Thursday, April 16, 2009

Project 2---Narrative and Design Priciples and Concepts

Narrative: Two cantilever spaces for a lonely mistress and her maid with an expectation of her husband back home from the sea.

Design principles inspired from the painting:
As the project outline described, this project is to design a container for a certain activity. Maybe it is for a group of people maybe for a single person. My design will follow Vermeer’s idea which is a sense of hidden intentions. Art and architecture are very similar. Vermeer’s Art of painting can be suggestive; also the architectural design will be meaningful. Some architectural elements won’t be directly indicated. Instead they will be indirectly represented to the audiences. On the other hand the building itself can speak, it not only speaks out its own function as a building, but also tells the story of the people activate in this building.

According to my narrative, the cantilever space will be located on a cliff of the sea, with ramps underground. The cantilever part will provide a nice view of the sea and also receive the privacy of the room. The underground space is closed and lack of brightness. The outside cantilever parts have the opening and provide plenty of light. This contrast will provide a sense of psychology impact. This is an attempt to create space where the mistress can expect her husband in a pure way, using underground and cantilever environment. She is cut off from the outside world; and her perceptions are made sensitive; she is able to concentrate solely on expecting her husband back home from the sea.

The underground ramps create a fancy effect. There are only two entries emerges on the ground and people can not see what exactly the end is. The mistress needs go though a dark long ramp and can reach to the outside cantilever room facing the sea which is much brighter. Moreover, the smooth concrete faces of cantilevers make a strong contrast with the rough rocky surface of cliff. The three turnings are designed for the mistress, which indicate the uncertainty and anxiety of their love. This is like a torture for mistress.

The openings are considered. Firstly, the large curtain glass wall is used for the front side to receive the splendid view from the seaside. Also I add five strings of opening each side to create an interesting effect of light. This pattern of light is just like the strings of the lute. The movement of the shadows can be imagined as the vibration of the strings played by the mistress. The harmony of the light is just like the harmony from the music, also reflects the harmony of their love. For the maid, I don't want to make the opening similar to the mistress so the opening is smaller than mistress's and is located on the lower part of the wall. A mirror is designed on the opposite wall so the seascape can be reflected and maid also can have a sea view. This effect is interesting and the wall is like a vivid painting which changes its picture during a day with the changes of the strength of sunlight.

Circulations: Two underground ramps, one spiral staircase
Enclosure: The underground circumstance
Program: Two separated cantilevers for mistress and maid
Geometry: Two different scale Trapeziums
Structure: Concrete load bearing wall for ramps and Cantilever concrete slabs

Monday, April 6, 2009

Project 2---Forming a Narrative

The Emotion and phenomenon of this picture is loneness, psychological impact, darkness at the front room and brightness in the rear room. Her husband is not at home. He works on the ship and earns money for living. So she is alone at home and only can do some individual activity. Then, some day the lonely mistress is playing lute in the sunlight. She plays a song for him and may wish her lover can hear this beautiful track. The music creates the harmony for their love. Her maid breaks the silence of this scene. A letter is delivered for the mistress. She glances up and has a psychological impact. The letter may have wishes from her husband and may have a content about the life of her husband.

So I want to create two cantilever spaces for a solitary mistress and her maid with an expectation of her husband back home from the sea.

Key points:
  • Expectation
  • Separation and Desire for Reunion
  • Solitary
  • Anxieties & Uncertain of Love due to Seperation
  • Psychological Impact from the letter delivered by her maid
  • the Lover's Pains during his Absence from the beloved

Project 2---Interpretation of the painting

Breif Introduction
A Love Letter is a painting finished between1667 and 1670 by the Dutch painter Jan Vermeer. It is oil on cavas, 17 3/8 x 15 1/8 in. (44 x, and is on display at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Vermeer painted mostly domestic interior scenes. His works are largely genre pieces and portraits.

General content of this painting
A scene of this painting is a well-to-do woman is being handed a letter. She glances up questioningly at her maid and paused in her lute playing. Although the lady has not yet opened the letter it can be guessed that it is from her lover. The two pictures in the background indicate this.

Major objects:

1. Two paintings on the wall
A painting within a painting often indicates the artist’s intention in the picture. Here the painting is a seascape. In the 17th century language of imagery the sea stood for love and a ship for a lover. The ship in the picture may be associated with the emblematic motif of the suitor as a ship on the sea of love searching the safe harbour of his lady's arms. Moreover, as in the painting of the ship, there is the suggestion of a person on a journey. The able-bodied men earned their living from sea and Dutch painters and poets drew heavily from seafaring experience for their imagery.
The upper picture shows a lone wanderer walking along a sandy path. The wanderer may reflect the separation and desire for reunion between the elegant young mistress and her distant lover. In Dutch poetry and concept of romantic love, nature was depicted as a sympathetic witness of the lover's pains during his absence from the beloved.

2. Maid and Mistress
The theme of a maid and mistress was enormously popular among Dutch genre paiters. In this work, Vermeer depicts the moment the maid delivers a letter for her mistress. The wry smile on maid's face and the questioning expression of the mistress masterfully reveals the uncertain of love. Vermeer created a visual dialogue between them that conveys the intense psychological impact of the letter's arrival.

3. A letter can be seen as a spiritual connection of a lady and her lover. The lover is far from home but never far from her heart.
4. A lute symbolizes the harmony produced by love: when one lute is played, other nearby lutes resonate in sympathy.
5. The clothes hamper and darkblue lacemaking pillow that lie unattended may have been to indicate the anxieties of love which have kept the mistress from domestic responsbilities.

Other objects:
6. A curtain reveals another space in front of the bright room and enhance the illusion of depth. It is dark and may not have a window. It can be seen that a scene of domestic intimacy is revealed by pulling a curtain to one side. The curtain separates two rooms.
7. The light is going through from left side of the room for that lady playing the lute. And the space in front of it is darker, which indicates the space is more privacy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Project 1---Final Model

Bird View shows the general view of house and site

Two parts showing interior organizations

Entry to Summer Kitchen


One piece shows the columns and outdoor terrace

Zoom in for the detail of staircase of outdoor terrace

The other piece shows the spaces

The effect of light and shadow

The windows ( Artificial light was used to stimulate sunlight)

General view of the whole model

Project 1---Understanding of Eileen Gray's Maison en Bond de Mer (1926-29)

Maison en Bord de Mer was built from 1926 to 1929. The mordenism was a main style. Eileen Gray was a member of the Bauhaus movement.This villa displayed a full of and original understanding of the language of the modern movement up to the date. It can be seen that her building style is neat and do not have much decorations.

This building can almost be seen as a manifesto house formulated on the basis of Le Corbusier's "5 Points of the New Architecture" from 1926:

  • It stands on pilotis

  • The roof is reached via a staircase

  • Open-plan living is achieved by the mixture of freestanding and fixed wall

  • The windows are oriented horizontally
  • The south window creates an open facade