POWER // AFTER THE FLAME
URBAN SEAM Taylor Carlin Final Project 2018
POWER // AFTER THE FLAME
URBAN SEAM The social infrastructure of Los Angeles, while physically unified, is a disconnected community of neighborhoods and hierarchies; by focusing referent power back to the suburbs, the seams separating these communities now join them as one unified society.
Taylor Carlin Bachelor of Architecture Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture Final Project 2018 Brian DeLuna Design Critic Rhett Russo Assessment Committee Member
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Asthetics of Power The Olympic Games
Olympic Stadium Olympic Villages
21 Seams in Fashion 23 Church of Light 24 Therme Vals 25 U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel
28 LOS ANGELES 29 Demographics Neighborhoods
55 Towers Formal Urbanism
Platonic Solids Platonic Clouds
Bibliography Image Sources
ASTHETICS OF POWER
Architecture has always been a defining power throughout our history, establishing hierarchies that may unify or divide us. Its roles as political, social, economic, religious, and cultural power have influenced our perception of control and order. Currently, power architecture is erected to demonstrate capital strength, superiority, and advancing technologies. The same was true for the Roman Empire, a dominate eastern civilization of imperial power. Their administrative and governing power took form in the construction of basilicas. The ancient Basilica Ulpia was a long spanning structure of marble with a tremendous floor-to-ceiling height, decorated with rows of columns and clerestories.
Pont Du Gard
Aqueducts, such as Pont Du Gard, and bridges symbolized a unifying power of the empire and strengthened social and economic roles of the civilization. The great amphitheaters from this time were signifying markers of capital wealth of the entire empire and its citizens. Social growth and leisure, as a direct result of power, also contributed to the overall stability and advancement the Roman Empireâ€™s dominance. 6
Arc de Trimphe
Today, we use these examples of architectural power to construct even larger symbols of strength and control. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France was built to represent the victories and loses of the French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars. The Washington Monument, a 555-foot obelisk, honors the first President of the United States, George Washington. The large marble and granite monument embodies the ideals and form of the Column of Trajan that represents Trajan battles in Dacia. The magnificent Pantheon stands as one of the most important influences of power in the Western world. The former Roman temple holds a cultural and religious power that has been translate as a form of monumental power today. Similar plan and forms have been adapted for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. The perimeter of columns supporting the pediment serves as an entrance into both structures and leads to the dome of the rotunda. The Jefferson Memorial makes an even more powerful move by lifting the monument onto a podium with the addition of a grand procession of marble stairs up.
Column of Trajan
City planning of the Roman Empire was centered around a forum, an open public area typically used as a marketplace. The rest of the roman city was built on an axial plan surrounding the forum. On the perimeters of these open marketspaces were temples, basilicas, libraries, and monumental structures. The centering of such architectural power around an economic hub further emphasized the roman Empireâ€™s imperial power. The Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York, demonstrates the same type of planning and organization. The plaza itself sits onto of a podium with several series of stairs leading up to a large, open outdoor space for public use. The plaza also hosts a farmerâ€™s market periodically, embodying the role of the marketplace in the forum. Similar to the forum, the plaza is surrounded by a series of monumental structures of government (Corning Tower and Agency Buildings), entertainment (The Egg), cultural education (New York State Museum), and more commerce beneath (Concourse).
Empire State Plaza
“Referent power is rooted in the affiliations we make and/or the groups and organizations we belong to. Our affiliation with a group and the beliefs of the group are shared to some degree. As Referent power emphasizes similarity, respect for an agent of influence’s superiority may be undermined by a target of influence. Use of this power base and its outcomes may be negative or positive. An agent for change motivated with a strong need for affiliation and concern of likeability will prefer this power base and will influence their leadership style. Ingratiation or flattery and sense of community may be used by an agent of influence to enhance their influence.” French and Raven’s Five Forms of Power (1960)
The first known record of the Olympic Games dates back to 776 B.C.; however, it is speculated that the Games had been happening years before that. The ancient games were help in Olympia, Greece every four years during a ceremonial festival for Zeus at the end of the summer. Free-men were the only people allowed to participate and married women werenâ€™t even allowed to watch the Games. The Roman Empire invaded Greece sometime during the 2nd century B.C. This began the decline of the Games as a religious celebration and competition. People of power intervened with the outcome of the Games until they were eventually banned in 393 A.D. by Emperor Theodosius I.
The Olympic Games were revived and the first modern Games were held in Athens, Greece 1896. Women were finally allowed to compete during the Paris, France 1900 Games. The Olympic Games have been held every four years, like the ancient Games in Greece, with the exceptions of 1916 for World War I and both 1940 and 1944 for World War II. There have also been several times when countries would boycott the Games or the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would not invite certain countries to compete due to political and war-time disputes. The IOC has welcome variations of the Olympic Games, such as the Winter Olympics first held in Chamonix, France in 1924, Paralympics first held in Rome, Italy 1960, and the Youth Olympics first held in Singapore in 2010. 23
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The evolution of the Olympic Stadium has grown and has turned the Games into an architectural landmark. Since the start of the modern Games, the stadiums have been documented and adapted in accordance to the Games. The first modern Games was held in the Panathenaic Stadium, in Greece that was used again for the 1906 Intercalated Games and in 2004 Olympics for archery. The stadium still exists today as a sporting and concert venue. 27
In the 1924 Chamonix, France winter Olympics was the first winter Olympic Games and therefore, the first winter Olympic Stadium. Countries throughout Olympic history have funded for new construction for the stadiums causes both political, economic, and social issues. A lot of money and site area are used to construct these massive, expensive stadiums in the host countries. 25
Ancient Olympic Stadium
Noveau Stade de Bordeaux
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The Olympic Village has a much shorter history than the Games themselves. The first modern Olympic Games in 1896 was the first time other countries outside of Greece were invited to compete; therefore, the first time the Games were presented with the issue of housing. It wasnâ€™t until the 1906 Intercalated Games, not recognized as an official Olympic Game today, in Athens that a space was used as Olympic housing. The first official Olympic Village was built for the 1932 Games in Los Angeles. Male athletes stayed at the village while women athletes stayed in a near-by hotel. The villageâ€™s dwellings were sold and transported off site after the Games. There have been many cases where host cities would use campus housing instead of new construction for the Olympic Village. Typically, the villages after the Games are converted into residential and apartment housing for the area.
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SEAMS IN FASHION
seam noun 1. the joining of two pieces (as of cloth or leather) by sewing usually near the edge 2. a line, groove, or ridge formed by the abutment of edges
CHURCH OF LIGHT, 1999 ANDO TADAO
Tadao Ando explored the effects of light and its transformative qualities to define space. The materials further this duality, contrasting the solid, heavy material qualities of concrete with thin strips of glass allowing natural light to penetrate the space in very precise, clear lines. The 1,216 square-foot rectangular structure is cut by a large wall, angled at 15˚ that acts as the church’s oblique circulation. The massive wall penetrates the interior space without touching the ceiling or walls. Every seam of light and concrete embodies precision of detail and duality of materials and space to unify natural with man-made elements and minimal design with great attention to details. “In all my works, light is an important controlling factor. I create enclosed spaces mainly by means of thick concrete walls. The primary reason is to create a place for the individual, a zone for oneself within society. When the external factors of a city’s environment require the wall to be without openings, the interior must be especially full and satisfying.”
- Tadao Ando
THERME VALS, 1996 PETER ZUMTHOR
Part of the pre-existing complex, Felsen Therm, the Therme Vals was designed to communicate with the body both physically and spiritually. Built over the Greubunden Canton springs in Switzerland, the baths come together through heavy, dark stone from the mountain and linear forms of light reflecting off the water. “Mountain, stone, water – building in the stone, building with the stone, into the mountain, building out of the mountain, being inside the mountain – how can the implications and the sensuality of the association of these words be interpreted, architecturally?” - Peter Zumthor 41
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY CADET CHAPEL, 1962 SOM
In Colorado Springs, on the United States Air Force Academy campus, SOM has constructed a two story chapel housing a Protestant chapel, Catholic chapel, and Jewish chapel. Situated on top of a podium, an array of 17 spires of aluminum and glass panels stand 150 feet tall. The spires consist of a hundred tetrahedrons connected by tubular joints, separated by a foot of stained glass that create colorful choreography of dancing light within the chapel. The campus also includes an academic complex, airfield, hospital, and housing.
The largest space houses the Protestant chapel on the upper level. The interior spaces on this level can seat around 900 people and enclosed by the tetrahedrons and stained glass panels. The lower level houses the Catholic and Jewish chapels. The Catholic chapel, the larger of the two, has a seating capacity of 500, designed to resemble Romanesque architecture, such as its arches and stonework. The Jewish Chapel towards the back of the structure, strays from the buildingâ€™s consistent rectangular forms. At its center, the Jewish chapel congregates inside a circular space of wood materials.
â€œ... the Master Plan and design of the entire U.S. Air Force Academy campus, the Cadet Chapel was created as a single symbolic religious structure that accommodates the individuality of three major American faiths, thus requiring three distinct chapels.â€? - SOM
Tetrahedron to Floor Detail
The city of Los Angeles is home to a growing young and vibrant population of tourism, fashion, performance, art, and entertainment. California has hosted the Olympic Games three times in 1932, 1960, and 1984. Los Angeles has hosted the Games in both 1932 and 1984 and is planned to host the 2028 summer Olympics. Baldwin Hills, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, is the site of the first official Olympic Village. The city is very well equipped to host the Games again, already having the necessary infrastructure from previous Games. The Coliseum will once again become the Olympic Stadium for 2028, the Forum will act as a supplementary stadium to host other sporting events, and the UCLA campus will be used again as the Olympic Village. All of these structures enable Los Angeles to save their expenses and avoid new construction that could disrupt neighborhoods and its economy.
LOS ANGELES ISLANDER 0.1%
UNDER 18 21%
18 TO 64 67%
65 AND OVER 12%
TWO 2.2% WHITE 28.5% BLACK 8.5%
CALIFORNIA UNDER 18 23%
18 TO 64 63%
65 AND OVER 14%
HISPANIC 38.9% TWO 3% WHITE 37.5% BLACK 5.5% ASIAN 14.1%
FEMALE 21% MALE 67%
FEMALE 21% MALE 67%
The city of Los Angeles compared to the state of California are relatively similar when looking at both populationâ€™s age and race. More than half of the people living in these places range from 18 to 64 years old, a generally young population. The city, along with the state, most accommodate for the needs and wants of these generations. When looking at the gender of Los Angeles and California, there is a shift in the gender ratios; Los Angeles being more predominately female.
100K - 200K 18.7%
BOAT, RV, VAN 0.1%
OVER 200K 8.5%
UNDER 50K 46.4%
SINGLES UNIT 43.6%
50K - 100K 26.5%
MULTI UNIT 55.7%
100K - 200K 23.6%
CALIFORNIA BOAT, RV, VAN 0.1% MOBILE 3.7%
OVER 200K 10.1% UNDER 50K 37.8%
SINGLES UNIT 64.6%
50K - 100K 28.5%
MULTI UNIT 31.7%
OCCUPIED 93% VACANT 7%
OCCUPIED 92% VACANT 2%
Housing and the quality of life are concerns to any city or state. Los Angeles appears to have a lower income rate per household than the entire state of California, meaning that inhabitants of the city may be suffering from a decreased quality of life. Los Angeles also has a greater percentage of people living in multi-unit housing which could indicate that fewer people can afford to own their own single-unit home and property. When looking at housing unit occupancies, Los Angeles and California seem to match up under 10% vacant properties.
tract housing noun : a type of housing development in which groups of essentially identical houses are built on a tract of subdivided land : cookie-cutter housing : suburb developments that were modeled on the â€œLevittownâ€? concept 50
suburb noun : an outlying part of a city or town : a smaller community adjacent to or within commuting distance of a city : the residential area on the outskirts of a city or large town 51
gated community noun : a residential area with roads that have gates to control the movement of traffic and people into and out of the area. : characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences 52
Beverly Park, Los Angeles
The tetrahedron, or triangular pyramid, consists of four triangular faces, four vertices, and six edges.
Platonic solids, three-dimensional solids composed of polygon faces, constructed by identical shapes, angels, and sides form mathematical perfect symmetry: tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron.
The cube, the only regular hexahedron (6 faces), is a solid of twelve edges and eight vertices.
The last platonic solid, the icosahedron, is made up of twenty equilateral triangles, thirty edges, and twelve vertices.
The dodecahedronâ€™s twelve faces are regular pentagonal faces that meet along twenty vertices and thirty edges.
The octahedron is composed of eight equilateral triangles or faces, twelve edges, and six vertices.
COMPOUND OF FIVE TETRAHEDRA
COMPOUND OF THREE DODECAHEDRON
COMPOUND OF THREE CUBES
COMPOUND OF FIVE CUBES
COMPOUND OF FOUR OCTAHEDRONS
COMPOUND OF FIVE OCTAHEDRONS
COMPOUND OF FOUR ICOSAHEDRON
Cloud cities, as proposed by Tomas Saraceno, are visions of modular utopian cities of the future. Their gravity-defying forms and sculptural characteristics derive from inspirations such as clouds and bubbles. Cloud cities explore social relationships, communities, nations, and environmental concerns as they float above the infrastructure of the past.
Modular shapes, like platonic solids, create effective forms for these abundant and dense clouds. The solids can bud off of one another and grow exponentially. Seams are able to grow on top of these surfaces and wrap around the entire mass. 57
Beginning with the geometries and patterns of tract housing to generate the thesis of the transfer of power, a series of operations are performed to create a systematic pixelated form, representing the suburbs. Another set of operations take place to create an organic mass, gated communities, from the rigid pixelated form. Through many generative processes and iterations, a catalog of parts is assembled of varying forms. Intersecting two of these masses creates a joining seam, seen in section.
COUNT: 50 SEED: 500
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COUNT: 5 SEED: 500
COUNT: 2 SEED: 500
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+ COUNT: 25 SEED: 100
COUNT: 2 SEED: 200
+ COUNT: 25 SEED: 100
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+ COUNT: 2 SEED: 200
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+ COUNT: 25 SEED: 50
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+ COUNT: 25 SEED: 50
COUNT: 5 SEED: 500
+ COUNT: 12 SEED: 100
COUNT: 5 SEED: 400
Before two of these organic masses are joined, an image of tract housing is projected onto one mass and an image of a gated community is projected onto the other mass, representing the integration of these two housing spatial distributions. The combined form then attaches itself to the Coliseum creating another joining seam.
The architectural landscape of Los Angeles develops along a horizontal plane. There are only a few moments where design penetrates the vertical plane, like the cityâ€™s business district, embodying a sense of power and hierarchy. The move from horizontal massing to towers in this proposal demonstrates this empowerment not only in its verticality but its site itself, the Coliseum and its association with the Olympic Games. The integration of suburb tract housing and organic gated communities perform seamlessly together on the towers. The organic massing latches onto the towers, covering most of the exposed structure. The rigidness of tract housing manifests itself as systematic operations of repetition in the towers.
TOWER TYPE 01
TOWER TYPE 02
TOWER TYPE 03
The proposal finds another source of power from the creation of its own landscape floating above the Coliseum based on areas of similar elevations and changes found within the state of California. From these general rectangular groupings, a grid lattice is created to connected these areas which is then applied to the groups themselves. Pieces of the lattice are removed and left empty of replaced with towers to lighten the grid and embody a floating massing and landscape.
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Published on Mar 7, 2018