Monday, May 11, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Explorations: Top 10

Berlin, Germany

Sony Center in Berlin
Having had a chance to visit the Sony Center a few years ago, it is honestly an amazing place. All of these buildings are arranged in a way to create a plaza in between them that is roofed by this steel and cloth structure.

Philip Johnson's Kreeger Museum
The former residents of the Kreeger Museum are distant relatives of mine and, upon finding out that Philip Johnson was the architect, I became more interested in not only this building but his other work as well.

National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, VA

Every time I drive home from school I pass this building. Set back in a small forest, I am able to see the top of the building sticking out above the trees and it never fails to catch my eye.

Old Jerusalem

Modern Apartment building lobby in Israel

Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany

Tuesday, May 5, 2009



A community is a particular place or area considered together with its inhabitants. Botta, for example, suggested, “there was a need for images, for emotion in architecture, a need for architecture to speak once again to people” (ROTH 587). His idea of good architecture was structures that integrated the idea of community into their design. Contrastingly, Meier decided not to incorporate the idea of community into his designs as he “shifted radically to a quite different theoretical base…in his first independent buildings he developed a purely formal rectilinear architecture, totally devoid, he insisted, of any connection to outside systems of reference” (ROTH 571).

This space is one that welcomes community or social events. This 'celebration' space is a good example of how a sense of community can be brought inside a building.


A steward is an appointed official who supervises arrangements and keeps order at an institution, club, or event. Robert Stern was able to take the difficult landscape the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and create elevated dining rooms. Stern “used brick arches and white Roman Tuscan Doric columns in an innovative way sympathetic to Jefferson’s nearby original campus buildings” (ROTH 594). The reason behind the usage of Roman Tuscan Doric columns was to distill a sense of order and arrangement to the building and to the surrounding campus; much like the job of a steward.

This floor plan shows the technicalities and order to a specific space. It is the drawing referred to to keep everything in order, much like a steward.


Authenticity is something that is of undisputed origin – something that is genuine. An authentic object or design is usually one that is the first of its kind and serves somewhat as a prototype for future ideas. Allan Greenberg utilized an authentic classical style when creating the diplomatic reception rooms at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. but also “introduced subtle, modern touches” of his own (ROTH 591). The classical style of design is definitely an authentic one that reoccurs and emerges throughout the history of design. Greenberg, however, was able to take a timeless design concept and add some aspects of current design to create a new design idea.

This 'meditation' space utilizes a raised floor with sand around the edges to create a tranquil place for anyone to sit and enjoy the scenery and the interior space.


An innovation is a new method, idea, or product that helps to further the growth of design. During the era of fundamental or essentialist classicism, architects moved towards more abstracted forms, “seeking to reduce buildings to the purest geometrical constructs, in an effort to achieve ‘natural’ essential truths” (ROTH 587). This concept of simplicity in form and structure was a new and innovative design that influenced further explorations of simplistic architecture.

Pulling from my last project, "Light Habitat," I used an innovative design to slope panels outward and upward to help diffuse the strong morning sunlight south side of the building.


All of the words for this week's prompt come together and portray what design should encompass. Authenticity - or the revival of older and classic styles, stewardship - incorporating the idea of structure and rigidity in design concepts, innovation - putting a new twist on an old design, and community - being able to create a sense of togetherness and completeness in a space.