Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Presence: The Roman Empire began using Villas with courtyards, or halls. The courtyards were the center of the houses and framed by Doric columns. Mostly the courtyards were used to hide servants from the public eye and from being seen by neighbors. The inclusion of the hall ultimately became an integral part of residential planning as noted in manor houses of the nobility and gentry (Blakemore 69). The hall was usually two stories in height and was located at ground level or on the first floor above ground level (Blakemore 71). These uninterrupted open spaces could be expansive in influential households (Blakemore 71). Communal living was organized around the hall in early medieval houses. The lord, with his retainers and tenants, used it for sleeping, dining, recreation, administration of justice, calls to arms, ritual, reception of guests, and living room (Blakemore 71). The presence of these halls or courtyards really exemplified the Roman style and became an example for many new structures, such as castles and buildings today, but are now called parlors or family rooms.
Precedent: The Roman Empire used the Feudal system and Middle Ages as precedents for its own architecture. In the early Middle Ages, castles were one response to unsettled conditions under which precedence was given to fortification (Blakemore 69). The Feudal system and prevailing unsettled conditions were the major integrally related factors influencing domestic building of the Middle Ages (Blakemore 68). Precedents were used as an idea for construction. Just like for the precedent analysis, we had to choose a structure that changed architecture and gave an idea or model for future architecture.
Moments: Moments can be characterized by the way that people interact in a space or with a form of architecture. The origin of the parlor is uncertain but it is known that early in the Middle Ages these spaces were part of the monastic dwelling; documentary evidence points to secular use of the parlor by the latter part of the 14th century (Blakemore 72). Just like the living room or the kitchen is the center of a household, the parlor was the center of all the action during the Middle Ages. While architecturally insignificant, serving rooms were highly important in the operations of the household (Blakemore 73). These included such spaces as kitchen, buttery, pantry, bake houses, slaughterhouses, brewery, etc. (Blakemore 73). The way that the people interacted in these spaces, whether by cooking or recreation, made small moments that created the atmosphere of the room around them.
Duality: Duality is the combination of two things in one, much like Roman baths were used for a gathering spot for the town and mainly for a place to bathe. Much like the pools of today, where people gather to socialize. The studio projects represented duality by the pathways exemplified and also the word that the structure is describing. For my project, I created a white spiral staircase with a black paper ribbon wrapped around it. The black represents the evil in the story “Fundevogel”, while the white staircase represents the good that is beating the black to the tip of the point. My structure shows duality by relating to the story and also creating a sense of hierarchy.
Metric: The metric system was used in the way that the Roman baths were built. They were large in scale with consideration toward the amount of people able to participate at once. The surroundings were decorated with arches that span the entire outer edge of the structure. The structure is extremely tall as seen from the scale of the people in the picture compared to the height of the walkways. These buildings are large in scale much like most Roman architecture.

Summary: The Romans used precedents for ideas toward structures, then the metric system and form to build the structure. Their buildings had a presence and duality that invited people to come and create moments in the space.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Precedent Analysis

The Proximity hotel was designed by Bradshaw Orrell and is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Proximity is one of the greenest hotels in the world encompassing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and will change the way building is viewed by the use of solar energy and environmental aspects.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Parts to a Whole

Archetype: Prototype: Hybrid- Archetype is the model of an idea for a structure, while the prototype is the actual structure after construction. Hybrid encompasses all the elements of the archetype and prototype, which can be more than one specific thing that makes up the whole composition. Much like the Greeks who created the prototype for their buildings then used the natural and physical elements around it and in it to make it into a hybrid. In contrast to Greek architecture, which can be described as sculptural masses set in balanced contrast to the landscape, Roman architecture, as Heinz Kahler has noted, is an architecture of space, enclosed internal space and outdoor space, on a grand scale (Roth 247). The Romans made their buildings into hybrids by combining all the aspects of the building and allowing it to encompass every detail.Source- The Greeks created some of the most prominent pieces of architecture in the world. Major contributors to the development of Greek arts were the Dorians, Ionians, and Aeolians. These groups were at the forefront of Greek culture in the Hellenic period (Blakemore 26). Greek architecture has influenced today’s architecture, such as: the Capital building in Washington, D.C. or the government buildings and churches around the world. Future periods of design were influenced by the characteristics observed in classical Greek and Roman architecture (Blakemore 30). These were reflected in space planning, interior architecture, and furniture (Blakemore 30). Murals and furnishings seen in homes today could be influenced by Greek architecture with the drawings and paintings on walls in Greek homes.
Order- The Greeks and Romans used order mainly in the way they structured their buildings and temples. The role of orders was significant in defining spaces of the Greek interior; not only did they divide spaces horizontally but they were also instrumental in creating visual interest by the attention drawn to them vertically through decorative detail in the capitals and in the entablature (Blakemore 28). The classical orders consist of the column with its base, shaft, capital, and entablature, and are classified by the capital as Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, or Composite (Blakemore 28). Columns for the Greeks and Romans were practically the backbone for the buildings, they made up the frame and structure of many of their buildings. Great emphasis was placed on the style of the columns for different spaces. Proportions of columns, entablatures, moldings, and ornament varied among the orders and in their renditions as practiced by the Greeks and Romans (Blakemore 30).
Entourage- The Acropolis is made up of the Parthenon, Propylaia, Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Every four years a Pan-Hellenic procession hikes from the city to the Acropolis to honor Athena. There may be an entourage that heads up the mountain every four years, but the Acropolis itself can be an entourage. The Propylaia is the elaborate entrance way welcomes the people to the Acropolis. The Parthenon is the largest building and is one of the first buildings that is seen when walking into the Acropolis. The Erechtheion is the connection between the city and the Acropolis by facing the city while facing the Parthenon on the opposite side. Finally, the smallest building is the Temple of Athena Nike which is the messenger to Athena that the people are coming to visit. All of these buildings connect to one another in different ways which creates an entourage of buildings that all interact.

Heirarchy for the Greeks and Romans was based upon status in society for the buildings as well as the homes. The decorations and building structures were based upon social status and hierarchy. Treatment of floors ranged from the simply utilitarian to decorative (Blakemore 34). Compacted earth floors were used by families of all economic levels, but wealthier homeowners of the classical period often used plaster, painting, or mosaic (Blakemore 34).

Greek and Roman architecture were influenced by hierarchy. They created orders for columns that represented importance and style taken from the Dorians, Ionians, and Aeolians whom they used as a resource for most of their building projects. They were an archetype and prototype for the modern world by building structures that are architecturally sound and highly innovative. They were also an example of hybrid building by their use of many different aspects in each of their buildings with columns, decorative elements, and use of space within the structure. Their buildings still stand the test of time and bring in entourages of people to experience their wonder.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Inspiration Pictures from

Serial Envisioning

We were to draw 12 thumbnails of the Foust Building on campus, which is also one of the oldest buildings on campus. These are different views that you would see either in the building or walking by. They range from the ceiling of the lobby to the door of the ladies bathroom and the chemny on the roof.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Opus Prompts for February 4 to February 11

Scale: Architecture is the largest and most encompassing of the visual arts (Roth 75). This is shown by the temple of Hatshepsut versus the Pyramids at Giza and how they compare in their scale. Hatshepsut’s temple is smaller because of her status as the daughter of Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose, but also for her marriage to her brother, Thutmose II. Her temple is compared to the Great Pyramid at Giza built by Khufu. His pyramid is the largest pyramid of four that sit at Giza. The smaller three pyramids are thought to have been for the members of his household, which are smaller in comparison to his pyramid due to their standing in society. Hatshepsut’s temple and the Pyramid at Giza are both intended for worship, but with their massive scale and stone guards, they ward off any potential visitors. Scale is mostly characterized by measurements. How big a building is, relative to the size of the average human being is said to be its scale (Roth 75).
Unity: Unity can be depicted in any number of ways, whether it be by decorative elements or the use of skewers and paper to make a model. Unity was used in the homes of the Greeks preferred a plan in which the emphasis was on distribution of rooms around a court, as revealed in a 2nd Century BC plan (Blakemore 31). The Greeks put great emphasis on the role of orders, which they considered significant in defining spaces of the interior (Blakemore 28). Interior spaces should be unified in a way that the architecture flows and the different parts can make up a whole. Elements should compliment each other and come together in a way that is unified. For the model from skewers and paper, the elements are connected, but are also unified by their construction and physicality.Section: Sections are views of an object or building from the perspective as if it were cut in half. Section views shed a new light on a project by giving a different view that is normally never seen. Section can also be described by the spaces or sections of a piece of architecture. The Greeks used sections to define the porch, court, and hearth of every piece of architecture. The temple, Megaron, is an example of a building with a porch, court, and hearth. The porch is the entrance way into the temple, while the court is the open space between the entrance and altar. The hearth is the altar or place of worship for the priests and to keep treasures.
Boundaries: The Great Wall of China is one of the best examples for setting boundaries. The wall was built over a 200 year period and is about 4000 miles long. (Great). It stretches from ShanHaiGuan in the east to JiaYuGuan Pass in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates in the southern edge of Inner Mongolia (Great). China used the boundary of the Wall to establish borders and for protection, while the Romans used boundaries in a much different way. The boundaries they set were on social standing and architecture that was allowed for each social class, also for what kind of buildings were used for what. The Romans used utilitarian facilities that met their needs for religion, commerce and law, recreation, and celebrating victories. In addition, the type of residence was, to some degree, a reflection of the social position of the resident (Blakemore 47). Differences in material, construction techniques, and decorative processes are evident…despite these differences, similarities existed among the residences representing various socioeconomic levels (Blakemore 9).Vignette: A vignette can be defined as a collection of stories told without words. Vignettes encompass a subject and sometimes the surroundings around it. Multiple parts and objects can make up a vignette. For our drawing class this week, we had to draw vignettes of people and their surroundings in a coffee shop or restaurant. We also had to draw our teacher’s assistants working in at a table with many of the objects that surrounded them on the table.

Summary: Vignettes encompass the boundaries of an area in a drawing with scale figures of people or objects that are unified with the surroundings in their certain section. Each term relates to one another in the way that a drawing or piece of architecture would not be able to be built or drawn without one another.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Opus Prompts for January 28 to February 4

Illuminate: This week in studio as well as in drawing with Suzanne, we talked a lot about illumination. With water coloring, lighting is important. Lighting can be portrayed by using different brush strokes or different amounts of color and water. In studio, we used illumination with our stories. For the artifacts we created, we had to illuminate and elaborate on our stories through an object. Some created simple objects, while others became very abstract with the interpretation and use of materials. We also talked about illumination in the way that the Egyptians used gold points on the tips of pyramids to symbolizing the light from the sum coming down to the four corners of the earth, much like a god.

Idiom: An idiom, I would define as an object or word with a deeper meaning than is expressed. The artifacts from the fairy tales could be characterized as an idiom. The abstractness of many of the artifacts expressed that there is some deeper meaning not shown in just the object itself. For my artifact, I used colors such as: red, black, and white, to represent different aspects of the story.

Material: Materials used in a building or landscape can make difference between appealing and appalling. There were many different materials used for the artifact projects ranging from fabric material to plastic wrap. The different materials and their quality can either make or break a building. In the late twentieth century, architects and engineers took particular delight in making structures do more and more work with less and less material, seemingly a defiance in gravity, while showing the structure more clearly (Roth 25). For the project to build a table or chair for Pat, we only had a 4’ x 8’ sheet of chipboard to work with. We realized that by cutting away from positive space that is unnecessary can give you more material to work with. Stability is key when building something that can be used for many different reasons or that will last for a very long time.
Commodity: Sir Henry Wotten said in his book, The Elements of Architecture: “In architecture, as in all other operative arts, the end must direct the operation. The end is to build well. Well-building has three conditions: commodity, firmness, and delight.” (Roth 11) How is the building or object going to be used is the big question in architecture, otherwise there is no reason to build. For Pat’s table or chair, we had to decide how he was going to use it. Does he need a shelf? Where will he sit? Should he have a work station as well? These are all questions in the building and design process. What should be added and what needs to be taken away?

Firmness: Firmness is characterized by the structure or way that a building or object stands up (Roth 25). Physical structure and perceptual structure are not the same, for a column may be much larger than structurally necessary in an engineering sense simply to reassure the viewer that it is indeed big enough for the job (Roth 25). In drafting, some students realized that the table or chair built for Pat will not actually hold anything without the right support.
Delight: Architecture is the art into which we walk, the art that envelops us (Roth 55). Architecture is meant to be enjoyed. When you walk into a well-designed building, it causes you to marvel at the different elements. The lighting can make a difference in the appearance as well as the materials used. Walking into a cathedral or seeing the pyramids at Giza make you want to know more about the structure. How was it built? How is it possible to add that much detail to a structure with such limited resources and materials?

iStockphoto/Karim Hesha
St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fundevogel Artifact

The cube is painted red to show the love as brother and sister between Fundevogel and Lina, also their vow to never leave one another. While the black represents the evil from the cook that surrounds the children as she plans to kill Fundevogel. The white represents the purity that comes from within the children which allows them to change into different objects to escape the cook represented by the cube shape as a trap.