Saturday, August 29, 2020



Location :

Located in a once-rural setting, 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago, estate adjoining the Fox River, in the city of Plano, Illinois.

Architect :

         Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies (March 27, 1886 – August 17, 1969) was an architect and designer. Mies has long been considered one of the most important architects of the 20th century. In Europe, before World War II, Mies emerged as one of the most innovative leaders of the Modern Movement, producing visionary projects and executing a number of small but critically significant buildings. After emigrating to the United States in 1938, he transformed the architectonic expression of the steel frame in American architecture and left a nearly unmatched legacy of teaching and building. Born in Aachen, Germany, Mies began his architectural career as an apprentice at the studio of Peter Behrens from 1908 to 1912. There he was exposed to progressive German culture, working alongside Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. 

About Fransworth House :

        One of Mies’ most famous aphorisms was “less is more”. For many, the architecture of Farnsworth House represents the ultimate refinement of his minimalist beliefs. It was designed and constructed between 1945 and 1951 as a oneroom weekend retreat, located in a once-rural setting, 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago on a 60-acre (240,000 m2 ) estate adjoining the Fox River, in the city of Plano, Illinois. The steel and glass house was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a prominent Chicago medical specialist, as a place where she could engage in her hobbies: playing the violin, translating poetry, and enjoying nature. Farnsworth was highly intelligent, articulate, and intent on building a very special work of modern architecture. Her instructions for Mies were to design the house as if it were for himself.

       Mies created a 1,585-square-foot (140 m2 ) house that is now widely recognized as an iconic masterpiece of the International Style of architecture. The home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006 after being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. It is currently owned and run as a house museum by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Like many Modernists, Mies worshiped the technology-driven modern era he lived in, but also believed that reconnecting the individual with nature was one of the greatest challenges faced by an urbanized society.. With this in mind, Mies conceived Farnsworth House as an indooroutdoor architectural shelter simultaneously independent of and intertwined with the nature around it. The simple elongated cubic form of the house runs parallel to the flow of the river and is anchored to the site in the cooling shadow of a large and majestic black maple tree. To underline the strong connection with nature, the house was deliberately built on the flood plain near the river’s edge instead of on the flood-free upland portions of the site.

         The essential characteristics of the house are immediately apparent. The extensive use of clear floor-to-ceiling glass opens the interior to its natural surroundings to an extreme degree. Two distinctly expressed horizontal slabs, which form the roof and the floor, sandwich an open space for living. The slab edges are defined by exposed steel structural members painted pure white. The house is elevated five feet three inches (1.60 m) above the flood plain by eight steel columns, which are attached to the sides of the floor and ceiling slabs. The end of the slabs extend beyond the column supports, creating cantilevers. The house seems to float weightlessly above the ground it occupies. A third floating slab, an attached terrace, acts as a transition between the living area and the ground. The house is accessed by two sets of wide steps connecting the ground to the terrace and then to the porch. As was often the case with Mies’ designs, the entrance is located on the sunny side, facing the river instead of the access road.

Facts :

Building type :- House. One-room weekend retreat 

Materials :- Steel and glass 

Style :- Modern 

Construction Date :- From 1945 to 1951 

Floor area :- 1,585-square feet (140 m2 )

Friday, August 28, 2020



         The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third-oldest structure in the city's Cathedral Square, after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry. The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. The tower began to lean during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground which could not properly support the structure's weight, and it worsened through the completion of construction in the 14th century. By 1990 the tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. The structure was stabilized by remedial work between 1993 and 2001, which reduced the tilt to 3.97 degrees.

Architect :                                                                                                   There has been controversy about the real identity of the architect of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. For many years, the design was attributed to Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano, a well-known 12th-century resident artist of Pisa, known for his bronze casting, particularly in the Pisa Duomo. Pisano left Pisa in 1185 for Monreale, Sicily, only to come back and die in his home town. A piece of cast bearing his name was discovered at the foot of the tower in 1820, but this may be related to the bronze door in the facade of the cathedral that was destroyed in 1595. A 2001 study seems to indicate Diotisalvi was the original architect, due to the time of construction and affinity with other Diotisalvi works, notably the bell tower of San Nicola and the Baptistery, both in Pisa.

Construction :
       Construction of the tower occurred in three stages over 199 years. On 5 January 1172, Donna Berta di Bernardo, a widow and resident of the house of dell'Opera di Santa Maria, bequeathed sixty soldi to the Opera Campanilis petrarum Sancte Marie. The sum was then used toward the purchase of a few stones which still form the base of the bell tower. 
On 9 August 1173, the foundations of the tower were laid. Work on the ground floor of the white marble campanile began on 14 August of the same year during a period of military success and prosperity. This ground floor is a blind arcade articulated by engaged columns with classical Corinthian capitals. Nearly four centuries later Giorgio Vasari wrote: "Guglielmo, according to what is being said, in the year 1174, together with sculptor Bonanno, laid the foundations of the bell tower of the cathedral in Pisa". The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, as the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca, and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled. On 27 December 1233, the worker Benenato, son of Gerardo Bottici, 
oversaw the continuation of the tower's construction.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020


  Villa Savoye is a modernist villa in Poissy, on the outskirts of Paris, France.

Owner :  French Government

Architect :

 Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret                                                                                                     Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (6 October 1887 – 27 August 1965), known as Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades, and he designed buildings in Europe, Japan, India, and North and South America. Pierre Jeanneret (22 March 1896 – 4 December 1967) was a Swiss architect who collaborated with his cousin, Charles Edouard Jeanneret, for about twenty years.

“the house is a machine for living in.”

Introduction :

• A modernist villa in poissy; the outskirts of Paris.

• As the last purist villa, it is an attempt of reconciliation between the Platonic attributes of nature and man.

• Designed and constructed between 1929 and 1931 by Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret.

• Named “Les Heures Claires” by Le Corbusier.

• Commissioned as a private country residence by Pierre and Emilie Savoye in 1928. They came from a wealthy Parisian family that ran a large and successful insurance company and owned land in the town of Poissy. 

• Le Corbusier noted that his clients were: ‘quite without preconceptions, either old or new’ and only had a vague idea of what their future country house should look like. 

• Is recognized as the most faithful to his five points of architecture. 

• The Villa has become an icon of Le Corbusier’s ideals and methodology. 

Site : • Grove of trees shields from strong winds, while allowing sunlight

     • Patio receives breeze from SW in summer. It is sheltered from cold NW wind in winter. 

Architectural style : Modernist, International

Located at : Poissy, Yvelines, France.

Construction started : 1929

Construction completed : 1931

Concept :

• Purist and cubist approach

• First floor deliberately raised off of the ground so that it (as Le Corbusier put it) will be out of the wetness and damp of the earth, raising its gardens as well to provide healthy and dry garden space. 

• The textures, materials, colours and methods of emphasis of the horizontality, juxtaposed with the upward climb of the ramp and staircase combine to create an atmosphere that draws the visitor through the space.

• Facade reduced to a screening function, a skin, lending to a feeling of the structure being lighter or weightless, a principle heavily looked at by the Bauhaus at that time.

The design features of the Villa Savoye include :

•“The Five Points of Architecture”

• Modular design - the result of Le Corbusier’s research into mathematics, architecture (the golden section), and human proportion. 

• No historical ornament 

• Abstract sculptural design

• Pure color - white on the outside, a color with associations of newness, purity, simplicity, and health (Le Corbusier earlier wrote a book entitled, When the Cathedrals were White), and planes of subtle color in the interior living areas.

• Dynamic , non-traditional transitions between floors - spiral staircases and ramps.

• Integral garage - the curve of the ground floor of the house is based on the turning radius of the 1927 Citroen. 

• Inspiration from greek architecture - basic elements of classical architecture transformed. 

• Inspiration from steam ships and locomotives.

Forms :

Villa Savoye is an exploration in the use of primary forms, using rectangles, cylinders, and cubes. Le Corbusier started with a cubic volume and eroded elements to create the final form. Villa Savoye takes structural inspiration from the Domino Structure, characterized by planar slabs connected by a dogleg staircase. In the Villa Savoye, a ramp was added along with the staircase.

Five main building elements :

1) Pilotis :

2) Free facade :

• The columns are set back from the facades, inside the house. 
• The floor continues cantilevered. 
• The stilts that support the structure allow for non-supporting walls. 
• The facades are no longer anything but light skins of insulating walls or windows. 
• The facade is free.  

3) Ribbon windows :

• Reinforced concrete provides a revolution in the history of the window. 
• The second floor of the Villa Savoye includes long strips of ribbon windows that allow views of the large surrounding yard and is inspired from steam ships. 
• These strips of elongated windows allowed for impressive views of the exterior and let in a great amount of natural light – providing expanded illumination and ventilation. 

4) Open floor plan : 

• Previously, the load-bearing walls formed the structure not allowing flexibility. 
• Now, like the free facade, the open floor plan is made possible by the system of supporting stilts. 
• The open floor plan, relieved of load-bearing walls, allow walls to be placed freely and only where aesthetically needed.  

5) Roof terrace :

Functions : 
The house occupies a site in Poissy, a small commune outside of Paris, in a field that was originally surrounded by woodland. Designed as a weekend holiday home for the Savoye family. The house was originally built as a country retreat for the Savoye family. The Villa Savoye is a revolutionary building because it was designed to be functional and to revolve around people's daily lives. With its systematic efficiency, lack of ornamentation, and clean lines, the Villa Savoye exemplifies Purism and Le Corbusier's desire to simplify design.

Building elements : 
These include pilotis that lift the building up above the ground, a flat roof that could serve as a garden and terrace, open-plan interiors, ribbon windows for light and ventilation, and a free facade independent of the load-bearing structure. A row of slender reinforced concrete columns supports the upper level, which is painted white. The lower level is set back and painted green like the surrounding forest to create the perception of a floating volume above. The lower level is dedicated to the maintenance and service programmes of the house, while the living spaces are located on the upper level. Strips of windows – a common feature in Le Corbusier's work – are designed to open by sliding over each other and are placed in the middle of the facade on the upper level to bring in as much light as possible. A series of ramps, as well as a sculptural spiral staircase, connect the two floors, and are intended to provide a gradual movement between levels. On the first floor, a large sliding glass wall opens the living spaces to an outdoor terrace. From here, a ramp leads to rooftop garden, which is encased by curved walls. A large triangle of windows offers views from the ramp to the spaces inside.

Plans, Sections, Elevations :

Conclusion :

1. five points
2. golden ratios
3. purist style
4. basic forms used - cuboids and cylinders
5. machine and technology incorporated (esp. cars) - curve corresponding the turning radius of citroen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020



     Architectural design process is the scientific study of existing ideas, thought and thinking in getting detail solution of an architectural design. It’s explained that the difference between architectural design process and scientific methods is that, architectural design is concerned with how things ought to be done while natural sciences are concerned with how things are. Generally it is considered that the difference between architectural, mechanical and industrial design processes is the aspect of the problem considered, the primary source of knowledge, the degree of commitment made to output statement, the level of detail, and finally the method of transformation. Design process is a method that reveals how things are created.

    Illustrates the composition of four different activities in architectural design. Assimilation represents the process of gathering information related to the proposed design such as verbal communication with client and documentation of the design brief. The complete analysis of design problem and the identification of most suitable design solution constitute the components of general study. The growth and refinement of tentative solutions isolated during general study is what is referred to as development. Finally, communication is the act of representation design information to design teams, client, user and general public.

    Architectural design is a combination of graphical and theoretical solution to a problem, such as residential design, industrial design, institutional design, religious design, and commercial design. The solution take the forms of plans, elevations, sections, details, perspective, graph, analysis of proposed and existing features. Table I, demonstrates stages involve in architectural design process. In solving these problems, designers’ use thinking and drawing as a tool in achieving the required creative result. Creativity and Innovation is important throughout the life span of the project. Some of its functions include generation and improvement of design idea together with improving perception of aesthetics on physical elements use for facade design. Other functions of creativity-innovation include choice and application of modern building materials.


   Designers/Architects generate analysis of their design ideas through drawings, written word and verbal expressions. Idea generation is an activity that transforms conceptual idea to concrete idea. Technique like brainstorming is commonly applied by designers for idea generation purposes. It is obvious that such a critical part of human endeavor is an important part of the design process.  

   Imagery is a mental picture in which a designer formulates in his/her mind a design and such representation comes in abstract form. The designer uses mental imagery and perception as a tool to represent his ideas at the mental stage. Mental imagery is an idea that was generated, evaluated, and transformed by the designer as a solution to a design problem. Meanwhile, perception is an idea which is triggered by a similar experiential idea either from a stored memory or perceived from the physical element of the immediate environment or the product of objects or events that exist. 

     Evidence of the importance of mental imagery in memory, reasoning and invention, and research reveal that awesome proportion of the brain is dedicated to vision. Evidence from cognitive science suggests that the mind uses imagery and verbal processes for complementary and interdependent purposes. This suggests that it may be an error to separate, as one tends to do visual or depicts from propositional mode of education. It has been scientifically indicated that visual thinking use different brain systems from verbal. When a person visualizes something blood runs faster in the visual cortex. Research carried out on patients’ show that injury to the left half of the brain can stop the generation of visual images. Mental imagery is a vital tool for brainstorming activities. It is in these activities that “mental synthesis” is employed in the process of analysis and evaluation.


    All designers are concerned with the visual aspect of their design. Some designers use mental imagery to measure and ensure their design address the intended problem. Designers visualize designs being used in every possible situation through the process of grappling with the design problem until it is finally solved. Visualization is a medium that generates design and technically presents it to the owner or client and the design team in facilitating the design process. This medium includes drawings, written word or verbal expression. Illustrates how visual representations are classified into categorical descriptions that represent abstract ideas or sign constraints and visual specific spatial depiction.


   Innovations in building materials are by no means a simple process. Initially, the material is invented or introduced, followed by testing the material, improving performance and finally expanding the development of the material. Newly innovated building materials such as carbon fiber, glass fiber, Teflon glass fabric, translucent glazing, carbon naan tubes, spider silk, Kevlar, Styrofoam are used by architects and engineers in innovating complex designs. These newly innovated building materials offered designers and engineers the opportunity to innovate all sort of complex designs.