4.154
Architecture Design Option Studio ⎯ The Masonry House (Chang/Clifford)

Prerequisites: 4.145 or 4.153

The Masonry House

This studio is built around two of the fundamental questions of architecture:

How do we build?

We shall explore the notion of craft with a focus on masonry.

Case study: Sigurd Lewerentz’s St. Peter’s Church in Klippan, Sweden – a building that celebrates brick, demonstrates the profound understanding of construction of its architect, and is therefore full of mistakes or inventions depending on one’s point of view. We shall analyze this building at the beginning of the semester.

Design method: Build models with wooden/composite building blocks (scale 1:10 to 1:1) throughout entire design process.

What are the differences between stone, brick, and concrete block?

How do we live?

We shall study the ways of inhabiting a masonry house.

Case study: Glass house is not merely a material/construction type but an architectural position that has created the concept of transparency and changed the way we perceive space and the relationship between architecture and landscape. Ever since the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe, the ideas embedded in glass house have reinterpreted, expanded, or challenged by generations of architects. We will show two examples of recent glass house: Michael Bell’s Gefter Press House in New York State and FCJZ’s Vertical Glass House in Shanghai.

Is masonry house also an architectural proposition? If so, what is the architectural agenda brought by a masonry house?

How does domestic life unfold in a masonry house vs. in a glass house or timber frame house?

Program: A guest house or single-room hotel for visiting artist(s)/architect(s), one person or a couple, for the West Bund Biennale in Shanghai, the same as the Vertical Glass House. Size: 100 square meters. This is a special facility that simultaneously serves as a private residential quarters and a public art exhibition.

Site: West Bund, Shanghai

Projects in 4.154

Spring 2014