Codes and Continuities as ways of creating and thinking about architecture

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Codes and Continuities as ways of creating and thinking about architecture

Jose Coba @ Syracuse University [part of the class Codes and Continuities (Nicole McIntosh – Architecture Office]



From the recollection of images and features of cultures to the exploration of montages alternatives, architecture can be seen as interpretations and abstractions of what is already there, there.

Taking Italy as a background culture to be studied and used, functional and ornamental elements of its architecture and urban fabric are synthesized inside design attempts remembering the Venice Ca d´Or (one of the most sublime examples of Italian overloaded iconic architecture) without first studying its proportions, materiality, and impact.


The idea of the project is to go through Italian architecture analyzing specificities, details, and cliches until we reach a new and dynamic hybrid proposal where you can see contemporary and old Italy in one single glance. Been as sarcastic, accurate and propositional as possible.




Who influences you graphically?

Mies van der Rohe´s montages and the Bauhaus Movement with artists such as Josef Albers or Marianne Brandt.

Alberto Campo Baeza, Miroslav Sik, and Felipe Hess as contemporary architects that inspired me mostly with their subtle line work in relation with the montage technique.

Andre Goncalves as a photographer and main influence for this specific project.

What is your take on the montage within the realm of architectural representation?

Montages in architecture have the ability to create experimental atmospheres with what already exists, pushing boundaries of reality to a more utopian condition that allows designers to explore intentions without typecasting their ideas.

Montages can contain every element of inspiration and synthesize them into a single suggestive image with multiple layers of information that might blur if we pursuit of a realistic image.

As architect and student, I believe in the rescue of 2D images as ways of architectural representation that can coexist with 3D model-based images.


What informed the choice of fragments you feature and their assemblage?

Doors, windows, textures, objects, and colors were selected to achieve eclectic variety but coherence of tones and character that represent somewhere and someone. The intention was always to create a proposal based on what Italy contains as an influential architectural culture. I took the idea of a Morphological Box as an inventory of what is already there, and then combine the graphic information into 2 montages that state how an external viewer can represent Italy as architecture and culture.


How does the line drawing sit in relation to the montages?

As designers, creating and analyzing architecture should integrate line work, models, montages and rendering techniques as complementary graphic approaches rather than independent skills, because depending on what is your end different means can help to explain your intentions.

Geometry, Math or Trigonometry are principal sciences involved in the development of Italian architecture, and taking Italy as a background culture to be studied and used for the montages, functional and ornamental elements of its architecture and urban fabric should be synthesized inside two-dimensional drawings. Its analysis is more accurate to study all these features and specific elements as size, materiality, and texture in order to propose a new architectural object or design attempt. And the montages give a suggestive image that can only succeed if the previous linework exercise is done.


What is your take on the notion of continuum within the realm of architecture?

The notion of the continuum in architecture is present in multiple dimensions and layers. The idea of continuity in this project tries to translate previous codification into something else, based on the idea that everything is already there, there. By creating an inventory of images and translating them into a new proposal, the linear and elliptical path of information remain still but transfigures into an object, into architecture. Matter is not created or destroyed but only transformed.

Inside the montages we can see whatever is new and old merging into a single product, bringing classic features and combining them with modern and contemporary elements with one single intention: represent a culture that already exists into an architecture that might exist.



Ecuadorian Architect. Studied at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) ad Syracuse University (US) with a Fulbright Scholarship

Involved with PCobaU Construcciones and Oficina Civil de Arquitectura – Office of Civil Architecture.

Previously working at Colectivo Arquitectura, AMN, MS Studio and collaborations with Architecture Office in the Support Exhibition 2017 at Parsons and Urbanus at the Shenzhen Biennale 2017.

His work have been shown in Spain, Holland, China and Ecuador.

Growing up in Ecuador, the architect and office applies different approaches to architecture into urban, industrial, low-income housing developments and residential projects.

Instagram: @josecoba26




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