Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Macro: Micro

Impression: The Greeks and Romans made a huge impression in architecture. The Renaissance time followed many of the same basics that the Romans set out in their architecture. The columns, scale, and materials were widely used hundreds of years after the Roman era. The architects of the Renaissance used the Coliseum as an archetype for the Palazzo Rucellai. They collapsed history and put it in their design by using the different columns on every level. They also used the idea of a dome to represent perfection of divinity. To theorists such as Alberti, the circle and the centralized plan generated from it were highly evocative religious symbols of the perfection of divinity, forms found also in the proportions of the human body patterned, so scripture declared, in God’s image (Roth 365). A dome, placed over the center, became the outward manifestation of this centrally focused plan (Roth 365).Detail: The Greeks and Romans were very detailed in their designs and elaborate in decoration. They used bright colors to paint the outside of their structures, such as the Parthenon. They were also very detailed in the interior as well as the exterior. The Pantheon has an elaborate interior with an open center dome that acts as a sundial. In the portal:panels created for Studio, every detail was explained and necessary to the design. The design for the Foust building on campus is very detailed with the raised roof in the lobby, the older aspects, and the archways of the entrance are known to the building alone. Many of the newer buildings on campus mimic the design and use the details of the Foust building. In Renaissance building, the circle and square became the basic design modules of their architecture, with the boundaries of these modules being delineated by classical columns, arches, and entablatures derived from Roman sources (Roth 362). Renaissance architects sought clearly expressed numerical relationships in their designs, recalling the mysticism of Pythagoras and his followers (Roth 362).

Porch-Court-Hearth: The porch-court-hearth was developed by the Greeks and is still used today in modern buildings. The porch acts as the entrance to the structure, which leads the viewer into the court. The court can be characterized as the open space where people congregate for religious or political purposes. The hearth is the center of the structure. Much like a home the porch is the entrance, or front door, the court could be the living or family room, and the hearth could be the kitchen which is the center of the household where everyone always gathers.
Composition: Beauty was seen to rest in the careful arrangement of proportionally related parts (Roth 353). The structure or make-up of the building is the composition. Gothic architecture was an assembly of parts worked out for each building individually (Roth 353). All the intricate parts of a cathedral or temple makes up the composition. The fa├žade, narthex, nave, aisle, choir, ambulatory, and chevette are all parts of a cathedral and without each one, there would be no grandeur or awe in the structure. The cathedrals were a race to see who could build the largest, most elaborate cathedral during that time. Some builders or architects would leave out important structual parts, like flying buttresses, and without that part, the structure falls. A composition relies on every part and needs each part to function properly. Just like without the columns on the Parthenon, it would never be able to stand or it would not be as massive. For our design, the triangles made up most of the composition and the shadows from the cut out triangles in the top added a new detail that mimicked the shadows portrayed on the Pyramids at Giza.
Diagram: Diagrams are important to building and structure. The plan view of a building can tell a lot of what is on the inside of a structure or even what materials are used to build and dimensions. The diagram for the Foust building shows the circulation through the first floor and the immediate outer edge of the building. The traffic flow is important to a building because it shows what areas are used the most and why. For the Pathways, Edges, and Boundaries project has required many different diagrams for traffic flow through the parking lot, whether it be human or automotive. Diagrams play a huge part in development as well as in understanding a structure.

Summary: Architecture is a composition made up of details, whether small or big, that make an impression on the world surrounding it. A structure can include a porch, court, and hearth that can make it a sort of diagram. Or it could be as simple as an apartment in New York, with open space and no dimensionality.

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