Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sir John Soane Museum: Jeff Halstead & Danny Karas

Keep It All Inside 


Sir. John Soane Museum, London, England
Professors: Hernan Diaz Alonso with Ivan Bernal

Carving in architecture is typically subjected to material that is quite homogeneous in relation to the scale in which it is buildable (carving out a marble column).

Cutting out portions of material from a preexisting heterogeneous mass offers a very disparate method to producing constructible material. In this case, the scale of material already has form.  Because of this and unlike that of a marble column, cutting up the material is not the only way a designed figure derives its form.  

Two different sophistically detailed primitives serve as the base objects in which cuts are made and chucks removed from. One primitive is hard and porous in nature; the other is soft and fatty.

Certain constraints like weight, porosity and enclosure all influence the location and direction of each cut on the primitive. The topology of each cut is in relation what part of the initial object is being cut and where the removed piece will be situated against the others. There could be larger cuts through some of the more porous areas and smaller cuts along the thicker more massive areas. This allows for a certain level of control over the outcome, but is ultimately subjected to the character of the initial mass in which it was cut from.  After a series of these chucks have been carved out, they are assembled together.

The result is a miscreation, neither a complete deliberately designed thing nor the unauthored original object it stemmed from.

Shaping form in this manner changes the relationship of material to the thing it embodies. Now, instead of the architectural model serving as a reference to build from, it is a stage in which model and material are of the same process. Different chunks are continually being dismembered, combined, left in place or removed again - constituting a process of production based in deformity.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

John Soane Musuem - Austin Samson

John Soane Museum
Project By: Austin Samson
Instructor: Hernan Diaz Alonso
TA: Ivan Bernal

This project looks at creating space through the layering of geometry and understanding the implications of carving into a thing that is not a solid mass and instead a thing that appears solid on the outside but is actually one continuous surface that is inflated within itself to create volumes within volumes that can be carved into.

The notion of creating space through the layering of things is not new, we can look at Aldo Van Eyck as a way to understand what it means to create space though different techniques of layering with surfaces and volumes to create courtyards, outer space, and inner space. This project aims to re-think the way in which Van Eyck creates his space by using different methods such as carving.

Hierarchy is achieved through the use of a Jungle as a frame for understanding how many things inter – relate to one another. At first glance, a jungle appears chaotic, messy, and uncontrolled. However, when one takes a much closer look, a Jungle is a system of many things that are intertwined and highly organized in order to create a very strict relationship between all things that occupy the space. This project aims to do the same. Hierarchy begins with the 6 large chunks that have been carved from the original primitive. They have a hierarchy in themselves as the volumes within volumes become smaller and larger depending on how each chunk is carved out. Secondary and tertiary elements are then added that account for structure and circulation that mitigates between the larger chunks. Solid mass is then added to take up leftover space, and a shell is added to enclose the space. To complete the hierarchy, architectural elements such as floor plates and stairs are added.

It is important to note that each element is its own thing and carries its own set of characteristics, scale, and textural quality. As equally important, elements do not blend into other elements. Floor plates are separate objects that are not grafted into walls or other things, for example. This is done in order to maintain the Jungle – like effect. It also forces one to consider how two separate things react with one another and how one thing can force another to evolve or change rather than to simply overtake it.
Corruption of the project can be found in multiple instances. It began with the decision to create volumes within volumes rather than a solid mass, thus dramatically changing the effect carving would have. It can be found in the details, where edges of the carved chunks begin to puff out like a bruised lip. Strange seems begin to appear where different things are forced to interact with one another. Corruption can also be found in the moment of second carving. After the space was filled with things, a second round of carving was used to create occupiable space within the dense jungle. Here, the insides of the chunks are ripped out, leaving behind a messy, torn version of what it once was.

Program is dictated by breaking each chunk into multiple levels of space, where the top floor of each chunk is used as residential space and each subsequent floor is used for museum program. Occupiable space is found both within the chunks and on the outside of the chunk. This allows one to become fully immersed within the carved spaces, but still be allowed to view the carved pieces as things within a space.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Soane Museum: Garrett Santo

Raw Edges & Disfigured Coherence
Sir John Soane Museum. London, England.

House and Museum inhabit the same form. Neither is fully recognizable nor completely sacrificed to privilege the other. The terms through which the two could traditionally be differentiated (scale, density and domesticity) are no longer reliable in discerning either the house or museum from one another; their legibility is disrupted by the contamination and disfigurement of their otherwise characteristic conventions. This project formalizes this contamination as a means to either enhance or destabilize the legibility of character and distinction.
Two buildings exist within the site; one tending toward the periphery of the site and the other inhabiting the center. Both forms are in tension with the other, each relying on internal pressures to reinforce boundaries. The center ‘Thing’ carves out pockets of interconnected space linked by lingering segments of stair while the peripheral structure serves to enclose a more prescribed experience aimed at looking back onto the center building.        
The exterior of the center ‘Thing’ resists elegant, uninterrupted surfacing in favor of rigid patches with exposed severed edges. The accumulation of fitted shells produce the implication of an exterior that accentuates the discreteness of its parts while maintaining the semblance of an object-like thing. The gaps, loose fit edges, and changes in materiality prevent a clear reading of the shape from exterior view. Formally, it relies on the other building to mediate its relationship with the existing site. This allows the building to maintain a relationship to the context and coherence across the site without loss of discreteness. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

a household of three- Taryn Bone and Yu Li

As an exercise defying that architecture is a disjunction between the interior and exterior, this project poses that both are allowed to exist simultaneously, in support, and in opposition to the other. Given the constraints of the site boundaries and its context--the Sir John Soane Museum in London--this project deliberately exploits architectural curiosities, fantasies, oddities, and anomalies while perversely obsessing over the real and domestic.

A certain sensibility is immediately evident in the exterior form. The simple tripartite system complies with its surrounding buildings while the three protuberant volumes suggest a quasi-anomous form; on one hand, uncomfortably soft and cute, on the other, suspiciously bloated and fleshy. The cuts at each level reinforce the datum of the neighboring blocks as well as exhibit a hierarchy of layers that lures the visitor closer toward the inside. Inside, an assemblage of exuberant parts populate between the adjacent walls of the site, containing and partitioning the individual spaces. Columns and floor plates manifest independently from the ground up and impede the nearly converging volumes, producing programmatic connectivity and renewed collaboration between divergent forms. While the columns and floors are used throughout the building to perform as conventional structural support, they are most notable for their pronounced representation. They embody both a light and pliant materiality as well as an unyielding sense of rigidity. Together, the various internal parts empathize and confront each other through a set dialogue that actualizes the interstitial space with minimal formal gestures to the maximum programmatic effect.