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.

Model Nearer To Completion

It's getting there.... we still have to figure out how to do the spiral stairs however!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Model Progress Images

Initial Themes To Be Represented In Model/ Reflection On Progress

My group, consisting of myself, Nikon Sanchez, Ivan Hruszecky and Daniel Saran, have decided to model the Villa Savoye at 1:100 scale. We have chosen white cardboard as our primary material, as it is easy to work with and represents the Modernist style of the house. Other materials we will be using include a darker cardboard for some of the external areas, and perspex for the windows. As a few finishing touches, we may add some model cars, people, trees, etc to liven up the final product. Having said this, we have not decided whether these will be actual models or handmade representations, as we want to avoid using too much colour, especially in places that will distract from important aspects of the house.

Our progress so far has been decent, however we still have a long way to go. The size of 1:100 makes some aspects very fiddly, however we still believe our scale will give us a much cleaner, more compact model, with its smaller size better enabling us to represent its relationship to the surrounding landscape. We have overcome several problems, such as how to create the curved structures on the roof, and how to best represent the glass windows and walls, however we are yet to decide on the most effective way to construct the spiral staircase.

Our section cut has been placed longitudinally, and just to the side of the ramps (see the blue line in the diagrams above). In this way we have left the ramps completely in tact and as the prominent feature of our section, highlighting the importance of the theme of movement within the villa. Another theme we are trying to represent is the blurring of interiors and exteriors. We are doing this by linking some inside and outside spaces separated by glass walls through the use of the same darker floor material. Also, we will be using the same material used for our landscape on some of the areas of the roof top garden, highlighting the theme of the reclamation of nature.

Assignment 1 - The Villa Savoye

- The Villa Savoye is a Modernist house designed by Swiss architects Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, constructed between 1928 and 1931.
- Originally built as a countryside retreat for the Savoye family, the house fell into disuse after 1940, and was eventually designated as an official historical monument in 1965.
- One of the most renowned examples of the International Style, which revolted against the traditional tendency of creating the building as a solid block and focused on the exploration of the volumetric intricacies of the structure's space.
- Corbusier described the villa as a "machine for living in" - a projection of the future where the machine brought a higher level of living.
- The house comprises two contrasting yet interpenetrating external aspects, however the dominant aspect is the white (symbolising purity and simplicity - two qualities promoted by Modernism) square box lifted above the ground floor by slender pilotis. These simple geometrical forms Corbusier believed were the embodiment of the age of machines. Corbusier claimed that it was the combination of these shapes with light that revealed profound architectural beauty.
- The villa was constructed according to Corbusier's "Five Points" of architecture:
* Use of pilotis, elevating the building from the earth and allowing passage to a higher intellectual plane.
* A functional roof, serving as a garden and terrace, allowing for the reclamation for nature of land lost through the house's construction.
* A free-floor plan relieved of load-bearing walls, allowing for walls to be placed purely for aesthetic purposes.
* Long horizontal windows, allowing in maximum light.
* Free facades, unconstrained by load-bearing considerations.
- The glass walls on the ground floor and on the roof top terraces allow for a blurring of the boundaries between interior and exterior. This establishes a relationship between the plan and its surroundings, bringing the outside in, as well as allowing the interior to dictate the exterior.
- Greenery is a vital part of the architectural language of the house. From the outside, the house is framed by the landscape, while the rectangular window at the top of the ramp reverses this relationship - with the landscape framed by the house.
- A section of the house reveals a basic pattern to the world's planes of living, represented by the different levels of the structure:
* The Cave - being immersed within the earth.
* The Pilotis - connecting us to the earth's surface.
* The habitation - an extension of, and elevation from, the earth's surface.
* The solarium - the sun and sky.
- Movement is a key theme present in the Villa Savoye, with the house being an example of extreme spatial dynamism.
- There is a definite underlying spatial pattern to the house, with walls bulging and curving to push and pull at spaces and draw the occupant from room to room. Tiles vary from diagonal to orthographical, depending on whether the room was designed to be moved through quickly or to be lingered in. Ramps replace stairs as the prominent means of travel between floors, allowing rapid and easy movement. These ramps are a key symbol for this idea of free-flowing movement within the house.
- The defined sense of circulation experienced in the house begins as early as the approach up the driveway. As you approach there are glimpses of the house through the trees. The moment the car enters the promenade one feels the sensation of moving through and experiencing the villa, with the curved glass of the ground floor facade allowing glimpses into the interior. There is a sense of a progression through cleverly linked spaces that allow a gradual exploration of the building.
- Human experience is at the core of the house.