YEAR 2012-2013 2nd QUARTER


Bird house, Klaas Kuiken

During this quarter, our work will be focused on the definition of the “limits” in architecture. Most of the projects built nowadays are facing this problem with a superficial conceptual, technical and constructive approach, which ultimately leads to a complete absence of nuances when trying to stablish relations between built volume, environment and context. In this sense, the envelope has been detached of all signification, content and depth, architects abandoning common mechanisms formerly applied in the Modern Movement. Stratification and layering techniques were applied at their full extension, providing that limit with enough density of meaning and program. In the Roman Empire, the border between the "barbarian" and "civilized" worlds was called "limes" and its inhabitants "limitanei". Thus, frontiers were not just a single thin line, but it was conceived and understood as a space for exchange between both worlds, a space in fact, inhabited and cultivated, an area, which in the words of Eugenio Trias, participated of the rational and the irrational, of the civilized and the wild, acted as mediation and link. Material and Phenomenal Stratification as defined by Collin Rowe will be also incorporated to the discourse.
In this context, it is necessary to draw attention to a great architect, Louis I. Kahn, whose work has often been neglected under the light of the heavyweights in this discipline, perhaps because of the pregnancy of categorical and simple forms. His approach towards the term “limit” has been accurately analyzed by architect Francesco Cacciatore. The triple dimension in Kahn’s work proposed in his analysis is extremely relevant in order to undertake the work of this quarter: densification of the horizontal elements, densification of vertical elements and densification of the envelope. The first two arise as a response to the increasing incorporation of the distribution of air, light and fluids in American architecture of the 50’s, trying to achieve a hierarchical integration. The Art Gallery in Yale, the Richards Medical Center or the Salk laboratories in La Jolla, proposed an increasing specialization of the slabs that would eventually become living spaces, as it also occurs in the development of the vertical supports from the Adler house, going through the Trenton baths up to the here quoted Medical Center. In a last, great evolution, the entire envelope acquires enough entity to accommodate program within an increasing scale of concatenated spaces that qualify the relationship between inside and outside. The influence of Scottish castles will be vital to understand this last stage of densification.


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Este blog es una herramienta para compartir información relacionada con la asignatura: ejercicios, aclaraciones, fechas de entrega, notas y cualquier otra información relevante para el seguimiento del curso, que por supuesto no exime de la asistencia obligatoria a las clases. Además, será un escaparate dónde puedan aparecer las propuestas más interesantes de los alumnos, en definitiva, un medio de la Unidad dónde difundir los procesos y los resultados de cada ejercicio. Por ello, los posts más relevantes irán también en inglés, de manera que su difusión sea efectiva para muchas otras personas, incluyendo los profesores invitados.

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This blog is a tool for sharing information related to the Studio Unit: exercises, clarifications, submission dates, grades and any other relevant information to follow during the academic year, which of course does not exempt the student from compulsory attendance to classes. It will also be a showcase presenting the most interesting student proposals that is, in the end the Unit’s own means to disseminate the process and the results of each exercise. Therefore, to reach a wider audience, including the invited professors, the most relevant posts will be published in English as well.

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