09-1016 | Gresham City Hall Light Shading

•October 21, 2009 • 1 Comment

As with every review, the discussions which followed each presentation helped me evaluate my own project, giving me more insight to other possibilities and highlighting my own concept’s shortcomings.

Though I think deciduous planting is a great way to defuse sunlight; creating shade during the summer, then allowing surplus light into spaces during the winter, there were definite drawbacks which may make planters, trees or other plants difficult.

The most obvious problem to me is dependability. Plants do not follow a specific pattern each year, growing exactly as planned, or repeating last year’s performance. Different years will, undoubtedly, yield different outcomes in the plant’s form. Different forms may be more, or less efficient than what was originally hoped and planned for.

Obviously there is a maintenance issue, but honestly I do not believe there is a no-maintenance option here. Even projections off the façade will require occasional checkups; connection problems will grow the more seasons the device weathers (freezing/thawing through winter, expansion/contraction in summer heat) and of course like windows there will be cleaning needs.

I felt there were viable elements to each solution presented, but planting provides the most aesthetically pleasing experience (assuming ideal growth patterns) both inside and outside the building. Of course this is all subjective, but then again, this is architecture…


Gresham City Hall

•October 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Shaping Light | Beginnings

•October 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sir Norman Foster

•October 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Norman Foster’s routes tie back to his time studying with Bucky Fuller, one of the greatest engineering minds ever. Foster’s desings have a decidedly engineering feel to them, but his understanding and sensitivity to nature within his designs is what sets him apart. High performance paired with green spaces integrated within a project are difficult to master, technology and nature usually are, but as Foster states, it is the duty of architects to accomplish just that.

Alvar Aalto

•October 5, 2009 • 1 Comment

Trained in the Finnish National Romantic style, Aalto learned a deep respect and sence of tradition for Finland’s native landscape, the use of natural materials and nature’s connection to architecture. Being born around the turn of the century, he also developed an appreciation for the aesthetic of the International Style. Alvar Aalto is studied to this day, as one of the greats architects this world has produced, his mastery of blending these styles is arguable without equal.

Aalto never forgot his place, as the architect, but rather put the function of a buliding in front of his own personal adjendas. Today architecture is riddled with ‘starchitects’ or those who strive to make curvalinear forms created from a diagram no one other than the architect can really understand. Often these bulidings suffer, underperform and are consistantly over budget. It is their alienation to the human use of space which is the cancer of these designs.

Aalto’s work, seemingly, never forgets where it came from or who is was made for. His attention to all aspects of design is part of the reason his works are continually analyzed, yet never completely understood.

Work Cited

 “Alvar Aalto, technology and nature”. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities. 2003

Glanville, Ranulph, Quantrill, Malcolm. Finnish Architecture and the Modernist Tradition. E & FN Spon. 1995. 15, 13, 17, 21, 85

Gruen, Phil. “Selling Modernism: Wright, Barragan, and Aalto. Washington State University. 2007.

Kostof, Spiro. A History of Architecture. Second Edition. Oxford University Press. 1995. 599

Lars Sonck 1870-1956. Museum of Finnish Architecture. 1982. 117

Nerdinger, Winfried. Ed. Alvar Aalto, Toward a Human Modernizm. Prestel Verlag, 1999. 49,55,58,63,52,64

Nesbitt, Kate. Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture. Princeton Architectural Press. 1996. 93

Ockman, Joan. Architecture Culture 1943-1968. (Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., New York): 250, 251, 252

Pearson, Paul David. Alvar Aalto, and the International Style. Watson-Guptill Publications. 31,57,89-91

Porphyrions. Demetri. Sources of Modern Eclecticism. Academy Editions, 1982. 57

Saarinen, Suomessa in Finland. Museum of Finnish architecture. 1984. 48,11,6,28,5,64,70-78,82

Weston, Richard. Alvar Aalto. Phaidon Press Limited. 1995. 8

Weston, Richard. Villa Mairea, Alvar Aalto. Architecture in Detail. 2002.