Friday, 27 December 2013

Minimalist hut

“The minimum could be defined as the perfection that an artifact achieves when it is no longer possible to improve it by subtraction... This is the quality that an object has when every component, every detail and every junction has been reduced or condensed to the essentials. It is the result of the omission of the inessentials.” 
John Pawson, Minimum

    The primitive hut by Charles Eisen for Frontispiece of Marc-Antoine Laugier: Essai sur l’architecture represents not only ideal self-sufficient structure at the time but also shows universality of timber use in building structure.

In a primitive hut all its elements: columns, beams and rafters are made entirely of fresh cut wood and work as a whole superstructure. Structure is assembled without any additional bonding elements and therefore seems suspicious. 

In my opinion this drawing is an allegory about universality of vernacular principles and their connection with nature. It also represents idea about simplicity as human quality against complexity of nature.

Wood is simple and sophisticated at the same time. It is the only one building material which is a living organism. None of building materials is so diverse, complex and inconstant as wood.
Complexity of wood is not only in its physical properties but also in structural principles used in timber structures through the centuries. Timber works best in structural system where each element is assisted, compensated by another. Joints are crucial in these systems and they must be precise and effective to achieve strength and toughness of the whole structure. 

The minimalist hut represents basic, essential structure accomplished in such a way to achieve simplicity and clarity of building language. The aim is to use joints without fasteners, bindings or adhesive. Structural elements are interconnected together only by interlocking and fixed with hardwood plugs.
The minimalist hut uses limited size of standard timber: beam 75x150 or 75x100mm. 

Axsonometric view

Ridge and cornice detail drawings

Process of making.

Component parts 


Cornice detail - complete structure

Ridge detail - complete structure

Friday, 11 October 2013

Space shaped by the light out of windows

The city is shaped not only by its objects and voids between but also by external factors which allow city to be perceived. The light either natural daylight or artificial one makes the perception of physical city possible. In daylight a wide range of variable components shape our perception – glare and shadows, air perspective and cloudiness.
After dusk man-made light is almost single player in the city. It suppresses light from the stars and the moon, thus city becomes totally separated from nature. It changes our perception thoroughly because rules of perception become different. We start to see in more selective and focused manner because of darkness. Space becomes enclosed and object-like more than ever.
Artificial light is a guide through the city and it also defines the character of the city.
Norberg-Schulz points the window as especially important in defining the spirit of place:
‘It does not only express the spatial structure of the building, but also how it is related to light. And, through its proportions and detailing, it participates in the functions of standing and rising. In the window, thus, the genius loci is focused and ‘explained’.
Edward Hopper’s famous paintings Night Windows (1928) and Nighthawks (1942) illustrates two levels of the city – one which is private, domestic and usually hidden, and another which is public, commercial such as cafe or shop.

Night Windows (1928)

Nighthawks (1942)

Aim. This mapping exercise tries to reveal the character of two former market towns – Blairgowrie and Kirriemuir which now experiences economic and social decline. I am interested in artificial light as the indicator of the level of diversity and vitality of these towns.

Method. I used two types of artificial light out of windows commercial and domestic) as a code which holds different information about spaces shaped by it three-dimensionally –
both in plan and in street views.

Result. Final maps show areas of commercial and social activity, difference between centre, residential and industry areas and density of towns.
Research also revealed different features of built environment such as: typology, orientation and rhythm of windows, character of narrow streets and blank gables, aspects of overlooking
and imaginary situation of spaces shaped only by light out of windows.

urban analysis / mapping / aero view / Kirriemuir

urban analysis / mapping / aero view / Blairgowrie and Rattray

urban analysis / mapping / street view / Blairgowrie and Rattray

urban analysis / mapping / street view / Kirriemuir

Friday, 6 September 2013

Macro - micro

This August I had a great opportunity to take a part in the project called Macro-Micro. It is a prototype building designed and made by Masters Unit students within the School of Architecture at Dundee University. It is located at the Botanic gardens. In the building process they are testing existing technologies in a new way which makes this work very unique. 
I joined the team as volunteer in the stage when buildings frame structure was already erected and insulation work just finished. 

External wall structure filled with icynene.

During August I was participating in different works such as 
carpentry, covering weather membranes on outside and vapour membranes inside, laying OSB sheets and many others.
It was a great experience and a pleasure to work together with interesting people and learn many new things in process of making. 

Unfortunately my volunteering on this project is finished now because I am back to the school for my 4th year but I will keep the following on the progress of this interesting project.

More info about Macro Micro:

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Zanis Lipke memorial museum

The place where all senses are engaged equally to create unforgettable spatial and emotional experience.

The very first sign to find the way to the memorial. 

External appearance - modest, intriguing...

Entry tunnel

The sign

The story

The teller

The drawing of a bunker

The model of Lipke's memorial

More visual experience on:

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Demarco photographic gallery and archive. Process

I choose option where 2 Demarco programmes are physically separated because of distinct functions these programmes serve - one is about creating and another is about storing. I decided to place these programs in different environments and Roseangle area is good in providing diverse urban characters. Consequently, I put gallery and residences in more residential area whereas archive sits within more urban environment on Perth Road which joins with many cultural institutions of Dundee.

In spite of their physical separation, I see both programs as a whole body  where lanes work as arteries which joins inseparable parts of the body.  I see this as Art complex within unique district.

My approach was to effectively use existing grid of streets and volumes and presume the district as a solid mass from which to carve spaces of. The main idea therefore is to create a dialogue between old existing and new one.

This somehow relates to my understanding about Demarco's contribution in process of breaking walls and making links between worlds - creating a dialogue within tight limitations.

Both programmes together are a whole body where lanes work as arteries which joins inseparable parts of the body.  Art complex within unique district.
Open public spaces as connective tissues within a body.
Open spaces enrich this complex and a whole district as well as invole the local community.  

Demarco gallery and residence

In case of Demarco gallery and residence I was using existing buildings with uncovered gables as matrices for new extensions. 

 Carving voids and spaces
Spatial relationship between programmes and functions  - physical and visual connections.  Demarco archive - gallery - studious-Demarco residence - artists’ flats.
Creating spatial relationship between residence and gallery.
Accenting entrance and setting volumes parallel.

Creating paths
Articulation of open public and private spaces. Making enclosure and continuing the street.

Serial vision sketch shows approaching and passing gallery and urban realm created by narrow lanes and liberating extensions of the space.

If wall is public then windows are expression of privacy and vice versa.
Windows as expression of content and personality. 

Conventional and contemporary forms of windows.

As a case study I chose Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney by REIACH AND HALL ARCHITECTS.


Seamless volumes - new and old linked together with translucent threshold.

   "The charming harbour town of Norwegian origin called
Stromness is the result of two dominant building types
huddled together into a weather worn hand. The ends of
long chimneyless pitched roof sheds made of different
materials upon dry stone bases like stubby fingers in
the water and, by road, two storey houses placed
either parallel or perpendicular, their chimneys flush to
windowless gable ends.
This is an insistent and dogged morphology, a huddled
together architecture that reminds me both of the
position espoused in the built work and writings of
Aldo Rossi and the responsively loose and nuanced
buildings of the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza whose
work transformed these typologies into more expressive
and freely open compositions. One might characterise
the exterior expression of the project by Edinburgh
practice Reiach and Hall - to extend the Pier Arts Centre
with a refurbished building on the street and a new one
facing the sea - as located somewhere between these
two canons and, as such, offering a powerful regional

   "I wouldn’t like to refer to my halls as architecture at all. I’d
rather talk about structures. To me, architecture sounds
too demanding and, on the other hand, it always makes
me think of too much contrasting, artificial, unnecessary
form. A structure is historically and locally oriented, built
with the simplest, reliable materials and constructions
that local craftsmen can master. A structure is so to
speak, cleansed with architecture, I find that pleasant,
in principle, for artistic room though it is the only attitude
that I can accept."

Quotes from:

Initial structural scheme for lower volume. Massive loadbearing masonry walls supports upper structure and do bracing.

Upper volume's structure - lightweight frame using 2x18mm structural plywood. Ribs in both directions (vertical and horizontal) are 300mm deep.


Demarco archive

Existing building (not listed by Historic Scotland) is significant witness of industrial past and
interesting by its typology and sitting in the
surrounding landscape and urban fabric.

Adding intervention within the plot boundaries and keeping existing brick shell. Cornice aligned with surrounding four-storey tenements across the Perth Road.

New volume is pushed towards the street creating covered open space and pulled from another side to provide light for galleries deep inside.

Stretching front side of the volume up to allow
extra floors accommodate and stretching back side to form inner courtyard for getting more light in one corner.

Braking scale by splitting up into four volumes each with double pitched roof which corresponds to surrounding roofscape and scale. Ridge is aligned with surrounding four-storey tenements across the Perth Road.

Shadow analysis shows existing and designed situations with overshadowing adjacent buildings.
Time of analysis 21st March/September,
9:00AM, 12PM, 3PM.

See more at STUDY WORKS