studied a color’s ability to affect one’s senses. According to him, color through the visual emotion has a strong relationship with the other senses: the visual senses provoke “‘physical vibration’- a physical effect that touches the soul.”20 Color conveys spatial expression. “It is inextricably entwined not only with the surfaces and proportions of the work, but also with the adjacent planar levels and overall volume.”21 An artist Johannes Itten was the first person who analyzed how color influences a person’s psychology and spiritually. He believes that there are certain inherent qualities in specific colors that would have a direct effect on how the viewer feels. “Color is life; a world without color seems dead. As a flame produces light, light produces color. As intonation lends color to the spoken word, color lends spiritually realized sound to form,”22 Architect Luis Barragan exploits Itten’s ideas as a reference to use the strategies for color application. He believed that color intimately connects with light and the surroundings and makes the wall vibrant and alive. A colored wall “impacts the spatial environment and also impacts the user of that environment”.23 In the studio house, Barragan used bold and bright colors; there he looks at the effects of cold and warm tones. The wall becomes a canvas to express the mood and create effects. The surface of the wall always interacts with color and light to intensify the effec.

Illlustration 20 & 21_ Barragan: Studio House for Artist Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934 – 35. Photograph: Daniele PAuly. In: Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser., Pg. 186, 87. Illlustration 22_ Barragan: Studio House for Artist Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934 – 35.Picture by Jackie Ckaven. In: architecture.about.com/.../ Minimalism.htm

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Barragan finds the inspiration to use color on the wall to create different ambiences from the Mexican culture traditions and from the modern painters, such as Chucho Reyes and Magritte 23,24, 25.. Architect Steven Holl describes color as a property of light. In his project, D.E. Shaw offices in New York, he leaves the main walls white to emphasize the colorful light floating in through the openings. The source of this “color is fluorescent, back painted walls projected by reflection of daylight and white fluorescent light.” 26 The light enters the space around the walls and cracks within them. In such a space the soft and warm light and the white walls create a phenomenological experience and express a mysterious, spiritual, calm glow.

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Illlustration 23_ Space composition 1944 by Johannes Itten. In: www.moma.org/.../provenance/items/1028.83.html Illlustration 24_ Blue horse red background by Chucho eyes. http://users.tns.net/~atd2000/chucho_thumbnails.html Illlustration 25_ Space composition By Johannes Itten, 1944. In: http://www.moma.org/collection/provenance/items/1028.83.html Illlustration 26 & 27_ Steven Holl: D.E. Shaw & Company Offices, New York, NY, 1991. Photograh: Steven Hall. In: Holl, Steven, Intertwining, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg. 74,78. Illlustration 28_ Steven Holl: D.E. Shaw & Company Offices, New York, NY, 1991. Diagram By Steven Hall. In: Holl, Steven, Intertwining, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg.75. 28


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textured wall  27

Textured Wall To study sensitivity in architecture, I also analyze the qualities of the textured wall. I believe that architecture is an extension of the nature and could be sensed as the nature. The building could evoke the same sensations as the forest or the mountains. All natural things have texture. The textured wall could tell a story, express natural qualities and the age of materials and “a story of their origins and their history of human use”.29 A textured wall often suggests its mass and weight; for example a stone wall gives a different impression than a wall built from light straws. The texture on a wall influences the quality of light falling or bouncing off that wall. A rough and undulating wall absorbs more light, but has the playfulness of the shadows, while a smooth wall will be more reflective. Texture on the wall evokes the sense of touch: touch by hand and eyes. “The essences of material, smell, texture, temperature, and touch vitalize everyday existence.”30 As a case study, I am looking at Italian sculptor Mimmo Paladino’s square in Benevento, Italy. He plays with different textures: the texturally rich stone wall right next to the red stylized concrete wall. Next to each other they highlight each other’s qualities; neither one disappears because of the other’s presence.

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Illlustration 29 & 30_ Palladino: Palladino Squere in Benevento, Italy. In:www.flickr.com/photos/73211900@N00/369071656/mimmo

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An incredibly moving project- Bruder Klaus field Chapel in Germany by Peter Zumthor is a great example how the textured wall influences one’s experience and creates an incredible and poetic environment. The chapel is a small structure built by local farmers. The texture inside the walls was created by using a technique that Zumthor calls “rammed concrete”. The form of the chapel was made by forming structure of converting tree trunks. Around the tree structure were formed twelve meter concrete walls, which were poured by the farmers fifty centimeters each day. When the concrete process was finished, the tree trunks within the structure were burned out. This burnt away the tree trunks left their appearance in the concrete walls and charred these walls black. David Morison expressed: “This ghostly reminder of the once present logs is incredibly powerful.”31 On the exterior walls, there are visible subtle material variations in the concrete. These are the marks which show the end and beginning of each pour. “Small steel cylinders perforate the walls bringing light inside the chapel.” 32,33 An oculus on the top of the chapel penetrates the light in the interior space.

Illlustration 31_ Bruder Klaus field Chapel in Germany by Peter Zumthor, 2007. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karaian/3261246474/ Illlustration 32_ Bruder Klaus field Chapel in Germany by Peter Zumthor, 2007. Photograph: Thomas Mayer. In: http://arquitectura.pt/forum/f11/ wachendorf-germany-bruder-klaus-field-chapel-peter-zumthor-6166.html Illlustration 33_ Bruder Klaus field Chapel in Germany by Peter Zumthor, 2007.In: http://arquitectura.pt/forum/f11/wachendorf-germany-bruderklaus-field-chapel-peter-zumthor-6166 31


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Continuous wall

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I want to explore the idea of a continuous wall. Architect Shuhei Endo’s work is a great example of creation of magnificent spaces, connections between inside and outside and different experiences and moods moving through the spaces defined by continuous wall. The continiuity of the wall and space shaped by it, Endo compares to RENMENTAI, a form of Japanese calligraphy drawn in an unbroken line 34. In RENMENTAI the brush stroke is continuous line, it is never lifted from the sheet of paper and t he lines form continuous characters. There are no gaps between the characters and they form continuous pattern that express that one moment, energy, and freedom of movement. Endo tries to translate this idea into architecture. He indicates spatial arrangements defined by continuous wall, which is not corresponding to structural parts. This continuous wall “that form the outer shell, floors and roofing, in their continuity partly sharing (and shaping) the complete building they define…. there are no boundaries between the parts, nor symmetries of point and line, since a continuously generative form never achieves a settled configuration.”35 Endo’s project public toilets in Shingu-cho, Hyogo is a simple structure designed only using continuous wall supported by steel structure. Architect states, “The architectural concept behind this facility was to create a link between openness and closure through the continuity… Internal walls turn into ceilings and floors, which continue into external walls and roofs, then coil back into the interior.”36,37 The whole facility is both open and closed, depending on the program, and is a passage with access from almost all sides.

Illlustration 34_ RENMENTAI a form of Japanese calligraphy. Illlustration 35, 36 & 37_ Public toilets by Shuhei Endo in Shingu-cho, Hyogo, 1997-98. Photograph: Yoshiharu Matsumara.In: Suzuki, Hiroyuki eds., Paramodern Architesture Shuhei Endo, Milano, It: Electra Architecture, 2003. Pg. 56, 57, 59.


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A different approach of designing by using the continuous wall is visible in Daniel Libeskind’s Exhibition, Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) in Rotterdam. The building from the outside is mainly a glass box that encloses the spaces defined by the continuous spiral wall which runs through the inside. The continuous wall defines the movement of the people and is an exhibition wall as well. Libeskin says: “the intention of the exhibition design that the public co-participate in a scheme by following an imaginative and non linear path in order to experience ‘the other side’: ‘the substance’ of hope and the proof of what remains invisible in space.”38,39, 40 The wall enhances the experience and gives the poetic qualities to the spaces.

Illlustration 38, 39, & 40_ Daniel Libeskind: Beyond the Wall Exhibition, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, 1997. Photograph: Bitter + Bredt Photographie. In: Libeskind, Daniel, The space of the Encounter, New York, NY: Universe Publishing, 2000, Pg.30,46, 47.

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the wall as a sculpture  39

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The Wall as a Sculpture The wall could become a piece of art itself and transform the surrounding environment. For example Luis Barragan’s Satellite Towers in Mexico are five free standing walls painted in four different primary subtractive colors: red, blue, yellow and white. They were designed to be viewed from moving car, rather than by foot and serve as an exciting way of enlivening and energize a traffic choked city. “Their underlying artistic essence, conveyed through their proportion, positioning, hues and texture, renders them pieces of sculpture that showcase the site and bestow a poetic dimension upon it.” 41,42

Illlustration 41_ Luis Barragan’s Satellite Towers in Mexico City, Mexico, 1957. Photograph: Hikari Mamura .In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ picacch/2124617390 Illlustration 42_ Luis Barragan’s Satellite Towers in Mexico City, Mexico, 1957. Photograph: Hikari Mamura .In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ picacch/2124615758/in/set-72157605148107032/

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the wall as a sculpture  41

An artist of the Transvanguardia Italiana (the most important Italian movement of modern painting) Mimmo Paladino also transforms the space by installing the decorative cloth with drawings and special colored sculptures that bring out the archaic and Christian imagination on the Ghirlandina tower, a symbol of Modena, over the duration of the renovation. These white walls with bright colors on it stand out in the 12th century historical environment. Even though it seems to be striking the first time one sees it, it fits in , because the drawings and colorful sculptures are related to that culture and surroundings, people from that region recognize them right away. 43,44,45 The sculptural wall makes statement, changes environment and enlightens the spirit of the place.

Illlustration 43,45_ Ghirlandina tower, over the duration of the renovation by Mimmo Paladino, 2008. In: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghirlandina. Illlustration 44_ Ghirlandina tower. Photograph: Gennaro Visciano. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/checiap/2340790773/

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My theses project will be the exploration of the wall that embodies all of the qualities described in this paper. I will create project where the wall not only defines and influences the mood and quality of the spaces, but also have metaphorical and poetic aspects to it.


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Endnotes: 18. http://www.dezignare.com/newsletter/Johannes_Itten.html 1.

Mathias Goeritz, in Los Ecos de Mathias Goeritz (215),In: Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser, Pg. 5

2. Holl, Steven, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto Perez-Gomez,Questions of Perception Phenomenology of Architecture, San Francisco, Ca: William Stout Publishers, 2006, Pg. 41 3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall

4.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China

5. Holl, Steven, Parallax, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg. 26 6. Nute, Kevin, Place, Time and Being in Japanese Architecture, New York, NY: Routledge, 2004, Pg. 53 7. Irace, Fulvio, Emilio Ambasz, A technological Arcadia, Italy: Skira Editore, 2004, Pg. 13 8. Trace, Fulvio, Emilio Ambasz, A technological Arcadia, Italy: Skira Editore, 2004, Pg. 13 9.

Jodidio, Philip, Architecture Now 5, Germany: Taschen, 2007, Pg. 64

10. Holl, Steven, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto Perez-Gomez,Questions of Perception Phenomenology of Architecture, San Francisco, Ca: William Stout Publishers, 2006, Pg. 63 11. Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser, Pg. 164 12. Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser, Pg. 164 13. Holl, Steven, Parallax, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg. 114 14. Holl, Steven, Parallax, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg. 104 15. Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser, Pg. 183 16. Pallasmaa, Juhani ,The eyes of the skin : architecture and the senses ,Chichester : Wiley-Academy ; Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, 2005, Pg. 31 17. Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser, Pg. 152

19. Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser, Pg. 183 20. Holl, Steven, Parallax, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg. 164 21. http://blogthiscity.blogspot.com/2007/12/bruder-klaus-kapel.html 22. http://blogthiscity.blogspot.com/2007/12/bruder-klaus-kapel.html 23. Suzuki, Hiroyuki eds., Paramodern Architesture Shuhei Endo, Milano, It: Electra Architecture, 2003. Pg. 19 24. Suzuki, Hiroyuki eds., Paramodern Architesture Shuhei Endo, Milano, It: Electra Architecture, 2003. Pg.56 25. Libeskind, Daniel, The space of the Encounter, New York, NY: Universe Publishing, 2000, Pg. 30 26. Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser, Pg. 210.


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Bibliography:

Picture credits:

Esquivel, Gabriel, Atmosphere: Study of Luis Baragan in Theorema, http://theoremas-gabe00fab.blogspot. com/2007/12/atmosphere-1-study-of-luis-barragan.html, Date of publication: December 14, 2007. Date of retrieval: October 8, 2008.

1.

Western (Wailing) Wall in Israel. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amanderson/2421066714/in/photostream/

2.

Men at a Wailing Wall, Jerusalem. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/croma/419894258/

3.

Man at a Wailing Wall, Jerusalem. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amanderson/2420252617/

Holl, Steven, Intertwining, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. Holl, Steven, Parallax, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. Holl, Steven, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto Perez-Gomez,Questions of Perception Phenomenology of Architecture, San Francisco, Ca: William Stout Publishers, 2006. Irace, Fulvio, Emilio Ambasz, A technological Arcadia, Italy: Skira Editore, 2004. Jodidio, Philip, Architecture Now 5, Germany: Taschen, 2007. Libeskind, Daniel, The space of the Encounter, New York, NY: Universe Publishing, 2000.

4. Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC, 1982. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31774865@ N00/987201250/in/photostream/ 5. The reflections of sky on Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. In: http://www.flickr.com/ photos/31774865@N00/987201204/ 6. The Great Wall of China. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31774865@N00/987201204/ 7.

Narrow street in the Tongli, Japan. Photograph: John Fu. In: http://leicachinatrip2004.com/j_fu.htm

8.

Stone wall. In: http://picasaweb.google.com/ekiyoko/VisitToOldCityAkka#5173237435964383314

Nute, Kevin, Place, Time and Being in Japanese Architecture, New York, NY: Routledge, 2004.

9.

???

Pallasmaa, Juhani ,The eyes of the skin : architecture and the senses ,Chichester : Wiley-Academy ; Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, 2005.

10. The wall in Glaphyros House in Paris, France, 2000-02 by Decoi Architects. Photograph: Robert Such. In: Jodidio, Philip, Architecture Now 3, Germany: Taschen, 2004. Pg. 158.

Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser.

11. Tadao Ando: Kidosaki House, Tokio, 1986. Photograph: Kevin Nute. In: Nute, Kevin, Place, Time and Being in

Morison, David, Bruder Klaus Chaple in Blog this City , http://blogthiscity.blogspot.com/2007/12/bruder-klaus-kapel. html, Date of publication: Deccember 17, 2007. Date of retrieval: October 10, 2008.

Suzuki, Hiroyuki eds., Paramodern Architesture Shuhei Endo, Milano, It: Electra Architecture, 2003. Zumthor, Peter, Thinking Architecture, Boston,Ma: Birkhaoser, 2005.

Japanese Architecture, New York, NY: Routledge, 2004, Pg. 53. 12. Tadao Ando: Koshina House, Hyogo, 1981. Photograph: Tomio Ohashi. In: Nute, Kevin, Place, Time and Being in Japanese Architecture, New York, NY: Routledge, 2004, Pg. 53. 13. Emilio Ambasz: House of Spiritual Retreat, Spain, 1973 – 2003. Diagram by Emilio Ambasz. In: Jodidio, Philip, Architecture Now 5, Germany: Taschen, 2007, Pg. 68.


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14 & 15. Emilio Ambasz: House of Spiritual Retreat, Sevile, Spain, 1973 – 2003. Photograph: Fernando Alda. In: Jodidio, Philip, Architecture Now 5, Germany: Taschen, 2007, Pg. 65. 16. Barragan: Studio House for Artist Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934 – 35. Photograph: Jerome Haberse Tzer. In: Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser., Pg. 175. 17 &18. Barragan: Studio House for Artist Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934 – 35. Photograph: Jerome HaberseTzer. In: Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser., Pg. 176. 19.

Museum of the City in Cassino, Italy. Photograph by Steven Holl. In: Holl, Steven, Parallax, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg. 118, 119.

tectura.pt/forum/f11/wachendorf-germany-bruder-klaus-field-chapel-peter-zumthor-6166.html 33. Bruder Klaus field Chapel in Germany by Peter Zumthor, 2007.In: http://arquitectura.pt/forum/f11/wachendorf-germany-bruder-klaus-field-chapel-peter-zumthor-6166 34. RENMENTAI a form of Japanese calligraphy. 35, 36, & 37. Public toilets by Shuhei Endo in Shingu-cho, Hyogo, 1997-98. Photograph: Yoshiharu Matsumara.In: Suzuki, Hiroyuki eds., Paramodern Architesture Shuhei Endo, Milano, It: Electra Architecture, 2003. Pg. 56, 57, 59.

20 & 21. Barragan: Studio House for Artist Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934 – 35. Photograph: Daniele PAuly. In: Pauly Daniely, Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour, Boston: Birkhauser., Pg. 186, 87.

38, 39, & 40. Daniel Libeskind: Beyond the Wall Exhibition, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, 1997. Photograph: Bitter + Bredt Photographie. In: Libeskind, Daniel, The space of the Encounter, New York, NY: Universe Publishing, 2000, Pg.30,46, 47.

22. Barragan: Studio House for Artist Jose Clemente Orozco, 1934 – 35.Picture by Jackie Ckaven. In: architecture.about.com/.../Minimalism.htm

41. Luis Barragan’s Satellite Towers in Mexico City, Mexico, 1957. Photograph: Hikari Mamura .In: http://www. flickr.com/photos/picacch/2124617390

23.

Space composition 1944 by Johannes Itten. In: www.moma.org/.../provenance/items/1028.83.html

42.

24.

Blue horse red background byChucho eyes. http://users.tns.net/~atd2000/chucho_thumbnails.html

25.

Space composition By Johannes Itten, 1944. In: http://www.moma.org/collection/provenance/ items/1028.83.html

43 & 44. Ghirlandina tower, over the duration of the renovation by Mimmo Paladino, 2008. In: http://it.wikipedia. org/wiki/Ghirlandina.

26 & 27.

Steven Holl: D.E. Shaw & Company Offices, New York, NY, 1991. Photograph: Steven Hall. In: Holl, Steven, Intertwining, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg. 74,78.

45.

28.

Steven Holl: D.E. Shaw & Company Offices, New York, NY, 1991. Diagram By Steven Hall. In: Holl, Steven, Intertwining, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, Pg.75.

29 & 30. Palladino: Palladino Squere in Benevento, Italy. In: www.flickr.com/photos/73211900@N00/369071656/ mimmo 31. Bruder Klaus field Chapel in Germany by Peter Zumthor, 2007. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ karaian/3261246474/ 32. Bruder Klaus field Chapel in Germany by Peter Zumthor, 2007. Photograph: Thomas Mayer. In: http://arqui-

Luis Barragan’s Satellite Towers in Mexico City, Mexico, 1957. Photograph: Hikari Mamura. In: http://www. flickr.com/photos/picacch/2124615758/in/set-72157605148107032/

Ghirlandina tower. Photograph: Gennaro Visciano. In: http://www.flickr.com/photos/checiap/2340790773/


contents (book 2)

51

Behind the Wall. Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

52 Introduction 55

the users

56

the site

05

Exploration of an escape in a Philadelphia’s City

Behind the Wall

06

program

Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

07 Exploration of the qualities through the case study 08

outcome

09

endnotes

10

bibliography

11 Picture credits


52  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

introduction  53

Introduction: Many buildings do not inspire or affect an experience in a positive way; they are boring, meaningless, cold and sad. Architecture has lost the sensitive and spiritual qualities; such architecture can make people numb to their environment. What are the sensitive and spiritual qualities that make architecture alive? Sensitive qualities are related to a stimulus on which the strength of the feeling depends. Spiritual qualities are not related to just a belief or an emotion, “the results of increased spirituality are a sense of well being, being self-actualized and being at peace. Being spiritual automatically reduces worry and fears.”1 Architecture should not be experienced just through the series of “isolated retinal pictures”2, but through the unity of materials and “embodied and spiritual essence”3. To achieve a level of sensitivity and spirituality in architecture, architects should directly involve the human body and existential experiences, which embody “his/her self – image - or more precisely, existential experience”4.

Architecture has to stimulate both the inner and the outer perception and to enhance phenomenal experience while at the same time expressing the meaning and expanding this quality in a response to the distinctiveness of the site and the circumstance. A great space evokes the psychical spirit, which is expressed by t feeling and dream. According to architect Louis Kahn this “feeling and dream has no measure, has no language, and everyone’s dream is singular.”5This thesis project is an escape- a place that withdraws from something unpleasant, hazardous and provides peace, quiet, privacy and security, in the Philadelphia’s dense urban environment. The driving force of the project is the spatial spirituality without the religion but evoked through the experience. What makes an experience genuinely satisfying is the state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity and total involvement in life. The psychical spirit and the experiential flow are explored through the architecture of walls that divide, unite, direct, stage and define spaces.


54  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

the users  55

The users: The users are people who work and live in the center city of Philadelphia. People, who need an escape from the chaotic city and everyday routine, but have no time or ability to get out of the city.

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia


56  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

The site: The site is dense urban environment. Center city of Philadelphia. Why the city? Usually, an escape associates with a natural environment and many successful ones are designed in the mountains, woods, riverfronts or other natural sites. Many people who live and work in a city don’t have the ability, the means or time to get to it. Urban dwellers need a place to escape, a place that inspires and moves them; a space that would distract them from every day busy life. Analysis of the map of the center city has been carved out to locate the getaway places available to everyone in Philadelphia’s center city, such as parks, public museums, libraries and books stores, plazas, and churches. It assists in finding the actual site for the project. The analysis of the map and an exploration of the center city of Philadelphia help to locate not only existing inspiring spaces, but the brutal and sad spaces that could be the potential sites of the project. The study of the distance between them and their availability suggested the area, which is situated around the Gallery space, next to the chaotic Market Street and is surrounded by traffic, crowds of people, shops, and office and apartment buildings. Where there are no escape spaces within reasonable distances.

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia

the site  57


58  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

the site  59


60  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Two sites were chosen: the existing Gallery and the site in front of it next to the Market Street and between 8th and 9th Streets. These sites were chosen, because they are in the chaotic part of the city surrounded by the busy streets, right next to hectic China Town district and next to the Greyhound bus station. They are surrounded by shops, office buildings, and apartment complexes. Both sites are easily accessible by subway, bus, or train. These sites are in the middle between two historical locations: City Hall and Liberty Bell Center. For the people, who come to Philadelphia by bus, or arrive by the train, these sites (especially the Gallery) are the first places they see and experience in the city. Both locations are surrounded with wide streets and relatively low buildings, which offer the great possible views towards the city, and moreover they are visible from the different points in the surroundings.

introduction  61

Gallery space occupies three blocks of the city and strongly influences the feel and experience of the Market and Filbert Street’ scapes. There is no continuity or sensitive differentiation in how the ground meets with the walls and in the change of materials, transparencies and textures. There are the strong sense of the front and back sides of the buildings. On the Filbert St. side the wall of the building becomes flat and boring, even though the street is filled with life, traffic and movement, and it is the first thing one sees coming out from the Greyhound bus station. The 10ths and 9ths streets corridors are dark and do not offer memorable or unified experience. The entrance areas and transition spaces between the street, entrance and the actual shopping mall don’t seem safe, pleasant and inviting. Situating the project into this site, would require incorporating it in the existing structure of the Gallery. The existing conditions or alternatives how to change, improve or transform them has to be considered. The site between Market, Chestnut, 8th and 9th streets is a parking lot right in front of the Gallery. Elevations show that it is the only open space on the Market and Chestnut streets between the Liberty Bell Center and City Hall. It is almost the whole block without structure and it is accessible from all four streets around it. This site is surrounded by bus stops and is in the middle of hectic center city. So many people pass it or wait for a bus right next to it every day. It has a great potential to construct the project from the scratch, just enclosing it by the walls that would be pleasant to walk by or enter it and experience different and peaceful world behind the walls. Before January 20 the futher analysis and exsploration of both sites will be done and only one site will be selected.


62  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Exploration of an escape in a Philadelphia’s City: An escape is a place that removes from something unpleasant and provides peace, tranquility and evokes positive emotions. An escape could be any place that provides these qualities: it could be a park, a plaza, a church, a library or a book store as long as it is accessible to everyone and provides joyful experience while distracting from everyday routine and city chaos. Exploration of some escape areas that already exist in Philadelphia’s center city reveals the ideas for possible program, and the aspects of the tranquil and unified place that makes one’s experiential flow coheasent and memorable. City Hall courtyard in Philadelphia is a threshold between busy Market and Broad Streets.

Exploration of an escape in a Philadelphia’s City  63


64  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Exploration of an escape in a Philadelphia’s City  65

The change of visual experience reveals the transformation of one’s movement from the hectic street where are so many distractions and one is forced to focus at everything what’s going around him/her, through the dark openings where one’s vision site is limited by the narrow and long tunnel, which leads to the peaceful courtyard where the visible space is defined by the boundary walls and one can focus on the paving, architecture, and the sky above. The experiential flow changes depending on the qualities such as the intensity, the speed, the noise outside the City Hall’s walls and the safety and the tranquility inside the courtyard. The wall is the barrier that completely changes the environment. Thick boundary walls form a precinct of tranquility in the courtyard and neutralize the noise, the smell, the rush, and the atmosphere in the court yard is completely transformed. They give the feeling of the world within the world.

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia


66  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

To define the scale I’m looking at two projects that are different in their scale, Rodin Museum and Art Museum’s stairs and plaza. Rodin Museum and Art Museum are both situated on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Even though they have similarities (they both designed as Greek temples, the whole complexes are very symmetrical and have overall simple geometry and monumental appearance) they have different approaches. The journey to Art Museum starts from the beginning of the Parkway, it is clearly visible and the visitors are greeted by the monumental fly of stairs. Diagram of the flow, which depends on the intensity, the speed, the noise, the light, the safety and the tranquility, exposes how the intersection brakes down the unified flow of one’s movement. Therefore, the elevation from the street level influences the reduction of sound, the speed and the density and separates from the city.

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia

Exploration of an escape in a Philadelphia’s City  67


68  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Exploration of an escape in a Philadelphia’s City  69


70  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Exploration of an escape in a Philadelphia’s City  71

The stairs lead to a large plaza which is raised up from the city and establish conditions necessary for the visual amplifications. This plaza is a gathering and an observation area. One feels like being in front of the city. The enclosure of the art museums walls sets up the focus towards the city. The Rodin museum and its garden is set apart from the street and hidden by the trees. The same object in the different scale site has a different input on that place. For example, the tree in the Rodin Museum covers large amount of park, while the same tree becomes just a little element in the Art Museum surroundings. The detailing is more noticeable in the small space. The entrance stairs to the Rodin Museum building are very carefully designed, one can notice how the stairs are arranged to emphasize the entrance to the building and prepare the base for the Rodin’s sculptural bronze doors, which is the introduction to the exposition inside the building. From the distance, one sees the doors raised from the ground level and framed by the entrance columns. Therefore, when one gets in to the space right next to the bronze door, she/he can feel, touch and experience the material, the texture and the size of the object.

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia


72  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Exploration of an escape in a Philadelphia’s City  73

The diagram explains how the presence of trees and entrance wall changes the experience as one moves toward the museum. The old trees’ wall is as a barrier between the museum area and the rest of the city. The space is small and intimate and the experience is based on the change of levels and textures. The change of paving on the ground and the stairs that move one up or down in the garden encourage one to slow down and the alteration of noise when one steps from stone paving on to the small lose stones enhances the experience. Introduction of the water, as in this case the pool right in the middle of the space, which reflects the sky, enriches the visual and the emotional experience. In three different spaces, similar effects were achieved. Even though the enclosures and the arrangement of the walls are different; they all provide harmony, organization, safety and transformation within the spaces.

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia


74  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

introduction  75

Program: This thesis goals are to evoke psychical spirit, which is expressed by feeling and thought, to achieve the sensitive qualities that are interrelated with a stimulus on which the strength of the feeling depends, and to attain the spatial spirituality evoked through the experience and flow affected by the rendered spaces formed with the walls. The wall -that marks spatial boundaries, offers protection and enclosure, controls the amount of light and view, establishes the connection between inside and outside and different experiences moving through the spaces with its surface, strong presence or absence, its relationship with the sun and shadow, its continuity -is a main attribute of this thesis. Walls control movement and bring order. The sensitivity in the project will be achieved through simultaneous experience of seeing, touching, hearing and interacting with walls, through their materials, textures, colors, thicknesses, transparencies and etc. The activities have to enhance and assist to achieve these goals. They are based on what evokes physical spirit and encourages one to think and feel, while providing access to enjoyable experience. Spaces correspond to these activities and eliminate the distractions from the streets and the surroundings. Activities that stimulate visual sense can offer steady access to the enjoyable experience. The joy of seeing inspires one to think and feel. Seeing work of art evokes more than just a pleasure of its purely visual aspects, but brings to mind the artist’s emotions, ideas and hopes and also the historical and the cultural aspects. Seeing the panorama of the city enhances the degree of sensory delight. It is mesmerizing to be above the city, to be in front of the city, to be there but not as a part of it, and to see the forms and shapes of the city with its structures. The spaces that would correspond to these activities would be the gallery or exposition space, where the wall becomes the space for exhibiting the art, and the space for the observation which is raised from the ground and where the walls frame, focus on and enhance the views. The introduction of the sculpture in any other space or giving the sculptural qualities to the wall intensifies and extends the experience. Appropriate seating and resting areas have to be introduced in the gallery, to encourage one to stay longer in the space.

Activities that encourage wondering are tagged to pleasant experience, because wonder is the seed of knowledge and it is a reflection of the purest form of enjoyment. Reading and learning are the most often mentioned flow activities around the world. These activities challenge one’s ability to think and experience the most exhilarating flow generated inside the mind. The act of reading requires the space for reading, storing the books and sitting. This space is tranquil and it is illuminated by natural day light with comfortable and private seating. Here, the wall becomes as books’ shelf and as a boundary for the privacy. Outside or inside auditorium for performances and lectures is a space for learning and experiencing different events. This space has to provide seating for numbers of people, stage and reception. Furthermore, it could be a flexible space where different activities take place. The garden is a space where different activities take place: seeing and enjoying the natural elements and the other people, reading, meditating, walking, gathering and etc. The garden is a passage or a cross space between the gallery, reading and learning spaces; it is a connector of all other activities and spaces. The garden space is shaped by different walls: green wall, various in height and surfaces walls, shadow walls. This space could hold large numbers of people, or be a place just for a few. It is divided into private and public areas to satisfy everyone’s needs. The effect of continuous spaces, which are not strongly divided into separate rooms by the functions but rather are shaped and guided by the wall that regulates ones movement and activity and establishes the order, creates the spatial spiritual experience. BUS KITA LENTELE


76  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Exploration of the qualities through the case study: Simple and clear geometry represents clarity and harmony and is important aspect of this thesis. Carefully thought through and simple geometry let focus on the materials, color, texture, scale and other aspect of the wall. An architect Luis Barragan in his project’s San Cristobal and Folk Egerstrom House in Mexico designed in 1967-68 illustrates and lets visualize such a space. The outdoor space is the series of the courtyards that differ in size and space qualities, two smaller courtyards are private while the main courtyard is specious and more public. The main court yard is the simple scheme, enclosed by three large colored walls. From the entrance, the walls create a space in which the ground seems to slide toward the water. The focal point is the fountain constructed from the double wall that conceals the stable doors. To the rear is a higher, pink wall, with two slits that heightens its scale and blocks the barn behind it. Within this simple geometric set there is a staging of the natural elements, such as the tree, the pool and the flow of water. The positions of the walls construct perspective views and picturesque compositions especially with a horse in the garden. It is a three dimensional architectural painting. Bright colors and proportions of the walls together with their geometric features cause overall monumental aura. This complex is “very complicated work as a whole, but the simplest in terms of architectural elements.”6 Organize

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia

Exploration of the qualities through the case study  77


78  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Exploration of the qualities through the case study  79

Careful placement of the wall and other elements create picturesque and three dimensional qualities that are essential in this thesis to deepen the experience. Within simple geometry every little detail is noticeable; there is no distraction by the complicated structure and overwhelming complexity. Simple geometry establishes the distinction from the chaotic city where this project is situated. The geometry of the space could be enriched by simple details or structural elements, such as column or roof. The garden in the thesis project is a connector and passage area between the other spaces. It has transitional qualities; it relaxes and prepares the person for the different space or activity. The case study, Sculptural Garden in Venice, Italy designed in 1951-52, which is the project of Carlo Scarpa, illustrates the transitional qualities and suggests how to make them the most effective. The garden is incorporated in the existing Italian pavilion, originally designed in 1932 by Duilio Torres. This garden is a transit area between the exhibitions, where people would stop and rest. This space has simple geometry and is a rectangular with three heavy elliptical columns that support the canopy roof, which is formed as if three circles would be taken away from the rectangle. The change of levels and different arrangement of the pools divide the spaces and slows down the person moving through it. Different materials: red brick, concrete and plaster, stone tails, and rough stone introduced on the canopy complement each other. Natural light is used to define, fragment and animate the space.

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia


80  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

Exploration of the qualities through the case study  81


82  behind the wall Sensitivity and Spirituality in Architecture

OUTCOME  83

Outcome:

The spaces in this thesis are based on simple geometry which is enriched by the different geometrical forms and sizes. To enhance the visual and experiential flow, these geometrical forms overlap and project through each other. The overlapping or grouping of the activities proposes the unexpected and provokes curiosity. In Chikatsu – Asuka Historical Museum in Higashiyama, Japan, Tadao Ando created the space which illustrates the successful merge of two activities. This structure is a museum dedicated to exhibit and research prehistoric kofun culture. The structure is integrated in the surroundings and the stepped concrete roof with a concrete volume and concrete walls continue into the background and frame it. This monumental building was designed as a hill. From the top of the stepped plaza visitors can observe the entire site. This stepped roof also serves as an exterior auditorium for performances and lectures. The space for observation and the space for the performances and lectures is the same opened stepped plaza. Therefore, the thesis project is situated in the urban environment and the noise, the smell, the density, the traffic and the other structures has to be considered. Similar effect could be achieved by introducing movable and transparent walls, or partial enclosure.

Illlustration 1_ in Philadelphia

The outcome of this thesis will be a completed project – an escape in an urban environment that evokes spiritual and sensitive qualities through the spatial organization and experiential flow classified by the walls that regulate movement, bring order and give character to the space depending on its surfaces, heights, thicknesses, transparencies and relationship with transformative light. The project will include such spaces as gardens, library, areas for observation and auditorium that won’t be broken down in to separate rooms but would be interrelated spaces directed by the continuous walls that would suggest the movement and flow of the people. The unified flow through the project will be achieved through the exploration of the geometrical shapes and overall carefully expressed simply geometry of the spaces and walls that allows focusing on the details, structure, natural elements, views and surfaces.


84 

  85

Endnotes

Picture Credits:

1. Spirituality: An applied theoretical perspective. , in www.yourfamilyclinic.com/spirit/spirittheory.html

1. Carlo Scarpa: Sculpture Rarden, Venice Biennale (1952) in: www.guttae . blospot.com/2008/11/carlo-scarpa-gardenvenice.html

2. Pallasmaa, Juhani ,The eyes of the skin : architecture and the senses ,Chichester : Wiley-Academy ; (Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, 2005), 12 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Edited by Robert Twombly, Louis Kahn Essential Texts, New York,NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. Pg. 63. 6. Pauly Daniel,Barragan Space and Shadow, Walls and Colour,Boston : Birkhauser.Pg.

Bibliography: Csikzentmihalyi, Mihaly, Flow: the psychology of optimal experience,New York, NY: Harper Prennial Modern Classics, 1991. Edited by Robert Twombly, Louis Kahn Essential Texts, New York,NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. Furuyama, Masao, Tadao Ando, Germany: Taschen GmbH, 2006. Pallasmaa, Juhani ,The eyes of the skin : architecture and the senses ,Chichester : Wiley-Academy: Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, 2005. Spirituality: An applied theoretical perspective. , in www.yourfamilyclinic.com/spirit/spirittheory.html

2. Tadao Ando: Chikatsu – Asuka Historical Museum in Higashiyama, Japan (1994) in: www.galinsky.com/buildings/ chikatsuka/index.htm.

BEHIND THE WALL  

Architectural Thesis 2009

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