Drawing Through Form And Composition
Karolina Czeczek @ Yale School of Architecture, Project from advanced design studio, Spring Spring 2014, Pieri Vittorio Aureli
The project imagines an alternative form of co-habitation that redefines what is our existence minimum. By juxtaposition of the concept of ownership versus use, the project outlines two spheres of human life: private and communal. The housing prototype proposes a community where all facilities of life are shared and located outside the private unit. All rooms are arranged in a gradient that results in two faces of the building: one public and one private.
The structure of the building is strictly related to the structure of living. The main structural grid is provided as the basic datum that is subsequently filled by its inhabitants. A smaller grid defines the size of the private unit, whereas bigger structural spans characterize shared and publicly accessible areas. This co-shared space is a place where domesic labor takes place, is a place for work, and a space of performing social activities. As Herman Hertzberger writes in his essay about structuralism, “the form can be filled-in with significance, depending on the use that’s made of it, through the values we attach to, or add to it, or which we even deprive it of, – all this dependent on the way in which the users and the form react to, and play on each other.”
The focus of this project is low-income households, including singles, couples, and single- and multiple- child families. The anticipated users are those who cannot otherwise afford a single family house or don’t need a big amount of space for living and simultaneously are willing to share the household’s facilities. The proposed housing accommodates people from across the spectrum and stimulates a mix to create a support network for the community in which the subject can be simultaneously the owner, producer and consumer of space.
The overall structure is based on the rhythmic subdivision of space, which can be divided into different sizes according to need and upon mutual agreement between tenants. The repetition and alteration of elements engender an overall spatial and perceptive experience defining the uses and the relationship among the inhabitants. This form of organizing of sharing spaces has potential to become a new type of “capital” as not just the abstraction of money, but the ability to find freedom through sharing and the expansion of notions of community life.
Who influences you graphically?
My early architectural education was very much influenced by Suprematist art, especially through composition and form. In my current work, I very often look for inspiration at Kazimir Malevich’s paintings, El Lissitzky’s graphics or Katarzyna Kobro’s sculpture. Ultimately, my representation is driven by form and composition, and graphic style can vary between projects.
How and to what extent has Pier Vittorio’s method influenced you?
The Contemporary Stoa was influenced by Dogma’s graphic style, but more importantly by Pier Vittorio’s method of working. None of the images and drawings were produced until a specific urban and architectural position was identified through research, writing and discussion. That approach allowed for maximum clarity in the process of constructing an argument and choosing a representational method.
What defined the specific views/drawings though which you choose to articulate your proposal?
The project’s logic is revealed in two directions: longitudinal, with emphasis on the communal nature of the spaces, and in section, with varying degrees of privacy within the structure. The long, repetitive plan was strongly influenced by Moisei Ginzbourg’s writing on rhythm in architecture. It emphasizes efficiency, flexibility, and equity of space. In contrast, a cross-section series of three frontal images illustrate a progression of spaces from a private room, through a shared living area, to a semi-public colonnade and public space in front of the building.
When constructing the interior images, what dictated the choice of objects you choose to include?
This housing proposal is a structure for living. Everyday objects communicate human presence, which animates the otherwise relentless structure.
What is your take on the square format?
A square is a strong form that forces one to decide whether to work with or against it. Depending on the composition, the square format can help to produce a very deliberate, focused image. On the other hand, it can also introduce a high degree of abstraction as it is in the case of Kazimir Malevich paintings.