Wednesday, April 8, 2009



A craft is an activity involving skill in making things by hand. Throughout different eras of architecture and while new materials were being introduced, structures had to be crafted differently in order for them to be successful. In the houses of parliament in London during the Gothic Revival, for example, “large plenum chambers were created over the meeting halls…to provide for better ventilation – one of the great faults of the original buildings” (ROTH 477).

As industry started to become more prominent in the field of architecture, new ideas and ways of construction were used. Built to house the industrial exhibits at the World’s Fair in 1889, the Palais des Machines had trusses that “were hinged at their bases and at the crown, so that they might bend and flex at those points and not tear themselves apart” (ROTH 490). Using new kinds of material, such as steel and wrought iron, new concepts were created to allow the structure to stand on its own yet still look delightful.

The dome at the top of the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, utilizes only glass and iron with a spiral of mirrors in the center. The craft of this cupola is impeccable considering its materiality.


From researching both Monticello and Falling Water on the internet, it is very clear that there are specified spaces for the public and ones that are kept private. Even in the setting and surrounding landscape of the building, it is somewhat obvious that Falling Water is a more private home, set back in the woods, while Monticello is more of a public place that offers a great deal of history. Also, the use of darkened hallways at Falling Water inferred a private space and keeps the public from entering it. Shying away from the idea of private spaces, “Neoclassicism became firmly linked with public service and educational aspirations” (ROTH 475).

Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water is a good example of a private space, mainly due to the fact that it is set back in the woods and utilizes a lot of horizontal construction.


A technique is a way of carrying out a particular task. Certain forms of art, including architecture, are meant to be carried out with a specific type of technique. During neoclassicism, “American sculptor Horatio Greenough…pointed out that his countrymen were going about architecture backward, trying to bend the Greek temple into contemporary needs” (ROTH 475).

Not only does technique come in handy when following a set of rules for creating something, but it is also in tact during any kind of presentation. In his book Contrasts, Pugin “presented side-by-side drawings of fifteenth-century buildings with their nineteenth-century counterparts” (ROTH 480). Pugin’s technique of showing the contrast between a building in the fifteenth-century and the same building in the nineteenth-century is a good way to illustrate the key changes and important aspects within the building and design itself.

In drawing class, we drew a perspective or a room and used different techniques to render different sections of the final drawing.

Rendered in pen

Rendered in Prisma Color markers

Rendered in colored pencil and Prisma Color markers


Language is the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way. In a literal sense, a space can allow for people to communicate to each other. During creative eclecticism, for example, Charles Garnier “used a traditional horseshoe auditorium with layered galleries around the auditorium so opera-goers could better see each other” (ROTH 483).

The language between the landscape and the architecture at Monticello is one of the things that makes it such an interesting and beautiful place to visit.


Because I was unable to go on the Monticello/Falling Water trip this past weekend, I began to look at images on the web to learn about the two places and was able to take a virtual tour of Jefferson’s Monticello. Although visiting the building in person would have been ideal, the virtual tour helped me to understand the building and begin to draw it.

A picture of Jefferson's Monticello that I drew from a picture I saw on the same website that I took the virtual tour.


From looking at Monticello and Falling Water, this week I was able to see how architecture can be so different yet fulfill some of the same concepts. Both Monticello and Falling Water deal with the aspect of public versus private space and have impeccable craft, technique, and language. Even though I was not able to go on the trip and see the buildings first hand, I was able to gain a lot of information about each of the structures through the internet and through classmate's personal photos. Both Monticello and Falling Water find a balance between silence and light that is very different, yet very successful.

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