Friday, June 17, 2011

Description of Design

Upper two levels - house 1 (art collector):

-Entry to house 1 is on ground level straight off the street. Alternatively one can walk straight up the grassed ramp to the left and on to the roof, which features a garden and the entrance to the main gallery.
- As you enter house 1 on ground level, a corridor leads straight towards the rear of the house, with doors leading off of it on the left and right. To the left is the bedroom and storage, and to the right is the bathroom.
-The corridor opens up on to a large living and dining area with doors leading off to the office and laundry, as well as the kitchen. Another door leads to a smaller gallery. A large glass facade separates the living area from the shared garden balcony to the very rear, while a staircase on the right leads directly up to the main gallery above.

Lower two levels - house 2 (artist):

- Entry to house 2 is down the stairs from street level. Alternatively, it can be accessed via a ramp from the shared garden balcony at the rear of the house.
- The layout to house 2 is similar to house 1. From entry through the front door, a corridor leads directly towards the rear and opens up into the living and dining area. Two bedrooms, the laundry and the bathroom lead off from the corridor, while the kitchen is accessed from the living space.
- From the living area, glass doors lead on to an internal wading pool with stepping stones and then a small garden.
- Stairs on the left of the living area lead down into the workshop below.

See the pictures and drawings below for a visual representation of this description.


The house is occupied by two business partners and friends - an artist, who lives in the lower house, and an art collector, who lives in the upper house. Together they produce and sell nature-themed art, with the work the artist creates displayed by the art collector in the gallery.

My house draws from two main themes found within the Villa Savoye:
- The blurring of the boundaries between inside and out through the use of glass facades.
- The notion of an upwards journey through the house, from the ground floor to the roof top garden, symbolising an ascension from the earth to the sky, or from a lower to a higher plane of existence.

The extensive garden spaces of the house are integrated as much as possible with the interior areas through the use of glass curtain walls, and at times the garden does actually physically enter the house, as seen on the main floor of the artist's house. This immerses the residents within the natural world, and provides an ideal setting for the creation of artworks inspired from nature.

More importantly, the idea of an upward journey has been taken and transformed into a representation of the journey an artwork produced by these residents undertakes. The entire back end of the two houses (that furthest from the street) has been separated out from the rest of the house using materiality, effectively creating two distinct "zones" - one an area of functional living (the front end of the house, featuring the kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc) and one an area of higher living (the rear end of the house, featuring the living areas, studios, gallery, workshop, etc).
This zone of higher living is that which represents this upward journey of artwork. A process of refinement of materiality symbolises this journey. The lowest level of the two houses, the workshop, is embedded within the cliff face and roughly hewn from the rock, representing the earthen roots of the artwork produced by the residents. As one travels upwards through the levels, there is a noticeable refinement in the stone from level to level, leading to the light, smooth marble and glass of the rooftop gallery. This light-filled room represents the highest position an artwork can attain, that of display for the cultural benefit of the population.
Slit windows and skylights are placed adjacent to many of the walls in the zone of higher living, allowing light to shine along their length and exacerbate their level of refinement.

Drawings, 1:100 Model and 1:50 Part Sectional Model

The part sectional model cuts through the zone of higher living at the rear of the house, displaying the refinement in materiality as one passes up through the workshop, lower level, ground level, and gallery.

The 1:100 full house model displays the house in the context of its site, representing how the house would sit in reference to the landscape (note the house is partially embedded within the earth), as well as its relationship to the neighbouring buildings.

Sections, plans, elevations, perspectives and site context drawings, demonstrating the themes discussed in my concept, particularly the idea of the refinement of materiality within the rear zones of the houses.

Assignment Three - Rough Work

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Assignment 2 - Final A2 Drawings and Models


This drawing explores the idea that the Villa Savoye experience begins before one even enters the house. The house features a very defined sense of circulation, and by taking the visitor around the ground floor facade, they are allowed to begin to experience the house's interior through the slitted glass.

This drawing uses colour to highlight the ramp as the main mode of circulation, and to explore the areas of program directly accessed by it. Blue marks out the ramp, green highlights external areas or areas linked to nature, while orange indicates living spaces. The ramp can be seen to encourage social and environmental interaction by largely providing direct access to public and outdoor areas. The drawing also uses shading to indicate the ramp's role in circulating inhabitants towards the upper, more "enlightened" and more public regions of the house.

This model was made predominantly from perspex and balsa wood, and seeks to again explore the areas directly accessed by the ramp within the house. The balsa wood represents these areas, while the perspex provides a contextual framework of walls. The model provides three dimensional evidence of what the above section drawing also attempted to convey - that the areas directly connected to the ramp are largely open, public and exposed to nature, indicating that Corbusier wanted the house's inhabitants to experience social and environmental interaction.


This drawing attempts to isolate the white, Modernist "box" of the middle floor, and highlight its role in portraying the villa as a "machine for living". This in turn can be used to explain the highly functional aspects of usage within the house, such as built-in furniture.

The green of the ground floor exterior is an example of the highly selective yet careful application of colour within the Villa Savoye. This drawing shows the way in which green was used to connect the house to the landscape around it. The experience of the villa can be thought of as a journey upwards, from the earth to the sky, and as the ground floor is really just a "staging" area before beginning the true experience of the house in the levels above, the green is used to ground the floor within the earth.

The use of pinkish orange on certain walls in the bedrooms and the main living room was an attempt by Corbusier to encourage interaction and intimacy between inhabitants of the house. This drawing is a representation of this idea, and suggests that these rooms in particular were singled out for specific social usages.


This plan drawing represents through shading the divide between darker, private, enclosed space and lighter, outdoor, public space on the middle floor. The living room is portrayed as an outdoor area due to its excessive exposure to the exterior world through the horizontal windows, but more importantly through the glass sliding door opening on to the terrace, which effectively blurs the boundaries between inside and out. The drawing expands on this idea by representing the way in which nature is brought from the plant boxes on the terrace into the living room via the glass door.

This drawing explores both the way in which the middle floor is divided evenly between inside and outside, and the way in which the proportion of outside to inside increases steadily as one travels upwards through the house. In this way it can be deduced that more private usage within the house is encouraged on the lower levels, while public activity is emphasised increasingly on the upper floors.

This model expands on the idea of the middle floor being divided evenly between interior and exterior, and therefore private and public usage, through three dimensional exploration.

Architectural Proposition:

My proposition is a simple sectional drawing highlighting the connection two buildings share through a mutual relationship with an external garden. Both buildings use extensive glass to bring nature into their exteriors. This prominent strategy employed by Corbusier in the Villa Savoye is one that I will definitely explore for my design in assignment three.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Final Drawings

- Use of detail vs blank space to highlight the idea of "outside coming in" - the driveway and main space of the ground floor interior have been portrayed as one entity to show how Corbusier used glass to link inside and out. This also shows how the glass facade was used to allow people approaching through the promenade to experience some of the house's interior before stepping through the door.

- Top floor - highlighting the ramp's role in providing rapid access to the roof top garden, a higher plane of living. Also shows the idea of the roof top garden's reclamation of nature lost through the house's construction, with shading of the plant boxes matching the shading of the landscape.
- Middle floor - contrasting detail with blank space to outline the division between open and cubicled (public and private). The terrace and the living room have been highlighted as one entity to outline the way in which Corbusier used glass to blur the boundaries between inside and out.

- Section divided into 4 areas of living (cave, pilotis, habitation and solarium). The shading represents the transition from earth to sky, from a lower to a higher level of existence.

- Axonometric - overlay shows the structural system vs aesthetic aspects, highlighting the role of the pilotis in enabling an open floor plan and non load-bearing walls.
- Section - highlighting the prominence of the ramps in enabling fast fluid movement between levels and areas of the house.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Finished Model

The major themes we ended up representing in our model were:

- The importance of the ramp as a mode of rapid and fluid transport between levels. Our section cut just to the side of the ramp highlights its importance by leaving it intact, and making it the prominent feature of the section.
- The use of the roof top garden to reclaim nature lost through the villa's construction. This was achieved through the use of the same plant material on the landscape and the roof.
- The aesthetic freedom allowed by the use of structural pilotis, in particular the inclusion of the long horizontal windows which would not have been achievable with typical load-bearing walls. We used a black material to highlight the windows as a major feature.
- The blurring of the boundaries between inside and out through the use of glass doors and facades - bringing the outside into the house, as well as allowing for a partial experience of the interior before actually entering (most applicable on the ground floor, where the glass facade enables one to begin their gradual exploration of the villa before they have even reached the front door). This was achieved in our model through the use of the same darker cardboard on some interior and exterior floor/ground surfaces, to emphasise the link between outside and in.