Tag Archives: Architecture

Enlightenment by memory recollection.

A simple draft, hidden in a plain old-fashioned sketchbook. That’s all it takes.

As I was searching for something this afternoon (nothing out of the ordinary), I surprisingly stumbled upon this (old) sketchbook of mine, which dates back to my college-years (2011). Although this was (hidden) is my closet all along it still surprised me how many memories it made me recollect. This sketch (see below) in particular. First of all I can still remember the sight I looked upon when drawing this sketch, gazing over the Grand Canale in Venice (what a sublime picture). Focusing my sight upon the San Giorgio Maggiore. It was warm that day. The sun glazing upon my sheets, I drew this fast sketch.

Now, more than 2 years later it still reminds me of the particular feelings I felt that day, being in love and all. Things were different back then, so many has changed since I got my college degree. University is nothing alike what I used to to back in those days.

What I really wanted to share with you is what it inspired me to do these last couple of days. As i gazed upon this sketch, I saw one thing, “structures”. I saw how the dome has been drew with its skeleton included, its supporting structures. Well, that’s what I want to explore in the near future; how to trigger certain expressions using only the structural lines of an object/building. Which structures are unable to? If so, why is this? Which structures are more appropriate than others and why?  Architecture reduced to their fundamental support. “Des lignes sans plus”.


Tagged , , , , , , ,

Not to be seen without it’s controversy.

In celebration of Piano Renzo‘s 75th birthday I’ll be reviewing probably one of the most controversial, shocking and modern statements in architecture. It was Piano Renzo who designed, gave birth – together with Richard Rogers – to the infamous Centre Pompidou. This building is undoubtedly a marvelous piece of architecture and is a timeless view upon, industrial architecture and industry in it’s whole. Therefore it is not surprising if I tell you that both of them were fascinated by modern (industrial) american architecture like oil rigs and car lots which has been a great inspiration to both of them.

But why is this building so controversial? Why had it to endure so many critique and curses? First of all there is the less obvious reason that the city of Paris was a city dominated by concrete (except for Gustave Eiffel’s Eiffel tower which had to endure the same critique 70 years earlier). This building on the other hand has no concrete which is exteriorly visible, the only concrete used is hidden 3 stories below the surface.

Centre Pompidou – Exterior.

The entire building is build by vertical beams who hold u vertical platforms. Post-lintel you could call it (as in Ancient greek architecture). Of course cross- and v-shaped beams had to be added to support the weight of the floors (6 in total), consisting of entirely open spaces. This is achieved by placing all the functional aspects of the building on the facade (that is to say; the exterior) instead of interior. Everything that was conventionally hidden is now ‘proudly’ and ‘playfully’ shown on the outside of the building. Each color seen on the exterior has it’s own ‘functional’ meaning: blue for air, green for water, red for elevators, yellow for electricity, gray for corridors and white for the building itself.

Nowadays the building definitely stands as a monument to Paris. Although it is most often seen as a monument to high-tech, it represents the opposite. Because in reality it’s a parody to high-tech, it was a space ship it would be one designed by Jules Verne, that is to say, it would never work.

Although this building had to endure loads of harsh critique I do believe this is truly a marvelous and wonderful building, which does not at all make the city of Paris ‘less’ beautiful. Not only because it’s a cultural beacon for the entire city (library, music, art, ..) but also because it’s a place where people meet. It’s a public building (which is highly emphasized by the open corridor which takes in 2/3 of the parcel). On top of that it’s the only place in Paris which has a ‘free’ panoramic view. Not to mention that everything seen on the outside (therefore public) is accessible by anyone for no costs.

Renzo Piano

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Undoing a Building.

By undoing a building … [I] open a a state of enclosure which has been preconditioned not only by physical necessity but by the industry that proliferates suburban and urban boxes as a pretext for ensuring a passive, isolated consumer. – Gordon Matta-Clark

Gordon Matta-Clark ; Splitting (1974)


Tagged , , ,

The rise of Modern Iconoclasm.

Search & Destroy – Mekhitar Garabedian

Invading their personal space, tresspassing the natural habitat. Some people feel the urge to destroy or damage certain artworks, sculptures. Simply beacause they don’t belong in their environment. The modern iconoclasm is what they call it. Although I don’t seem to find the name being very appropriate is it’s connotation is much more severe then what is happening now. Especially compared to the destruction of religious artwork and the fear for idolatry (without mentioning the the destruction of the Buddhas in Afghanistan, but i’m not touching that one.

Let’s keep it nearby; In Ghent there’s a contemporary art exhibit in town. It exists of multiple sculptures, installations situated all over town. Therefor it’s not remarkeble that some of these became the victim of ‘modern iconoclasm’. (The same thing happened at Beaufort – see below). As you can see on the picture above, the letter is ‘R’ (Search & Destroy) is missing. The piece has been removed from the installation and thrown into the water. Why they did this, isn’t surely known. One thing is for sure; they took the message a bit too serious.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Work In progress (Ghent)

To give some information on the dimension of this project; 220cm x 100cm.  (86inch. x 39.4inch.)

Tagged , , , , , , ,

When I’ll know your soul I paint your eyes.

Jeanne Hebuterne

Let’s admit it. He had good taste, look at her, an astonishingly beautiful young lady, who would become the subject of it’s biggest masterpiece. His name was Amedeo Modigliani‘a crazy italian fuck.’. Whose bohemian life could’ve been seen as a result of many different aspects. First of all it was expected of artists of that time, secondly it was the time where radical philosophies arose, including those of Nietzsche. Eventually it got the man killed at the early age of 36. Even among other bohemians his behavior stood out; he would sometimes strip himself naked at social gatherings, making a scene. He became the epitome of a tragic artist, he became the new Vincent van Gogh.

“(hold sacred all) which can exalt and excite your intelligence… (and) … seek to provoke … and to perpetuate … these fertile stimuli, because they can push the intelligence to its maximum creative power.”

But instead, let’s not talk about the artist, I’d rather tell you about his mistress, goddess, lover and most important subject in Modigliani’s life. I present to you; Jeanne Hébuterne , she was a 19 year old art student when she first met Amedeo, unlike the artist she descended from a conservative bourgeois background. Although her family renounced her affaire with the drunken, poor artist, who had almost no income at all, she decided to move in with him. Their public scene’s became even more renowned than Modigliani’s individual drunken exhibitions.

“When I’ll know your soul, I’ll paint your eyes, and he eventually did. Take a look at these remarkable paintings and notice the eyes.

Amedeo Modigliani – 1918 – MET (NY) – Oil on Canvas. Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne.

And then all of a sudden this happened.. He painted her eyes. He knew her soul. This touches me in every single way, the gesture by itself embodies beauty and passion. Passion for life, she gave birth to their first child, which she named Jeanne. She got pregnant a second time, but the child would never see daylight… Tragedy and Beauty seem to go hand in hand. The inevitable happened …

Amedeo Modigliani- Jeanne Hebuterne– 1919 – Oil on Canvas

…. on 24 january 1920 Modigliani died, totally distraught, she threw herself out of the fifth-floor apartment window the day after his death, killing herself together with her unborn child

“Devoted companion to the extreme sacrifice – epitath Hebuterne”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Frank Lloyd was Wright after all.

Bear Run, better known as ‘Falling Water’ is probably one of the most influential architectural designs ever made in History until this day. Although it had to take lots of critique and they (especially the engineers) had a lot of doubts whether or not it would remain standing after removing the scaffolds it became, which for me  describes, embodies ‘the perfect balance’ of humanity and nature. Humanity placed back into it’s natural habitat.

Falling water, is a project which the infamous american architect Frank Lloyd Wright ,belonging to it’s latest period, that was built in the forests of Bear Run (Pennsylvania) in commission of Edgar J. Kauffman. The project started in 1936 and took him 3 years to finish (1939).

What’s so remarkable about the architecture that Frank Lloyd Wirght created is the way he built it. He called his architecture; “Organic Architecture”; which is an architecture that develops itself from the inside to the outside in harmony with the conditions of it’s own existence. This is also called contextualism

“So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal and the teaching so much needed if we are to see the whole of life, and to now serve the whole of life, holding no traditions essential to the great TRADITION. Nor cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past, present or future, but instead exalting the simple laws of common sense or of super-sense if you prefer determining form by way of the nature of materials…” – Frank Lloyd Wright

I’ll illustrate this philosophical context with examples related to “falling water”, i’ll discuss, interior, exterior and the plan.


What I believe is truly remarkable and intriguing about this project is it’s placement according to the natural environment around it. When Wright first saw the place he was touched by the sound of the falling water, the dramatic scene that the rocks created. The intimacy the surrounding forest created… Wright did not built this in nature, but his building organically arrises in it’s environment. He builds according to the environment. How can we notice this?

First of all when we take a closer look at the site we can notice that there are 2 motions in place; a vertical and a horizontal. The vertical walls are completely built out of natural stones (according to the environment). As you might notice; it seems as if the rocks beneath the building seem to repeat themselves in the vertical walls, it seems like it’s fully integrated it’s almost made out of one part; the building seems to arise out of the rockeries. The vertical walls could also relate to the surrounding trees.

Now if we look at it’s terraces in concrete we can see how this relates to the flat surface of the water, the waterfall, it almost seems as if the waterfall begins at top of the building. It seems to embrace nature. (All of these aspects are beautifully illustrated in the drawing above)



 When we take a closer look at the interior we notice a same allusion to it’s natural surroundings: again he uses natural stone, what’s very remarkable is the fact that he truly implemented the rockeries by building around them (you can see them sticking out at the fire place, which always has a central position in house and is very important in his architecture). Even the floor is made out of stone, so as you can see he really tries to make a band with nature.

It’s as if this house has an certain intimacy (created by the surrounding forest, and the cave like structure which ‘protects’ humanity against the brut forces of nature; again he sees humanity as ‘people of nature’, the isolation, only reachable by a bridge..), but also a social aspect: by using these huge windows that outlook the forest it creates a certain bond, a social contact with nature.

Also when you would take a look at the floor plan of the house you would notice that is embodies the same seiche motions as the water. (I did not implement a picture of this because i did not manage to find a good one).


  • Interior: http://www2.math.umd.edu/~dgulick//WorldCourses/WRLD125/ARCH/FallingWater.html
  • Exterior: http://www.google.be/imgres?q=falling+water+exterior&um=1&hl=nl&client=safari&sa=X&rls=en&biw=1024&bih=674&tbs=isz:l&tbm=isch&tbnid=sX9ink-LcgbvbM:&imgrefurl=http://decoratingflair.com/fallingwater.htm&docid=XYjduR0NRTLZDM&imgurl=http://decoratingflair.com/images/FullSize4Galleries/Res_Falling%252520Water%252520Pic.jpg&w=2333&h=2023&ei=YKuXT5KuH8ea-wbEqYD0Bg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=744&vpy=44&dur=1240&hovh=209&hovw=241&tx=172&ty=149&sig=100782071690149067939&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=166&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0,i:74
  • Drawing: http://www.google.be/imgres?imgurl=http://www.delmars.com/wright/falldraw.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.delmars.com/wright/flw8-8.htm&h=343&w=575&sz=50&tbnid=M5iUbzxjigEQlM:&tbnh=75&tbnw=126&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dfalling%2Bwater%2Bdrawing%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=falling+water+drawing&docid=nPmDPpG9nt4RpM&sa=X&ei=RKuXT-mcOseV-wbHx6XJBg&ved=0CCoQ9QEwAQ&dur=186
  • Scaffolds: http://www.abbeville.com/images-catalog/full-size/0896596621.interior03.jpg
Tagged , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: