Thursday, February 19, 2009

Building Selection and Justification

New York Times Building
New York, NY
Cyrus Eidiltz and Andrew C. MacKenzie

At the time it was built, the New York Times Building was the second tallest skyscraper. It's new Rennasiance style housed the number one newspaper in America, the New York Times. It's on the crossroads of 42nd, Broadway and 7th "Indeed, the trapezoidal site presented an opportunity for a skyscraper to be seen in the round from many vantage points, unlike so many other high-rises embedded in the blocks of New York City’s grid." says Suzzanne Stephens (The New York Times Building in the Turn Of The 20th Century, Architectural Record)this Building made a focal point in the Manhatten area, a central area, and it's style pushed rennasiance architecture into the sky.
Smith, Smith, Haines, Lundberg, and Whaele

In 1987 the building changed totally. Instead of being a building to admire architecturally it was stripped to become one of the biggest advertisements in the World. The old world had dissipated and the new world was media. Changing the facade of the building might have changed the meaning but even further made time's square the true heart of New York. This building no longer had the tradition of the newspaper in it but now the ball dropping, another reminder of time and a new tradition that the whole county takes a part of is on top of this one building. After all Frank Sinatra can't wake up in the city that never sleeps if the lights aren't flashing.
That's a Wrap!
This building even took the art worls by storm. What hapens when everthing you know to be true gets covered up one day?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Part: Whole

As human beings we look for ORDER. In architecture we have different orders : TUSCAN DORIC IONIC CORINTHIAN COMPOSITE. This is basically writing down the rules so it becomes easy for one to categorize and recognize a building type. One can tell what time period something was built in according to it’s order. They slowly progress over time and become more detailed as the years go by. This was created by the Greeks and later perfected by the Romans by using detail and size. In drawing class, we learned that you can be graded on a certain project not according to what you draw, but rather the order in which you display your work. In drafting, if we didn't have order in scale  and measurements nothing would be precise and if you sent your sketches to be built it would never come out right.

In architecture, we build off of inspiration. Most of the time inspiration comes from a SOURCE. We link our sources to concepts which end up forming our own idea rather than an exact replica of the source in which we got it from.  In studio we read creation stories and were then assigned to build something using minimal materials that truly created the essence of the story. In this case the story was the source or the inspiration. My story was the moon and the morning star and my concept, or essence was two bodies intertwining to become one. In architecture our sources can sometimes be prototypes.


A PROTOTYPE is the first preliminary model of something. When the Parthenon was built in Rome, it became the prototype for all western architecture to follow. Every piece of architecture after that shaped it’s designs towards the foundations of the prototype- the Parthenon.

When an artist sits down to draw a scene, the object that he is looking at is the prototype while the sketch that the artist has created is his own imitation of the prototype. The image that the artist has drawn now becomes and archetype.  I was searching for inspiration for my vignettes for studio and stumbled upon this image (  from an an artist names Rosie Hardy who does photography and digital enhancement.I then decided to draw my own interpretation of that image to become my work of art shown below.(I created my archetype based off of the prototype, the image.)

(For more information about Rosie Hardy visit her blog at

ARCHETYPE: an original that has been imitated. The temple of Athena Nike in Athens is an archetype of the Parthenon. It uses the same post and lintel construction but columns do not go around. Instead, columns appear on the front and the three opposing walls are solid. This provides less visual appeal than the prototype but maybe more structural support and enclosure space.


HYBRID Mansion Carree Nimes France. When I think of the word hybrid, I automatically think of the hybrid car. The hybrid car is taking two things, the fuel run car(prototype) and the electric powered car(the archetype) to become one car that uses both parts. This idea holds the same truth with the mansion Caree because while it holds the same foundational structure as the Parthenon, it incorporates the same style as the Temple of Athena Nike. It is a combination of both in the most way by having the effect of columns going around the whole like the Parthenon does, but having the solid wall behind the columns on the sides like the solid wall in the temple of Athena Nike.


An ENTOURAGE, other than being a show, is looking at everything as a whole such as when you are drawing a model, you draw his surrounding area to create the viewer’s sense of being there. It can also create a different mood or express a feeling that couldn’t be expressed if one had just draw the model by itself. This can be portrayed through creating images in the scene that might not be there in real life and also writing text like I have shown in one of my “drinking and drawing” compositions.

 HIERRCHY is something that we see in everyday life.  I have dealt with hierarchy in all of my classes and have come to find that it is best shown through scale, color and texture.  In history class we learned about the wu wus which we come to find in every civilization. The one that is probably most commonly known is the Washington monument. It is taller than any other piece of architecture in D.C. and is also has a smooth white finish which highly contrasts to the earthy green environment around it. It’s utmost quality of hierarchy is it’s placement. The fact that it is in Washington DC, the capital of the United States makes all of the difference


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


These are a few of my best thumbnail sketches. I'm still having trouble drawing from real life and to be honest a little nervous that people are watching me so my drawings aren't as steady and clean as i would like them to be.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


 Everything in the world let alone architecture is held together With UNITY. In architecture, one finds unity when he creates some sort of order. This doesn't mean that everything lines up in a row but everything has a path and connects at some screw or joint therefore creating order.  As we all should know, Greece in separated into many different city states. This should mean that they were not unified but this isn't so. The architectural style you found in one city state would also appear in another. The same food's were eaten,
 gods and goddesses were worshiped and architecture was built.  Not only was Greece unified, but it seemed like the world at the time was also unified. The same architectural techniques such as stacking and the post and lintel were used in other places such Egypt and Asia.  People were even at that time Unified in thought because those techniques were the most successful ways to bring order.

BOUNDARIES aren't always set by lines. In the art world one often finds that boundaries can be implied such as a vignette that just seems to fade onto the page.  One can say that in architecture, boundaries are clear: this is one building and this is another. boundaries in architecture can also be guidelines to other forms. This definitely holds true for the Erqchtheion in Greece. Yes, the columns are at the end of the building but each column is shaped to look like a woman and all of the woman are not looking towards the inside of the building or another part of it but rather the temple of Athena.
  This shows that, yes, this building may be important, but it is nothing compared to the all knowing Goddess of wisdom, Athena.

 Everything that i have been learning about thus far, and probably will continue learning, is that SCALE  is interlinked with architecture. Without one, the other doesn't exist. Architecture just does make sense without scale. If it did, the Propylaea in Greece wouldn't be the ideal piece of architecture that shaped Western culture today.  The solid vertical walls and columns are the major scale elements of this piece of architecture. It makes the building that much more intimidating and appear that much taller, like one must do a lot 
of work to get to the top.  In this case, scale was used to show importance. Because this was the most important part of Acropolis it had to be the largest piece of architecture in the area.
We have also been dealing with scale in Stoel's class while building Pat's chair. We had to figure out what the best space would be for Pat to it comfortably therefore we had to measure exactly how big everything should be and how distant everything should be such as the seat to the table or the length of the chair.
In Suzanne's class scale came in the form of people. When you are presenting a space to  potential client you shouldn't just show them what the structure would look like. The client wouldn't be able to get a real feel for the size of the room and the interaction that would be going on . This is where scale figures comes in. One should draw figures in the space to show how people would interact as well as how large or small they would look in the space.

We have been learning a great deal about SECTION in Stoel's drafting class.  It shows things that could not been seen if it was a whole piece and if you were sending your sketches out to be built by ikea, you would need multiple section drawings to convey clearly what the end product should look like. I decided to use my drafting skills to draw a section view of something i have also been learning a great deal about in history class: an ionic greek column. By taking a section view of the perfected columns built by the ancient Greeks, we can understand and shape our modern Western buildings that have been greatly influenced by the Greek culture.

VIGNETTES have been our main focus in drawing class for a couple of weeks. I learned that vignettes allow the observer to make their own boundaries for the image. It is also very aesthetically pleasing to the eye and lets the artist capture what is truly important in the drawing and let everything else fade away. This technique creates a more interesting picture and become even more lifelike or captivating when water color and even words are added to the scene created.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Drink and Draw

Suzanne asked us to draw while we were out at a cafe or other local watering holes;) I decided to draw at three different locations so the surrounding areas didn't all look the same. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Veronica Lawlor
I like the way she captures the movement of the people and the feel of the atmosphere and brings your focus by using minimal pops of color.

Text ColorAlessandro Andreuccetti
The only image where faces are drawn are the statues but throughout it was interesting to see that he used more neutral colors such as grey or tan to make his drawings come to life.

Lynne Chapman
Her versatility in drawing is very interesting. She can do a full detail sketch or just a doodle and you can still see what she is trying to portray.

His quick brush strokes and bold usage of color make his drawings just work.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

These are a few (5) of my favorite things..

We were assigned to draw 5 of our favorite things and i decided to do 5 objects that symbolize the 5 parts of my personality: 
Tinkerbell: My childhood  dreams and aspirations.
Buddha: My Richness in spirit
Coy Fish: Strength and perseverance. 
Hummingbird: Lightheartedness and free spirit.
Ribbon from my prom dress: Never Regretting the past, but letting it shape my future

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


"Our Principle receptors for sensing the environment are our eyes, and the illuminating that environments critical for the information we recieve." (Roth p55)

The idea of illuminating has been around in the Architectural world since the beginning of time. Architects have used many different techniques to illuminate their work of art. Such strategies can be expressed through detail, material, scale and shape. This can either blend or set apart the work from it's surrounding environment. A great example in class is the Pyramids in Giza Egypt. The Egyptians made the pyramid to stand out from its surrounding environment. These shapes jet out of the ground are exact, clean cut and polished with a limestone coating and at the top, gold. This plays with the idea of light: the sun. Each point of the base of the pyramid is facing either north south east or west. Therefore when the sun moves from east to west the shadows created change and the gold at the top shines for all to see. When our eye Takes it in we think of beauty through grandness and at the same fear through difference.

These sketches also use the idea of illumination through light. What was once a plain 2 dimensional image is now an image with weight. It becomes more of a 3 dimensional figure by using hints of color to make certain things pop or stand out just as the light at the top of the pyramid makes the structure stand out from the area surrounding it.

Idiom's are phrases that shouldn't be taken by literal meaning but rather the underlying meaning behind it. for my Fairytale, The Frog King, i made a set of handcuffs to represent the essence of the story. I felt that the story had more meaning to it than the text itself. I felt like the underlying text or meaning in this story was being a prisoner. While the princess was a prisoner to her visual appearance and class, so is the frog to his. Once he chains are broken they make a bond together and create something beautiful. Another meaning behind the story was that sometimes fate is planned. The frog and princess thought that they had found each other on their own but it was in fact the King's plan all along for the two to wed. Te idiom is the underlying meaning in the story itself.

Commodity Firmness and Delight are the three main factors in Architecture. Commodity is the functionalty of the building: what does it do and does it carry out it's job well? Firmness is the structural integrity or the strength of the building: does it hold up and how long will it be standing? Delight is the asthetic value: is it pleasing to the eye? I feel that the Brooklyn Bridge, although not studied in class, carries out all of these functions extremely well.

"Architecture, Virtruvius wrote, must provide utility, firmness and beauty or, as Sir Henry Wotten later paraphrased it in the seventeenth century, commodity, firmness and delight." (Roth 11)

"Commodity-useful or valuable thing such as water or time"
The basic commodity of the Brooklyn Bridge is transportation. Like any other Bridge it transports people in vehicles from one place to another in this case Brooklyn to NYC but this Bridge goes one step further. Taking into consideration the people of New York, most without a car, the architect built a walkway/bikepath in the middle of the Bridge. This allows people to get from one place to the next without the expense of having to purchase a car and pay extrodinary amounts for parking.
"Firmness- solidly in place and stable: no building can stand without firm foundations"
Firmness is also a big key and challenge into building every bridge. The architect must deal with suspension, grounding, and support. The Brooklyn Bridge successfully managed all of these three issues. It was the first bridge to use intertwining steel cables in it's construction therefore making it stronger and long lasting.
Delight-please (someone) greatly: an experience guaranteed to delight both young and old.
The bridge brings the element of delight through it's detail and overall appearance. It also ties in to commodity because walking over the bridge not only serves a value for transportation but also brings beauty into the picture. For example some people go over the bridge to watch the sun rise or set and some even get engaged. The design of the building could also make synthetically pleasing logo's or graphics such as the one above.

Materials- "The sun would have risen directly over the heelstone, as viewed from the center of the trilithons." (Roth p173)

The Egyptians had a scarcity of material and had to make do with the resources indigenous to the area. This is why the pyramids were made out of basic sand stone which was a mixture of the deserts of Egypt and some sort of aggregate. The limestone finish and gold top are slick and shiny materials. These materials represent the grandness of the emperor. These materials also made it easy to carve hyeroglyphics therefore keeping communication and records through the ages.

images from Google

Every Piece of Architecture is an idiom. The characteristics, details, commodity, firmness, delight, and illumination of a building are only the outer appearance. You have to look within the architect and his meaning behind the building. Why would you use limestone on a pyramid ; to make a building for people to adore or to protect what is inside from unwanted visitors. Illumination connects to the material because illumination can also represent that guarding effect. Materials are chosen to create commodity, firmness, and delight and the building as a whole truly represents an idiom or an underlying meaning that the architect is trying to portray. Look at the world around you. Make connections, and find the underlying meaning in the idioms we call pieces of architecture.