Concrete Material Essay

1173 words - 5 pages

The exterior of the Guggenheim Museum is a stacked white cylinder of reinfored concrete swirling towards the sky. The museum’s dramatic curves of the exterior, however, had an even more stunning effect on the interior. Inside Wright proposed “one great space on a continuous floor,” and his concept was a success. Walking inside, a visitor’s first intake is a huge atrium, rising 92′ in height to an expansive glass dome. Along the sides of this atrium is a continuous ramp uncoiling upwards six stories for more than one-quarter of a mile, allowing for one floor to flow into another. The ramp also creates a procession in which a visitor experiences the art displayed along the walls as they climb ...view middle of the document...

Situated in Poissy, a small commune outside of Paris, is one of the most significant contributions to modern architecture in the 20th century, Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier.  Completed in 1929, Villa Savoye is a modern take on a French country house that celebrates and reacts to the new machine age.  The house single handedly transformed Le Corbusier’s career as well as the principles of the International Style; becoming one of the most important architectural precedents in the history.  Villa Savoye’s detachment from its physical context lends its design to be contextually integrated into the mechanistic/industrial context of the early 20th century, conceptually defining the house as a mechanized entity.
Le Corbusier is famous for stating, “The house is a machine for living.”  This statement is not simply translated into the design of a human scaled assembly line; rather the design begins to take on innovative qualities and advances found in other fields of industry, in the name of efficiency.
In response to his aspirations and admiration of mechanized design, Le Corbusier established “The Five Points” of architecture, which is simply a list of prescribed elements to be incorporated in design.  The Five Points of architecture can be thought of as Le Corbusier’s modern interpretation of Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture, not literally in the sense of an instructional manual for architects, but rather a checklist of necessary components of design.  So much so that Villa Savoye is thoroughly tailored to Corbusier’s Five Points.
At this point in Le Corbusier’s career, he became intrigued by the technology and design of steamships.  The simplistic, streamlined result born out of innovative engineering techniques and modular design had influenced Corbusier’s spatial planning and minimalistic aesthetic.  The pilotis that support the decks, the ribbon windows that run alongside the hull, the ramps providing a moment of egress from deck to deck; all of these aspects served as the foundation of the Five Points of Architecture and are found in the overall composition of Villa Savoye.
Upon entering the site, the house appears to be floating above the forested picturesque background supported by slender pilotis that seem to dissolve among the tree line, as the lower level is also painted green to allude to the perception of a floating volume.
The lower level serves as the maintenance and service programs of the house.  One of most interesting aspects of the house...

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