… What I am thinking of are my human surroundings… and of the buildings becoming part of people’s lives, a place where children grow up… That is the first transcendent level in my work: the attempt to conceive of architecture as a human environment. Perhaps… it has something to do with love.Peter Zumthor
The material presence of things in a piece of architecture, its frame… has a sensual effect on me. And that is what I would call the first and the greatest secret of architecture, that it collects different things in the world, different materials, and combines them to create a space… To me it’s a kind of anatomy we are talking about… The body! Not the idea of the body – the body itself! A body that can touch me.
… Architecture is a spatial art… but architecture is also a temporal art… That means thinking about the way people move in a building… spaces you would enter and begin to feel you could stay there… but something would be drawing me round the corner… the way the light falls, over here, over there: and so I saunter on… I find that a great source of pleasure. The feeling that I am not being directed but can stroll at will – just drifting along… Direction, seduction, letting go, granting freedom…Guidance, preparation, stimulation, the pleasant surprise, relaxation…
…a grand secret, a great passion, a joy for ever. … Materials react with one another and have their radiance, so that the material composition gives rise to something unique… There’s a critical proximity between materials, depending on the type of material and its weight… there’s a certain point where… they’re too far away from each other to react, and there’s a point too where they’re too close together, and it kills them. Which means that putting things together in a building has a lot to do with… an extraordinary sense of the presence and weight of materials…
MODULE 2 | BRIEF 7: SHAPING THE BODY OF MEMORIES
DURATION: 3 WEEKS SCHEDULE: WEEKS 9 to 11; OCT’ 5TH to 24TH TOTAL HRS: 90
PEER REVIEW: PR4  UNIT REVIEW: UR4 , UR5  REFLECTIVE HRS: 5
Continuing with the design of My Childhood Home, the objective of this phase is to develop the tectonics of the house through material deliberations on the inhabitation, structure and construction of the building. These three aspects are indispensable parameters in the process of developing the vocabulary of one’s architecture.
The mid-term reviews mark not only the end of the first phase of design, but they also usher in the second phase which will challenge the notions of home as well as tools of the previous phase – module & grid and structure & symmetry. Students are encouraged to pay attention to the push & pull, compaction & expansion, movement & pause, and release & hold that we feel; not just as an experience in our bodies with respect to buildings and spaces, but also as operations to be carried out in the design process. What are the diverse experiences that your architecture can offer to the inhabitants?
Continuing the multi-pronged approach, in addition to multiple mediums, students will also engage with multiple scales during the course of the brief. The design development process will be interspersed with conversations with tutors and peers and iterations of the work as per feedback and insights.
There will be three graded reviews for this brief: a Unit Review on the Monday following the introduction of the brief and another as a closure to the three week brief; a Peer Review will be conducted in between.
EXERCISES & DELIVERABLES
- LOSING & FINDING CONTROL
Discussion: Friday, 8th October ‘21
Format: 3 Nos. A4 Compositions Drawings : Plans & Sections
Scale: 1:100 Medium : Collage/ Dry Pastel/ Water-Colour on Wet Paper
It is essential that you carry along the emotional content of your personal narratives into the architecture of the Childhood Home. Following the feedback from midterm reviews, choose one or a combination of more than one medium from the three suggested for the exercise. Create at least three iterations that respond to the changes suggested during the mid-term review of your work in relation to returning to the narrative or image and also in terms of bringing your secret place – in part(s) or whole – into your design.
The iterations need to be done in quick succession such that all three sets of relevant plans & sections are completed by the end of day, Thursday 7th October.
Discussions: Mondays – UR4 on 11th, PR4 on 18th & UR5 on 25th October ‘21
Format: A3 Compositions Drawings : Plans & Sections & Associative Site Plan
Scale: 1:50 Medium : Digital or Analogue
- FORM & ARTICULATION
Discussions: Wednesdays 13th & 20th & UR5 – Monday 25th October ‘21
Format: Model Drawings :
Scale: 1:75 Medium : Cardboard
All visual examples in this brief are from Palak H and Omya S, S21- AR2031
- STRUCTURE & MATERIALS
Discussion: Mondays – PR4 on 18th & UR5 on 25th October ‘21
Format: Relevant to Representation Drawings : Exploded/ Sectional Axonometric
Scale: 1:50 Medium : Digital or Analogue
Discussion: Friday 22nd & UR5 – Monday, 25th October ‘21
Format: Relevant to Representation Drawings : Wall Section
Scale: 1:10 Medium : Digital or Analogue
The exercises defined in this brief are intended to elicit responses to the following questions:
- How is architecture informed by experiences and memories?
- What is the relationship between body, memory, emotion and space?
- How do we inhabit space or how do spaces move and hold us?
Diligent and intense engagement with the exercises will help students:
- Recognizethe relationship between body, memory, feeling and space
- Analyze the context of a project in terms of inhabitation, Spatial Experience, Components and Hierarchies
- Evaluate the transformation/ growth/ expansion in contextual parameters
- Formulate a emotional/ conceptual framework to aid design processes
- Apply various mediumsand scales for comprehensive design development
Besides documenting the processes and recording its highs & lows, it’s necessary to reflect on the questions & learning outcomes mentioned above and include the deliberations in the Reflective Blog. You may choose to blog daily or weekly; however, run a group reading session on the draft before publishing it on ar2031.in.