Wednesday, March 11, 2009
two of the panelists during my crit mentioned the Big Dig House in Boston by Single Speed Design. so I went looking for clues on why that particular project was mentioned to me at least three times. Most are familiar with Boston’s ongoing “Big Dig.” Few, however, give thought to the massive amount of waste that accompanies construction on this scale, namely the dismantling of the existing and temporary roadways. "The Big Dig Building proposes to relocate and recycle these infrastructural materials as building components, adapting them to uses ranging from structural members to cladding. Furthermore, as these reused materials can withstand much higher loads than conventional building elements, the social ramifications of “heavy” in relation to “dwelling” can produce new and innovative results"(http://www.ssdarchitecture.com/works/residential/big-dig-building). I was surprised at the amount of parallels that exist between this project and the one I am working for my degree project. Infrastructure, reuse, recycle, and possibly even the program of housing are all terms that have been articulated carefully in the description of this project. My proposal for the I195 slightly differs in that I am studying a development over time...I mean, afterall I have titled it 'unfinished architecture'. crit happened, and the process of deconstruction and reconstruction that is latent in my site is still not tangible in my project. now, that is the fun part.
delightful diagram I found on the ssd website:
In my Cities, Urbanization, and Nature sociology class I had to do some readings on the nature of cities and suburbs. Ebenezer Howard, known for garden cities, describes the differences between a country life versus town life and combines positive aspects of both in his new vision of a city. the key to the problem how to restore the people to the land -that beautiful land of ours, with its canopy of sky, the air that blows upon it, the sun that warms it, the rain and dew that moisten it- the very embodiment of Divine love for man. many of the existing proposals for the strip of land that is covered by the I195 stress the need for green spaces. pedestrian accessible green spaces seem to exist in Providence in patches that are either hard to access or unfriendly (ex: Kennedy Plaza). what role could green open space play between downtown and the jewelry district, and how could it be integrated to the history of the space and developable land are questions that my project should be asking at the urban scale.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
A bond is created between city and citizen through this kind of experience. Experiencing the site as it changes, grows or disappears creates memories that outlast the physical manifestation of change. memory imbues the site with a life that seems to fleet amist the noise and clutter of construction.
when we revisit our hometowns we are either perplexed at the changes that took place in them or relieved that it stayed the same. the act of returning somewhere and experiencing change or continuity is relative to the period of time away from said place.
the regulation of periods of time and change in space will start taking a greater role in my project.
the construction, demolition, population, and depopulation of spaces have to be regulated to create a more meaningful experience.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Because all architecture is unfinished and can morph to its use and surrounding my degree project
is about the study of how change can be allowed or prevented through the creation of new means
to integrate all architecture elements in terms of their degrees of permanence and mutability.
I have been observing closely how people interact with objects that allow them to create system that can become as expandable and flexible as they wish. the nature of the pieces that i have created allow for an infinite growth in many different directions. the primary directions of growth are horizontal and vertical.
that is why the focus of my first case study is the research of the relationships created in the order in which pieces are added and removed from the systems, and not so much the chaotic growth that can develop.
conclusions drawn from the observation of different combinations of building pieces are generalizations that can be applied into the study of our time's construction principles. construction materials have been given a hierarchy based on its use and durability. is it possible to re-think these principles of constructions and create fully flexible and mutable spaces?
the term durability indicates that all materials have a lifespan. this lifespan can be renewed by the replacement of by repair. however, within the lifespan of building materials people also change alongside the rusting metal, deterioration of piping, replacement of floor surfaces, etc. is it possible to include the human factor in this time based cycling of materials?
three way expansion created with multi directional piece at the base
two way expantion made more permanent by making a closed interwove system
charlie: so, mateo when do i know if i finished or not?
me: you can stop whenever you want
charlie: ok, them i'm going to make a closed loop! you didn't see that one coming
three way system that uses multi directional piece to create division of vertical versus horizontal expansion
me: you can't rotate the pieces
yena: why not?
tests #4 and #5
#4: four way system maximizing use of flexible multi directional piece. I have composed this one to create interior space and exterior space. because of the way in which pieces were connected a very regular way of substraction was allowed. top surface, side surfaces, and then the core were removed in that order. this study helped me figure out how to make the structure for case study #2 which tries to revert that order
#5 is an example of how the structure does not allow for the substraction of pieces in an order that the user wanted. structure and permanence of pieces need to be addressed simultaneously
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Giambattista Piranessi (1720-78) The Canceri 1745, Collage city
Piranessi didn't see Rome as a wounded city. Through the process of addition and desconstruction he creates a new vision of rome. I can imagine how parts of buildings can be abandoned or in ruins and other parts teeming with human activity. This could create chaotic layers of infrastructure and architecture. Architectural coherence or a systematic development is not what connects the city together. The human activities that casually develop in the streets of this city is what would maintaing this chaos from splitting appart.
Archigram: Peter Cook. Plug in city 1945-1966. Instant city 1965.
this is a quote from Peter Cook that I have found: "architecture must remain flexible, mobile. Flexible elements are simply plugged in and provided with all utilities from supply tower as they would by a socket.". The idea of architecture plugging into a mega structure is always very seductive. Cook describes his structure as a loose-memeshed grid of diagonal tubes that provide support for the many cell elements. Another fascinating element that he introduces to his city is the permanent crane. He says: "...because it will never be finished, like a living city". awesome.I can only imagine how this crane is used in every instance of the life of this city: a social event, a city celebration that is catered or constructed by a fixed crane.
Eckhard Schulze-Fielitz. Space City 1960-65
This is another architect that evnsioned a city that is bound by its structure, but the development that happens within is not bound to any regulations other than being structurally sound. He says: "The constructed space, that is, the basic structure, and the non constructed space, improvisation or individual adaptation, are coordinated by the modular system. But in a free society perfect planning is neither possible nor desirable. That means unpredictable development, tailored to the needs of the residents." I would like to think of this structure not as a binding space, but as a fertile space where spontaneous architecture can grow out of within set paramenters.
Engelbert Zobl, Helmut C. Schulitz, and Dale Dashiell. The caravan city in the Mojave Desert. 1967
This is another group of architects that think of a modular city. The interesting theme of this city is not its modularity. Much like the other cities mentioned above, they are mediating economical city and infrastructure and the needs of people to have personalized experiences and spaces. "A perfected computer system indicates which positions in the spatial lattice are still available." This indicates to a catalogue or means to document typology and dimensions. "What we are interested in is a self-regulating structure, as it were, an undefined agglomeration of urban components that not only satisfies the needs of modern consumers but can also be adapted to the requirements of an unforeseeable future." Not only are the models modfiable, in this scheme the framework is also mutable. "the only facilities whose locations is fixed are those requiring extensive technological equipment..." This last quote brings me back to wondering what elements in architecture have to be static and what can have the ability to change over time.
James Wines of the group SITE (Sculpture in the environment). The highrise of homes, 1981. The greening of Manhattan, 1979.
The scale of this project allows one to imagine its feasibility more so than in the other projects. Similar elemnts are still present in this one. The framework that consisted of steel tubes of more than 65cm are replaced by the steelwork that normally goes on a highrise. The idea of putting suburban houses on top of each other on a high rise is comical. However, the potential of vertical movement and the creation of small communities are what make this project elegant. "We simply built a huge shelf with top soil in lieu of floors, open on two sides. Then people came, each with their little house, finished, already built, in they style preferred!"
Coop Himmelb(l)au. Melin-senart (Paris). 1987.
I find myself becoming more interested in deconstructivism after reading this quote: "High and low, compact and empty, loud and soft, heat and cold, tenderness and hardness, confusion and clarity, captured in potential structures." The existance of contrasting elements captured in a building, a city, or in the landscape makes for interesting experiential qualities.
I have started my research looking at cities, but i will narrow the scope of my investigation as i find relevant material on public spaces, private spaces. As of now i am very interested in reading up on lifecyles in the city and how it transforms the built and natural environment.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
An inhabitable space is never static. With the passing of time it may bear different individuals, activities, and stresses. The constant flow and variation of forces in a given space will bring about physical manifestations of its memory. Architecture can prevent or create a fertile ground for changes to partake in the shaping and reshaping of spaces.
The desire to change a space to meet one’s needs is analogous to the behavior of architecture under pressure, contracting and expanding to bear it. The permanence and the sustainability of a human activity are analogous to a construction material’s resilience and disposability.
A space may have many different functions throughout its lifecycle. Degradation, addition, and flexibility in architecture reveal the latent potential of a space in separate periods of its life. The continuous maintaining of a mutable space in a building is preservative of the history of a landscape, of a block, and of a city.
transformation in architecture is sometimes undesirable. Through rigid programing architecture becomes efficient and hard edged. is it possible to create a program, a structure that is as flexible and changing as the people that inhabit it?