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Bibliographic Essay [Outline]

How can an architectural intervention complement the site specific characteristics of its surroundings and symbolize a greater meaning through form and materiality?

  • Martin Heidegger “Building Dwelling Thinking”– the possibility of architecture transforming a space to a place
    • “The bridge swings over the stream with case and power. It does not just connect banks that are already there. The banks emerge as banks only as the bridge crosses the stream.”
      • [The landscape exists as space void of character, character in terms of identity, until architecture defines the landscape as place.]
      • [Architecture embeds the landscape with identifiable characteristics, and also becomes a way finding tool.]
  • Heidegger’s text presents that the landscape is inherently tied to architecture, but then why has the disconnect between architecture and the landscape continued to grow?
    • “Notwithstanding the fact that architecture and landscape inhabit each other’s conceptual and physical space, a combination of factors has fostered a deep and enduring division between them. This division has not only impoverished both discourses, it has had a negative impact on the built environment” (Pollak and Berrizbeitia, pp. 10)
  • Pollak and Berrizbeitia look to reinvigorate interest in the relationship between architecture and the landscape by presenting five different frameworks, or operations, with which to conceptualize the relationship between architecture and the landscape.
    • The operation of materiality is of special importance to the area of research presented here because under this operation Pollak and Berrizbeitia present ideas regarding meaning in the relationship between landscape and architecture.
  • In The Landscape Urbanism Reader Charles Walheim also asserts that there has been a growing disconnect between architecture and landscape.
    • Similarly to Heidegger Waldheim relies on pointing out that landscape and architecture are inherently linked, and therefore landscape design needs to be more strongly considered as part of architectural design.
  • John Dixon Hunt explains that the disconnect between architecture and landscape stems from the perception that landscape architecture is built upon arbitrary design decisions.
    • In studying the history of garden design Hunt credits cultural events throughout history as the driving source behind changes in garden design and landscape architecture.
    • Rather than the form of gardens changing based on purely aesthetic purposes Hunt attributes the change to certain events such as the opening of parks to a wider public.
      • The opening of parks to a wider public: this event helped to move the aesthetic of gardens away from the determination of only the wealthy few, and therefore led to the understanding that there is no universal aesthetic
  • Hunt’s exploration of genius loci,or spirit of the place, is interesting because it presents the notion that landscapes can be valued for more than just their aesthetic qualities.
    • Hunt acknowledges Turner’s landscape paintings as works that dealt strongly with the idea of genius loci.
    • He commends the talent of Turner for being able to capture through his painting the genius loci: “What is crucial about these motifs is that country estates required of the landscape artist both a visual naturalism and an instinct for their special sense of place: on the one hand, optical and visual accuracy, and on the other celebration of something more elusive than simple topography; what the visiting eye would see as well as the special rapport that its owners and residents would have for an estate.” (Hunt, pp. 235)
    • [Hunt’s view of Turner’s “instinct for the special sense of a place” speaks not only to artists with this instinct, but also to architects: in other words by working closely with and understanding the importance of the landscape architects can also capture this same sense of place]
  • Pollak and Berrizbeitia’s operation of materiality precedent studies: Brion Cemetery [Carlo Scarpa], Stone House [Herzog & De Meuron], Igualada Cemetery [Enric Miralles & Carmen Pinos], Thomson Factory [Desvigne and Dalnoky]
    • In On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time David Leatherbarrow catalogs materials which weather well in conjunction with other materials. He employs precedent studies in which the material choice not only weathers well, but in which the ephemeral quality of the material symbolizesa greater meaning within the design.
      • On Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Cemetery: “Scarpa interrupted the horizontal run run of the stepped parapet with a gap that has allowed the rainwater to seep through, leaving a black stain in the middle of the wall. This marking reveals, through weathering, nature’s temporality; the beginning and end of things.” (Leatherbarrow, pp. 98)
  • Christian Norberg-Shulz in Meaning in Western Architectureexplains the importance of meaning in architecture: “It must be emphasized that existential meanings are not something which is arbitrarily added to man’s daily life. Such meanings are inherent in daily life, consisting of the relationships between natural and human properties, processes and actions.” (Norberg-Shulz, pp. 222)
    • “… the task of the architect is to create places with a particular, meaningful character, for without the dimension of character all the levels would remain mere abstractions…” (Norberg-Shulz, pp. 225)
  • In Architecture: Meaning and Place Norberg-Shulz presents today’s situation as set up by the modern movement, an architecture which should no logner: “express and symbolize, but function” (Norberg-Shulz, pp. 17)
    • “The empty coordinate system of functionalism has to be filled. But man is not able to fill it alone, he has to have forms to aid him, that is, buildings and works of art which creates places with character. Today man only finds places with character in nature.” (Norberg-Shulz, pp. 26)

Bibliography

Architecture: Meaning and Place. Christian Norberg-Shulz. New York, New York: Rizzoli International Publications (1988)

Meaning in Western Architecture. Christian Norberg-Schulz. New York, New York: Rizzoli International Publications (1980)

“Building Dwelling Thinking”. Poetry, Language, Thought. Martin Heidegger. New York, New York: Colophon Books (1971)

Gardens and the Picturesque: Studies in the History of Landscape Architecture. John Dixon Hunt. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press (1992)

On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time. David Leatherbarrow and Mohsen Mostafavi. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press (1993)

Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape. Anita Berrizbeitia and Linda Pollak. Gloucester, Massachusetts: Rockport Publishers (1999)

The Landscape Urbanism Reader. Charles Waldheim, editor. New York, New York: Princeton Architectural Press (2006)

[Annotated Bibliography]

Placemaking: A Dialog Between Architecture and Landscape

How can material choice convey meaning characterized by site specific characteristics as well as programmatic considerations?

Before examining the characteristics of a site and considering an architectural response or its materiality it is important to understand the basic relationship between a place and architecture that intervenes on it. Martin Heidegger’s “Building Dwelling Thinking” (1971) explains the most basic relationship between architecture and landscape with great clarity. Heidegger uses the example of the bridge to describe the link between architecture and landscape: “The bridge swings over the stream with case and power. It does not just connect banks that are already there. The banks emerge as banks only as the bridge crosses the stream.” This explains the way in which landscape is inherently linked to architecture. Heidegger’s article presents the importance of the relationship between architecture and landscape. John Dixon Hunt’s text, Gardens and the Picturesque: Studies in the History of Landscape Architecture (1992), has the same sensibility about the importance of the relationship between the two, and expands on the history of garden design as a way of giving landscape architecture a non-arbitrary design basis. Hunt’s analysis of the history of garden design determines the driving force behind changes in garden design and landscape architecture to be cultural events. Rather than the form of gardens changing based on purely aesthetic purposes it is attributed to events such as the opening of gardens to a wider public. This opening helped move gardens away from a universal aesthetic determined by the wealthy few to an understanding that there is no universal aesthetic. Charles Waldheim asserts that there has been a growing disconnect between architecture and landscape in The Landscape Urbanism Reader (2006). Similarly to Heidegger Waldheim relies on pointing out the link that inherently ties architecture and landscape as a way of imparting the idea that landscape design needs to be more strongly considered part of architectural design. These all provide arguments for why the relationship between architecture and landscape must be strongly considered.

Linda Pollak and Anita Berrizbeitia’s Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape (1999) agrees that there has been a growing disconnect between architecture and landscape. They seek to reinvigorate interest in the relationship between the two by compiling a series of precedents which are each studied under the frame of five frameworks for the conceptualization of the relationship between architecture and landscape. In the text, On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time, Leatherbarrow catalogs materials which weather in conjunction with other materials, and the presents the idea that the weathering of materials could become a design consideration. His text can be connected to Pollak’s as she also explores materiality as one of the “operations” of conceptualization. Materials that weather over time can be used as a symbol to connect the project in theory to its functions. It is in response to the growing disconnect of architecture and landscape despite the fact that they are inextricably linked that architecture must consider the site not only as the place upon which structures sit, but look more intently at the dialog between the two.

 Bibliography

“Building Dwelling Thinking”. Poetry, Language, Thought. Martin Heidegger. New York, New York: Colophon Books (1971)

Martin Heidegger’s article, “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” from Poetry, Language, Thought (1971), asserts that space in the landscape does not exist as a place until architectural elements define the relationship between the two. Heidegger supports the idea through the example of the bridge: stating that the banks of a stream do not exist as banks until the bridge connects the two. Heidegger’s purpose is to explain the way in which architecture and landscape are inextricably linked. Given the strong theoretical and philosophical background of the article, Heidegger is writing to architects with a strong understanding of architectural theory.

Gardens and the Picturesque: Studies in the History of Landscape Architecture. John Dixon Hunt. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press (1992)

John Hunt’s text, Gardens and the Picturesque: Studies in the History of Landscape Architecture (1992), asserts that the history behind garden design and ultimately landscape architecture is not just a matter of garden aesthetics, but that its form and changes in it can be traced through time and linked to cultural events. Hunt supports the claim by tracing the history of garden design back to the 1800s when gardens became available to an increased section of the population, and in this action became something that could no longer count on the normative value of nature. Hunt’s purpose in articulating cultural events that affected garden design in history is to give landscape architecture a non-arbitrary basis in design, and in doing so establishes the importance in the relationship between architecture and landscape. The dense composition of the text and the extended history of gardens aim the text at landscape architects looking to expand their knowledge of the professions place in history.

On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time. David Leatherbarrow and Mohsen Mostafavi. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press (1993)

David Leatherbarrow’s and Mohsen Mostafavi’s text, On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time (1993), argues for the inclusion of the process of weathering in the architectural design process. Leatherbarrow backs up the argument by emphasizing the temporality of buildings since they don’t typically have a usable life over one hundred years and of nature as a whole. The purpose of the text is to depart from design actions which literally attempt to look like natural elements, and move toward a material patina resulting from the actual action of these elements. The simple vocabulary and easy reading style in the text targets a general audience of those interested in the subject of materiality in architectural design.

Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape. Anita Berrizbeitia and Linda Pollak. Gloucester, Massachusetts: Rockport Publishers (1999)

Linda Pollak and Anita Berrizbeitia’s Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape (1999) argues that a combination of factors have led to a deep division between architecture and landscape, and they construct a framework with which to understand the relationships between them. Pollak and Berrizbeitia define five operations each offering an approach to constructing relationships between architecture and landscape: the operation of reciprocity aims to subvert the predominant view of landscape as only the ground on which architecture rests, the operation of materiality critiques the tradition of landscape and architecture in purely visual terms, the operation of threshold rejects the reduction of transition from space to space to merely that of an abrupt crossing, and the operation of infrastructure places architecture and landscape as a place where natural or true ground no longer exists. The purpose of the text is to present a new approach to the representation of relationships between architecture and landscape in order to present opportunities for design outside of the conventional discourse. The text presents a fresh look at issues of representation using ordinary language aimed at attracting not only architects and landscape architects but academics and professors as well.

The Landscape Urbanism Reader. Charles Waldheim, editor. New York, New York: Princeton Architectural Press (2006)

Editor Charles Waldheim organized a series of essays in The Landscape Urbanism Reader (2006) through which he asserts that landscape design is central to urbanism in that urbanism’s theoretical and operational strategies find themselves within the field of landscape architecture. Waldheim supports his claim with essays which argue that architects as well as urban designers create objects, and that through the arrangement of these objects they create space, while they should look to conduct rather than control. Waldheim’s purpose is to point out design culture’s disconnect with landscape in order to make the reader consider the inherent connection between architecture and the landscape and to then question its current role position in relation to architectural and urban design. Waldheim uses a simple and concise language to target a general audience of architects and urban designers interested in landscape in the design process.

The Once and Future Park. Herbert Muschamp. New York, New York: Princeton Architectural Press (1993)

During my exploration of Frame 1 I focused on site. I felt that because of the the direct correlation of my thesis with issues of site that the frame should explore the site in some specificity. Depicted below is a catalog of different site conditions. Each collage explores the section of a specific site, and in that section it targets the dialogue between architecture and the landscape (how does the architecture respond to the site specific characteristics inherent in the generalized site?) Each site is also explored in perspective which explores the openness or lack there of depending on the site. Material exploration was also important, and therefore each site has been designated with a specific material that shares a complementary relationship with the site. Although, some materials are more universal and could be interchanged between sites others would be out of place outside of their placed site.

Beach condition: the architecture in this site responds to the water by jutting out over it, and the roof responds in a similar way. It peels up and opens toward the ocean vista.

Tree grove: the architectural response to the site cuts a simple wall into the slope of the site and defines an covered space. It also responds to the rhythm created by the trees.

Grass covered valley: the architecture becomes an object within the pure landscape of the valley. Since it becomes a solid mass due to its response it becomes much more inward facing, and therefore rather than opening up to the site it frames a view out to the site.

Desert flatland: the response to the flatland is one of horizontality. The walls become set back within the overhangs of the strong linear roof, and the low profile roofline continues the horizontality of the site.

Mountain: within the mountains section the architecture cuts a deep cavity into the slope, and projects out over the side to accentuate the verticality of the slope.

 Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape. Anita Berrizbeitia and Linda Pollak. Gloucester, Massachusetts: Rockport Publishers (1999)

Linda Pollak and Anita Berrizbeitia’s Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape (1999) argues that a combination of factors have led to a deep division between architecture and landscape, and they construct a framework with which to understand the relationships between them. Pollak and Berrizbeitia define five operations each offering an approach to constructing relationships between architecture and landscape. The purpose of the text is to present a new approach to the representation of relationships between architecture and landscape in order to present opportunities for design outside of the conventional discourse. The text presents a fresh look at issues of representation using ordinary language aimed at attracting not only architects and landscape architects but academics and professors as well.

Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape Review. Land Forum. Julia Czerniak. District of Columbia: Rockport Publishers (1999)

Julia Czerniak’s review of Inside/Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape in The Land Forum (1999) asserts that readers will find reward in multiple readings of Inside/Outside. Czerniak backs up this claim by describing the complexities in the thoughtful writing and ideas proposed by Inside/Outside. The purpose of this review is to identify the strengths of Berrizbeitia and Pollak’s work, and to suggest an interconnection of the operations not discussed in the book. Considering the source of the review, The Land Forum, the intended audience for the review is landscape architects and those interested in garden design, but the review is written to architects and landscape architects as a whole.