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Exercise 4

This is the diagram I am turning in today.  Its a sectional perspective through the stage area of city hall.  I decided to have a band playing, and it needs work so consider this a rough draft.

NOTE:  on all of these drawings the picture goes off the page.  CLick on the picture to see the whole thing.  🙂


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Exercise 3

In this exercise we had to create a Data Map. I visited the site 5 times in 1 day and marked on a plan where people where standing, then layered this information in Illustrator.  I put put the sheet I turned in (which needs layout changes) and a bigger version of the map itself.

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Exercise 2

This was our second assignment, where we had to design a map by annotating either an aerial photograph or an axon of Boston City Hall.  I choose to map out the most basic elements of city hall, in order to identify later “good and bad” areas.

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….but my classes are crazy amounts of work.  However they are fascinating, and I’ve been working really hard in both.  Give a girl an A, and she wants a cookie and more As.  And then some milk.  And a book.  And time to read it.  Outdoors on a sunny day.  With no homework.  But still getting an A.  (Nice dream)

So here are the diagram for my Advanced Representation class.  We’ve been focusing on Boston City hall a tremendously ugly building that would be shot on site as a monster if it could move.  However I am slowly coming to terms with the plaza, who can’t help the fact that it was built around a monster.  It’s even trying to kill it, by climbing up the sides and suffocating it.  So I am now taking its side in the war.  Brick stays, but anything concrete needs immediate demolishing.

Exercise 1:  has nothing to do with city hall.  We were supposed to make a map of our journy from home (which is up for interpretation) to studio.  I procrastinated mightly, until I bundled up all my focus on not doing my homework and turned it into a rather funny diagram (which was a risk that paid off, my teacher actually liked it) about all the things I can use to procrastinate getting to studio.

It needs some work.  The fonts didn’t come out like I wanted, and I am going to redo the color scheme so I don’t need the text on the buildings at all.  This is actually a reorganized layout, I turned in something a bot different.

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Alternate title:  Why I worship Scarpa as a demi god.  (He’s much cooler than Hercules.)

Since in the last post spent a lot of time talking about why everything Scapa designs is amazing, detailed and pretty, I decided this next post I would start to introduce him to you.  Assuming I manage to blog about my entire venice trip there will be more posts about him, because we spent most of the trip visiting his buildings.  However in this post I’m only going to talk about one of his projects in Verona, for many reasons starting with I love it and ending with it is a good example of his theories.  If you think there are a lot of pictures keep in mind I took 397 in this building. Culling was very difficult.

Carlo Scarpa was an Italian architect (1906-1978) who mostly worked in the Venezia region.  He was not technically an architect since he refused to take the test to be licensed, although he went to school.  He was a countermovement to the more mainstream focus on progress, modernity and technology, and a complete eschewing of ornament (aka Corbusier).  He was influenced by the vernacular architecture of the region, and was interested in peeling away layers of history, being very honest about how and why he made the moves he did, and used material to provide ornamentation while still being modern.  (Hence I love him).

Fortress turned Palace turned Museum

This project he was hired to renovate a fortress palace, and display the collection of Medieval art.  It ended up more as an intervention, where he subtracts layers of material to expose the construction both old and new, while adding modern materials to destroy any symmetry.

Subtraction is always harder than addition, carving away is general more time consuming and expensive than building.  However it is generally worth it if it’s done right.  The thick walls of the fortress already lend it some elements of subtraction, demonstrated by Mag here:

Thick Walls

But Scarpa adds some more by pulling back material all over the place, exposing the bricks on a door or the ceiling beams, or pulling the floor away from a stair or the wall.

Stair detail Exposed steel beam Layered Floor

I especially love his treatment of the doors. Every from the other, and each one is different on each side. How they touch the floor is different too. What they have in common is awesomeness.  Most of my sketches from here are of doors.

Door side A Door side B

Much of the additive details are interruptions of the existing symmetry of doors and windows.

Window with asymetric steel frame insert Louis Kahn influence Asymetrical Additions

But not always.  He has some really cool freestanding window details, and the “jewel box” which has a skylight and is really cute.  I love the tile work, which is a pattern he would use again in other projects. He even went so far as to put a wall in the middle of the entrance door.  Every good modernest scorns symmetry for asymmetrical balance these days.

Cool window The Jewel Box Entrance

Its though another asymmetrical door, which is an arch that has a sliding rectangular door, that we enter the most famous space in the building.  In this courtyard area you can experience one statue like 100 different ways, reentering this outdoor space again and again as you travel through the museum.  It’s very cool.

Door to the coolest space ever Inside Outside Space Bridge

Looking Down On the Bridge

And as if the simple awesomeness of detail and construction and material all mixed up and then pulled apart again Scarpa invented and mastered in one lovely swoop there is another reason he has endeared himself to my – and I dare suggest everyone else in my class’s – heart.   He gave us an architectural playground.

What is an architectural playground?  So glad you asked.  It is anywhere a bunch of architecture students get to perform death defying stunts in order to get awesome pictures and generally amuse ourselves when left alone for any given amount of time.  They probably should stop doing that…  Oh and mom if your reading this, that’s most definitely not a sheer drop behind me. Or in front of me *crosses fingers*

This looks safe.... What are you doing down there? Yep totally safe. Mom don't look :)

Best seat in the house Ummm........don't ask Invisible bow for imaginary castle defending.

– Sarah

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….Hi.  Once again I really need to apoligize for ignoring this blog.  I say that a lot I know, but we are still very busy.  We were in  the Venezia region visiting Verona and Venice, then on spring break doing nothing even vaguely like work, and then came back and had a midcrit this past friday so we worked like maniacs for a week.  Now we’re writing essays that are due tomorrow afternoon and require lots of research and severely limited resources.  We were up at 8 for the sole perpose of beating everyone to the studio to get a monopoly on books.  But we really need to work on our time management and get back to writing regularly, but it is a slippery slope.  I’ll go find some sort of harness and ice climbing gear and work on it I promise.  I’ll even badger mandi about it!

Your long lost friend,


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Cause Sarah is pressuring me to post them and I’m taking a five minute break from studio stuff.

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