After the Review

432 Park Avenue Elevation

House VI

Been spending my time since Tuesday going back over my portfolio to address the changes we spoke about in the review. Looking at the proposed chapter titles they’re not meshing perfectly with the material I have and so I might change them slightly – ‘Cuisine’, ‘Threshold’ and ‘The View’ definitely stay, but ‘Mass’ and ‘Void’ aren’t working, and in any case haven’t been at the forefront of my mind when I’ve been approaching the project – I’m thinking ‘Tallness’ might work a lot better and better allow me to blend in the tech output. I’ll leave this for a moment, I think when I have the drawings out they will naturally establish their own symmetries and help pin these chapters down.

I’ve drawn up above a few more pages which I hope will conclude the precedent studies and give context to the 432 drawing. When I was drawing up the Eisenman project I noticed the way that the bathroom is bisected by the rift of glazing cut into the building and made me think about ways of compromising my proposal. Looking at the plan, I’m thinking the sleeping accommodation might need to be raised to a mezzanine floor to free up living space and this might create an opportunity to elevate the plan of Taft to the same level so that, lying in bed, you would look directly towards the bathroom facilities which would be fragmented according to the plan of Taft and isolated in glazed units similar to the way I drew up the elevator, compromising the privacy of the room. I appreciate this needs drawing up, not sure I’ve made much sense there.

Charles forwarded me an email from Colin last night with some interesting links to some tall building information:

It’s interesting that the limiting factor on the height of tall buildings is a financial, rather than technical, consideration and maybe this becomes the ‘scale’ of the finished drawings, similar to the drawing of the Cardiff walk in terms of time way back at the start of the year. I want to express the incredible height of these buildings and so the elevation drawing might pierce through the clouds, with human activity at street level emphasising the scale of the tower.

I’ve been thinking some more about the potential environmental treatment of the building I discussed with Charles last time we met and a few ideas have begun to percolate. I noticed when I visited Taft Houses just how minimal the sound insulation in those buildings was. Standing in the corridor you could hear doors slamming and people shouting inside the apartments, quite unnerving… Perhaps the atrium in the proposed building might incorporate acoustic structures, suspended above, that would cut through the floor plates of the building to funnel sound and contaminate the apartments with the ambience of the street.

One thought on “After the Review

  1. The tall buildings references that Colin sent you a great – we saw them as well, and I like the idea of using a different scale to draw the project – in terms of finance rather than size – which could also be a way to insert the Cardiff drawings as an appendix to that particular chapter? Some of the facts in the How Tall is Tall? article would be great quotes in your portfolio, especially in how it defines the limits of a skyscraper. The implications of the large tuned mass damper you would need to stabilise a tall, slender tower like yours could be really provocative if synthesised with the burrito restaurant at the apex – a huge swinging pendulum of doom in whose path you have to eat the food of Spanish Harlem – it has an interesting symmetry with the wrecking ball as a sign of gentrification/ “progress”.
    I really like both of these precedent studies and how they could inform your proposal – the way you have drawn Vinoly’s cloudscraper is a good introduction to the drawing you mention of your tower whose scale is emphasised by the activity at street level. Eisenman’s use of strips of glazing to bisect and disrupt the natural order of the domestic environment, coupled with the partially built intersecting elements of the Chancellor’s Bungalow in the German Pavilion really generates a strategy for you to deal with how you materialise your hybridisation of Taft House with your tower – framing some thoughtful views through the building according to your chapter titles will help frame what an unusual, uninhabitable and uncanny space this is.
    I saw this on socks-studio and thought of your project because of how the artist strategically uses plants as the only sign of life in these uncanny corporate spaces: My favourite moment is when one of her paintings is mounted as artwork within a real life corporate void space – a sort of nesting of worlds within worlds!
    Your images should be filled with the tension evident in the pictures of Eisenman’s house – where the strip window functions as almost a surgical incision ripped through the space. On Tuesday we discussed techniques for rendering or bringing these views to life and I mentioned examples I had posted to the blog previously like the images of DOGMA: (scroll through the slideshow past the drawings to see the images – they use texture in a very thoughtful and strategic way), or else my friend’s office OMMX: – their images are almost painterly – photoshopping textures into single point perspectives to bring projects to life in a very artistic but still quite realistic way – with a few views like these that could complement your very carefully constructed drawings and diagrams, I think it will bring the different elements of the portfolio together and tell the story of how the building should be experienced as well as the forces that shaped it. Looking forward to seeing the new chapter structure and its related views/ drawings on Tuesday – good luck!

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