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DEPARTAMENTO

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ANALISIS DE FORMAS 2

E. E. T .S. A. UNIVERSIDAD UNIVERSIDAD DE VALLADOLID

af.2. af.2.
17/10/2012

EJERCICIO 5.

Transformaciones formales. Impactos entre geomtricas. Articulacin, superficies y forma

formas

1.-OBJETO DE TRABAJO

Casa Adler 1954_55, Philadelphia. L. I. Kahn. Casa De Vore 1954_55, Springfield Township, Philadelphia suburb. L. I. Kahn. Casa Fruchter 1951_54, Stamford, Connecticut. L. I. Kahn.
2- CONTENIDO

La figura de Louis Isidore Kahn se presenta ante los ojos del que le descubre por primera vez como la de un arquitecto enigmtico. No slo por su produccin sino tambin por su trayectoria vital. Jonas Salk dijo de l: Se estuvo preparando durante cinco dcadas , e hizo en dos lo que otros desearan poder hacer en cinco. Y, es que debido a la poca histrica que le toc vivir- Kahn nace en 1901- durante los primeros cincuenta aos de su vida se dedica a la investigacin terica; es a partir de ese momento que el arquitecto desarrolla los proyectos memorables por los que es conocido. El uso de la luz, de los materiales simples, de las formas abstractas y de la monumentalidad son las caractersticas comunes en la obra de los ltimos aos de su vida. Esta etapa de la trayectoria arquitectnica de Kahn es sobradamente conocida y admirada por todos; sin embargo las primeras cinco dcadas de su vida son relativamente desconocidas. El perodo que abarca de 1901 a 1951 queda mediatizado - en la obra del arquitecto- por la juventud, la Gran Depresin y la II Guerra Mundial. En esta poca Kahn se dedica a viajar, a la enseanza y al desarrollo de las cuestiones que el Movimiento Moderno impuso en la arquitectura de la poca: la bsqueda de un nuevo lenguaje y el desafo de construir viviendas para una sociedad necesitada. Louis Kahn, sin duda, es conocido por sus grandes obras institucionales; por la produccin que desarrolla durante los veinte ltimos aos de su vida. Sin embargo se desconoce que trabaj en el diseo de al menos cincuenta casas; viviendas unifamiliares, viviendas en hilera, edificios de apartamentosincluyendo los proyectos no construidos- durante toda su vida. A partir de 1930 comenz a proyectar edificios de viviendas. En una primera etapa estos posean un carcter social y de desarrollo urbano y , posteriormente, su trabajo se centr en residencias estudiantiles y hoteles. Esta actitud que Louis I. Kahn desarrolla en torno a los edificios residenciales, queda patente en su produccin de viviendas unifamiliares de un modo mucho ms acusado. Desde la Oser House que disea y construye durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial a la Korman House que finaliza en el ao 1973, proyecta veinte casas unifamiliares de las que, paradjicamente, slo construye nueve.

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Esta actitud de no permitir concesiones en sus viviendas, est motivada por el gran significado que la casa tena para Kahn. Segn el propio arquitecto, todo edificio es una casa. Se han elegido como objeto de trabajo las casas Frutcher, Adler y De Vore, que significarn un salto cualitativo en la produccin arquitectnica de l. Kahn. Un rasgo obvio en sus diseos de este perodo es la apariencia de una forma geomtrica comn, el cuadrado que sirve como la unidad de composicin espacial. El saln, el comedor, los dormitorios, se organizan como unidades espaciales diferenciadas. En lugar de extenderse arbitrariamente o de reducir el tamao de cada elemento, Kahn utiliz unidades espaciales de tamao igual y reforz el carcter de cada pieza cambiando la altura del techo o el acabado del suelo. Consider cada unidad espacial estructuralmente independiente y as, el edificio podra agrandarse posteriormente agregando unidades espaciales de tamao igual y construccin idntica para extender el espacio global. El alumno deber analizar, comprobar y exponer grficamente los mecanismos de transformacin de la forma, su articulacin y la articulacin de la superficies. El sistema de trabajo deber ser elegido teniendo en cuenta la relacin entre los dibujos y cada una de las ideas a expresar proyecciones planas, volumtrias y esquemas tericos explicativos-.
3- CONDICIONES DE REALIZACIN

El ejercicio se realizar en el aula hoja DIN A 3 de color blanco, y a mano alzada, pudindose complementar el discurso grfico con el uso de color en aquellos episodios analticos que a juicio del alumno sean de mayor relevancia para la comprensin del ejercicio. Se hace especial hincapi en la INTENCIONALIDAD del grafismo y la representacin, as como las proyecciones que el alumno elija en cada caso. La representacin y el discurso grfico no dependen tan solo de la calidad de los dibujos, sino tambin de sus relaciones con los dems y la oportunidad para aplicar cada uno de los apartados analticos.
4.-BIBLIOGRAFA ESPECIFICA

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JUREZ, ANTONIO El universo imaginario de Louis I. Kahn / Antonio Jurez Barcelona : Fundacin Caja de Arquitectos , 2006 SAITO, YUTAKA Louis I. Kahn Houses TOTO 2003 KAHN, LOUIS Conversaciones con estudiantes Gustavo Gili 2002 ROSA, JOSEPH Louis I. Kahn: 1901-1974. Espacio iluminado/ Joseph Rosa Kln: Taschen, 2006 MACCARTER, ROBERT, (1955-) Louis I. Khan / Robert McCarter London : Phaidon, 2005 VELLS, JAVIER Louis I. Kahn : Palazzo dei Congressi, Venezia, 1968-1974 / Javier Vells, Mara Casariego Madrid : Rueda, 2004 KAHN, LOUIS ISADORE Louis I. Kahn : escritos, conferencias y entrevistas / edicin a cargo de Alessandra Latour. Madrid : Croquis, 2003. BROWNLEE, DAVID BRUCE Louis I. Kahn : en el reino de la arquitectura / David B. Brownlee, David G. De Long ; introduccion de Vincent Scully ; fotografas de Grant Mudford Barcelona [etc.] : Gustavo Gili, 1998 NORBERG SCHULZ, CHRISTIAN Louis I. Kahn : idea e imagen / Christian Norberg-Schulz, con la colaboracin de Jan Georg Digerud; [taducido por Angel Snchez Gijn] Madrid : Xarait, 1990 KAHN, LOUIS ISADORE Forma y diseo / Louis I. Kahn; [traduccin de Marta J. Rabinovich y Jorge Piatigorsky] Buenos Aires : Nueva Visin, 1987 .

PLAYING DICE WITH MASS AND SPACE BY ANTONIO JUAREZ, SEPTEMBER 1996

Louis I. Kahn's project for the Adler House (1954-55) reminds us in certain respects of similar approaches in the architecture of Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. 1 At its simplest the basic difference between Kahn and these two illustrious predecessors would seem to reside in Kahn's more sophisticated approach to the interaction of form with space. The masonry masses of the Adler House approximate to Kahn's concept of hollow stones that interact with the interstitial spaces so as to become the living space of the house. The different orders solid and void overlap; one is abstract, the other, material; the first is generated from a grid, the second reveals the textural quality of space. This textural aspect is even remarked on by Kahn's clients: "I share so many of your ideas, Lou -- The texture of a surface-live-space."2 The plan (Fig. 1) reveals a canonical attitude towards structure, an identity between spatial and structural units, a simultaneous unity and fragmentation of the whole, a distance from `pure form', a subtle operation of displacement: similarities and dissimilarities with the grid. If the grid, in the early decades of the century was a metaphor of abstraction, an analytical map of the universality of the real, here in the Adler plan, the `distorted grid' is surprisingly charged with tangibility. The invisible presence of the grid in some early twentieth century architecture, as in the ubiquitous plan libre is now replaced by the presence of sliding, unstable squares. The grid is thus closely integrated with the tectonic expression of the architecture, dissolving, once and for all, any vestige of the free plan which, according to Colin Rowe, is the "greatest and most remarkable discovery of twentieth century architecture." 3 The project belongs to a period in which Kahn was evolving from his beginnings, trying to find grounds for his architectural career. "Stop believing and begin learning", Kahn told himself in 1954 after his sojourn at the American Academy in Rome in 1951. He had first finished the Yale Art Gallery (1953) and had already published his seminal key writing text entitled `Order Is'. For in the Adler House Kahn will not only propose an adequate response to the thesis of this essay, but would also reflect on What the Building Wants to Be, and on the material expression of the immaterial order he was looking for. Kahn would account for the Adler House as a plan form in which each square was a whole structure, supported independently, with its own roof. As Anne Tyng remarks, Kahn "always wanted a distinction between things," 4 from the interface between materials to the articulation of spaces within a project. But, at the same time there is also a great concern for gathering and clustering elements into a whole. Nevertheless for Kahn the work had to be compounded of inseparable elements if the order were to become legible. Two independent drawings illustrated the project the first time it was published (Figs. 2 and 3). One of them shows the structural points of support, the other the spaces. While we do not have drawings by Kahn explicitly showing the interdependency of the two plans his direct supervision of the material both for the Perspecta article and for the first edition of his complete works surely imply that this idea of conscious integration was in his mind. These two layers shown as independent realities inform us about the constitution of Kahnian space and about his method of design. The first of them pays attention to the abstract character of structure in space, the second, to the physical properties of architecture, to its tactility and its textural character. These drawings articulate the two orders upon which architectural phenomena depends; in fact two overlapping realities and two modes of thought about space. The schism between the two represents the most canonical expression of a spatial equation: structure + voids = architectural space.

The structural plan is like a distant way of apprehending the project. It is as if we were looking from a distance, where we only perceive the weight pillars. It was, in some way, a general attitude for Kahn in the origins of a design. At his studio class, he advised the students, who were engaged in a project for Philadelphia, to view the city from such a distant point that they see only the two rivers. They were encouraged to go sufficiently far from the immediate conditions so as to see what remains, the essence of the problem to be solved. As Giurgola said, structure for Kahn constitutes the `station points' of the project, a `framework of constants', the expression of a search for timelessness in architecture. These constants of space are what we find in the structural plan. They reciprocally confirm that "a column is important in space-making," 5 and that these station points on which the structure rests have the right to be an event. In total contradiction of the free plan of the avant-garde, Kahn thought that space and structure were not independent. Kahn claimed that the articulation of poch made him to discover the difference between the solid wall and the hollow wall: "I made the wall a container instead of a solid". The structural plan of the Adler House is a permanently stable frame of reference. The spatial plan on the other hand is an expression of the movement and constant change, the natural life of the house in constant evolution,... While the plan of the columns manifests an abstract idea of space, the plan of voids reveals a tangible space with materials and textures creating a mosaic of living surfaces. If abstraction in the structural plan is related to spatial conceptions of the first modern movement, the living expression of space in the second plan is more related to the organic tradition, to an understanding nature as a support for the extension of life. This plan of textures indicates that the project is not only composed of volumes posed on the ground but of a geometry that generates the volumes of the house. The projection of the Adler House into nature and the way in which its abstract geometry generating the project fuses with the surrounding external spaces is a signs of a harmonic relation with nature. As Kahn would put it: "The plan does not begin nor end with the space he has enveloped (...) it stretches beyond to the rolling contours and vegetation of the surrounding land and continues farther out to the distant hills".6 We find here a reflection of the two traditions that Kahn brought together. On the one hand, a European rational, abstract understanding of space, on the other, the American organic tradition of Richardson, Sullivan, Wright. Kahn had contact with rationalism of the modern movement through George Howe (see the Parasol House of 1944) and publications on Le Corbusier's work. He also came into contact with abstraction through the Bauhaus painter Joseph Albers, who began to teach at Yale in 1949 thanks to Kahn's advice to Charles Sawyer, then dean of the School of Architecture. Kahn's concept of the organic is not derived from Wright however. It is more based on his contact with Anne Tyng and, through her, with biological foundations of form. Kahn's friendship with Robert Le Ricolais, who "found no better discipline in this unpredictable problem of form than to observe the prodigies created by nature," 7 was also an important influence in his organicism. Besides the analysis of solid versus void system, the Adler House can also be analyzed from the point of the volume and ground texture. The volumes are like dice; the ground is, on the contrary, composed by bands of different texture, which are juxtaposed without interstitial gaps. The spatial containers seem to be freely disposed, in a random organization, but closely considered they appear to be restricted by the bands. A hidden pattern organizes what at first seems to be an absolutely free organization of the blocks. The displacement operation between the blocks exist only in one direction of the grid; in the other, we find a continuous juxtaposition of load-bearing elements and volumes. Following Tyng's ideas, we can affirm that in the Adler plan we find at the same time the most rigorous, geometrical order and the deliberated distortion of it, simultaneous randomness and order. In both aspects geometry is the secret generator of order. This geometrical principle appears in the cubic cell, as a perfect square and also

in the partitions of the enclosure, the non load-bearing material. At the same time the modularity is present in the distortion of the order, in the displacement operation between the blocks, regulated by the dimension of the pillar. Geometry regulates, in a way, "random" and ordered operations. Different textures constitute the plan of the house as they interact with the strong presence of the structure. Three soft grass squares are the living extensions of the private areas of the building, extending the basic geometrical pattern into nature. Two paved external-court areas, connected between themselves and the entrance steps, form a more public projection of the house into the landscape. An internal tile-paved entrance foyer housing most of the common service areas is the connector between the different elements. This connector-foyer is, in fact, an early version of Kahnian servant spaces. In the rest of the internal spaces of the plan there is no indication of the flooring material, with a more functionalist approach to the real use of space. The garage volume, disconnected from the rest, belongs to the non-textured elements, being only defined by its load or non-load bearing perimeter. The plan, as a whole, wants to be rooted into nature, but paradoxically, it floats on the void with its irregular contours. The entrance steps are the only clue of the surrounding topography. The natural environment of the house is reduced to four textured squares. Out of them, we only find the empty space of the surrounding of the plan: an abstract, non-existent site. The plan is thus a collage of an abstract context, functional spaces, and textural surfaces, a curious juxtaposition of abstract and material qualities. If Kahn searched for permanent, timeless qualities in architecture, the new elements to be redefined on the basis of their hidden eternity, he also looked for play, a rigorous plastic play and not an arbitrary formal fantasy, a play rooted also into the poetry of construction, the affirmation of life, and the deep spatial resonances that these decisions bring about. This is the paradox that underlies the Adler House, the play of architecture for Kahn in the fifties. A play that, as Le Corbusier's, as Wright's with his little wooden blocks, reveals the impossibility to reduce architecture to the merely `measurable': it takes part in a dialogue with the unforeseen, 'unmeasurable' of life. <BR

IMAGE CREDITS FIG. 1. Louis I. Kahn, Adler House, project, 1954-55. Final version, plan. Drawing no. 415.9. copyright 1977, The Louis I. Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (hereafter abbreviated as Kahn Collection). FIGS. 2 and 3. Adler House, plan. As it was published by Kahn in "Two Houses", Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal, no. 3, 1955, pp. 60-61. FIG. 4. Preliminary drawings for the Adler House, 1955. Drawing no. 415.1, copyright 1977, Kahn Collection.

NOTES 1. Mies vander Rohe said that architecture begins when two brick are carefully brought together. With this example, Mies tried to point out that tactility, modularity, physical presence and laws imposed by material upon building are one of the strongest bases for architecture. With a very similar instance, Frank Lloyd Wright tells us about his first

architectural experience: a set of Froebel blocks, a gift he received from his mother in his early childhood, which brought him into an experience of shape, a feeling that never would leave his fingers. A sensible experience of form, a little realm of color, rhuthm, weight and texture would be for him what lay hidden behind the appearances. Even the shapes the blocks made just leaving them alone fascinated him for the underlying ordered pattern. Building with those little wooden blocks turned out to be Wright's great secret for his architecturla practice. (Cf. Wright, Frank Lloyd, An Autobiography, Duell, Sloan and Pierce, New York, 1943.) 2. Mrs. ADLER, Letter to Kahn, June 17, 1954. "Adler", Box LIK 32, Kahn Collection. 3. ROWE, Colin, "Neo-Classicism and Modern Architecture II", in The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, 1976, pp. 139-158. 4. TYNG, A., interview by Alessandra Latour, in LATOUR, A., Louis I. Kahn, l'uomo, il maestro, Edizioni Kappa, Rome, 1986, p. 43. 5. KAHN, Louis I., "Lecture to Town School of Civil and Medical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, November 19, 1968", in WURMAN, Richard Saul, What Will be Will Always Be, The Words of Louis I. Kahn, Access Press Ltd., New York, 1986, p. 34. 6. KAHN, Louis I., "Monumentality", in New Architecture and City Planning, A Symposium, edited by Paul Zucker, pp. 577-588. Philosophical Library, New York, 1944. Reprinted in LATOUR, Alessandra, (ed.): Louis I. Kahn: writings, lectures, interviews, Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., New York, 1991, p. 25. 7. LE RICOLAIS, Robert, quoted by Peter McCleary in "Visions and Paradox, An Exhibition of the work of Robert Le Ricolais", University of Pennsylvania, Catalogue, January 22 February 12, 1996