Monthly Archives: January 2012 - Page 2

Lindner Center Metaphor

Very well, let’s take a walk.  At the base of the structure, as any flame, is the concentration of energy that is released and dispersed upward.  The combustion of this energy occurs when the ambler is compressed at the cave-like entrance and then immediately released into a bright white, 5-story atrium space.  The dispersion of energy equates to the privacy of the upper floors, the quieter spaces that seem to float freely above the crowded and heavy ground floor.  This process occurs as a result of the entire population entering at either the basement or main floor levels.  As the most common direction to pass is upward, the location of highest traffic and therefore energy will be the ground level.  This is also the floor that exudes school spirit in the history literally written on the walls and the trophy case adorning the walkway, all factors contributing to its high energy level.

This flame-like quality translates directly into the tectonic design first and foremost with the ground level environment.  The ambler is compressed at the entrance, this time laterally rather than vertically as the narrow entrance is revealed between two massive forms.  Like the Lindner Center, the construct offers massive enclosure on the first floor, correlating to the paralyzing heat of a flame center that disperses and dissipates upward just like the structure’s weightless levels floating above.  This flame flickers light and releases embers, extending itself outward into its environment as the structure engages the exterior with clearly framed views.  And just as the flame gracefully reaches into the sky and disappears, so does the building as it diminishes and opens as it rises.

Finally, a flame is balanced.  Though it is constantly undergoing combustion, it is aesthetically and chemically balanced.  It is roughly symmetrical as it radiates from a core energy source at the base.  Similarly, the structure maintains a balance around its base in the form of two corresponding frame masses.

Metaphor Paper

Very well let’s take a walk through downtown; we might just get swept up by a giant wave taking us out of our urban setting and into the world of Zaha.  The wave sweeps us through a clear, glass entry that is dancing on the surface of the wave into a deep, dark trough, where we are tossed around when encountering a series of undulating black masses.  As we continue our adventure, light punctuates the wave giving us a taste of what is to come, before finally tossing us into the sunlight, on the surface.  We reach the familiar, as the wave crests above the building giving us a view of downtown.

Let’s enter the wave and be swept up.  We find ourselves standing with seemingly no direction, under giant black masses. It’s like a bomb has just gone off seconds before, right in front of where we are standing.  The energy of the bomb has blown a dark, black mass into the air above.  There is some light coming through the cloud of mass and smoke giving us hope.  The horrific experience these blown apart masses have gone through makes it seem as if each one of them has a different story to tell.  We can sense a kind of privacy about them, as we stand in the atrium space below.  It makes you want to go there and see what story they have to tell.  The giant, red column imprinted with words and posters exudes excitement. It gives an almost revolutionary feeling between the bomb having just gone off, and the loud colors and messages jumping off the column.

It is time to go on the adventure, enter deep into the trough of the wave, and enter the black masses floating above us in the building.  Once deep inside, it’s like riding on a ribbon slowly unrolling as the wind pushes us, sailing across the surface of the sea, it is the calm after a terrible storm.  The soft fibers of the ribbon sense direction and are reliable.  If we follow, they will take us somewhere we will enjoy.  At the other end of the spool are black mazes, some loud, some silent.

Very well let’s take a walk; let’s go on an adventure through the mazes. They look dark and scary and the noises and screams are coming from them, as they protrude from the maze, are terrifying.  However, we were just floating up a calm and peaceful river in the middle of the wave, so something good must happen.  As we venture through the mazes, we see they hold precious works of art and the screams are coming from the art yelling for attention against their surroundings.  The contents of the maze are like hidden treasure in a sunken pirate ship. You have to be adventurous and take a risk to enter it.  Entry is no easy task. The thought of treasure is very appealing, and is swimming in and out of focus under the waves.  You might have to come up several times for air at the landings, and look out at the view as you climb the stairs of the CAC, but if persistent the treasure is within reach.  As we have captured the treasure and are rounding the crest of the wave, we are tossed back into the city.  Our adventure has been a success and we walk away with a new knowledge.  We can see the whole city from the crest of this wave and it is serene, as if in a picture at the end of an action movie where a bomb has just gone off and wiped out the city, but we are left on top of a roof all alone. The blast is over and there are huge particles in the air around us, but as the dust and particles are settling they float gracefully and calmly down to the ground and we are left to our own thoughts.  We contemplate if we want to stay in this little world of our own or go back and rejoin the civilization below.

Promenade Part 2

Very well, let’s take a walk.  There is a nearby stream that winds through a pine-scented wood; the sparkling waters are surrounded by colorful wildflowers that change with the seasons.  The walk shall be quite a treat, for the complexity seems so simple that it makes each passer-by feel.  Whether we will feel relaxed, intrigued, or energized is up to the behavior of the weather and surrounding conditions and creatures; regardless though, an experience powerful enough to spark feeling is a very special one.

As the stream starts tossing and turning its way through the trees, it climbs over rocks and pebbles.  The water shimmers with fish and shells as the sunlight peeks through various gaps in the canopy; it slowly gains speed and charisma with each bend and is encouraged by the landscape.  The forest enveloping us shifts form and density.  It thins and allows natural light to reach out and kiss our skin, bridging us with the outside world and reminding us that it does still exist beyond the boundaries built around us; it thickens and confines us to a more claustrophobic space, stealing the element of light from our grasp.  What never becomes clear, though, is where one space ends and another begins; the transitions are smooth and undefined, instituting an inspiring effect on each individual moving through.

As the rushing water finally reaches the apex of the cliff, it hesitates for a moment (but only a moment) before running over the sides and steadily trickles down the face marking its own path eith every twist and turn each drop takes.  As the water ripples gently behind us, it reminds us of what we have seen and processes the entire experience from start to finish.  Our mind highlights each feeling the walk created and every single transition we made, trying desperately and restlessly to establish a defined point of connection between the two.  One of the beauties of our walk is characterized by the wonder and lack of clarity.

Now comes the time when we must take our leave.  As we peer over our shoulders and enjoy the view, we remember the chaos we saw and remember how though things became quick and unsteady at times, there always remained tranquility and beauty.  We shall part our ways, but take with you the serenity we have captured within our bodies and minds, as I will travel with mine.  We will never forget this walk for the rest of eternity.  Very well, my friend; take care, and farewell… at least for now.

A Walk Through the Netherlands Hotel

Very well, let’s take a walk.  As you walk into the entryway of the Netherland’s Hotel you are immediately met by a large stairway.  Like the density of trees in a forest the stairway blocks your view of anything beyond it and you are forced to ascend it to learn more about the space.   The low ceiling provides a comforting and mysterious presence above your head, like the canopy of a forest.  It shelters you from the other elements of the building like a canopy shelters you from the sun.  Despite the safety felt in the stairway you are compelled to move on, to see what happens beyond your sight, so you keep moving.

Suddenly about halfway up the steps the canopy opens up and you get a view of the sky and other elements at play in the space.  The glamorous chandelier sparkles like the sun over your head.  You can now see the vastness of the space around you.  You see that the forest is much larger than you were lead to believe in shelter of the canopy.  There is a whole dining room to your right, and open floors above your head.  Like the clouds paint a picture in the sky, there is a beautiful painting on the ceiling that seems to change as you move.  If you look straightforward you can see that the canopy closes you in once more and you are forced to move onto its comfort.

Stepping back under the canopy you continue your walk and notice that there is a series of columns, which much like the trees of a forest, set up a rhythm for the rest of the walk.  You can feel the tree that was used to create the column.  Its energy remains and surges through the space.  Stepping in time with the trees you feel freer than you had on the lower stairway.  The forest has thinned down and you can see more of your surroundings.  To the left the lobby sits like a neighboring forest. It still feels sheltered from the building as a whole but it’s distinctive as its own space separate from the promenade.  The lobby is still a forest but the type of tree has changed.  The lumbering columns to your right also provide a screen between the promenade and the dining area; similarly the trees of a forest provide a screen separating the forest from open fields.

As you see the open field that is the dining room you turn forward and are stunned to be greeted with a wall.  Like a boulder suddenly thrown into the path of a forest it causes you to pause.  The boulder symbolizes the ending of this portion of the promenade.  There is not going through it, so you must follow the stairs and turn the corner away from the forest through which you have just journeyed.

St. Monica’s – the course of a day

Very well, let’s take a walk. As of yet, there is not much to see. Darkness, still veiling the impending day, shrouds everything in a dark cloud. You have been in more churches than you can count, but all you see right now is a simple office, seemingly leading into another non-descript space.  It is dawn, that time right before sunrise when you know the new day will soon be bright, warm, and inviting. But right now there is still dew on the ground, and a veil hovering over everything. Walking down a long corridor, which you now know is the last link before entering the church; dawn is swiftly turning to day. This moment between dawn and day is striking, there is a perception and feeling of what is to come, but it is not yet there. At the end of the hallway, a door is opened, and the sun begins to peak over the horizon.

Passing through the threshold, the sun rises. You enter into the worship space. Dramatic verticality is immediately the focus here: the sun does not rise in a horizontal motion. Windows and columns draw your eye upward, towards the striking light. Taking a few more steps into the space, time has fast-forwarded. From the covering darkness of dawn you have entered into high noon. Light is perceived from all corners, a vast expanse of space that draws your eyes upward, towards the source. The first word that comes to your mind is angelic; beautiful angelic light spreading out all around you: The focal point of the church, and the focal point of the day. Light and warmth is spreading out all around you, and it is meant to be basked in all day.

After a long day of sun, nature has developed a beautiful sequence to segway into night: sunset. Passing through the openness of the worship space, you get a last glimpse of the beautiful light above you. The rose window towers above you, the beautiful colors becoming the colors of the most serene sunset. The threshold is rapidly approaching, just as the brightest sunset gets swiftly swallowed in darkness. Walking through this threshold of night and day, the perception of the space is entirely reversed: night turns to day. Like awakened owls roosting in the rafters, large columns give rhythm to this entrance sequence. Darkness weakens your perception, so you now feel enclosed in this new space.

The course of the day provides a sense of cyclical rhythm. One segment of the day leads into another. St. Monica’s acts in the same way. The columns high above act as repetitious elements that are repeated, in a different orientation, in the entrance. Walking through this building, you can’t help but feel the changing times of day.

A Journey to the Center of St. Monica’s

Very well, let’s take a walk…  The hill begins to dip down, and we descend.  Rocks rise up around the path, worn from age and time.  They are strewn about as if left from some massive force in an ancient time.  On the right appears a huge shelf of polished granite, an island from a lost time.  In its face is a small crevice that opens up deep underneath.  The air from this cave breathes a chilling breeze, promising that there is much more to discover hidden within.

Squeezing into this crack brings us into a small chamber, a place of refuge from the outside maybe.  It is evident that this is an old space, rich with history.  Further exploration reveals a small side passage.  The walls narrow and pinch you as you approach the entrance to further chambers.  Upon entering you are hit with a sudden volume of light.  It comes streaming in bands from huge fissures in the passage sides.  This thin fault leads forward and takes a bend, hitting another portal, through which is a small antechamber.  The compression between the plates of the earth is massive, pushing us horizontally like water deep within the aquifers.

The sideways pressure moves us forward and we break through the rock.  We tumble out underneath a huge cliff face, rising up far above our heads.  The room opens up into a terrific canyon, the walls of which seem to extend upward for days.  Light pours in from the rim of this canyon, piercing down into the depths of the canyon, though it is barely able to explore its extents.  Ravines and gullies run off of the sides, all leading from the center and the force flowing along the middle.  Before passing into the main expanse, let’s first explore the sides of this ancient vault.

Along the perimeter of the canyon run the smaller canyons and caves, formed from the pressure and relentless toil of years of water.  It has eroded away the rock edges, leaving only smooth and polished formations.  It is clear that the water has flowed around these edges, searching for a path to the interior, carving channels in the floor.  We can begin to decipher the age and weight of this grand space by looking at the rocky walls.  The layers here are deep and compressed, telling time like the rings of a tree stump.  Little light penetrates into these intimate and compressed spaces, adding to the enigma of this canyon.

Finally, the draw of the central space becomes too much, and we make towards it.  Cutting through the ravines, we enter into the heart of the canyon, and it is breathtaking.  The walls surround us on all sides, and oak trees, no doubt as old as the canyon itself and implanted deep with it’s stone, rise up over their edges and cast their tremendous branches over its mouth, preventing it from speaking its secrets unto the world.   This is a very sacred and quiet space, long cut off from the turmoil of the outside world.  From outside its protecting enfold you can still hear the sounds of the world, engrained into your memory.

On the far end of the chamber is a powerful waterfall gushing from a small opening in the wall, falling upon the canyon bed and flowing out through the center.  It was this immense force that must have carved away at the rock so many years ago.  Now it sits frozen in time, eerily silent like the last breath from the heart of a dying lion.  This marks the center of where time began and then stopped, leaving this space forever still to the passage of the world.  Empty except for the thick air of memories and dust.

As we examine the space intimately, we begin to gain a better understanding of its history and tale.  Embedded into the carved stone sides we can depict fossils and artifacts, remnants on a lost time.  These ancient gems gleam through and tell the story of this age-old world we’ve just stumbled into passing through Clifton.  They are the survivors of a lost time, giving us clues to how the world once was.  Now they just appear flat and faded, no longer holding the same meaning and glory they once did, just bones in a museum.  Then again, there is a certain nostalgia and sincerity to the whole scene, like the dying words of a classical poet, meant to inspire generations of artists to achieve their own fates.  And with that we begin to really sense the power and weight contained within this timeless cavern, and we must step carefully as we find our way home again, so as not to disturb the majesty of this sacred place for other travelers who may one day come across it themselves.

Very well, let’s take a walk.

Very well, let’s take a walk. The forest is a quiet refuge, the waterfall that tumbles over a short flight of boulders the only sound. In fact, it is so quiet and serene that you feel like an intruder. Everything seems muffled by the dense trees whose branches seem to interlock over your head.

You are curious to see the source of this waterfall; in fact, you feel compelled to find it. Moving slowly up the gradual incline of the hill, you find a break in the trees. As you look up at it, you can’t help but feel that if you climbed into one of those trees, you would be able to see your destination. However, you cannot find a way to get to them, since their roots are out of sight.

The trees once more seem to close over your head, and you feel pressed into the space. You continue to crawl forward, moving up and up to find the source of the waterfall. Finally, the ground flattens, and you find yourself in a flat piece of land through which a small stream runs. The trees are taller, and you can see for miles. You feel somewhat satisfied now that you are in this open space; less compressed and intimidated. However, the stream curves back into the woods, and you feel compelled to follow. You feel that this is not a place of rest. Though the trees once again loom overhead and darken the space, you move forward, curious.

You follow the stream back around the bend, the splashing of the waterfall growing quieter behind you. Suddenly, it becomes difficult to determine where you are. Your sense of direction has become confused. However, with the stream to follow, you are not afraid of getting lost. As you go on, you see light shining through the trees ahead, and the sound of rushing water seems to have grown louder. You approach the treeline, and as you emerge from the thick woods, you see the waterfall below you. You have arrived at those trees you had previously gazed at and wondered how to climb them. Now, you have reached their seemingly mysterious source. But suddenly, climbing to the top of those trees doesn’t seem important anymore. You are confident you have unlocked the secret of this forest.

Netherland Hotel

Very well, let’s take a walk. As we walk up the stairs we enter a space that feels compressed and a little claustrophobic, like there is nowhere to move. But wait, is there another way to look at this space? When one thinks of a large rock (the ceiling) being placed on a small pooling of water (the space), the water does not compress but moves outward from the rock. So in actuality this compression is causing more movement than an uncompressed space. This is an interesting idea to think about…

Very well, let’s take a walk. As we walk from a small dark space into a large well lit space one is reminded of being underground and suddenly finding a hole to the world above. One can admire under this oculus at the light from above and the release you feel from the compression around you. There is something inspiring in this weightless space full of light we now find ourselves…

Very well, let’s take a walk. As we enter the compressed space passed the stairs we notice the large masses acting as columns. One is reminded of Atlas who was commanded by the gods to hold up earth for all of time. Where there should be a column (or a man) there is instead a mass (or a god) holding up the planes above (or earth). The line is thus blurred between this man and god like being as is the line blurred between these columns and masses.

Metaphor 1) a rock placed on puddle

Metaphor 2) a hole in the ground

Metaphor 3) a man or god holding up planes

Metaphor 1 will be the most effective in talking about how a force has a effect throughout the space.

The Penetrable Cliff

Metaphors included in the past: earth (cliff), water, and light

The cliff is, by far, the most important metaphor in this instance.

Upon facing the rough and high surface of the rock face, it takes some courage to approach the one small opening you see that’s available to you. Somewhat carefully, you and your party step out of the warm sun and into the smooth mouth of the cavern. Cut off from the light, it takes you a moment to adjust your sight and your body to your new surroundings. Your footsteps echo as you tentatively step forward into this place, making you jump slightly and glance around for any sign of life.

Finally, your eyes and ears adjust. Your eyes tell you that ahead and around the bend there is light, a potential exit; while your ears tell you that behind you the world is as you left it, noisy and full of life. You press on, letting your curiosity draw you farther. As you turn the corner, you are suddenly blasted with light and with the sound of the outside world as openings occur at regular intervals in the cliff face. You crave the beauty and the simplicity of the space, it being a strong reminder of the world you know you only temporarily left behind. Smiling from this experience, you press onward, feeling much more satisfied with your decision to continue into the cave and wondering what other great wonders might continue to occur in it’s depths.

You step down into a somewhat damp and dark space. Being uncomfortable in such a setting, you shift to the closest opening, even if the crevice is a little slimmer than you would normally attempt. As soon as you squeeze yourself through you are rewarded with a stunning scene. Before you, above you, all around you is space. Taking it all in at once, you find, is incredibly easy as the light of day floods the entire cave through spaces between the stalactites hanging from the ceiling. Your eyes eye these dripping rock formations; how the stalactites and stalagmites merge to form huge trunks holding up the mass of earth that you know is high above your head.

Amongst the pitter-patter of the dripping water of the newly forming stalactites you can hear the faint sound of birds and other animals of the outside world. These sounds here do not encourage you though. They are foreign in this environment, this new world you have found that makes you feel so incredibly small and insignificant. Disliking this loss of center, you begin to move through the water, gravitating toward the niches cut behind the stalactite-stalagmite formations. Here the rock is much closer to your head, and somehow, you feel safer. After finding a place to sit you turn and examine the space you just fled.

The light reflects off the watery floor, which coupled with the ripples from the dripping ceiling create a light show on the ceiling on the opposing wall you had not seen before. Your pulse slows as you gaze at this natural lightshow, it’s ripples dazzling and warming your insides until you are no longer afraid of the expanse of the space. You pick yourself up and rush out into the center of the pool, watching the light dance across the walls as you move the water in a sudden rush. Smiling and laughing, you continue to enjoy yourself silently until suddenly you cannot hold it in any longer and your laughter erupts to fill the whole cavern. As the sound of your laugh bounces back to you from the upmost corners of the space, you become startled and perhaps stop moving for a moment.

You test what you heard, moving one foot and then the other, hearing the splashes resound from the farthest reaches of the cave. Somehow, the knowledge that you have such control over your surroundings delights you. You indulge yourself for a few moments, making all the noise you very well choose.

After some minutes of this, you decide it is time to move on or to move back. You continue forward, wondering where else the path will take you. You pass through a large opening, but into a small chute where water obviously etched it’s way out in large torrents in past times. Happy that you were not caught in any such onslaught, you follow the form the water carved for you and find yourself out in the sun once again.

Project 1–Emmy Jensen

Very well, let’s take a walk. Though you see a glimmer of light in front of you, all around it is dark, and you don’t know where you are going. You press forward, climbing slowly up the angle of the cave floor, curious to see what lies ahead. You feel as though the walls are closing in on you, and so you are even more determined to reach the light ahead. As you finally reach the top, the ground plateaus and the cave is flooded with light. You look around at the stalactites that now glitter in the sun and feel satisfaction that your destination is a beautiful one.

Very well, let’s take a walk. You breathe in the damp air and watch the water run over your feet as you walk forward. The small waterfall before you splashes down from an unknown source, and while you do not know what you may find at that source, you feel compelled to be there. A part of you believes that you might be able to see it from the trees growing tall around you, but you cannot climb them from here. Perhaps it is only at the source that they might be reached. As you get to the top, you find the waterfall coming from a tranquil stream that disappears into the trees. Curious, you follow the stream until you reach a large oak tree that catches your attention. You climb into the tree and survey the area around you to find that the oak overlooks the path you took before. Having come full-circle, you descend and go on your way.

Very well, let’s take a walk. You know you must reach your destination, and you know it lies straight ahead. A part of you, however, disdains the idea of pressing on from here. Boulders crowd your path and lie close overhead. The tunnel you must travel through, though big enough for you to pass, is cramped and intimidating. However, you move through, walking cautiously forward. At times, the tunnel widens and allows more comfort as you move. Finally, you come out, breathing in the fresh air.